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GHC Accessibility

Greetings!

The saying goes that everything is bigger in Texas and the George R. Brown Convention Center is no exception.  The convention center falls just shy of 2 million square feet (over 167,000 square meters) spread over three levels.  It is in the heart of downtown Houston, making the ideal place for the projected 15,000+ Hoppers to gather.  While getting from point A to point B in such a large facility can seem daunting, there will be plenty of help available.

Move!

All levels and most entrances of the convention center are wheelchair accessible.  Each level has 2 sets of elevators in addition to the escalators.  In addition, every bathroom is wheelchair accessible, however note that the lines sometimes get long during the session intermissions.  Everyone should plan accordingly.  Some of the events such as Syster’s luncheons, will be held in ballrooms of the Hilton of the Americas.  The hotel can be accessed by crossing outside at the street level or by using one of the sky bridges located on levels 2 and 3 of the convention center.  Personally, I suggest the sky bridges because they are air conditioned and the Houston heat can be fierce even in October.  Plus you get to take in the beauty of surrounding downtown Houston!  There will be plenty of convention center staff on-hand to give directions to meeting rooms and other facility amenities.  They are always happy to help hoppers find their way around.  Each level of the Toyota Center is also accessible by several sets of elevators and escalators.  There will be attendants at the Crawford and Polk entrance to help attendees locate accessible seating.  For Toyota Center specific information, email guestservices@rocketball.com.
The shuttles between the venues and the GHC-designated hotels are accessible; there is also accessible parking at each of the venues if you are planning to drive.  In addition, all of the buses from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County are accessible.

Experience!

One of the great things about GHC is that both the attendees and the experiences are so diverse.  My experience is different from the next hopper’s experience, but we still get a chance to enjoy it together.  In order to ensure that everyone enjoys all there is to offer, sign language interpreters and dedicated ushers are available.  Check out this page to learn more.
We love our furry counterparts.  And although you may think your cat is just as interested in Artificial Intelligence as you are – and she probably is because that’s how cats are planning to eliminate the need for humans – please leave her at home in the care of a friend or family member.  Only trained service animals and emotional support animals are allowed to attend GHC.  Make sure that the animal has identification marking him or her as a service/emotional support animal, as well as a leash and/or harness.  I am personally one of those people who has to have a mental conversation with herself in order to resist the urge to reach out and pet an animal who is on duty.  Multiply me by fifteen thousand and you’ll understand the annoyance an unidentified service animal has to bear.

See you all in Houston!