We want to keep you in the loop of our efforts to make the 2021 information architecture conference more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This article is a follow on to our action plan posted last month. We ask that you continue to hold us accountable and make suggestions for how we can continuously improve our efforts by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask about your needs
As we work on making IAC21 more accessible, we need your input. Tell us what you need by taking the Conference Expectation survey. Your answers will help us learn more about you and your experience with IAC, along with gathering information on your preferences around conference activities (such as poster night, karaoke, game night) and features/functionality of digital tools (single platform for conference, chat, bookmarking).
To keep the conversation going well after the survey closes, we established an email address (email@example.com) as a way to continuously collect feedback on your needs, comments, suggestions, questions, and the like on diversity, equity, and inclusion at IAC. We promise to consider all suggestions, and respond to you within a week. We want your voice to be heard.
Create an accessible suite of tools
The IAC planning committee is hard at work accessing communication platforms, activities, and other services that will provide an accessible conference for all attendees, speakers, and volunteers.
To start off, we created a rubric (a scoring guide) to help us evaluate platforms, including criteria such as whether the platform offers or supports synchronized captions for livestream content, transcription, keyboard shortcuts, screen readers, dial-in by phone or have a non-video conference option, alt text for images, and sign language interpretation. We are considering how individuals need to move around different platforms to find information on what’s happening when, where, and how.
Once a platform or platforms are selected, we will ask volunteers with accessibility needs to help us conduct “dry-runs” and create tip sheets to be posted on the conference website to make sure that the chosen platform(s) accommodate all attendees’ needs.
Provide checklists of best practices for attendees, speakers, and volunteers
As almost every meeting is virtual nowadays, many organizations have developed and shared their own tips and tricks for making the experience engaging and run smoothly. We want to take it a step further and offer best practices for making the conference more accessible for IAC21 attendees, speakers, and volunteers.
We are compiling a list of best practices, which we will share on our website for all attendees and volunteers. IAC21 speakers will be provided a similar list as part of our Speaker Studio. These best practices will include recommendations to use plain language in all communications; a requirement to make all presentation slides, posters, and videos accessible; us conducting an access check prior to live sessions, including checks to make sure that adequate lighting and high-quality audio is available.
Continuously improve with your help
Is there anything that we’re not thinking about or considering here? Tell us what you think about our plans and your prior experience with IAC, or provide suggestions for future improvements.
Planning to attend IAC21? Learn more about our theme.
Written by MaShana Davis with contributions by Agnes Kiss, Chiara Ogan, and Cassini Nazir