Updated January 2023
Thanks to WisCon for providing much of the information found here.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
MileHiCon is working to make schedules, communications, and the physical environment
usable by as many people as possible. We strive to create an event that works for members in all
our physical and mental variety. We must balance that goal against limited fiscal resources, the
paradox that sometimes one member’s accommodation is another member’s barrier, and an
entirely volunteer work force. We always welcome discussion exploring how we can better
accommodate our members.
These details are current as of January 2023. We attempt to answer common questions and be
honest about known barriers. Please contact email@example.com for accommodation
requests, questions, or suggestions.
Every MileHiCon Member Contributes to an Accessible Con
All members help create a universally accessible con by paying attention to our own behavior
- Beneficial Behaviors for Panels/Presentations:
- Keep your lips visible for those who speech-read.
- Use a microphone if one is available (even if you have vocal training).
- If using PowerPoint or other presentation software, review these techniques for making accessible presentations.
- Use high color contrast for text in presentations or handouts. Low contrast may be difficult or impossible for colorblind or low vision users to read.
- Caption any video/audio content if possible.
- Describe any images/charts you are using, for the benefit of blind or low vision members (general descriptions are fine; describe any relevant details).
- If you are using paper handouts, electronic versions help people who want enlarged text or who use screen reading software.
- Elevators – convenience vs. necessity:
- If you can use the stairways to move between floors, please do!
- If you can only travel down, that still makes an important difference.
- Some of our members absolutely depend on the elevators just to access the con.
- Please don’t judge those who take the elevator, age and physical appearances can be deceiving.
- Maintain clear paths:
- MileHiCon provides fantastic opportunities to talk, but clogged doorways and hallways make navigation through the convention difficult. Please find a place to connect that doesn’t block aisles, hallways, and doors.
- Tuck your belongings in front of your feet or under your seat.
- Share the air:
- Less is more, please be aware that some folks may be sensitive to scents.
- Please smoke in designated areas only, don’t smoke within 30 feet of entrances and exits to the hotel.
- Washing your hands after smoking makes a difference.
- Consider Wearing a mask:
- For years, Con Crud has been a fact of life. Every year, many attendees would be sick after each convention. Masks limit Con Crud!
- Attendees may not realize they have been exposed to a communicable illness.
- Other attendees may have health issues that make them more susceptible to illness.
- We now know that wearing a mask not only protects ourselves, but others.
- Be understanding of those who are hard of hearing, who may request that conversations are had without masks.
- Service animal etiquette:
- Please don’t pet, distract, or take photos of service animals.
- Offer to help, but never assume someone needs help.
- If they say yes, listen to what they need, and confirm that you understand before proceeding.
- If they say no, don’t be offended. What might look overly complicated or inefficient can be what that person finds works best.
- Please don’t offer unsolicited advice.
- Speak up:
- If you see barriers, feel free to suggest how to clear them.
- Reach out to any staff or concom member, or stop by the Operations Room.
- People are often curious about the details of a visible disability. A member’s medical history and details of how their body functions is private.
- Please do not ask how someone became disabled or assume their experience is the same as another person with a similar disability.
Minimizing Stress and Maximizing Comfort
- Bring layers to add in chilly program rooms, subtract in hot ones, and ensure you’re comfortable in the wide range of weather both inside and outside the hotel.
- Peopled Out or Overstimulated, or Overtired:
- If you need a place to sit without interacting with anyone, we recommend the video room.
- While a movie or anime video may be playing, the room is dark, not overly loud, and the small number of people in the room tend to keep to themselves.
- Hungry and Thirsty:
- The Con Suite is open from Friday at TBD to Sunday at TBD Drinks and snacks are available.
- Real food may be provided by various Con Suite sponsors – check the program book for times and sponsors.
- Water is available throughout the Con; please bring a refillable water bottle!
- The hotel has a coffee shop, a restaurant, and sets up food kiosks.
- All of the various food delivery companies delivery to MileHiCon as well.
Potential Barriers that Remain
Given our fiscal limitations, our commitment to our current conference venue, and the reality
that sometimes one member’s accommodation is another member’s barrier, we can’t make
MileHiCon accessible to everyone. We don’t want to make promises we can’t keep. We want you
to know about these potential barriers so you can make informed decisions. “No” is not the same
message as “we don’t care” or “we don’t believe you” or “we’re comfortable ignoring your needs.”
The ConCom has and will continue to wrestle with these issues. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for
background on these remaining barriers:
- Most of the rooms are illuminated with fluorescent lighting.
- Members bring a lot of reading materials offered only in regular print.
- Folks with severe food allergies or celiac disease must definitely avoid the Con Suite.
- MileHiCon isn’t fragrance free. For some members, fragrances trigger asthma, migraine, or illness, while some members need to use fragrance to manage pain and mood. Those of us who react to fragrances, dust, and particulates should bring an N95 mask.
- No microphones amplify program presenters in smaller program rooms, and not all rooms have projectors.
- At this time, we don’t have the budget for a sign language interpreter or mobility assistance devices, but we are investigating options to perhaps provide these services in the future.