Getting around at the 2008 conference in Philly

The Accessibility Guide to the STC 55th conference (see 2008 Accessibility Guide) was prepared to help you with your conference preparation. As promised in the guide, we are continuing the discussion of tips and suggestions here on the blog. Just in from Marc Gravez, Vice-President and acting/interim President of the Philadelphia chapter, is a very useful description of getting around our corner of Philadelphia in early June.

Directions from the Market East Platform to the PA Convention Center or the Philadelphia Marriott

You can go from the SEPTA Market East Regional Rail Station platform to the Pennsylvania Convention Center or the Philadelphia Marriott entirely indoors. The route is accessible for people with disabilities (including someone using a wheelchair) or anyone with a reasonable amount of luggage. Because Market East is a commuter station, assistance with luggage is unlikely. To go from the train to the Conference or the Marriott: When you get off the train, go toward the elevator, which is all the way at the end of the platform. If you just left the R1 train from the Philadelphia (PHL) airport, go in the direction of the rear of the train. Go up one floor in this elevator. The following photo shows this elevator.
Elevator from the Market East station platform used to get to the convention center and the Mariott.
When you exit the elevator after you have gone up one floor, go through the glass doors to the right as illustrated in the following photo.
The glass doors in Market East that are to your right when you exit the elevator you took from the platform.
There is a small sign indicating “Convention Center”, and you will find another elevator here. Take this elevator (illustrated in the following photo) to the Upper Level. There are pillars in this area that people with low-vision need to be aware of.
The second elevator in Market East that takes you to the Upper Level of the station.
When you exit the second elevator, you are in the original train shed. This is also an entrance to the Convention Center, illustrated in the following photo.
Entrance to the Convention Center from Market East station Upper Level.
At this same level, you will find the doors that take you to the Marriott. The doors are shown in the following photo. There are guard rails leading to these doors, with an automatic door-opener button on the left-hand rail.
The doors in the Market East Upper Level that lead to the Marriott
Proceed through these doors, and you will be on the second floor of the Marriott. There is an elevator down to the lobby. Note that all three places are interconnected indoors. If you are interested in how this setup came about, check out “Center City Commuter Connection”. I think it all works quite well for a retrofit, except the signage could be better.

More tips

This is a valuable contribution to the topic of accessibility at the conference. Thank you, Marc. Perhaps it can inspire others who are planning conferences. Just knowing what to expect can be a huge help to attendees. Moving from the practical to the entertaining, we have a tip from Lori Corbett from the Philadelphia Metro chapter. Lori points us to the STC Wiki Annual Conference site, which lists some tips about where to go and what to do when you are in Philadelphia. The chapter will be updating that site with more suggestions, so bookmark it along with this blog where we will also continue to add tips. We welcome your tips and suggestions in the comments section!

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