[Linux-aus] Disability Liaison Officer for LCA 2014 and other LA-assisted events

Chris Neugebauer chrisjrn at gmail.com
Tue Oct 22 09:58:34 EST 2013

Hi Ian,

Perhaps this is ripe picking for creating an LA subcommittee -- making
it a subcommittee would make the services/expertise available to every
LA conference (PyCon AU would benefit here, I'm sure). It would also
provide continuity from year to year.



On 22 October 2013 09:52, Ian <ilox11 at gmail.com> wrote:
> In terms of the range of attendees at an LCA there is a clear need for
> somebody knowledgeable in the field to be tasked with oversight of
> assistance for those with some form of disability. I believe that a
> Disability Liaison Officer is an essential role within the Organising
> Committee.
> Last year I was honoured to be able to take part in LCA thanks to the
> Regional Delegates support program. It was valuable to me not just in
> contacts but in being able to touch base with the Open Source world and I
> hope the wide ranging discussions I had with other delegates triggered off
> future developments. I also took advantage of the support provided by the
> shuttle buses but especially to be noted the wonderful mini-vans and the so
> excellent volunteer drivers.
> The DLO role might mean the hiring the Accessibility mini-vans. It might be
> as simple as keeping spaces free in the front row for those with
> hearing/visual problems. It might mean shuttle buses and having able-bodied
> person able to help move luggage for those with less strength.
> One example of where experience in disability support could/might have
> helped  - and I make no reflection on the excellent ACT Team that were
> caught out by something out of the blue - last year's Key signing was held
> in a room that a wheelchair-bound participant couldn't make it down the
> stairs to the front for the identification process. Yes there was wheelchair
> access at the back of the room but the person was a participant not a
> watcher. Maybe a little thing but a person with Disability Support oversight
> could have facilitated changes to cover this. Note that the problem was
> overcome as far as I was aware but it needed some messing about to resolve.
> Disability can affect any of us and being able to enjoy the conference in
> spite of the difficulties can really make a difference.
> PS: For the organising committee: please make sure that the training for
> volunteers includes how to guide a visually impaired person using the
> volunteer's elbow as a reference point. This technique takes less than 3
> minutes to learn but makes a big difference to the comfort of a VIP.
> --
> -- Ian
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--Christopher Neugebauer

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