, 22 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Twitter friends, it seems a number of us could use a bright spot today. May I gush to you about how bizarrely, wonderfully accessible the @FassmC conference was? Note-taking encouraged. 👇 #thread #FASSM 1//21
THE BASICS: microphone usage was the expectation, not an afterthought. ASL translators facilitated throughout. The conference venue was a short walk from the hotel, but a van was available. Elevators worked! There was a quiet room consistently available nearby. Childcare! 2/21
Conference organizers reached out early to check in about access needs, including print and food concerns (allergies, other dietary restrictions and needs). Attendees were explicitly asked to avoid nuts and perfumed/scented products. There were pronoun stickers for badges. 3/21
THE VERY RARE: there was follow-up on access needs. For example, I was given a contact number should I abruptly need assistance or need to be returned to the hotel. I was also told what the quiet room would be like, where it was, and then asked whether it would suffice. 4/21
There were trained counselors/sexual assault advocates on-site throughout the conference. (Which makes a lot of sense for a conference around sexual misconduct, where many participants first became involved after personal experiences). 5/21
Attendees were encouraged to read up beforehand and keep accessibility in mind for presentations and posters (we were linked to udlguidelines.cast.org/representation… in particular). Moreover, there was a clear statement of how TWs should be used to maximize accessibility. 6/21
Now for THE OUTRIGHT WEIRD AND AMAZING things @FassmC did: the organizers understood $$, time, and opportunity as barriers to access. For grads and other precariat, housing was covered--including the night before, so we could be rested, a key factor for at least my health. 7/21
Our travel was covered. Preemptively. #FASSM participants receiving travel assistance didn't have to fill out paperwork after, or carry debt for months--it was just handled. 🤯 8/21
When the airline lost my bag for a day, I went out to get toiletries. Conference organizer @GeoEdResearch tried very hard to cover that cost, explaining that it was *part* of conference travel and thus an access issue?!?!? 9/21
FOOD: the hotel we were at provided (as the @FassmC organizers let us know) breakfast.

Organizers arranged for lunch and dinner at the conference. Partners & kids welcome. Buffets with not only good food, but a range--vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, meat, all of it tasty. 10/21
The organizers also emailed us "Snacks and limited beverages will be provided throughout the day at the conference venue."

Lies. They were not limited.

Throughout the day you could grab coffee and a substantial bite. Which, for certain medical/dietary needs, can matter. 11/21
Except--no booze at the conference venue. (Though several of us would grab drinks later, alcoholic or not, at the hotel to continue conversations.) This, like, shouldn't be unusual? Large-scale #MedievalDonut.

I promise the conversations were still great--possibly better. 12/21
STRUCTURE: the #FASSM organizers would fill a designated open session in each time slot as conversations emerged. We had the experts on hand, after all! And thus radically new, collaborative ideas could develop and be refined within the conference space. It was brilliant. 13/21
Similarly, #FASSM organizers set up a board that became covered with notes throughout the day, a way of weaving together all those emerging ideas--and spotting topics that merited one of the open slots! 14/21
Dividing into tables of groups enabled broader dialogue across a large hall of, I think, ~90 #FASSM attendees, and allowed us to consider collective suggestions.

These are being followed-up on via shared documents now, post-conference. 15/21
On top of that, our homework beforehand included getting up-to-date on a shared terminology for and understandings of biases, topic-specific terms, and more--so that once at @FassmC we could dive in to the tangles right away. 16/21
INTERACTIONS: there was a code of conduct shaped ahead of time *with input from attendees* and signed daily. Was it perfect? Of course not, we're still learning how to craft these, and there were thoughtful concerns raised by #FASSM participants. facultysexualmisconduct.com/code-of-conduc… 17/21
The #FASSM CoC covered not just the basics (don't use slurs, don't harass people, and here's the recourse available if that happens), but a framework for managing interactions around a fraught and nuanced topic. 18/21
The #FASSM CoC also covered sharing, social media, and privacy. Throughout the conference people worked to be clear about parameters for sharing image, video, summary, names, etc. Each session set its rules, with the (often-overturned) default being no-tweeting. 19/21
Finally, the land acknowledgement was paired with financial donations to an Indigenous advocacy org, in a particularly topical reminder that people inflict absolutely staggering rates of sexual violence upon Indigenous women; White Feminism here does more harm than good. 20/21
I want to specifically cite the conference organizers: @GeoEdResearch, @anna_bull_, Maddy Coy, Heidi Howkins Lockwood, and @t_haismanpage. This was the most accessible conference I've seen, and #goals for the next one I run. Everyone else, seriously, start copying. 👆 21/21
Adding because of course I have missed things: I believe when visa/border issues and other problems interfered with travel, speakers were able to Skype in. Imperfect access, but worlds beyond the norm of “tough luck” 22/21
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