A congress that makes you feel welcome
Welcome to our site! The detailed document below is composed after our third Disability Studies Congress with the theme: ‘The Art of Belonging’. Here is a summary on one A4 sized PDF file.
Disability Studies in Nederland tries to shape this title in different ways:
Room for experiental expertise
Disability Studies wants to give a voice to experience-centered stories. The personal experience came to the foreground this congress. We gave people the chance to express their experience by means of word, image, theater, music, ... This way stories come to light that otherwise, presented in a more traditional way, wouldn’t be told during conferences.
A welcoming place
The congress zoomed in on ‘The Art of Belonging’: everyone matters and feels welcome. Everyone’s individuality and talent were seen and appreciated, in contrast to the inequality, exclusion, and stigma we see worldwide.
Support for everyone
We want to do what we say! We emphasize accesability on our congress. With a support bar we organized silent (!) support for everyone who wishes this or needs it. We had whispering interpreters, sign language interpreters, writing interpreters, people to give you directions, places to come to rest, ... People who didn’t speak English could count on translators and whispering interpreters. We had workshops in clear language, and creative workshops that invite people to learn in different ways than verbal language.
We created a congress book with blank space for your own thoughts, words, and drawings. During our congress there are workshops that are accessible to a broad audience, also for people who do not speak or understand the english language. These workshops have been indicated with an icon and with the NL symbol. The more academic workshops and readings are not indicated with an icon or translation in the book. People who needed help reading the congress book or making choices could ask for support at our counter. If people needed a translation or another kind of help to enjoy the more academic or abstract workshops they could let us know.
We all learn differently
We are different. We all communicate and learn in different ways. You can find more on this by the item UDL, beneath theme 7: ‘Ode to diversity’.
Our congress offered an especially colorful palette: readings, poster presentations, theater, music, dance, active workshops, and deepening academic explanations alternate between each other. Besides there was a ‘drawing laboratory’, stand-up comedy, room for ‘chilling’ and rest, delicious food, drinks, and opportunities to meet people.
The congress book contains both pictures and text to make it as clear as possible.
We tried our best to make this congress as accessible as possible. But we surely have forgotten certain things. What works for one person, might not work for another. Thus we invite visitors during our congress to support each other so that we all would have optimal chances to learn. So that we all can get inspiration and enjoy nice meetings and new ideas. Thank you to all attendees, employees, partners, volunteers, sponsors, and involved for realising our congress.
Special thanks to Instituut Gak. Thanks to their financial support we were able to organise our congress inclusive and create this document.
For additions, comments or questions about our congress you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We have bundled our tips and ideas for organising an accessible congress in 10 themes. This is not a ‘manual’ but information from our experience, findings, and evaluations when onrganising congreses: as inclusive and welcoming as possible, celebrating diversity.