Letter to the Editor

2017 Clay County Fair

Monday, September 18, 2017

My name is Michele. I am an Americans with Disabilities Act specialist. In October from Monday, Oct. 9 to Thursday, Oct. 12, I will be in Spencer to present to businesses, schools and service centers. I will also perform informal teaching surveys at several of your businesses including the Clay County Fairgrounds. I decided that to truly review the fairgrounds I should visit during the fair days. I chose the Disability Day for my visit. As a wheelchair user with a service dog I felt this would be appropriate.

—WOW! Clay County and the city of Spencer can stand proud and tall! I consider you the LEADERS OF THE PACK!

—Never have I witnessed a fair that sets aside a specific day for disABILITY accommodations

—Yes, I’m sure some will say it should be accessible all days of the fair which it is.

—What is so different are the unbelievable (pulling all the stops) successful approach that makes you all A FANTASTIC COMMUNITY!

—The endless disability carts (at least 50?) that continuously brought attendees from the accessible parking to the different areas of the fair activities.

—The great number of rental scooters available.

—The FREE admission — FREE lunch — FREE safe rides for the disABILITY attendees with group sign ups.

—Other access transportation throughout, moving the attendees around the grounds.

—The accessible paths to every event available

—AND MOST IMPORTANT — everyone providing assistance had a smile and attitude that said, “We love you and welcome you with open arms!” I saw no wasted sympathy — just empathy that saw the needs and provided them.

When I present at the business meeting on Oct. 10, Tuesday evening I will even give more details that I know are too lengthy for this article.

Bottom line I feel so privileged to personally experience the Spencer, Iowa, Clay County Fair Disability Day.

I am joyfully overwhelmed.

— Michele S. Ohmes with Sufra my super service dog,

Kansas City, Missouri.