11/17/06 – Yankee Outreach Meeting Minutes


NOVEMBER 17, 2006
1 PM – 3 PM

Dominic Marinelli provided introductions and a brief overview of our past outreach meetings at Yankee Stadium

Joel Ziev – Update on Task Group on Communication and Graphic Design

Joel provided an overview of his Task Group’s work, which includes the following issues:
1. Graphics
2. Signage
3. Way Finding
4. Assisted Listening Devices
5. Scoreboards and ribbon boards

• Printed material – large print and other alternative formats must be available – people with visual impairments prefer to have material in an electronic format
• Need to provide captioning of announcements made over the PA system
• Captioning should not just be provided on the scoreboards but also on ribbon boards and televisions located throughout the stadium.
• Important characteristics of letters in captioning:
1. Size of letters
2. Density of letters
3. Color contrast of letters from background
• Options for Assistive Listening Devises – FM system and loop system

Matt Sapolin: Is it possible to have antenna equipment installed in stadium to improve radio signal? Maybe the stadium chairs could have an input where radios or Pac Mates could be plugged.

Charles Albert: Written literature could be put into alternative formats that could be viewed on a PacMate.

Rick Morin: Discussed problem with Fox Broadcasts having a delay.

Melissa Ortiz: Would like to have an input on chair where you can plug in radios.

Stephanie White: Suggested that printed materials be provided in other languages

Janice Shacter: Discussed the three prong approach:
1. Assistive listening device
2. Captioning
3. Interpreting

Linda Volpe – Update on Task Group on Transportation to/from Yankee Stadium

Linda provided an overview of her Task Group’s work, which includes the following issues:
1. Subways
2. Access-a-Ride
3. Parking

• Elevator at 161st Street Station breaks down frequently and individuals get trapped at the station and can’t get to games
• We must follow-up with MTA and discuss the maintenance of elevator
• Fans have trouble getting picked-up at Yankee Stadium. The location that they are dropped-off at is blocked after the game by traffic, vans and team buses. Gridlock in the area makes it difficult to get Access-a-Ride vans near the stadium after a game.
• Misunderstanding among Access-a-Ride users that the drop-off and pick-up locations had to be the same.

Eunice Poku: Representative of NYC Transit Access-a-Ride is willing to help us out at new stadium in mapping out the area and choosing workable drop-off and pick-up locations

Melissa Ortiz: Suggested that Access-a-Ride send out a bunch of vans and have each van designated to particular zip codes to simplify the process. Melissa suggested providing training/education to both drivers and riders.

Stephanie White: Stephanie is the Chair of the Paratransit Advisory Committee. It can be difficult for individuals to get to the pick-up area due to stadium congestion – if you’re late, the driver leaves and you’re a “no-show.”

Matt Sapolin: Access-a-Ride is working on improving service. If everyone works together, these issues should be resolved by opening day. (United Spinal, MOPD, HOK, Eunice Poku and Stephanie White)

Joel Ziev: Suggested that we try to debug the system before 2009 – work at solving problems next season at the current stadium.

Ed Roether: Suggested that we involve NYPD since we will have to deal with DOT and Homeland Security issues.

Linda discussed NY Waterways – accessible shuttle used to be provided from NY Waterways to Stadium – it’s no longer available. United Spinal Association wrote a letter to NY Waterways but has not received a response.

Melissa Ortiz: NY Water Taxis is interested in providing accessible transportation to Yankee Stadium.

Matt Sapolin: Mayor signed a new law requiring new ferries to be accessible – this law pre-empted DOT requirements.

• Need captioning in Access-a-Ride vans for people that are deaf or hard of hearing.
• If vans have a GPS system, this can be used to provide captioning
Linda discussed the issue of parking violations – we need to involve NYPD to discuss enforcement issues.

Rick Morin: Suggested valet service to prevent individuals from parking in accessible spaces and access aisles. This could be a problem for vans that don’t have a driver’s seat.

Dom Marinelli: Our next meeting will include representatives from Access-a-Ride

Kleo King – Update on Task Group on Accessible Accommodations

Kleo provided an overview of her Task Group’s work, which includes the following issues:
1. Wheelchair seating locations
2. Ticket & other policies
3. Designated seats for individuals with vision impairments
4. Documentation of a disability
5. Enforcement

Kleo provided an overview of the wheelchair seating locations at the new Stadium. Individuals agreed that companion seats should be good quality folding chairs so to provide flexibility within the wheelchair seating areas.

• Do not surpass the capacity of wheelchair seating areas. The floor will be marked where companion seats will be placed to prevent overcrowding of the areas.
• Request for monitors in stadium for individuals with visual impairments. If these monitors are provided with captioning, they will also benefit individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing.
• The number of companions that an individual that uses a wheelchair brings to a game cannot be limited unless the total number of tickets allowed is limited for everyone. For example: during playoffs, if there is a purchase limit of 4 tickets per person, then an individual that needs a wheelchair space can only bring 3 companions.
• People want tickets to be available by various methods: phone, in-person sales, internet
• Could Yankees hold some tickets for individuals with disabilities?
• If a level is sold out, the Yankees are allowed to release the wheelchair seating locations to the general public
• Discussion of duplicating what the Diamondbacks did at their stadium – accessible seating club – fans voluntarily provide Diamondbacks with info so that their needs can be accommodated more easily when purchasing tickets.

Patricia Bacigalupo: Need to differentiate between group sales and large families so that individuals don’t take advantage and bring 10 friends with them to a game

Rick Morin: People with disabilities must learn how to purchase tickets – supply and demand. People can’t expect to get tickets the day before a game. Rick suggests that Yankees provide outreach to educate the disability community.

Dr. Joan Fallon: Asked what percentage of wheelchair seats are part of a subscription (such as season tickets).

Robert Rappo: Suggested that companion seat spaces are designated to that extra folding chairs aren’t added to areas.

Artie Elefant: Suggested the creation of an internal reporting group – report fraud to Carol.