This article is intended to provide information to conventions about accessibility requirements under the law, and how to best and most expediently achieve high levels of accessibility. Additionally, it seeks to present the feelings of the community regarding the division of responsibility to ensure all attendees have equal access to convention events.
- Statement of Intent: The Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror community believes accessibility is of paramount importance. We believe that every member of our community has the right to fully participate in any convention. — Robert Hoge, April 2011
As a result of serious shortcomings in accessibility at Perth's Hyatt Regency hotel, the venue for the 50th Natcon at Easter 2011, community discussion of the issue of venue accessibility occurred on blogs, journals, mailing lists and the like. A clear sense of urgency and outrage led to a focus on accessibility issues and the development of guidelines such as these to replace the somewhat vague and dated guidelines to convention committees typical to that point.
This section will provide an overview of the outcomes of discussion which led to the development of these guidelines, to ensure convention committees are aware of and able to act in accord with the principles ascribed to by the community.
Ensuring proper disability access to convention facilities and events is primarily the responsibility of the convention committee, in conjunction with the venue.
Access for people with disabilities is not just about the physical access to buildings and facilities, but also about access to information for people who are deaf or vision impaired and the attitudes of all staff, including organisers, ticketing staff, volunteers and performers. Therefore the basic requirements of good access are that the physical, information and attitudinal environments are barrier free. <ref> [http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/AboutCouncil/grantssponsorship/EventsMelbourneSponsorships/Pages/GreenEvents.aspx Good Access is Good Business Checklist City of Melbourne </ref>
Consideration should be given to avoiding the presence of common allergens (eg latex [balloons], nuts, and perfumes).
It is the Swancon Venue Negotiator's job to select an accessible venue.
It is the Swancon Venue Liaison's job to coordinate between the Venue and Swancon Setup to ensure accessibility.
Additional details may be included in Venue Setup <insert link here>.
This section will detail issues related to accessibility of online facilities such as websites, registration forms, mailing lists etc.
This section will provide information about how conventions may obtain assistance in improving their accessibility and convincing venues to improve theirs, including the availability of professional advice, funding etc.
- The question list created by Karen B. and used by Swancon 36
- Original source (a 2008 Canadian Conference's Disability Information)
- D.D.A. guide: The ins and outs of access (Human Rights Commission)
- Advisory Notes on Access to Premises (Human Rights Commission)
- Frequently asked questions: Access to premises (Human Rights Commission)
- Disability Access and Inclusion Plans (Disability WA)
- Good Access is Good Business Checklist created by the City of Melbourne as a guide to how accessible a convention might be
- Making your events more accessible is not that hard (Skud's guide to accessibility)
- Disability Access at WisCon (Wiscon's accessibility resources)