Conferences that embarrass

A view of delegates seated around tables at the 2014 conferenceCan American Librarian Conferences have more attendees with disability than other conferences? Maybe not, but they are addressing the issues. The American Library Association has discovered several problems such as inability to present, attend, and situations leading to outright embarrassments. This has led to research and a comprehensive document with 81 recommendations that cover before, during and after the event. Here is the abstract to the paper with other links.

Abstract: This paper outlines the background and history of accessibility concerns and barriers facing attendees with disabilities at American Library Association Conferences throughout the United States, and discusses the recent work of the ALA Conference Accessibility Task Force charged with drafting recommendations for improvement of conference and virtual meeting accessibility. The author summarizes broad categories of accessibility covering the task force report of 81 specific recommendations, and several important appendices relating to overall accessibility guidelines, terminology, survey methodology, tip sheets for vendors and hotels, and master training document for staff, administration, presenters, and various conference volunteers.

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