Tell Skepticon how to be more accessible!

Lauren Lane has just put a post up on the Skepticon website asking for tips on how to make Skepticon more accessible.  She’s got some good starters:

Here are some things we are brainstorming to help kick off the conversation:

  • Ginormous signage
  • ASL Interpreters for as many talks as we can manage (Anyone know of awesome volunteers for this?)
  • Braille printed programs

It’s important to us here at Skepticon that everyone have the best experience possible over our convention weekend, so let us know what we can do to increase the amazeballness.

I know you guys are a pretty creative bunch.  What else can you think of?

Also, next month I’m going to dive hard into fundraising for Skepticon.  What antics could convince you guys to part with your hard-earned cash for a good cause?

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • ladydreamgirl

    Seating accommodations for those with mobility impairments
    If there are queues for events consider a system that allows people with mobility impairments to reserve seats or have placeholders in the line so they don’t have to remain standing more than necessary
    training for volunteers about proper etiquette with service animals

  • Kassiane Alexandra S.

    No flash photography (if you must, just tell me that you hate epileptics now kthx).

    Really. Clear. Signage. Preferably with arrows.

    Food allergy accomodations (ingredients on ALL THE THINGS, food with the big six seperated from the others on a different table or something)

    Non gendered bathrooms (not a disability concern but still a concern)

    I’d love forever a con that had earplugs available.(on that same note, check the sound system for feedback. It can make an event completely inaccessible to people with sensory issues)

    TRANSCRIBE. YOUR. SHIT. THANKYOU. And have audio available for visual media as well.

    Safe scent policies. There’s no need to drench yourself in perfume, & that can make people with asthma and such really really sick.

    There’s more but I have class.

    • ladydreamgirl

      And the no flash photography thing HAS to be enforced. Any official photographers should have it in their contract that they can be removed and loose any further pay if they violate the policy. Attendees should be held to similar standards. For some photosensitive epileptics flash essentially constitutes a deadly weapon.

      • Kassiane Alexandra S.

        Indeed. I am one of those photosensitive epileptics and have had bad experiences with an event (that I paid to go to, and made arrangements with in advance) having their actual paid event photographer chase me around with his flash.

        (and I left a comment on the skepticon post bc all the accommodations!)

        • ladydreamgirl

          Wow! Small internet, I think it may have actually been your posts about that experience that taught me that fact.

  • Homer

    Emily Dietle and I were entertaining the idea of a “Date an Atheist” or “Dinner with an Atheist” fundraiser. At a convention, auction off any popular speakers or public figures to go on a date. I am sure there are lots of people who would be thrilled to have more than a 5 minute conversation in passing with figures like you, JT.

    I think this would work and could certainly help out those that can’t meet the price range of both a plane ticket and convention ticket.

  • Miri

    In terms of mental health accommodations, having a space where people can go off to the side and not interact with others can be really helpful. Skeptech had a designated zone for this and it was great.

    Also, echoing Homer’s idea, especially if it helps fund travel grants or something like that. I can’t go to Skepticon at all unless I get outside assistance of some sort, and I know many are in the same boat because plane tickets to Missouri can get really freakin’ expensive. :(

    • Loqi

      Skeptech had that? I need to read stuff more carefully, apparently. Would have beaten the hell out of sitting against the wall glancing around nervously :(

      • Miri

        I don’t think it was publicized as well as it could’ve been…

  • Loqi

    Since Miri brought it up, and it’s probably the biggest issue for a lot of people, I’d suggest some kind of travel assistance fund (if there isn’t one already). My vacation plans for this year got scuttled, so I’ve got some suddenly unspent vacation money that I’d be happy to use for that sort of thing.

  • Tel

    Baby changing facilities. And the allowance of breastfeeding if someone wants to. Nothing wrong with it.

    Make sure staff can handle a wheelchair. They don’t have to be designated pushers or constantly available or anything like that, but sometimes we need an extra hand, and there being anyone around who can be trusted to (a) turn a corner pushing a wheelchair and (b) not run over people’s toes is useful. This one can actually be a lot of fun to learn.