I loved attending my first Accessibility Camp Bay Area. I brought a lot of information and experiences back with me. I especially appreciate the lessons in making an event more accessible. I want to attend this kind of conference. A conference should care this much about the experience of the conference for everyone.
There are many ways to make an event accessible from the registration website to the venue. This is not an exhaustive list of accessibility needs. This is a personal viewpoint of a non-disabled person.
I noticed the difference before I even went in the building. Someone was waiting outside the door. They held a sign for the conference and asked me if I was there to attend. I was guided at each stage of check-in until I was in the conference area.
Attendees with a variety of disabilities need this kind of process. For others, it is a wonderful welcoming experience.
I noticed the room layouts. I compared them to memories of other conferences I have attended. There was much more room in the aisles and between rows.
Wider aisles allow more space to move. People using wheelchairs can sit anywhere along the aisle. There was still room for others to pass, enough for another person using a wheelchair to pass.
More space between rows allows more room to maneuver. For example, people with service animals have enough room to enter and leave rows.
More room in aisles and rows also lets non-disabled people pass more easily. More room in rows allows non-disabled people to stretch their legs. They also have plenty of room to put out their laptops when seated.
I have never been to a conference with a quiet room available before. I skipped the second to last session since I needed a break. I went to the quiet room to breathe, stretch, relax, and integrate what I was learning. I came back for the last session refreshed and ready to go.
Learn About Accessibility
I encourage everyone to learn more about accessibility. I urge event organizers to provide accessibility to all at their events.
For more information, visit the Web Accessibility Initiative’s “Making Events Accessible”