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October 19th, 2012


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selkiechick
03:19 pm - Survey!
I am working on my own local conventions access services (arisia), and at the same time trying to write up Some "best practices" to write up at conrunner.net and share at SMOFcon in December.

Now, i do that the best practice is to put a link to your accommodations statement and information right there on the front page, but that is a hard sell, so i am looking at the second best option- how to make the information easy to find by search (because not everyone has the time/patience to dig through the menus/org chart).

When looking over a convention page to find out if they have any accommodations for fans with disabilities, which search terms are you most likely to use? At the moment I am including all of the following search terms on the access services website, because, especially as fandom ages, different people know different terms for what they are seeking.

A. access/accessibility
B. accommodations
C. disabled/disability
D. Handicapped
E. More specific terms, Blind, Deaf, Wheelchair, etc.
F. Some other REALLY obvious term I failed to list.

Thank you very much for your time!
(crossposted to access_fandom on dreamwidth)

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:bork
Date:October 19th, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
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I like 'People First' language. e.g. instead of saying 'Disabled people may use the elevators', say 'Persons with disabilities may use the elevators'.
[User Picture]
From:selkiechick
Date:October 19th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC)
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I absolutely agree on the "people first" model, building universal access into conventions, and using appropriate language on signage, and information. Language means a lot, and I understand that many of these terms connote an outdated and potentially disrespectful attitude, but what I have discovered is that sometimes by using the latest, most appropriate language, particularly on websites, it makes it harder, especially for older fans to find the services they need.

[User Picture]
From:huladavid
Date:October 20th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
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I'd go for "access/accessibility" since it (in my mind) puts the focus on what you have to do as a host and less on the "defect" of some of your guests.
[User Picture]
From:muuranker
Date:October 20th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
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I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'search terms'. If you mean 'terms which, should someone put them into the search box, I want them to end up at the main page for accessibility/accomodations/disability/etc, etc, which has links to the pages about our provision for accessibility dogs, signed sessions, wheelchair-friendly routes between buildings, etc. etc., then I would say all of them.

If you mean 'what should we put on the front page that links to the main paige for accessibility, etc.'. I would second selkiechick and say accessibility. I wouldn't use specific terms, because there are too many of them, and that means you will use non-accessible text in order to have a button smaller than an entire window. And even then annoy someone for not including their specific disability on the button. And definitely not 'accomodations' which is far too confusing with 'accomodation' (meaning bedrooms).

[User Picture]
From:muuranker
Date:October 20th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
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Sorry - huladavid's idea, not Selkiechick's (altough I agree with Selkiechick's perspective, too - if people expect to see 'handicapped' as the word on the button, for example.

Have you considered using the international symbol?
[User Picture]
From:selkiechick
Date:October 21st, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
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My page is here (liked from main page under information>Access Services.
http://2013.arisia.org/Access
I have asked the web folks about having an icon of wheelchair (the most well-known symbol) and I was told that images and icons were a no-go on the website.
[User Picture]
From:selkiechick
Date:October 21st, 2012 12:52 am (UTC)
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I know what i am calling the page, and what terms I intend to use on it. I am looking for the first thing you described, the terms people would use if the resorted to the sites "search" box to find the Access Services Page.
[User Picture]
From:muuranker
Date:October 22nd, 2012 05:38 am (UTC)
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There are all the words for the accomodations:
loop
large print
ramp
reserved seating
braille
and so on.

A shame about not having an (or several) click-through icons on the fist page.
[User Picture]
From:selkiechick
Date:October 24th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
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As for the icon, the webstaff work really hard to make sure the page is accessible, particularly to screen readers. The way in which they have done this works really well, but means that we post very few images of any kind.
[User Picture]
From:julieandrews
Date:October 22nd, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
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I would interpret 'accommodations' to mean 'hotels'.

If you're getting pushback about having a link on the homepage, consider putting it at the bottom of the page. That's a place I'd look for it. Perhaps not the first place I'd look, but a place. Arisia's current layout doesn't quite lend itself to that though. Meh.

If you're relying on search, just put all of those terms on the page(s) somewhere in the text. If you can use tags, make use of them too.
[User Picture]
From:selkiechick
Date:October 24th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Access is just one link away from the homepage- its the first thing under Information. I just wanted to be sure the search worked too. As for the terms, many of those are on the page, but some of them are terms I had consciously decided not to use 9like disabled), and I wanted to get an idea of how prevalent those terms were for folks looking for what they needed.
[User Picture]
From:julieandrews
Date:October 22nd, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC)
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Actually, let me add that you need to be an advocate for your section. If you're getting pushback on something you think is important, then keep on pushing. It can be particularly hard, I think, in issues of access, because some people just don't see the importance of them. 'Oh, it's a small room, we don't need a mic.' 'Well, we ramped the stage in the main room, why do we need them in the other rooms?' Etc.

Also, you don't mention restrooms on your page. That information can also be helpful for those who aren't cisgendered.
[User Picture]
From:selkiechick
Date:October 24th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
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I understand being an advocate, believe me! I have been doing this for a few years, and don't get the wrong idea, Arisia has been very supportive of the work I have been doing. it's just... sometime you have to choose what battles to push this year.

As an example, we don't mention restrooms, and we haven't in the past. The hotel is fairly well equipped with restroom, but the way it does so is to have a giant pair of restrooms for each floor, with large accessible stalls at one end. We have only very recently come up with a solution that won't make the hotel lose it's little mind. There will be a new section forthcoming soon.

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