| News |

Blind People, Little People Both Have Conventions in Dallas This Week. (We Thought You Should Know?)

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

It just so happens that this week, both the Little People of America, which provides support to people with dwarfism, and the National Federation for the Blind, which advocates for people who can't see, are hosting their annual conferences in Dallas.

A coincidence, no doubt, but it got me thinking about logistics, or how exactly a hotel or convention center accommodates hundreds or thousands of people who have the same physical limitation. MSNBC reported on the steps Dallas hotels are taking to welcome the short-statured attendees of the LNA conference, which is happening at the Sheraton on Olive Street. This includes stools at registration desks and beside beds as well as dowel rods to reach buttons on the elevator. And DFW Airport is permanently installing retractable steps in all of its bathrooms to make reaching the sink easier.

For the 3,000-plus blind people who will converge on the Hilton Anatole, there will be equivalent measures. Hotel staff are instructed on how to be "both helpful and not to be overly helpful," and UPS volunteers are recruited to help direct and guide attendees, said NFB spokesman Chris Danielson.

The restaurant's hotel menus are reproduced in Braille by a special printer at NFB's Baltimore headquarters. Otherwise, Danielson said the biggest factor in choosing a convention site is finding a hotel with food that doesn't suck, since conventioneers, being mostly car-less, spend most of the time in the hotel.

Danielson encourages visually impaired people in the Dallas area to drop by. It'll be their last chance to attend a local convention for a while. While NFB's convention has been held in Dallas for four of the past six years, it's moving to Orlando for the next six.

"It tends to change the lives of people who have not visited it before in terms of really revolutionizing their attitudes as they're adjusting" to blindness.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.