We will gather peacefully for silent meditation the morning of July 4th, 2018 from dawn until noon; and a peaceful assembly of free speech and expression from July 1st through the end of Vision Counsel; in the southern Appalachian Mountains. DIRECTIONS TO THE GATHERING ARE HERE (and contain road closure info, and other critical information. This post is updated frequently so check back for the latest.To learn how to get into the gathering without getting a mandatory court appearance ticket, click here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Rap on Access

For people with special needs, ask for Handicamp - a space for people with mobility and other related disabilities with lots of folks willing to help you make the most of your gathering experience. However, keep in mind that not all people who need close in parking at Handicamp will be able to get it as the lots do fill up.  Sometimes our ability to maintain Handicamp parking is constrained by the United States Forest Service. But the situation varies year to year and even day to day. Providing access for those who need it is one of the hardest things to manage at the gathering. We often work something out, then have to change it for a variety of reasons.  My best recommendation is arrive earlier as the later you come, the more challenging the parking situation tends to become.

The gathering proper can be 1/2 to 2 miles away from vehicle access and may involve hills. There is usually a drop-off point where people and gear can stage at the trail head even if parking is further out. While the trails can be tough and conditions vary from site to site, there's usually a couple of friendly folks just waiting to assist with the rough spots. Sometimes we have cool things like rickshaws to assist people in getting around but sometimes we don't or the service of such assistance devices is intermittent and it may take hours to coordinate transport.

Also, while I understand the desire to sleep in your rig, it is actually easier if you camp in the central part of the gathering by the kitchen of your liking as it will be much easier to provide support. Getting volunteers to help 200 people into the gathering is one thing. Finding volunteers to help 200 people twice a day as they commute to the parking lot is a lot harder for everyone.

Bring your own personal supplies (catheter, wraps, chair, medical supplies, diapers, cleanup, etc.). Bring own attendant if you need assistance with personal care (bowel programs, skin, transfer, catheterization , wounds, etc) or supervision issues or other issues (mobility, access, safety) as needed. We will have registered nurses and medical doctors on site during the main days of the gathering. It's a great idea to connect up with a health care practitioner when you arrive and before you need assistance so that someone is familiar with your needs and can assist more quickly.  Please, ask for help when you need it and give another gatherer a chance to be of service.

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