How to run an Accessibility Camp
Below you will find eight different topic areas for “How to Run an Accessibility Camp” with bulleted lists of the main steps involved.
Find a few Good Helpers
- Find helpers from the Technology and Adaptive Technology user communities.
- Search Twitter for people in the Tech community who are interested in Accessibility
- Use Twitter hashtags such as #accessibility #A11y #AxS #WebDev #WebDesign #UX
- Create a Twitter hashtag for your event like: #AccessCampDC
- Create a Twitter account for your event such as @AccessCampDC and an e-mail address
- Contact organizers of local Tech meet-ups like ReFresh, TechCocktail, BarCamp, Ignite, etc.
- Put the word out to the community of people who are using Adaptive Technologies (ATs) at a high level and have some understanding of the language of web accessibility
- Encourage participation by novices and non-technical folks who could learn by being immersed in the technical conversations.
Find a Location
- Central downtown Public Library or local University are ideal
- Other possibilities include: Community Center, Private Company, Co-working space, etc.
- Libraries are typically accessible, affordable, and have facilities and audio visual equipments
- Accessible - to and in building and to buses, subways, etc.
- Affordable - free or inexpensive
- Facilities with Audio-Visual capability
Facilities and Audio Visual Support
- Tables, chairs, and lights
- Make sure WIFI can support the amount of traffic
- Ethernet connections for speakers and CART (WIFI might get overloaded)
- Microphones on podiums for speakers and portable mics to pass for questions
- Screens and projectors for each room or at least most rooms
- Adaptive Technologies for demos (screenreader (JAWS, NVDA, etc.), screen magnifier software, etc.)
- Include an accommodation statement on the registration website and in publicity
- Hire CART (captioning) service (remote - cheaper/hr) (on-location - more expensive/hr)
- Hire Sign Language Interpreters
- Produce Braille and Large Print schedules on-site if possible
- Remind presenters to verbally describe the graphics in their presentations
Set a Date for the Event and Publicize
- Set event for a Saturday all day, or include Friday night or Sunday day.
- Be careful to avoid conflicts with other events in the community
- Announce the date using social media (e.g., Twitter), and e-mail lists, Google and Yahoo groups, etc.
- Seek the help of web design and development, usability, and disability organizations for promotion
Set-up a Web Presence
- Set up a Registration and Sponsorship site at EventBrite.com or other event website
- Create an accessible website and link to the general Accessibility Camp website
- Create a spreadsheet for the schedule and email details to participants
- Promote in the community using Twitter, Facebook, Google groups, Yahoo Groups, e-mail and telephone
Sponsorship Funds: Food and Entertainment
- Make T-shirts with a list of sponsors, if extra funds
- Provide breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks
- Donate leftovers to a shelter or facility you are using
- Provide a post event location such as a bar for an after-party/networking
Run the Day of the Event
- Keep a sign-in sheet with name tags and record e-mail addresses for future events
- Provide simple clear signage
- Do intros at the “all hands” meeting. Include: name, job, and presentation topics.
- Group similar topics into panel discussions, and avoid conflicts.
- Include adaptive technology demos, such as screen reader, Dragon Naturally Speaking, for developers who have never seen these.
- Plan talks for 45 minutes with questions so people have time to network and get to next talk.
- Have volunteers available for sighted guide and navigational assistance.
- Pre-schedule talks to fill one room for the entire day.
- The after-party location should be accessible.