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Accessibility at SCMS 2017
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Specific accessibility information for Toronto 2018 will be added shortly

The Society for Cinema & Media Studies is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation
in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities.

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

All Meeting Locations

All meeting locations have accessible lobbies; several have autoslide doors. Thresholds and doormats are in compliance with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and door-service personnel are available at most properties. Lobbies have marble floors and/or low-pile carpeting. Elevators connect all levels of each property. Each elevator has a wheelchair-accessible keypad, Braille numerals beside each control button, and audible direction. Restrooms in lobbies and on meeting room floors are wheelchair accessible and have tactile signage.

The Fairmont has an accessible registration desk or will provide a clipboard to guests to complete registration documentation. The hotel has accessible guest rooms. Among other amenities, the guest rooms feature wheelchair-accessible doors, lever/lever door handles, security peepholes, ample room space, grab bars in restrooms, low sinks with insulated pipes, accessible towel racks, and accessible mirrors. The following auxiliary aids are available as well: flashing fire alarm, doorbell, and telephone; vibrating alarm clock; closed-caption decoders; Braille signage; and TDD telephones.

Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park

The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, its regulations, and guidelines. So that the hotel can better assist persons with special needs, individuals should indicate their specific needs when making a reservation.

There are rooms at the hotel which are specially adapted for physically challenged guests. These rooms feature wide doorways, lower door handles, lower light switches and grab bars in the bathroom.

# of W/C Accessible Guestrooms: 20
# of Rooms with Roll-in Showers: 2
Total # of Hotel Rooms: 687
Main Entry and Lobby Fully Accessible: Yes
Onsite Accessible Dining / Bar: Yes
Accessible Restroom in Lobby: Yes
Must Access Hotel from Side or Rear Entrance: No
Has Restrictive Steps Within Hotel: No, elevators available for use
W/C Assistance Required Within Hotel: No
Garage Self-Parking: Valet Only

When you book a hotel room it is best to (1) call the hotel directly and "block" your accessible room for the desired dates, (2) have the hotel email or fax you a confirmation noting the accessible room, and (3) call the hotel directly 24-48 hours in advance or your arrival to confirm your accessible room.

When calling the nationwide reservations call center for many hotel chains, they do not have the ability to "block" wheelchair accessible rooms with individual hotel properties. We recommended to call the hotel directly, and speak to the front desk to properly reserve and block your accessible guestroom.

If you require accessibility assistance to book your housing or if you have an problems/issues, please email hotel at scmsconference dot com.

Mid-America Club

All areas of the facility are wheelchair accessible. All elevators are equipped with Braille signage. Attendees needing assistance with accessibility should speak to a Guest Services representative in the Lobby.
Parking: Parking is available at designated ADA spaces.
Meeting Rooms: The Mid-America Club exists on one level - the 80th floor at the AON Center. The Club is accessible by elevator. To move from one meeting room to the next, there are no obstructions, steps, etc. Lobbies have marble floors and/or low-pile carpeting.
Restaurants: All dining areas meet ADA requirements and staff are willing and able to make reasonable accommodations for guests’ needs.

Accessible Transportation

• The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) employs a range of features and services to provide transit that's accessible to people with disabilities. 100% of CTA's vehicles (both buses and railcars) are accessible and 100 of the 145 rail stations are accessible. Visit here for more information. To get door-to-door accessible trip directions with the RTA Trip Planner, click here (click gear icon, expand "public transit" and select "yes" under "wheelchair accessibility" before submitting your query).

• Accessible Taxis
More than 20 taxi companies in Chicago currently operate wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) equipped with ramp, wheelchair securement and shoulder and lap belt. Open Taxis, the centralized dispatch service run by Open Doors Organization, is open 24/7 to take your reservation or to dispatch a WAV for immediate pickup. Call Open Taxis toll-free at 855.WAV.1010 (855.928.1010) or email

Taxi Access Program (TAP)
TTY 888-847-0093
The Taxi Access Program allows RTA certified paratransit customers to travel in taxis at reduced rates for trips within the City of Chicago. TAP Swipe Card trips, good for a one-way taxi ride valued up to $13.50, may be purchased for $5.00 each. Riders must pay the difference if the taxi meter exceeds $13.50. Trips may be purchased online, by mail or in person at Chicago & LaSalle Currency Exchange, 777 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60610. Up to 30 trips may be purchased per week but only 4 used per day. An application form for a TAP Swipe Card is included at the website listed above.

• Accessible Van Transportation

Go Airport Express Toll free 888-284-3826

All-Ways Medical Carriers 800-709-0700 (Illinois)
Based in the northern suburbs, this transportation company serves Cook, Lake and DuPage counties. It has lift-equipped vehicles of various capacities and can provide accessible transportation for any purpose including airport and hotel shuttle service. Dispatchers available daily from 6am-8pm.

Chicago Disability Transit 312-335-1244
This disability-owned company, centrally located on Ohio Street, serves corporations and individuals in both city and suburbs. It has fully accessible vans and cars. Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Private trips can be booked by email, phone or fax during regular business hours.

SCR Medical Transportation 773-768-7000
773-768-7320 (TTY)
Located in the Chicago South area, this company provides public and private paratransit service and has wheelchair accessible mini-vans, full-size vans and mini-buses. Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Private trips can be booked online or by phone.

• Paratransit Services

Pace Paratransit
547 W. Jackson Blvd., 10th Fl.
Chicago, IL 60661
TTY 888-847-0093
Registered paratransit riders who would like to extend their eligibility to Chicago while visiting must present documentation that they are ADA paratransit eligible for the jurisdiction in which they reside. ADA paratransit certification (with expiration date) and a photo ID should be sent to Pace to arrive at least 7 days before the first desired day of travel. Pace will then issue an RTA paratransit pass good for 21 days per 365-day period and provide a list of phone numbers for the various paratransit operators. Once certified, visitors can set up arrival and departure paratransit rides, if desired. Certification also allows visitors to use the Taxi Access Program.

• Scooter rentals are available by contacting The Mobility Shop (888-404-5554,

Service Animals Welcome

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies is committed to making the annual meeting accessible. Service animals are welcome at all events, sessions, and venues. The ADA protects the right of people with disabilities to be accompanied by trained service animals in public places. Remember, not all disabilities are visible and service animals are not required to wear special equipment or tags. Service animals are working and should not be distracted without permission.

Other Resources

            • General information and resources: <>
            • US Department of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection: <>
            • New Horizons: Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability: <>
            • Barrier-Free Travels: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Wheelers and Slow Walkers: <>

For more information on this year's conference and Accessibility, please see our travel page.

Please email Leslie LeMond, Conference Manager at least 21 days before the conference if you have concerns or need special assistance the week of the conference.
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