“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.”
CCCC 2023 Accessibility Guide [link to downloadable Google doc]
The three access guides linked above offer various examples of how an access guide might be set up–both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide information for navigating physical conference locations, and note other points of interest (such as restaurants and local attractions). They also provide information for presenters on making presentations more accessible, as well as extensive information on how to make remote presentations accessible.
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 [captioned 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)