Coachella and Disability.

January 26, 2016

Coachella is coming this April so I wanted to talk about my past experiences attending this festival! I have gone to Coachella twice, once in 2014 and once in 2015. Despite the amazing lineups I had a difficult, and sometimes really stressful experience. Disability seems to be, at any event, an afterthought. Something that is thrown together to meet the ADA requirements. I know that there are a very small amount of people that are disabled that attend these events, but there are very simple things that can be done to improve the experience for many people in situations like mine, or that might have a different type of disability. I cant speak for every disabled person, but I think sharing my experience may help someone who might want to go to an event like this.

I have had the VIP (Safari) both times I have been to Coachella, it's very expensive because of the amenities you get with it, which also help with wheelchair access. You get these wristbands that you have to wear the whole time, this is where things got a little ridiculous. Both years I have went, the first day we had a security guard trying to say we couldn't come into the festival because I wasn't wearing my wristband, which is funny to me for obvious reasons! I was thinking "Should I magically grow my hands back so this isn't a problem?" I was getting really upset about it, I was showing them that I had no arms and I didn't understand why they were making it so difficult. Their managers eventually cleared it up though. Nothing was quite as annoying as that until the second year, when a security guard said that we would not be able to stay in the VIP area and that we had to go to the wheelchair accessible viewing area, way in the back. I got extremely irritated and so did everyone else I was with. He of course didn't say this to me, he talked as if I wasn't there. I paid to be in the VIP section like everyone else, so I refused to leave. We told him to get his manager and that there was no way that he could make us leave. He came back with the manager, who understood our frustration and why it was so ridiculous. This situation was definitely discrimination, and I was glad that it was resolved, but I felt like it was really horrible that it happened at all.

There was also a problem with the handicap accessible shower. We stayed in the on-site tents the first year, so there was no plumbing. They didn't have one the first day, which was fine. I didn't expect them to have one, but my boyfriend asked them if there was one available. They said they would bring one the next morning and have it ready. They brought out the shower, but there wasn't any water. It ended up taking almost 3 days to fix it so that I could shower. You can imagine how gross it was to be at a festival for 3 days while dancing and sweating not being able to take a shower. When I finally took a shower, it was on the last day. Everyone else was able to shower but my boyfriend and I did everything we could to keep me clean, but it wasn't the same. We stayed in a hotel last year, to avoid any chance of that happening again.

The staff was good for the most part after that. The people at the festival however, are not looking out for people in wheelchairs! All of the big shows later in the evening where the headliners played were packed with tens of thousands of people. We wanted to see "Outkast" that year, they were one of the biggest headliners that year and they were absolutely packed. People were constantly falling over or onto my chair, or trying to push past me. There was definitely no way I could see, and the handicap area was way too far back from the stage. Since I had VIP I wanted to get my money's worth. We weren't able to get there early either, we had to rush there because we had seen a performance scheduled right before it, and underestimated how packed it would be at night. I definitely learned that you have to get to late night shows early! We finally worked our way out of the crowd with the help of my boyfriend's friend walking in front of us and pushing through the people. After we were out, I broke down crying. I kept thinking about peoples lack of empathy and how people were willing to trample over me just to see a show and how frustrating the situation had been.

I really did have a fun and incredible experience going to Coachella both years, I really loved the vibe and the energy of the whole festival. I will gladly go again next year. I just really wanted to make light of the situation and the reality of being in a wheelchair at these kinds of things, and the obstacles people with disabilities will run into. You should never let it scare you out of doing something you want to do though. It is a really overwhelming experience, in both good and bad ways. But if you have the chance to go to this festival I would definitely take it is a memorable experience!

Good Morning Texas!!!

January 24, 2016

Hey Everyone! On Friday my sewing teacher Carla and I got a chance to be on Good Morning Texas! It was really exciting an incredible experience to share! My sewing teacher Carla Robertson asked me the other day if i wanted to come onto Good Morning Texas with her this past Friday morning and be on a speed sewing segment they were doing, she introduced me as her student and I was able to show on TV how I sew without both of my hands! I was also able to show the dress that I have been making, the same one that I have been updating you guys on here about! I hope by sharing a little bit of my story that it encouraged more people to pursue their dreams no matter the situation! It was a lot of fun, and a really cool experience! I hope I get more chances to show people what I can do and inspire more people! 


January 17, 2016

 Hey guys! I hope the start of the new year has been great for all of you! I just wanted to show you more sneak peaks of what my dress is looking like! I dont want to give to much away though, I pinned the sleeves on to get an idea of what it would look like and it came out great! The last post I showed you guys, the lining was black underneath the lace but I felt like the black made it much darker than I wanted and drowned out the purple. So I ended up putting lilac underneath, now it looks much softer and lighter.

 (I ended up having to put a piece of tape on here that says back stitch to remind me! I always forget!)

                There will be more pictures to come! I am really excited to show you guys more!
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs