2019 Guidelines for Physically Challenged Delegates

Register in advance by June 3rd

In past years, NEA has maintained a medical clinic at the convention center, staffed by physicians and nurses along with medics to respond to life-threatening medical emergencies.  NEA will continue to provide basic first-aid and emergency care using the center’s first aid rooms. These services will be provided by and administered by medics.

Delegates who require treatment beyond basic first-aid, or the services of a doctor, will find Houston has many urgent care facilities, pharmacies, and hospitals nearby that provide excellent service on a 24hour/7 days a week basis. The local facilities are within a short taxi or Uber/Lyft ride away from the convention center.

The Office of Physically Challenged Services (PC Office) will be located at the rear of Hall B behind the Delegate Experience & Café area in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. Drop-off and pick-up locations will correspond to meeting activities and convenient to the PC Office and RA.

  • Handicapped car placards are not accepted as documentation to qualify for services.
  • Routine delegate registrations that don’t require adjustments will be made at the PC office eliminating the need for PC Delegates to make their way to General Registration.
  • Voting for PC-Registered Delegates will take place in an area adjacent to the PC Office. Delegates should verify their preferred voting location when registering as a RA delegate.
  • To receive special services, delegates who qualify for Physically Challenged Services must fill out the Physically Challenged Delegates Request Form by June 3, 2019 and register on-site at the PC Office.

This year, delegates who have been approved for physically challenged services consistently over the past three years will not have to submit documentation to receive services. 

Those delegates who do not meet the above criteria must submit only ONE of the following three documents:

  1. A signed letter dated within the past six months from your physician on his/her letterhead indicating the need for Physically Challenged Services.
  2. A signed physician’s prescription form indicating the need for Physically Challenged Services and dated within the past six months.
  3. A valid state-issued vehicle registration card with Physically Challenged endorsement.  (Note: handicapped car placards are not a suitable substitute and will not be accepted.)

Requests for Physically Challenged Services Received after June 3rd

Delegates who wish to register for Physically Challenged services after June 3rd must provide one of the three documents described above and will be accommodated as space on vehicles and RA floor seating areas permits.  Delegates who sustain injuries on site will be asked to provide written confirmation from NEA’s First Aid office or a local health care provider unless the condition/injury is obvious (a broken leg, for example).

Transportation for Physically Challenged Delegates

To receive transportation services, delegates who qualify for Physically Challenged Services must submit your request via the online Physically Challenged Delegates Request Form by June 3, 2019.

Transportation is provided for official Annual Meeting events only and does not include airport transfers.  PC Transportation follows the regular NEA shuttle schedule which includes limited service for the HCR Awards Program on July 3rdSee the Physically Challenged Shuttle Brochure for details.

Physically Challenged Shuttle Brochure

Transportation is limited to qualifying delegates only (not former delegates, friends, family, and guests). If a companion is required to assist a delegate, a physician’s note indicating that need and dated within the last six months, is required. If you travel with medical equipment, you may want to have your physician recommend a travel companion. NEA or the Shuttle bus staff are not responsible for carrying medical equipment or other personal items.

RA Seating Options for Physically Challenged Delegates

Physically Challenged delegates have an option to be seated with their state delegations or in the Physically Challenged designated area. To guarantee seating with your state delegation, you must submit your request via the online Physically Challenged Delegates Request Form by June 3, 2019.

To comply with fire codes and accommodate the growing number of delegates in the Physically Challenged Seating area of the RA Floor, there will be one table between two delegates to share in the wheelchair and scooter accessible area.  Additional seating will be available with chairs set theater style.

NEA will make every effort to arrange floor seating if notified by June 3rd. While it may not appear complicated, RA seating is a challenge combining skills in art, science, politics, and safety.  Once you make your seating decision, please stay with the decision.

 Wheelchairs, Mobility Scooters & Medical Devices


NEA uses wheelchairs in the convention center to get PC delegates to and from the RA. These chairs are shared and not assigned to individual delegates.

Delegates are personally responsible for bringing their own medical devices/equipment including mobility scooters should they wish to use them at the convention center.

A note about mobility scooters:  NEA will give first priority to accommodate delegates who rely on mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs as part of their daily routine.  Because of the long distances delegates are required to walk in the convention center, we understand many delegates may wish to rent mobility scooters to use within the center.  If you are planning to rent locally, please arrange to have your scooter delivered to you at the convention center.  You may store your scooter in the Physically Challenged Transportation Office each night starting July 3rd until the meeting ends on July 7th.   Keep in mind the PC Office structure is a temporary build and not a high security storage area.  If you absolutely must transport your rented mobility scooter to the center from your hotel on June 30th or July 1st, please point this out in advance so that we can try to accommodate your scooter without disrupting the service.  We aim to avoid surprises at the curb to retain the quality of service.

Please note: as a safety precaution, riders are not permitted to remain on scooters when traveling on buses.  They must transfer to bus seats before buses depart. Drivers will be instructed to enforce this policy, and riders’ cooperation is appreciated.

Airport Transportation 

Delegates are responsible for their ground transportation to and from the airport.  Links to local ground transportation services are available on the following website, https://www.visithoustontexas.com/travel-planning/maps-and-transportation/houston-airports/