[Zur deutschen Version]
I’m thinking about attending the Barcamp in Berlin. I could stop thinking about it if I were to find out that the venue is not accessible. But that would be contrary to the Barcamp concept…
For this reason I have written down some important issues to make Barcamps
more accessible for disabled visitors. Maybe the list is not complete but it could be helpful for non-Barcamp-events too:
1. Only an accessible venue is a good venue.
2. Every room must have step-free access. Multi-storey buildings must have a lift. And the lift must also have step-free access.
3. There must be at least one accessible toilet. Accessible toilets are toilets where a wheelchair fits in without any problems. It’s not enough to have a toilet with step-free access.
4. Be transparent regarding accessibility. If you answer most of the accessibility questions during the application process, people with disabilities don’t have to search for answers and feel welcome to the event.
5. Name someone who is responsible for the event’s accessibility (preferably someone with experience). Publish the name and email address of the responsible person on the website.
6. Make the Barcamp website and the application process accessible.
Make sure that people with disabilities can participate and apply. It should be clear who to contact if any problems occur during the application process.
7. Provide travel information for people with disabilities. Where is the next accessible station? Do the buses have ramps?
8. Some venues have induction loop systems for people who use a hearing aid. Provide information about the system on the website.
9. Deaf people can only benefit from the event if there is a sign language interpreter. Maybe you can find a sponsor who is able to cover the costs if deaf participants apply. But ask the deaf participants beforehand if and when they need an interpreter!
10. Assistants of disabled participants aren’t participants and don’t have to apply. Disabled participants who need an assistant can bring a second person with them. That’s also to be published on the website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Germany License.
Update: The Barcamp in Berlin is accessible for me. But I’ve written the list to support Barcamp organisers in the future.