A favorite summer activity for us is to go see the Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park. Fenway is an old and historic park that, unlike many other Major League Baseball parks, brings the field right up to the seats, so you really feel like you are part of the game!
There’s nothing like the feel of watching a game with thousands of fellow fans. The cheering and jeering, the music and movement (from clapping to the wave) are super exciting for anyone, including children who are blind or multiply disabled, assuming they can handle the immense sensory experience!
When Ivan was little, getting him into his seat was easy. But as he’s grown we’ve found that it’s more difficult to carry him to his seat or get him through the aisles without his wheelchair. So for our most recent trip to Fenway we looked into their accessibility options – and were pleasantly surprised by all that was available to us!
Our experience is only with Fenway Park in Boston, but I’m sure you can find these amenities at many Major League Baseball parks.
Yep! You can get your Red Sox season schedule in braille! Just ask at the Ticket Services window and they’ll give you one for free. They also have large print schedules as well.
And you know what’s even cooler? The Red Sox schedule is brailled by our friends over at National Braille Press!
Watching a game with low vision or blindness is still exciting (just being part of the crowd is a thrill), but if you really want to know the details of what’s happening on the field, you may have to rely on someone else to tell you what’s going on.
Or you can stop by the Fan Services Booth and pick up an Assisted Listening Device (ALD)! ALDs will tell you through headphones everything that is happening and give you real-time play-by-play information. This is perfect for anyone who is blind or has a hearing impairment and can’t follow the information on the loud speaker.
The park asks that you give them a $20 refundable deposit to use the device, but you get that back at the end of the game.
All entrances to Fenway are wheelchair accessible, but obviously not all the seating is. However, Fenway does offer multiple accesible seating options throughout the park that you can request when purchasing your tickets in advance.
But here was our problem: We attended our most recent game as guests… our friends gave us their tickets to use in their place. And of course, their tickets weren’t in accessible seats! What could we do?
When we arrived at the park we walked over to the “Fan Information” table and told them our problem. It took about five minutes for them to get on the computer and switch our seats to accessible seating. We were in the same general area with the same general view as our original seats, but now Ivan’s chair could wheel right up into a free space and we had so much more room! No offense to everyone in their “normal” seats… but I actually think our spot was much nicer!