a travel guide for all of us
Okay right off the top let me just say this blog isn't here to shame anyone. When people are excluded we want to call it out so everyone can learn, we're not to boycott any on their first infraction.
I'm heading to the Disability and Work Canada conference in December and am really looking forward to it. I'm hoping to learn and to contribute. I just received the conference package yesterday and there are some excellent ideas that I really hope will be implemented across the country.
There's just one little thing...this was included in the email....
We will not have printed copies of anything on site. We are very conscious of the environmental impact of printing unwanted documents. Please ensure you have electronic copies or print out your own copies before the conference. We will need your help during table discussions at the conference. We will need a note taker at each table and the notes need to be submitted right after each discussion sessions. Please be prepared to volunteer for at least one discussion session.
As someone who is hearing impaired I cannot volunteer to take notes. I have a hard enough time participating in the discussion. I would expect at this conference there will be several people who cannot take notes for a variety of reasons. I'd be disappointed (but not surprised) to see this kind of instruction at most conferences but at one to discuss helping people with disabilities find work? I'm shocked, disappointed and frankly pessimistic of our success with this strategy.
I did write to the organization expressing my disappointed and asked that they rephrase to saying they are looking for volunteer recorders, not as an expectation. They wrote back quickly apologizing for their over site. But I haven't seen an updated email as of yet. But really, can you believe it?
Please send me your comments on this, and other times people, were completely, might I say, tone deaf.
There's nothing I love more than hosting holiday parties. I do my best to make my guests comfortable especially when it comes to people with different abilities (including food allergies). I know how much I appreciate the host turning the music down for me and seating me away from any speakers. With close family and friends you probably know which issues they may be dealing with, but what about those with invisible challenges?
Apartment Therapy has an excellent article on how to make your holiday gatherings more accessible. The biggest takeaway - ask in advance if there's anything you can do to make your guest more comfortable. It's something you probably do with all your guests but particular attention should be paid to those with different abilities so that everyone can fully participate.
What do you need to make holiday gatherings more comfortable for you? Please let us know in the comments below!
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