Accessible Spaces and Presentations
For All Conferees
Because the Whedon Studies Association welcomes people across the spectrums of gender, race, ability, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, and more, it is our goal to universally design the conference, making it accessible for and enjoyable by all conferees.
- We are doing our best to make sure that session rooms meet the needs of people using wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or crutches. Space will be reserved for those in wheelchairs, and aisles and doorways will be kept clear for ease of passage.
- At the Slayage Conference, we have always respected each other’s gender self-identification (e.g., in choice of restroom). As of the 2014 conference, we are now also providing space on name badges for personal pronouns (e.g. she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs, ze/hir/hirs, xe/xem/xyrs).
- While we regret that we are unable to provide sign language interpreters or closed captioning, we invite conferees to bring a personal interpreter or any assistive devices with them. Conferees accompanied by an interpreter are welcome to take a seat up front, allowing the interpreter close proximity to presenters as well as the front-row audience.
- We suggest that presenters ask audience members what their needs are (e.g., "Can you hear me?" or "Are you comfortable?"), and audience members should feel free to ask for what they need.
- When food and beverages are served by the WSA, the association will try to provide vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, and sugar-free options.
For Session Chairs and Presenters
Echoing the guidelines composed by the Disability Studies SIG of the Conference on College Composition Communication and the guidelines provided by the Modern Language Association, we offer these ideas to help make presentations accessible:
- We suggest bringing several copies of your presentation and/or slides for those who may need to follow along using a printed document. If you do bring copies, it is a good idea to provide one or two copies using bold, enlarged font for those with visual impairments (e.g., Times New Roman, bold, 16-point font or larger). Please do the same for any handouts (and note that colored paper reduces readability).
- We recommend including subtitles for or transcripts of video clips.
- If you explain visual aids or contents of handouts as much as possible, it will help members of the audience who are visually impaired (and probably the whole audience).
- At the beginning of your presentation, it is a nice idea to ask audience members to wave or give some other signal if you are getting too fast or too quiet. (Experienced presenters practice and time themselves beforehand--at a steady, unrushed pace.)
- Because some people read lips, we hope you will try not to obscure your face in any way--e.g., by turning your back on the audience.
- During the question and answer session, we suggest repeating into a microphone the question being asked (and giving the questioner’s name when you can).