Making the conference welcoming, safe and accessible to all
A successful Annual Conference with active participation of LGBTI activists with different backgrounds and experiences will depend on how ILGA-Europe accommodate the accessibility needs of all participants. Over the past few years, ILGA-Europe have worked to make the Annual Conference as representative of all our movement as possible. We made accessibility a priority criterion when selecting the main conference venue. We looked at evaluation from previous conferences and took on board many of the suggestions made. We earmarked budget to support specific accessibility measures based on most frequently expressed needs. We consulted with organisations like the European Disability Forum on best practices. We know that there is always progress to be made: event accessibility is a continuous learning process that we are committed to within the scope of our capacity and resources.
Here is a summary of the specific measures we will be putting in place in an effort to create an environment which is as accessible as possible in Prague this year. These measures are inspired in part by the EDF guide for accessible meetings for all.
Communication & Access to information
We work for information to be equally available and accessible to all participants
- The conference programme and practical information will be made available as early as possible to allow advance planning.
- Documents will be provided in accessible formats (such as large print, print on yellow paper, etc.) upon request.
- Based on last year’s first experience, we are looking at how to improve the accessibility and user-friendliness of the conference app.
- The programme outline and practical information will be made available in Russian.
- Support with visa invitation letters will be provided by the ILGA-Europe team in both English and Russian.
- Simultaneous interpretation English-Russian will be provided for all plenary sessions, panels as well as workshops taking place in the plenary room.
- Live captioning (speech-to-text) in English will also be provided for all plenary sessions and panels. Live captioning will be visible on screen in the plenary room.
- Sign language interpretation will be arranged upon request within the limits of the budget earmarked for accessibility measures.
- Accessibility guidelines will be developed and shared with all speakers, facilitators and workshop organisers to emphasize the importance of speaking slowly and clearly. Hand signs will be introduced to signal if a speaker is speaking too fast or not loud enough.
- All rooms will be equipped with microphones and sound amplification.
We want all participants to feel welcome, safe and comfortable the moment they enter the conference hotel.
- As a starting point we are making sure to select a conference venue that is readily accessible (including lifts, ramps, accessible toilets, etc.). We will also work with a local disability organisation to check the accessibility of the venue in details and anticipate possible problems.
- We will do our best to ensure that the space is obstacle free and step free as much as possible. When this is not possible, we will look into providing additional assistance to those who might need it.
- Clear signs will be placed throughout the conference hotel and closing reception venue to help people navigate the space. Location of accessible toilets and gender neutral toilets will be clearly indicated on the floor plan.
- Accessible rooms have been pre-booked at the conference hotel to ensure availability for those who might need them.
- Adapted transport will be arranged to/from the airport as well as to/from the closing reception venue for those who might need it.
- We will make sure proper sitting spaces is provided at the conference hotel and closing reception venue. Reserved seats will be provided in the front of the plenary room for those who might need them.
- A ‘go to’ person will be available throughout the conference for questions or requests relating to mobility.
- We will proactively reach out to every participant who indicate mobility needs ahead of the conference to make sure there needs are properly understood and catered for.
- The local host organisations will provide a sensitivity training to the staff of the conference hotel to make sure they are fully aware of and prepared to cater for the diverse needs of participants.
We know that the programme is very busy and want to make it possible to take care of ourselves and each other during the Annual Conference.
- Sticking to the schedule is important and respectful. We will do our best to ensure that times are adhered to so that participant can plan accordingly.
- We will consider the most appropriate times for breaks and make sure coffee breaks last at least 30 minutes and lunch breaks at least 90 minutes.
- A quiet coffee corner will be available during all coffee breaks.
- Relaxation sessions will be offered in the morning and/or evening.
- We will pay particular attention to noise level. We will encourage the use of hand signs instead of clapping. There will be no background music in the lobby or during breaks.
- A silent room will be available for participants to use at any time throughout the whole conference.
- A Conference Buddy system will be put in place pairing new-comers who wish so with experienced conference participants who will be available to advise them and answer their questions to help them make the best out of their first time experience at the Annual Conference.
- If you are not feeling well or are aware of someone else not being well, please inform someone from the ILGA-Europe team. We will help connect you to medical or psychosocial support services during the conference.
- ILGA-Europe will arrange collective day care facilities for participants with children upon request.
- We will also support costs for one assistant for persons with disabilities when necessary for their participation. Due to limited resources at the moment we can offer this support to scholars only.
- We will work with caterers to ensure that food served meets all the dietary requirements of participants and is properly labelled.
You know best what you need!
There is a dedicated section in the registration form – do let us know! We will proactively reach out to every participant who indicate accessibility needs ahead of the conference to make sure there needs are properly understood and catered for within the scope of our capacity and resources.
Support ILGA-Europe’s efforts to make the Annual Conference more accessible!
Keep talking to us, sharing your ideas and making suggestions! All comments on our work to make the Annual Conference an accessible event for all are welcome.