Your conference should be accessible for all of your possible attendees and speakers, including people with disabilities. By preparing for accessibility, you can make it easy for anyone to attend your conference.
Conferences that are accessible to people with disabilities are inclusive to many more audiences, including people who are not fluent in the language or people with different learning styles. Many countries have legal requirements about accessibility. Be sure to follow the laws and policies for your conference location.
Some conference attendees or speakers might have:
Not all special needs are for people with disabilities. Other types of special needs are:
Make it easy for your attendees and speakers to let you know that they have special needs.
When selecting a conference location, ask the facility manager about accessibility. They often have solutions available. Be sure to look for the following:
Allow plenty of space for individuals with wheelchairs and other mobility devices in all areas, including:
Include preparations for individuals with disabilities in your emergency and evacuation plans. They may not hear announcements or may need extra time or help to evacuate a room or building.
Arrange for easy access, an adequate sound system, and good visibility of the speakers.
When interacting with people with disabilities, treat them with respect and dignity.
“Addressing the Needs of Your Attendees" (PDF, 32 KB) has an overview of accessibility planning. This presentation by Ashfaq (Kash) Husain, Chair, Region 07 Conference Advisory Committee, is from POCO 2008.
IEEE is ready to help. If you have questions about holding an accessible conference, please contact IEEE Meeting and Conference Management (MCM).
Do you have other questions about organizing a conference? Please see IEEE Conference Organizer Contacts.
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