Accessibility and the Eastern APA

Some questions to consider, from Sophia Wong on the wphtf mailing list:

As many of you will be at the Eastern APA, here is a list of questions off the top of my head, that you might ask yourselves as you attend. Please, everyone, read through, ask for clarifications, and add or revise these questions as you see fit.

1. How did you access the APA program? If it was online, was the format used accessible to visually impaired readers? Could a person using a screen reader have accessed the information in the program?

2. When you approach the APA hotel, do you see wheel-chair accessible entrances?

3. Are there people at the registration table who are clearly marked as people to whom Accessibility questions may be addressed?

4. Are accessible bathrooms clearly marked on any maps provided?

5. Roughly how many people with visible disabilities do you notice attending the APA?

6. Does everyone wear their name tag in a clearly visible location on their body? This is an accessibility issue for people who have trouble recognizing faces and/or remembering names.

7. Are there spaces set aside in every meeting room, where wheelchair users can park without having to ask others to move chairs aside for them?

8. Are there chairs clearly marked where people with disabilities who need to sit close to the speaker (to make eye contact and to hear well) can sit?

9. If the speakers use Powerpoint, slides, or videos, is everything clearly captioned so that deaf philosophers can follow along easily?

10. Are there any ASL interpreters at the APA?

11. If the speakers distribute printed materials (handouts), are these handouts available in large font (18 point or larger) upon request?

12. Does every room have adequate microphones – one for each speaker to use, and at least one microphone where audience members queue up to ask question? (Alternatively, there may be one or two wireless mics passed around so people don’t have to stand to ask questions.)

13. Is there a clearly designated Quiet Room where people who cannot tolerate bright lights and noisy crowds can retreat to sit quietly without being bothered by cell phone conversations or Internet use?

14. When you attend each session, please note where the nearest restroom is located. How far away from the session room is it? How long does it take you to get there and back? Is there an accessible stall in that restroom? If not, where is the restroom with an accessible stall? How long does it take you to get there and back?

15. How long are the breaks between sessions? If you were a person with a disability trying to get from one session to the next, would you have enough time to use the restroom in between, or make a phone call?

Sophia means this to be a starting point, so feel free to add to the list!

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