Accessibility at the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference

Everyone is welcome at PTWC

Accessibility at the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference

The Philadelphia Trans-Wellness Conference is a critical resource for many people, and we are committed to doing as much as we can to ensure that it is accessible for everyone in attendance. To this end, we ask everyone to be aware of the space they are taking up so that everyone is able to navigate safely and easily. 
 
While we are in a shared space, we ask that everyone respects each other and ourselves. In an effort to create safety and intentionality, we invite you to hold some group agreements around accessibility during our time together:
 
Personal space 
 
We all have different preferences and needs regarding our personal space. Please practice consent and ask someone before you touch or closely approach them - even if you are trying to get their attention - and definitely do not photograph anyone unless you have their permission and are in one of the photo zones. Keep in mind that some folks need extra space to move around due to mobility devices and be careful not to block the Accessibility Lane or stand directly in front of someone that is seated and trying to see, hear, or otherwise navigate.
 
 
Learning Style and Neurodiversity
 
Everyone learns and absorbs information differently, and everyone has the right to  communicate in the way(s) most suited to their needs. You are responsible for the way you choose to interact with other people, and you should practice the same amount of respect and patience you hope others will practice with you. Do not make assumptions about someone’s character, intelligence, identity, or worth based on your perceptions of their speech patterns, tone, body language, eye contact, or accent. If you are having difficulty communicating with someone through one medium, try finding another way to communicate, like typing on a phone instead of using spoken English. Please keep in mind that something that may feel culturally appropriate to you - e.g. tapping someone on the shoulder to get their attention - may be startling or intrusive to the person with whom you are trying to connect. 
 
 
Reserved Seating and Workshop Attendance 
 
You may notice that some seats in workshops are marked “RESERVED” - these are reserved for people who need those seats to be able to fully access the information being shared. Traversing the Conference can be hectic and overwhelming, and we want to ensure that no one that needs accessible seating misses out on it simply because it takes them longer to travel from room to room. That being said, the Conference is large and some workshops do fill up quickly - if you are planning to go to a large workshop and will need reserved seating, we recommend arriving early or asking a friend to arrive early and holding a spot for you. 
 
If you do arrive to a workshop that is full, we ask you to please find another workshop to attend instead. In addition to limiting workshop size in order to allow attendees to fully participate, size limits are also required to maintain both fire-codes and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.  
 
 
Service/Support Animals
 
PTWC welcomes service and support animals. Please remember that those animals are working, and do not interact with them in any way, including commenting or asking questions about the animal (“What a cute dog! How long have you had it?”), petting or offering food to the animal, or making direct eye contact with the animal. It is a violation of federal law as well as of someone’s personal rights to ask them to justify or explain their service/support animal in any capacity. If you feel driven to ask questions, before you say anything, consider using it as a moment of self-reflection instead and examine why you feel you are entitled to that explanation. If someone does share information about their animal with you, remember to practice confidentiality and do not assume that they are consenting to have that information shared with other people. 
 
Sensory Sensitivity: Scents/Fragrances and Flashing Lights
 
Some people experience sensitivity to chemicals, including perfumes and colognes. For this reason, we hope to have a “Scentsafer” space - try to refrain from wearing heavy chemical scents while you are in the Conference space. Additionally, flashing lights can trigger seizures for folks with epilepsy/seizure disorder, so please avoid wearing or carrying decorative flashing lights. 
 
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters
 
d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing attendees and presenters at PTWC may be using ASL interpreters. Be sure that you direct your communication to the person you are speaking to, and not to the interpreter. It is not necessary or kind to yell or speak very slowly - the interpreters are highly-skilled professionals and it is their job to facilitate communication. If they need you to let them catch up, they will tell you. If you are in need of an interpreter, please meet Simon Iris at the Support Services table to the left of registration and/or text them at the number that will be provided to you at the beginning of the conference.
 
If you encounter any difficulty during your time at PTWC, there is a Support Services table immediately to the left of registration that is staffed and available to attendees before and during each day of the Conference. 
 
For more information please visit the Support Services Infomation Page
 
Questions about PTWC accessibility please contact Simon at: [email protected]