Accessible Conferences

Accessible Conferences

ACCESSIBLE CONFERENCES Shari Trewin, SIGACCESS Chair SIGACCESS ACM SIGACCESS supports the international community of researchers and professionals applying computing and information technologies to empower individuals with disabilities and older adults. The SIG also promotes the professional interests of students and computing personnel with disabilities and strives to educate the public to support careers for people with

disabilities. ASSETS CONFERENCE ON COMPUTERS AND ACCESSIBILITY Strives to be a super-accessible conference ~170 attendees Regular attendees and presenters who

Are deaf Hard of hearing Using power wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs or scooters Have visual impairment (blind, low vision, color-blind) Are autistic or neurodiverse in other ways

Have speech impairment Have special dietary needs ACADEMIC CONFERENCES Learn Develop new ideas Demonstrate expertise Increase visibility Network Find collaborators

Engage with eminent researchers NEURIPS SURVEY 2018 12% of participants reported some difficulty seeing, 8% remembering/concentrating, 7% communicating, 4% hearing,

1.5% walking/climbing stairs 1.4% had accessibility-related difficulties at the conference. Poster sessions required a long period of standing and were noisy and crowded Talks assumed good color vision Finding safe food to eat was a challenge

SCARY STORIES Attending conferences can be risky! When her mobility scooter wouldnt fit into the bathroom, an attendee struggled to walk the distance to the bathroom stalls and nearly fell A power wheelchair user shaking with nerves was afraid they would accidentally drive their wheelchair off the edge of the stage A blind speaker fell off a stage An attendee couldnt get into the shower in the conference hotel An attendee ended up in hospital from poor air quality

VISUAL IMPAIRMENT Accessible Website and proceedings Meet accessibility standards Work with access technologies Proceedings in advance Orientation tour before the conference starts Student volunteer available as a guide Presenters describe visual materials

Shiri Azenkot (Cornell Tech) Matt King (Facebook) DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING Budget for sign language interpretation or captioning for conference sessions, breaks and social events Venue with an induction loop or assistive listening

devices Captions for all videos Microphones for all presentations and questions Quiet space where attendees can talk Brent Shiver (IBM Engineer) MOBILITY IMPAIRMENTS Wheelchair accessible transport to the venue

Wheelchair accessible venue and social events Accessible hotel rooms available for attendees A ramp onto the stage, safety rails for speakers Advance information about walking distances Alternatives to stairs or long walks Places to rest Seating and low tables at social events Student volunteers to assist Jennifer Mankoff

(U Washington) NEURODIVERSITY Advance description Will there be spotlights, strobes, loud music Where will audio speakers be located Proceedings in advance Meditation room or quiet space Access to aisle seat

Inclusive attitude Use literal communication Allow time to process and respond Assume intelligence Sebastien La Duca (CMU) SPECIAL DIETS Food that is safe to eat Labelled

Detailed ingredient lists Prepared without cross-contamination WHAT DOES IT TAKE? 1. Appoint an Accessibility Chair (or two!) 2. Choose an accessible venue 3. Budget for accommodations 4. Provide an accessibility FAQ 5. Make the conference website accessible 6. Support authors in creating accessible papers and presentations

7. Gather requests at registration and follow up 8. Train SVs to assist 9. At the conference, set expectations and enforce them FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FAQ GENERATOR Prompts for conference details contact information

important access information Generates HTML for an FAQ page Edit the page to add final touches Serve at SIGACCESS RESOURCES Accessible Writing Guide

Accessible PDF Author Guide Accessible Presentation Guide Accessible Conference Guide (Endorsed by SIGACCESS, SIGCHI) Accessibility FAQ Page Generator SEE ALSO SIGCSE 2019 Guide for session chairs (Stacy Branham) SIGCSE 2019 Guide for presenters (Stacy Branham) CHI 2019 Guide for student volunteers (Anne Ross) CHI 2020 Venue accessibility walkthrough (Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin)

Accessibility timeline (Shari Trewin and Jen Mankoff) SIGACCESS will post general versions of these in future QUESTIONS? Your one-stop shop:

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