Carla, a strong-willed woman who relies on a walker due to her disability, recently had a frustrating encounter at a local minor league baseball game. Step into Carla’s world as she recounts her experience, shedding light on the importance of accessibility, respect, and inclusivity for individuals with disabilities in public spaces.
Carla’s Designated Seat in the ADA Section
As a season ticket holder, Carla has a designated seat in the ADA section, conveniently located on the concourse for easy access to restrooms and concessions.
Her seat, situated at the end of a row, provides ample space for her folded walker and allows her to maneuver in and out comfortably, even when someone is occupying the wheelchair spaces beside her.
Season ticket holders like Carla possess a card that gets scanned by the ticket taker upon entry.
Disruption by a Large Group
One particular day last week, Carla found herself seated, enjoying her beer, and eagerly awaiting the start of the game. However, a large group abruptly disrupted her peaceful moment.
Among them were several developmentally disabled adults accompanied by numerous non-disabled individuals. The row Carla occupied contained ten seats, four of which were designated wheelchair spaces, all already occupied by those in need.
This left five regular seats available, excluding Carla’s, as her seat was not part of this count.
Claiming the Entire Row
To her dismay, an able-bodied woman, who seemed to be the leader of the group, approached Carla and demanded that she vacate her seat.
According to the woman, Carla was in the wrong seat, as their group had supposedly reserved the entire row.
Carla Asserts Herself
Remaining composed, Carla calmly asserted that the woman was mistaken and proceeded to present her season ticket card, clearly displaying the section, row, and seat number.
Yet, the woman refused to believe her and kept demanding that Carla move. Words failed Carla.
Support from the Venue Staff
Fortunately, before Carla had to escalate the situation, a staff member intervened.
A Loyal Season Ticket Holder’s Defense
Having been a loyal season ticket holder since 2011, Carla was well-known among the venue’s staff, making this an unwinnable battle for this rude woman.
The staff member swiftly informed the woman that Carla was indeed ticketed for her seat and should not be disturbed. Moreover, he directed the woman to the seats her group was assigned.
Clarifying the Group’s Reservation
While they had secured Carla’s entire row, only five of their non-disabled companions could occupy it, as the remaining four spaces were for wheelchair users.
The rest of their party had seats in the regular seating bowl within the same section, albeit located just in front of the concourse row.
The ADA row, as the staff member clarified, was intended for individuals with disabilities and a limited number of companions, not for all non-disabled individuals within a large group.
Reluctantly, the woman begrudgingly conceded and left Carla alone, though not without loudly voicing her complaints to her friends about Carla’s “lack of consideration” and that she should have moved places.
Unfazed by the woman’s comments, Carla chose to ignore her and focus on enjoying the game.
A Makeshift Row
But the tale doesn’t end there! Behind Carla’s row, in the alcove of the restrooms, lay a stack of folding chairs.
This group, eager to sit together, decided to create their own makeshift row using those chairs.
With both wheelchair spaces adjacent to Carla occupied her only means of getting in and out was a narrow two-foot space.
Carla could work with that, but unbelievably, another person with a folding chair attempted to block off even that small area, leaving Carla with no way to exit!
Carla Stands Her Ground
Not one to back down, Carla firmly confronted the person, asserting her right to access the space. In response to her strong stance, the person relented and backed away.
Surrounded by Inconsideration
As the game progressed, Carla found herself surrounded by this group, with no alternative seats available to escape their presence.
The Impact on Carla’s Game Day
She could only hope to never encounter them again, as their inconsiderate behavior had cast a shadow over her game day experience!
A Reminder of Inclusivity and Empathy
In the end, Carla’s tale serves as a reminder of the importance of respect, inclusivity, and empathy towards individuals with disabilities.
It highlights the need for understanding and adhering to designated seating arrangements, ensuring that everyone can enjoy events and venues with equal access and consideration.
Reflection and Support
Redditors offered their support and advice to Carla. One user told Carla to “Prepare for future issues by checking if there’s a number you can text for fan assistance.
Most stadiums have them. It would allow you to discreetly ask for a staff member to ask them to move the folding chairs or confirm your seat without your having to look for help (or engage with entitled jerks).”
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The post Disabled Baseball Fan Won’t Give Up Her Seat for Obnoxious Woman. In Fact, She’ll Put Her in Her Place! first appeared on Wealthy Living.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock /Dean Drobot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
This post is based on Reddit but the names have been changed.