Accessibility Guidelines

Contact Information for the Local Hosts and Accessibility Committee

Accessibility Questions for Requests: philosophia2019conference [at] or access.philosophia [at]

2019 Local Host:

Shannon Hoff (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Accessibility Guidelines for Presenters

PhiloSOPHIA is committed to the principles of universal design. It is our explicit goal to make the conference as accessible and welcoming as possible from the ground up and also with an understanding that accessibility requires flexibility and ongoing communication with one’s particular community in a given context. Having said this, forms of accessibility are diffuse and can even come into conflict. To make an access request, please email This email will be received by all of those listed above. Any information you share is assumed to be confidential, except if you determine that information needs to be shared with others to facilitate the access in question (for example, shared with a particular moderator or set of moderators). Should this be the case, you are welcome to speak directly with others, or the accessibility committee can share this information (anonymously or non-anonymously as preferred) on your behalf.

Accessibility guidelines benefit all participants, and we circulate these in advance so that conference attendees can plan their papers and panels with them in mind. We intend philoSOPHIA’s conference to be a site of open and ongoing creative engagement with how we deliver talks, present ideas, and interact with each other. These guidelines ask you to (re)consider specific aspects of conference participation, perhaps in new or different ways. We are always looking for ways to increase accessibility at philoSOPHIA. Whether or not you attend, please consider writing us at (which will be read by the above hosts and accessibility committee). This email account will be checked during the conference as well, so please feel free to contact us in real time.

These guidelines were adapted for philoSOPHIA in 2016 by Amy Vidali, and are revised yearly by the accessibility committee and local hosts (with special thanks to Kelsey Borrowman, Kit Connor, Joel Michael Reynolds, Shelley Tremain, Lauren Guilmette and Robert Leib). This version of the guidelines have been further refined in conversation with the APA’s Good Practices Guide for conference accessibility (Section 6 of the Good Practices Guide can be found here:, which itself is a patchwork of the resources put together by disability activists and scholars, academics and non-academics, across the world. With this in mind, we encourage participation in crafting this document whether you are seeking accessible accommodations for the upcoming conference or not and welcome collaboration.

Accessibility and Accommodations Commitments for philoSOPHIA 2019

The following is a preliminary list of accommodations we are committed to offering at our 2019 meeting. It is not exhaustive and, as noted above, any request for accommodations and access will be addressed in a timely and respectful manner. This section will be routinely updated to include any and all accessibility information (such as parking and transportation) as we acquire it.

  • Individuals with learning disabilities may request readers, note-takers, or guides.

  • An area at the conference location will be set aside and designated as a "quiet room" for individuals with disabilities or chronic conditions can have a place to rest, read information, etc. This room is also available for nursing/pumping.


Accessibility Guidelines for Presenters


  • Prepare to be flexible. Access needs are shifting and fluid, and it may be that even your well-prepared presentation will need to shift depending on who attends, moderates, or co-presents on your panel during your presentation.

  • If you plan to use PowerPoint or other forms of projection (e.g., due to significant, content-specific analyses of images or videos that cannot reasonably be reproduced through print material or other reason), we ask that you request this in advance so that it can be specified in the philoSOPHIA 2019 program.

Instead of or alongside the use of PowerPoint (if PowerPoint need fulfills criteria above), please consider drafting a script or outline for your talk and/or large-print copies (17-point font or larger and single-spaced) to distribute. On any such handouts or copies, please be sure to specify if you do not want your work cited without permission (and/or collect drafts at the end). If your presentation requires PowerPoint relative to the qualifications above, audibly describe any images or videos shown.


  • Speak at a reasonable pace.

  • Always use the microphone.

  • Be responsive to your audience.

  • Describe any images or videos displayed or utilized in print media.

People read much faster than they typically talk, which is hard for everyone to follow. If present, the ASL interpreter or CART transcriptionist also needs to keep up. (CART is Communication Access Real-Time Transcription, which is live captioning for a computer or projected screen.) Before your talk begins, provide a script to the ASL interpreter or CART captioner with jargon (and, ideally, the text of the full talk), so they can create signs or short-cuts.


  • Avoid wearing scents.

  • Trigger Warnings: A trigger is an embodied experience that causes someone to recall or associate some facet of a difficult lived experience (in the past, on-going, or potential) with the content being presented. Be mindful of whether your contributions to the conference (whether as presenter, questioner, or what have you) might contain triggering content and provide warning of such content.

  • Community <-> Accessibility: Accessibility practices are ongoing and fluid in response to the particularity of a given community. Our hope is that philoSOPHIA can be a model of practicing access collectively as a community together.


Accessibility Guidelines for Moderators

Moderators, along with presenters and participants, play an important role in facilitating the proceedings of the conference. Moderators will be asked to help facilitate and be mindful of general accessibility practices during sessions. As a community, we are attentive to the ways in which accessibility is multi-dimensional. Thus we understand that the guidelines suggested below may conflict, may not be possible, or may happen differently, based on the accessibility needs of presenters, participants, and moderators themselves.

Thanks for serving as a moderator! Please first carefully review the general Accessibility Guidelines above. If you need help while serving in your moderator role at the conference, please head to the registration desk.


  • Arrive early. Please be early to allow time to execute needed changes or adaptations.

  • Check in with presenters: Ask presenters how they are comfortable being reminded of time, their preferred names and pronouns, etc.

  • Collect materials presenters wish to be shared, such as handouts and website addresses.

  • Consider the space. Adjust for any obvious obstacles that may make the space inaccessible.


  • Distribute panelists’ materials. Distribute handouts or designate an audience volunteer. Announce website addresses and write them on the board, if available.

  • Make question cards available: A stack of index cards will be available in each room. Make these available for audience members to ask questions on, if they prefer. Alternate between spoken and card questions during the Q&A.

  • Remind the audience of the Twitter hashtag for the conference (#philosophia2018). This provides a connection for those who can’t attend philoSOPHIA.


  • Monitor the pace and audibility of talks: If a presenter is speaking quickly, tactfully ask them to slow down. Ensure that everyone speaks into the microphone. Moderators should repeat questions or comments made by conference participants.

  • Keep presenters to their allocated time. This allows necessary breaks between panels.

  • Encourage one speaker at a time.

AFTER THE PANEL: If you are comfortable doing so, provide any feedback to the accessibility committee.