DART: Disabled Access Resource Team
The following information describes the systems and services of DART. We hope this information helps you plan for your stay at the Festival. Please read this information carefully before filling out the Registration Form. It is very important that all DART campers pre-register by returning the registration postmarked by July 11th (or July 3rd for DART RV). Because there is a limit to the number of camping/living spaces closest to DART Downtown, the boardwalk (a central paved wheel-way) and other DART facilities, we will prioritize those spaces for womyn who have pre-registered. Blacktop camp areas are reserved for womyn using wheelchairs. Please consider which DART services you require so that we can maximize our resources and continue providing excellent support for womyn with disabilities.
The systems and services of DART are designed to make the outdoor camping environment of the Festival as accessible as possible. While these services greatly increase the accessibility of the event, an outdoor gathering such as the Festival remains, by its very definition, a rustic camping experience and poses inherent physical barriers. We have worked over the years to decrease these barriers wherever possible, and have supplemented these efforts with services to increase accessibility. However, given the difficult terrain, the absence of any permanent structures, and the general primitive outdoor setting, the Festival is not an easily accessible event. Even at its best, the Michigan Festival environment is still a stretch for some womyn. Please feel free to contact us with questions or concerns you might have about whether or not this particular event will be a possible and positive experience for you.
DART AREA SERVICES
When you arrive at the Festival site and after you have received your wrist ticket, let the womyn at the gate know that you are a DART camper. If you are purchasing a ticket, park in the temporary Box Office lot and the staff womyn there will come to your car to conduct the ticket sale. You'll then be directed to the DART shuttle drop (we will help you unload if you require assistance). Park your car in the DART parking area, visit the Festival Orientation and then return to the DART shuttle drop to catch a DART shuttle into the DART village. Please note: We cannot handle luggage over 40 pounds – NO EXCEPTIONS – We cannot compromise the safety of the volunteers lifting your luggage. Please label all your camping gear, so if any piece is misplaced it can be easily identified!
All Festival front gate services close at 10pm. If at all possible, please plan your arrival during daylight hours so that we can help you get settled into your campsite with as little delay as possible. If you arrive after nightfall we can offer you an overnight spot in a communal area.
The Festival shuttle service operates three lift-assisted buses. In addition to rides from Orientation and DART RV into the DART village, DART maintains an ongoing interior shuttle service. Wait at the shuttle stop a half-hour before you need to arrive at your planned destination. Womyn who are able to use the general shuttles are asked to do so, leaving the busy DART buses for the womyn who have specific need of these vehicles.
Personal Care Support
Festival workers cannot provide personal care assitance but will help you get what need and will make camping as accessible as possible. If you need extensive or continuous aid, we strongly suggest you bring an attendant to the Festival.
This is a network of volunteers who assist womyn with moving gear, setting up camp and generally helping out with physical labor tasks. In order to receive helping hands, or to receive help moving your gear to or from your camp site, you must be registered to camp in the DART area.
ASL Interpreter Services and Deaf Community
Interpreter services are available throughout the Festival and are based in the Community Center. Please arrange for interpreting services with 24 hours notice, unless it is an emergency. There is an informal camping area in general camping for Deaf and Hard of Hearing womyn. Please ask the DART staff for exact location.
DART CAMPING AND FACILITIES
The DART area itself is housed in a series of tents: The office tent for information and trouble shooting assistance, the workshop tent, the DART community sleep tent and the living room, a comfortable hangout for visiting, playing games, etc.
The DART area has a central paved wheel-way leading to DART service tents, camping areas, showers, water and accessible toilets. From this interior wheel-way there is a paved path that runs the perimeter of the most central "downtown" area. Connecting from this paved path are carpet paths radiating out to all major Festival areas. The paved path provides very smooth movement along its route. The carpet paths make it possible for wheelchair travel over the sandy ground, but it is not as easy as rolling over the blacktops. Roads are for vehicles -- when on the road temporarily, please use with caution.
DART has wheelchair-accessible showers with a limited amount of hot water. If you are able, we ask that you use the general showers nearest to DART.
Water and Ice
We have ample clean, safe drinking water. You do not need to bring your own water. Please bring a cooler for storing medicine and other essential items. Ice is available for purchase at the Country Store.
Electricity is available for medical needs only and can only be run from a Festival electrical source directly into a medical device (e.g. re-charging wheelchair batteries or running medical equipment) and will be monitored. All other devices such as iPods, cell phones, laptops, and games will be unplugged. Please bring 50 feet of outdoor electrical cord to recharge equipment overnight at the nearest electrical board.
The DART Community Sleep Tent
This tent accommodates womyn who do not own or cannot borrow a tent. These spaces are assigned on a first come, first served basis from DART pre-registrations.
Adjacent and General Campgrounds
The DART camping area is not extensive and due to the importance of its proximity to other services, it must be reserved for womyn with disabilities and their tent-mates or lovers. If you are coming with a group or planning to meet friends, we suggest your group camps in General Camping beyond the Over 50's Camping Area located parallel to DART. This is still close to downtown and the DART campground. If you choose to camp with your group in General Camping, you can be in close proximity to Downtown DART and DART services.
The DART staff does not provide services to areas that are located away from Downtown DART. However, you can camp in any of the other campgrounds and still access some DART services such as the DART shuttle and the DART food line. Please specify what services you plan to access on your registration form and stop into the DART office tent when you arrive at the Festival.
