Monday, July 18, 2011

No High School Reunion For Me

Being disabled has meant missing out on my kids’ activities, and many other "Cool" things in life. I have not wanted to attend any of my high school reunions.  The main reason is the simple fact that my leaving home and many other factors, led to me dropping out and getting my GED at age 16 and starting college that same year.  Plus, I never really enjoyed being judged for how much money I never made, the clothes I choose to wear, the weight I have gained, and anything else that might be considered.  So you can see why avoidance was my simple answer to all previous high school reunions.  With Pain Sufferers Speak’s success and my renewed self esteem, I was a little excited, but still hesitant, about attending my 20th HS reunion set for July 30, 2011. Initially, only a headcount was gathered so costs and other details could be figured out. Then it was released that they were considering two different hotels here in Austin, TX for the party. Since I live in Austin, I added me and my hubby to their headcount. Today, I just finished reading the update for the reunion which included the fact that now the location is a “Party Boat Cruise” on Lake Austin from 7:30-10pm (boarding the boat starts at 7:15pm).  I’m not sure if you can imagine how this leaves me out of this event completely. With my nerve damage in both legs and both arms, I would be scared to death to agree to get on some unstable boat and be trapped for 3 hours. Falling would be my biggest fear, but it certainly doesn’t stop there.  It all goes back to the same problem—If you don’t live with disability, If disability does not affect your family, then it’s not even considered.  Instead of hosting an event that tries to include as many people as possible, the event has been planned to exclude many. Consider that the cost is $43 per person without beer and wine or $55 with alcohol. That means $86 minimum for a couple for one “fajita meal with all the trimmings” and being trapped on a boat for less than 3 hours in Texas heat!!  As you can see, the economic hardship of this economy was also not considered at all. All I can add is that for the 30th reunion, those that plan the event better consider ALL factors since, statistically, many more of us will be disabled by then.  

1 comment:

  1. As a professional event planner, and someone who suffers with a disability myself (although, not as harsh as some), I always keep these things in mind, and I think you should too. :)

    It is against the USA law to not accommodate the ADA Act in any event. If you really wanted to go, you should bring this up to your organizer and they will have to comply.

    Also, the price of the ticket isn't so bad, but there should be at least a little bit of a discount if the food is a 'buffet style' and shouldn't charge the significant other the same amount as the Alumni.

    Keep in mind that the price of the ticket includes ALL taxes, gratuity and rental of space. Taxes and gratuity alone can cost upwards of 30% per meal and rental can be another 15-20%, on average and depending on what kind of deal they were able to accomplish. This doesn't take into account of entertainment and decorations either, which is included in the price of the ticket.

    Just things to consider when looking at the picture. My information is not meant to make an argument/fight. Just some personal/professional insight/opinions on the matter. I hope it just helps. :)

    xoxo, PeacheyPlanner

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