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#LostTowns  Erm, can anyone find Leeds? Top work agents.

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Mission Day for Agents with Disabilities

#AccessibleIngress   #MissionDayforAll   #EquityvsEquality   


As an Ingress Agent with a disability, and having spoken to many other Agents with disabilities, we feel that it would be helpful if the Mission Day requirement for Agents with Disabilities was lowered so that Disabled Agents would be as likely to earn a badge as able-bodied Agents, and would not feel excluded on the basis of their disability. While setting an exact number as the lower threshold might not be helpful, the aim should be to show that they have put in time and effort and tried their best, within the bounds of their limitations (and everyone is the best judge of their own limitations, and will push themselves sensibly). This would make Ingress and Mission Day fairer, and the list of those who receive this dispensation could be easily found from the rosters of the Disabled/Accessibility teams of both Factions. This would enable Agents with Disabilities to feel as though they are not excluded from receiving Mission Day badges based on their disabilities.

+Nia Ops +NIA Ops +John Hanke +Anne Beuttenmüller +Matilde Tusberti +Andrew Krug 

My Background:

My name is Catherine, aka Agent R1SEN, and I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as Brittle Bones. I’ve broken about 40 bones so far in my life, including my right femur (thigh bone) about 12 times. This means that I mainly use a wheelchair to get around, especially for Ingress. Because I move slowly, I mainly contribute to the Resistance team by doing Intel, and I’ve been on the Intel team for a dozen anomalies and countless fielding ops. I enjoy helping to teach Intel to new Agents . I am also involved in many swag communities - I like to collect as much swag and scanner badges as possible. 

Occasionally, I treat myself to actually attending anomalies, even though I was initially very worried about slowing my team down. I have been put in car teams and been Team Leader of disabled teams at two anomalies, and will be team leader of the Vienna accessibility team. I know that the way my disability affects me means that I will never be able to do the GoRuck events (although I know some disabled people can). However, I really love doing missions - I created several in Cambridge for the individual Colleges. Banner missions are hard for me, though, because I move so much more slowly than everyone else (I have to wheel, stop, take out phone, interact, put phone back, start wheeling again). I really wanted the Mission Day badge, and asked during the lead-up to the Dublin Mission Day if it would be possible for the requirements to be lowered for disabled Agents, but received no reply. 

In the lead-up to Vienna, I discussed the Mission Day with the rest of the accessibility team, which includes people of all types of disability and impairment. They all have similar worries to mine, although one Agent HAS got the Mission Day badge already - she woke up at 6am on the day, and was one of the last to arrive back to get her badge. She showed true dedication, but the rest are worried about whether we could manage such a thing too. I see that the requirement for Vienna is 12 missions, but the day after the hectic nature of the anomaly, we will all be in pain and tired. I was wondering if this requirement could be lowered for Agents with disabilities - not necessarily to a specific number (it is so hard to judge these things, and every disabled person’s disability affects them differently) - but perhaps to reflect exactly what you are trying to do - show that someone has spent time and effort trying to do as many missions as they are able to do in the time required. As there are designated disability/accessibility teams for the Anomaly, it should not be hard to set membership of one as the requirement for any dispensation. This can be checked with the local faction organisation team.


Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone’s disability affects them in different ways, and everyone has different coping strategies. One wheelchair user might move more quickly than someone on crutches, while another wheelchair user might need to be pushed by a carer or personal assistant. Not all disabilities are visible, and some influence how much energy an individual may have (for examples of this, see Spoon Theory). Some people experience “flare ups” which mean that the amount that their disability affects them can vary from day-to-day or hour-to-hour.
I have been Team Lead for two disabled Anomaly teams, and from experience I have learned that the team takes much longer to get places than other teams. In fact, both times we needed to use taxis to get the team of 10-15 people between some clusters. Everything takes longer when you are disabled, not just moving places. For example, take a simple hacking mission. If you are able-bodied and walking at an average pace, you keep your phone out, and hack while walking. If you are a wheelchair user, you need to wheel to roughly the right place to be in range of the portal, take your phone out, check you are in the right place (and move if you are not), do your hack, put your phone back somewhere safe that it won’t fall off your lap or out of your pocket while you move, judge the distance to the next portal, and then move on. Doing a simple ten-minute walk hack-only mission takes 3-5 times as long for a wheelchair user. The human body was not designed to propel itself via its upper body, and most cities are not designed with wheelchair users in mind, so often you need to make detours, go uphill (where stopping to hack is a very precarious operation), and try to find a way to get in range of an inaccessible portal. All of this takes time. If someone does not require a wheelchair, they may experience similar problems, and need to take regular rest breaks due to fatigue. Other people have coordination issues which make performing tasks in-scanner take longer. Nevertheless, I am very proud of the teams I have led. It  is also worth noting that it costs more to be disabled, and to find appropriate transport and accommodation. The dedication to the game and the Faction which I have seen in players with disabilities is truly impressive, and I feel that Agents with disabilities deserve to feel as included as possible. While we may not (with rare very visible exceptions) be able to gain the Obsidian Elite or GoRuck medals, it should be possible for us to get Mission Day medals.
Most people are incredibly accommodating to people with disabilities, and when they are not it is almost always due to the fact that they have not even thought about the subject. As a wheelchair user, I once accidentally guided a blind friend directly into an overhead tree branch purely because I did not see it as an issue – but because he was over 6 foot tall, it was for him. My faction are very inclusive, and try their best to help me whenever possible, but I also want to be independent, so I do not want to have someone else push me in my wheelchair, and at times in the past I have been seriously injured when others have tried to help by pushing me. Not everyone with a disability can be helped along by their team.
When the Mission Day in Ireland was announced, I asked on the event page whether it would be possible to have the requirements lowered for those with disabilities – so that I could still do some missions, but have a lower goal to even the playing field. Unfortunately, well-meaning people suggested I get someone else to push me, or held up examples of other wheelchair users who were capable of meeting the requirements – but as already stated, nothing is a one-size-fits-all solution (There was no reply from anyone “official”). I do not want the badge for free – I am proud of my hard earned badges and my trekker stat (even if wheelchair travel doesn’t register very well). I want to do missions on Mission Day. I just do not want to have to follow the example of one of my disabled friends and start doing missions at 6am in order to get them done in time. I want to have a level playing field, but one which recognises that not everyone starts from the same position. Mission Days which take place the day after an Anomaly are even harder because people with disabilities will already be very fatigued due to the large amount of energy expended the previous day. As doing missions is often a group event, there is reluctance to take part because of fears of slowing everyone else down, and being a burden to the team, or being left behind everyone else as they race ahead.
Most people with disabilities know their own limits, and while they know that an anomaly weekend will take them to those limits, they will be unlikely to push themselves past those limits just for a badge - meaning that they will miss out due to their disability. There is a disabled team at most anomalies, and therefore I suggest that members of that team are given a special dispensation to not have to meet the full “normal” requirements in order to get the badge, but instead meet the requirement that they have participated and tried their hardest to complete as many missions as they physically can, even if that number is lower than “normal”. Many of the Agents with disabilities I have spoken with have very high mission stats, and are among the highest ranked Agents in their countries - we put in a lot of effort, but it just takes us longer. While we were writing this document, Ingress made a new announcement on G+ about tiered Mission Day medals, which makes the issue even more relevant.  Tiered medals create extra pressure to push yourself not just once, but on multiple occasions. Making adjustments for Agents with disabilities would help make Mission Day more inclusive, and reflect their effort and commitment.
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XF Meet up, 3rd March, Sheffield, /dev/cat

New Resistance player here...hello?

Hi, could you add me to the Sheffield ho? I live in Leeds, and visit approx monthly. 

Hey guys. Just got Ingress yesterday. Im a level 2 with a lot to learn :)

hiya, just started, city road cemetry is my first spot. going to try and make it fields.

Hi I'm new and been playing few days and loving this L2 and do try to hack and take over portals got a few new places in mind to submit over this week

I'm on board. Confused but Enlightened. 

Ok. Just started ingress. Another Enlightened in Sheffield.

Just get to grips with what the he'll I'm doing. 
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