Sharing our approach to accessibility at RightsCon Costa Rica
As we journey towards our first hybrid summit, RightsCon Costa Rica (June 5-8, 2023), we are reintegrating into in-person spaces and redefining our approach to online participation, with the goal to create a connected experience for our community. In view of this goal, increasing the accessibility of our summit remains an integral area of focus at RightsCon.
Through research and planning, we are working to thoughtfully design our spaces, both online and in-person, to account for the diverse needs, abilities, and priorities of participants. Our aim is to ensure that our spaces are safe, supportive, and inclusive to all participants, especially those from marginalized communities.
Our approach to facilitating access within our spaces
In order to ensure RightsCon spaces remain meaningful and comfortable to all our participants, we’ll be approaching accessibility in a proactive and collaborative manner:
- We will proactively identify societal and systemic barriers that hinder participants from engaging meaningfully throughout the summit, alleviating the burden on individuals with disabilities and other marginalized groups to seek equal access. For a full list of our current accessibility efforts, please see the section Access Information below.
- We will collaboratively create avenues for all participants to articulate their needs so we can provide appropriate support whether when registering or when organizing a session.
Our approach aims to cover every aspect of our summit, from the venue to the online platform to programming. Additionally, and importantly, we have been communicating our approach to our vendors, volunteers, and partners, so it is integrated into all of our processes.
How you can get support
Beyond the steps above, we are collecting access requests to ensure we can make any necessary arrangements to support your participation, to the best of our ability.
If you have an access request that you feel comfortable sharing with us, you can do so when registering for RightsCon. If you are a session organizer, you can share with us any accessibility requests when filling out your update form.
If you missed either of these steps, don’t worry! You can always reach out to us directly with your requests or questions, by emailing [email protected].
What you can do
When it comes to improving accessibility, we all have a role to play – no matter whether you are a session organizer, speaker, or participant. If you’d like to learn more about creating access, not just at RightsCon, but in your own organizations and spaces, we have a few resources we consulted that we would like to share. We are grateful for the labor, expertise, and leadership of disabled people who have and continue to educate us on making our spaces more inclusive.
- What are access needs
- Ways to Start: Creating Access
- Disability Justice: An Audit Tool
- Make your PowerPoint presentation accessible to people with disabilities
- Ensuring Access with Virtual Programming on Zoom
- Accessibility best practices
If you are a session organizer, we invite you to take a look at our Session Organizer Guides for practical tips on improving the accessibility of your session within each environment.
Beyond session design, it’s important to us that topics surrounding disability rights are on our program agenda. You can view all related sessions through the disability rights filter on the program when our platform is live on May 22.
Lastly, we encourage you to look out for and support each other. Be considerate, welcoming, and receptive to the diversity of our community, including those with needs, learning styles and language fluency levels that are different to yours.
Get in touch
Our approach is a starting point: we know that building accessible and inclusive spaces for our diverse and growing community is continuous work. We are committed to centering the voices, experiences, and leadership of marginalized people in this work, and providing avenues for our community to provide their input.
As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions on how we can improve our efforts. You can get in touch with us at [email protected].