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09/09/2019

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Daniel Brunson

Two examples of how to approach conference accessibility:

Guidelines for Accessible Conferences A guide by the British Philosophical Association and the Society for Women in Philosophy UK

https://www.bpa.ac.uk/uploads/2018/BPA:SWIP%20Guidelines%20for%20Accessible%20Conferences.pdf

Universal Design and Conference Accessibility

https://philosophycommons.typepad.com/disability_and_disadvanta/2016/04/universal-design-and-conference-accessibility.html

Philosadjacent

I am not fond of organizing things, but did a successful small conference a couple of years ago. Things are indeed often location/school specific. Here are a couple of things that were super helpful for m.

1. Find a partner. At many universities there may be centers and units that run lots of conferences and meetings. Find their key person and take them to coffee or lunch to pick their brain. Just ask them to walk you through it and take notes. They are a fount of implicit knowledge. They will know stuff about venues on campus, catering (if that's an option, even for coffee), hotel rooms (e.g., if you can get state rates at nearby hotels, and which), pitfalls, printing, source of money, whatever. And ask questions. I did this and the person was a lifeline--often just to say, "yeah, it's fine."

2. Related to 1. Find what the campus sources of speaker funds is. Person in 1 is likely to know. Apply to several, and if you can secure even a pittance from your department, the campus sources are likely to chip in. They like to be part of something that will be successful, and if someone else is already contributing, they will be more likely to provide funding.

3. see if you can combine with a speaker series (e.g., your department or college). If you can combine (say) a keynote with something else, it boosts interest and turnout, and it may be cost efficient.

4. Invite people WAY in advance.

bebe

Do make sure that there's no person or office at your school devoted to helping with the logistics. A friend of mine organized the entire thing by herself, and THEN learned that there is an office at her university which would have helped significantly.

Mike Titelbaum

Find someone (preferably at your own university, not necessarily in your discipline) who has organized a conference of roughly the magnitude you’re intending. Ask for a copy of their budget. It’s a small initial ask, but should give you some important information, ideas, and follow-up questions for them.

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