This policy is in effect as of 5/9/2021.
Readercon welcomes everyone. Accessibility is a vital part of ensuring a safe and enjoyable Readercon. To that end, here are our commitments to accessibility:
- The hotel's conference rooms where most program items take place, the restaurant, the restrooms, and the Green Room for program participants are all on the ground floor with wide hallways. Kaffeeklatsches take place either on this floor too or in the Concierge Lounge on the ninth floor. The Con Suite is in the Presidential Suite on the eighth floor. Both Concierge Lounge and Presidential Suite are easily reached by elevator.
- Each conference room will have a wide aisle and taped-off spaces reserved for scooter and wheelchair parking. There will also be designated seats reserved for individuals who need them for accessibility reasons. Please respect the signs.
- For in-person conventions, we will provide CART support for some Saturday afternoon and evening program items, including the Guest of Honor interviews.
- For the virtual convention, all panels, talks, readings, and performances will have captions.
- We will have a "No Parking or Standing Zone" taped off with white tape in the entrance to the Bookshop to help relieve traffic congestion. Please do not stop to chat in the "White Zone."
- The hotel will install its only ramp to the stage in Salon 4. There will be no ramp to the stage in any other Salon. The smaller rooms will be set up with plenty of space behind the participants’ tables. If you are a program participant, please email email@example.com with any requests for specific accommodations.
- Multiple versions of our program guide and schedule grid are available for download on our program page.
- The Peacefield Room on the second floor is our designated Quiet Room, where lights and voices are low. Designated hours will be set aside as explicitly stimming-friendly time; stim toys/tools will be provided or bring your own. (Nothing scented, please, as some attendees have scent sensitivities.)
- Those who need a break from the intensity of our main program can check the activities in the Abigail Adams Room, which include picture book storytime, quiet study hall, and social get-togethers.
- We’ve updated our signage design and placement; please let us know how we can make it even better.
We strongly encourage all participants, attendees, volunteers, and staff to treat one another with thoughtfulness and respect. To that end, here are guidelines for the kind of behaviour we expect around accessibility issues:
Auditory accessibility: In spoken conversation, especially in a setting without captioning, avoid cross-talk and speaking over others. In a voice chat without videos, say your name before speaking. In the audience for a program item, don’t audibly chat with your neighbors, and try to avoid creating auditory disturbances. Avoid covering your mouth when speaking so that lip-reading remains possible. Respect designated seats for those who are deaf/Deaf, partially deaf, hard of hearing, etc. If asked to repeat yourself, do so without changing what you initially said, your tone of voice, or your volume.
Visual accessibility: When sharing an image in Discord, describe it for those who are blind or low-vision. Do not post images, videos, or links that contain rapid strobing or other disturbing visual effects. Respect designated seats for those who are blind or low-vision, and keep personal items out of the path of traffic.
Mobility accessibility: Respect designated spaces for scooter and wheelchair parking. Respect designated seating for those who need to sit frequently or who require particular seat locations due to reduced mobility. Make room for people using mobility aids (canes, walkers/rollators, scooters, service animals, etc.) in hotel spaces and keep items out of the path of traffic.
Allergy support: Refrain from wearing personal scents if possible; if you need them for your own health or comfort, wear them in moderation. Don’t bring pets into the convention space. (Service animals are always welcome.) If you host a room party, label all food with an ingredient list.
Immune support: In spaces where Readercon or hotel policy requires everyone to wear a mask or facial covering, wear yours so that it completely covers your nose, mouth, and chin. Respect those who choose to wear masks or facial coverings in spaces where it’s optional. Bump elbows instead of shaking hands. Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cognitive support: Wear your name badge where it can be seen. Don’t take it personally if someone you’ve met before forgets your face or name.
Don’t stare at or question people who are visibly disabled or use assistive devices, who have motor or vocal tics, who stim or move repetitively, or who are taking medication or otherwise treating a disability or medical condition while in the convention space.
Remember that not all disabilities are visible. If someone is sitting in the reserved seats or making use of our other accessibility resources, assume they have a good reason.
Think of assistive devices as part of a person’s body, and treat them with the same consideration. Do not touch another person's assistive device without their express permission. Do not interact with another person's service animal, regardless of whether you believe they are on duty or off duty, unless expressly invited to do so. (Some types of service dogs—such as diabetic alert, seizure alert, allergy alert, or hearing dogs—are almost never off duty, so do not assume.)
If you think someone may be struggling with a task or in distress, but it’s not an emergency situation, ask whether they need help. If they refuse help, respect that. If they request help, follow their directions.
If you have any feedback on the above or suggestions for improvements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for helping to make Readercon a safer, more welcoming, and more equitable space!