DART RV CAMPING
There is a DART RV area located within the general RV section that provides accessible warm water showers, electricity for direct-to-medical use, an accessible porta-toilet and ramped RV campsites by pre-registration. There is also continuous shuttle service by the three lift-assisted DART shuttle vehicles from DART RV to DART Downtown and other Festival areas.
Just as in downtown DART, electricity is available for medical needs only and can only be run from a Festival electrical source directly into a medical device(e.g. re-charging wheelchair batteries or running medical equipment). Electricity is not available for running your RV for any reason; it is only available for direct-to-medical. Please bring 50 feet of outdoor electrical cord to run directly from the equipment to a Festival electrical source. Do not bring longer cords - they cannot be used.
Pre-registration is required for all DART RV camping, and only RV's with DART permits are allowed in the reserved area. If you are camping in DART RV, your DART registration must be postmarked by July 3rd. We will send you a DART RV pass in the mail after July 5th; please bring it with you to the Festival. The RV campground prioritizes the spaces closest to support services and the road for womyn with the most need, so we encourage you to register early.
Womyn with food allergies or other special dietary requirements should bring any foods that the Festival menu does not provide. We provide simple vegetarian meals - a list of their ingredients is available at the Main Kitchen. Ice is sold at the General Store and delivered once a day to RV.
Dish Wash Facilities
For sanitation purposes, dish wash facilities are only available at the Main Kitchen. Neither DART Downtown nor DART RV has dish wash facilities. If this is a concern, please consider paper products.
Given the shared community environment of thousands of womyn, we cannot say that the Festival is always safe for womyn with environmental sensitivities. In this camping environment you may encounter fire smoke, bug repellent, kerosene lamps, vehicle fumes from shuttles and common contact scents from the large group.
There is a campground in the northwestern section of the land designated as smoke and scent-free space, but it is not located near or serviced by DART. It is located in a more remote section of the general camping area, and is clearly marked and self-monitored by the womyn camping there. Still, all campgrounds are in relative proximity to one another, and although the area itself is designated smoke and scent-free, it is adjacent to other general camping areas.
If you have environmental sensitivities and are planning on camping in DART, please remember that DART is centrally located to provide enhanced accessibility, and is one of the most densely populated campgrounds on the Land.
Smoking and Chem-Free
The DART village is essentially a smoke-free space. All common spaces, the office, the activities and sleep tents, the boardwalk etc. are smoke-free. However, there is a section of DART camping designated for smoking, and there is a well-marked, accessible outdoor smoking area. While the fire pit and smokers' tent are chem-OK areas, many womyn are clean and sober. Please be conscious of the shared space and use alcohol moderately, and we ask that if you drink alcohol, you drink from cups or glasses and not bottles or cans. There is also an area of DART camping that is designated as chem-free (no alcohol etc.). Please ask at the DART office for more information.
DART staff is willing to help you if you need assistance or information. There will always be a staff member in the DART office. In case of an emergency, a DART worker sleeps every night in the DART staff sleep tent, located just off the boardwalk near the showers in Downtown DART. We ask that you only wake the staff person for urgent matters.
Be sure to bring an adequate supply of any medications or medical supplies that you use, even if they are not used daily, particularly any you may need for plant or insect allergies. DART does not supply ice or refrigeration for medication or anything else - we cannot store medication. However, you can purchase ice at the Country Store or at DART RV.
DART camping is Downtown. In such proximity to the August Night Cafe and the Community Center, it is inevitably going to be more loud than quiet. There are also Downtown DART activities (e.g. impromptu performances) in the Living Room tent, activities around the fire pit, and children camping in DART who may be noisy at night.
1am is quiet time. While we hope womyn will follow quiet time guidelines, we realize that Festival is sometimes a noisy place to be. You may want to consider bringing earplugs or purchasing a set from the Country Store when you arrive.
Only service dogs as defined by the ADA are allowed. Please let us know on your registration if you will be bringing a service dog. Owners are solely responsible for their dogs and their dogs' behavior. If a dog is aggressive with womyn or other dogs, if it is not properly wearing its vest or cape, if it poops or pees outside of designated areas, or if it is not under the owner's control, you will be asked to remove the dog from the land. Please include a copy of the service dog ID and list what organization trained your dog.
Registration, Permits and Getting Settled
We do not send out confirmations of registration for Downtown DART - once you send in your registration form you are confirmed. If you are registering for DART RV, you will receive a DART RV permit by the end of July. If you are camping in the DART area and/or using any of the services that the area provides, please make sure you stop into the DART office tent before you set up camp. We may need to ask for or offer some additional information before you get settled.
DART's purpose is to provide access to the Festival. Many womyn in DART cherish the opportunity to connect with other womyn across a wide range of abilities. DART also houses womyn who might otherwise choose quiet camping, family camping, or loud and rowdy camping. While we ask that you respect the DART guidelines, the womyn of DART create the community together. Please be proactive about talking with your neighbor to resolve any conflicts that may arise, and only rely on the DART staff for assistance - they cannot make a judgment for you.
Please feel free to write us with your suggestions and questions about DART. DART came into being because disabled womyn made their needs known, so feel free to offer your constructive feedback and comments. DART gets better each year because of input we receive from DART campers, so get involved and be a part of the Disabled Access Resource Team!
Please mail the Dart Registration Form postmarked by July 3rd for DART RV or by July 11th for Downtown DART
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