“Meaningful access requires us to ask not only, ‘Who belongs?’ but also, ‘How do we know?’ Whose knowledge and leadership is foregrounded? Whose labors are employed in creating access and how are these labors compensated?”
–Aimi Hamraie, “Beyond Accommodation: Disability, Feminist Philosophy, and the Design of Everyday Academic Life.”
The 2018 Accessibility Guide for the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) was created by A. Abby Knoblauch and Muffy Walter, with special assistance from Melissa Helquist. This guide offers information for navigating the physical conference locations, and notes other locations in the city (such as restaurants and sites of interest). Although some suggestions are specific to the city, this guide can also serve as a model for how conference organizers might reach out to their attendees in order to make the conference experience as accessible as possible.
Event organizers may wonder how to approach presenters about making their presentations accessible. Kelly George’s letter to presenters at the symposium “Disability and Change: Fault Lines, Intersections, & Action” at Temple University provides one model. This is not meant to serve as “the best” or “the only” way to give presenters such guidelines. Rather, this is one example of how such a letter might be framed.
Designating a quiet room [PDF]
Explains what a quiet room is, and why every conference needs one. (By Susan Naomi Bernstein)
Interaction badges [Video]
Interaction badges provide a color-coded signal that helps demystify social interaction in conference space.
Building access at conferences also means considering those who cannot be physically present at the conference space yet still want to engage with the ideas and work being shared. Too, at large conferences like CCCC, there can be as many as forty simultaneously-occurring sessions and attendees may want a way to experience ideas presented in more than one concurrent panel. Cultivating a virtual channel is one way to do this. Towards this end, the 2015 program chair, Joyce Locke Carter, created a terrific handout that she sent to all session chairs and distributed via multiple channels (Facebook, Twitter, email) to offer guidelines for session chairs and explicit instruction regarding the conference’s hashtag and ways of bringing the virtual and the in-person streams together. (By Stephanie Kerschbaum)