This aspect will focus on making FSCONS accessible for all participants. It will also support other aspects with tips and guidelines, answer questions on accessibility matters, and sometimes request or even impose some requirements to the other aspects.
We will also here provide links to resources and examples for various aspects of a conference that aims to be more accessible.
- 1 Links and resources, general guidelines
Links and resources, general guidelines
General resources on accessible conferences
- Sig access on planning an accessible conference
- Planning Accessible Conferences and Meetings: An ERIC/OSEP Information Brief for Conference Planners
- (Swedish) A guide for making events more accessible - Has a lot of pointers/links to more reading!
- What we did for accessibility for FSCONS 2011
- [Handisam (Swedish Authority for Handicap policies) checklist for accessible conferences - In Swedish]
- Make the booklet easy to read (contrast, pictograms, clear and easy language)
- Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) Checklist for Buildings and Facilities (American but at least it's in English)
- Each station that has a counter / table, make sure it has a lower section so that you can interact with the staff even sitting down (for instance in a wheelchair).
- Each section/room should have aisles that are wide enough to pass easily with a wheelchair, pram, walker etc
- Each room with chairs and tables, should have spaces for wheelchairs. In lecture rooms, it is great to leave the second row from the stage without chairs but with space enough to allow for wheelchairs while still have room to walk pass them (extra wide empty row)
- There should be clear signs in good contrast and large font, preferably also with pictograms, for rooms, exits, café, toilets etc
- There should be a site map/venue map with a clear overview of the venue. Accessible toilets should be marked on the map. Toilets where you also can change diapers for babies should also be marked or at least mentioned in information materials.
Web & Infrastructure
- Web pages should be coded in a way so that they are accessible
- All images should have alt-tags (for screen readers)
- All pages should have a logical reading order (for screen readers, skip navigation links for instance)
- All pages should make use of good contrast for text and information
- Extra points for using pictograms and explicatory graphics for extra readability and comprehension
- Please use tools available for checking web accessibility Wave at webaim AChecker
- The web should have information on accessibility, both for the venue and surroundings, and during the conference
- It's good to provide on the accessibility information page a contact name and email for questions and concerns regarding the accessibility. It can be Rikard to start with.
- Please make sure that there is a PA system in each room
- Make sure there is a connection into the PA for laptops (so that any audio/video sound from the speakers computer will go out in the speakers)
- Don't be shy to mention that we aim to be an accessible conference
- Investigate if our tool for surveys is accessible
- If we collect feedback during the conference, make sure it is easy for all to participate and leave comments (if it is a letter box, can it be reached sitting down?, if it's a whiteboard, can you reach it? etc)
- Some general tips
- Food etc should have a list of ingredients
- The counter should have a lower section
- There should be plenty of room to get to and from the cafe/bar, even en a wheelchair
- Are there sitting places also for people with wheelchairs or prams (in the same places as with chairs)?
- If you offer alternatives (gluten free, diary free, vegan, vegetarian), please make clear notes marking this
- The counter should have a lower section
- You should be prepared to give directions to toilets (including those who are accessible) and all sections
- If the conference provides an attendee list, have an electronic version available for reference at the registration desk, so that visually impaired attendees can browse the list for people they may wish to talk with. An alternative is to have attendees ask at the registration desk whether specific people are present.
- Are the badges easy to reach, even sitting down?
- Prepare that there may be requests from the accessibility aspect ;-)
- All staff should be informed that we aim to be an accessible conference
- It would be great if we could offer volunteers and assistants/guides for participants or speakers who would request it (for instance: Seeing eye, helping with doors etc)
- If we have room hosts or moderators, remind the audience to use a microphone to ask questions, so that everyone can hear, and should state their name before speaking, for the benefit of those who cannot see who is speaking. Also remind the speaker to repeat the question, or as a moderator, repeat the question yourself so that the questions goes into the recording and PA (if there is no pass-around microphone)
- When promoting the conference, keep the accessibility aspects in mind (needs discussion)
- Look at a plan for evacuation in case of emergency, including all participants regardless of capabilities
- Gather information on i.e. local emergency doctors, hospital facilities, wheelchair repair, physiotherapists (provide this to venue, registration, team working on booklet, web)
- Same guidelines apply as for venue and cafe