At GrUSP we pay close attention to making events and activities as inclusive, diversified and accessible as possible as we want to create an environment in which anyone can feel comfortable and respected.
What does it mean in practice? Here you will find the points we pay attention to. If there is something you want to suggest, you can write to us!
Events in attendance
At our face-to-face events, coffee breaks and lunch are included in the ticket price. In the registration form for the conference, we ask what your needs / intolerances / food allergies are, so that we can prepare suitable menus.
Accessibility of the structure
Our facilities are accessible to those who need to reach them in a wheelchair as they have:
- a side ramp for entry;
- accessible rooms;
- dedicated bathrooms.
In any case, please notify us of further needs by filling out the appropriate application in the registration form.
Quiet space (for breastfeeding, worship …)
We are committed to providing a quiet area in which to rest, breastfeed, pray or any other need for tranquility.
We also pay close attention to everything that is the sustainability of an event, this is why:
- our gadgets are reusable;
- separate collection is carried out;
- we are committed to limiting, if not completely avoiding, single-use plastics;
- the material used during the coffee break and lunch is biodegradable or non-disposable;
- we recover and reuse materials such as roll-ups;
- we are committed to reducing food waste;
- the selected locations are accessible by public transport.
Non binary bathrooms
We try to select a location that offers a bathroom for those who do not identify with the binary genre, accessible to anyone who wants to use it.
Platform for online participation
We want to make the events accessible even to those who do not have the possibility to move, which is why from 2022 the conferences will take place in hybrid mode (in presence + online).
The platform we use to participate in our online events is Hopin.
We have selected this platform because it is complete, reflects as much as possible what could happen in a live event and is simple to use.
We are having the platform analyzed in order to understand for what kinds of disabilities it can actually be considered accessible.
We are working hard to be able to insert subtitles on every intervention of our events but we have not yet reached perfection in this respect.
Here is what we are actively working on:
- raise awareness of each speaker by asking them to pre-record their speech and produce subtitles. For this we have created a guide to be able to make them independently. For those who do not have the possibility, we are available to be able to provide for the realization, have them revised and insert them in the video;
- for live talks in English we have written a simple guide to be able to present your talk with subtitles in real time and at the same time found and re-shared a resource that everyone can use to enable them on their Chrome browser.
Accessible Presentations and Public Speaking
We have created a section of the site full of resources dedicated to those who will present their talks during our events in which there is a section in which we list the key points on how to make a presentation and make public speaking accessible.
We have an ongoing scholarships program that funds the cost of the online conference ticket, dedicated to those who cannot afford the costs of our events and to members of underrepresented groups within the tech world.
Inclusive and accessible language
In our written and oral communications we try to use inclusive and accessible communication, this means:
- avoid using the generalist and overextended masculine by formulating gender neutral sentences;
- use schwa or other special characters to avoid the gender binary present in the Italian language, but limiting as much as possible the use of these special characters in such a way as to make communications accessible to those who use our contents through the use of a screen reader;
- insert an alternative text for the images used on social networks and on the website;
- use emojis in a limited way to facilitate the reading of texts aloud by assistive technologies;
- avoid using special fonts external to the social platform used as they are not read correctly by screen readers;
- write compound hashtags by capitalizing the first letter of each word to make them more readable.
Use of diversified images
We use diverse images in our communication so that each person feels represented. We try to select images that respect the different identities, cultures, skin tones and shapes that the human body can take.
Website accessibility analysis
We have had the grusp.org site and conference sites analyzed in order to resolve the accessibility problems of our content and are currently working to remedy them. An article and a detailed analysis of the work carried out will follow.
Use of colors with good contrast
We are analyzing our communication and reviewing all images that do not have good contrast in order to increase the readability of our content.
Request for the pronoun
When registering for the event and compiling the CFP, we ask for the pronoun of those who participate in it in order to:
- being able to communicate to each participant through the badge the pronoun you want to be used to refer to your person (printing the pronoun on the badge is optional and not mandatory);
- correctly communicate the participation of each speaker in our events without “taking for granted” the genre in which she identifies;
- to sensitize the national panorama on this kind of issue;
- analyze the heterogeneity of the community that participates in our conferences and from this figure understand how to create even more diversified moments of encounter.
Then? What can we do better?
We know that the road to fully accessible and inclusive events is still long for many reasons, including, without hiding it, the budget.
This is certainly not a reason to give up and stop. We strongly believe in the power of sharing and comparison also under this kind of aspects and we invest all the resources that are at our disposal in order to improve. This is why we want to share what we would like to do in order to create even more inclusive, diversified and accessible events as possible.
So here’s our wish list:
- production of precise subtitles in real time also on speeches in Italian;
- production of simultaneous translations in English for the Italian talks and in Italian for the interventions in English both as subtitles and during face-to-face events;
- real-time production of simultaneous sign language translations (LIS);
- select locations that use renewable energy.
Let’s improve together
If you know other ways in which we can work to improve our events, other needs that we have unknowingly not yet taken into consideration or you are interested in financing (both economically and through the direct provision of the service) this kind of activity, contact us and let us know: we will be really happy to be able to experience new things and grow together.
As Alice Orrù says in this beautiful article:
“What we do not represent does not exist. What we misrepresent remains wedged between the grates of prejudice.”
we are trying our best and with the support of every member of the community we know that we can grow and improve both as individuals and as a community.