Accessibility at #ZeroCon18 – Did you know that…

A female sign language interpreter with hands up in front of her face, in front of a Zero Project poster

Running this topic for the second time in five years has given us a great opportunity to learn more about accessibility and try to implement the excellent ideas into our own practices. Here are 23 measures we have taken to improve accessibility at the Zero Project Conference 2018 and beyond:

1. Zero Project Report 2018 is produced as an accessible pdf.
2. All Factsheets on Innovative Practices and Policies can also be accessed and downloaded in accessible MS Word.
3. The Zero Project nomination and evaluation forms are available in alternative formats and five languages. A video with captions explains the nomination process for persons with hearing or visual impairments.
4. All sessions (of the Zero Project Conference are captioned and subtitled (a total of 50 on three days in three rooms).
5. The Zero Project Conference Plenary Room is webstreamed live with captioning and sign language interpretation.
6. All PowerPoint presentations are made according to accessibility principles, following strict guidelines provided by the Zero Project team. All are available after the Conference.
7. PowerPoint presentations by all Innovative Practices and Policy-presenters are also recorded as video (MP4) that are accessible to persons who are deaf or blind, with captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons and subtitles read out loud too for visually impaired persons.
8. Those Presentation videos are uploaded to the Zero Project Youtube channel (search for #zerocon18 on Youtube) using the English subtitles. Using Youtube-subtitling technology the captioning can be translated into more than 40 languages.
9. Throughout the Conference, a graphic facilitator will be present in some of the sessions, making the content of these sessions easier to access by her drawings. The graphics are also summarized at the end of each session.
10. All graphics will also be uploaded to on the Zero Project website for easier access to the research content.
11. All videos shown at the Zero Project Conference are presented fully accessible for people who are deaf or blind, in consultation with the Zero Project team.
12. Keynote and other speakers are obliged to submit their speeches in written a few days before the conference to increase the quality of captioning and sign language translations.
13. The Zero Project Conference is working with three different teams of certified sign language interpreters, two in International Sign Language (ISL) and one in American Sign Language (ASL).
14. Induction loops are installed at the reception and info-desks to support persons who are hard of hearing.
15. All Conference facilities are augmented with accessibility features for persons with visual disabilities, especially orientation and security features are added to the venue.
16. A video explains the accessibility of the Zero Project Conference and all its accessibility features for people who are deaf and sign language users. The video is shared on Social Media and also shown at the beginning of the Zero Project Conference.
17. The Zero Project team is organizing accessible hotel rooms for all participants and is available for consulting and support to find accessible venues.
18. All participants with physical and/or visual disabilities are picked up at the airport after their arrival and transferred to their hotels, as well as back to the airport after the Conference, free of charge to participants.
19. Dedicated team members of the Zero Project are assisting participants who are blind and come without assistants, throughout the whole conference.
20. The Zero Project team provides some support also outside the conference venue, especially for blind people who come without assistants, with dedicated team member that can be approached using a helpline.
21. The Zero Project team is actively encouraging peer-support throughout the conferencing using the information of capabilities and needs that are asked for at the registration, especially for all forms of translation and assistance.
22. The Zero Project website is in the process of certification according to WCAG 2.0 AA, one of the first certifications in Austria, jointly with Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehschwachen Österreichs and the OCG (Austrian Computer Society).
23. The accessibility of the Zero Project Conference 2018 is evaluated by Escola de Gente/Brazil and the evaluation used to continuously improve the accessibility of all Zero Project activities.