Representation (Organizers, Program/Speakers, Participants)

▢ Organizing committee and/or advisory board includes representation across: gender identities, underrepresented groups, diverse racial backgrounds and geographic regions

▢ Ensure gender is balanced within presentation types (especially keynotes), and across the overall program

▢ Program includes a wide range of presenters, across gender identities, racial groups, ability, and sexual orientation. If presentations are submissions-based, actively solicit proposals and submissions from underrepresented groups

▢ For the participant pool, ensure that a proportion of registration spots are reserved for participants across ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, and geographic regions


▢ Scholarship allocation is prioritized for groups that face the most barriers for self-funding

▢ Conference organizers book travel and/or accommodations on behalf of travel scholarship recipients, rather than asking recipients to pay and be reimbursed

▢ Where partial scholarship funding is provided, make and communicate decisions as quickly as possible, so that recipients can take advantage of lower prices

Choosing a date

▢ Conference date(s) does not fall on a religious holiday

Event Venue

▢ Venue has elevator access, accessible entrances, ramps, and clear, legible signs. For a full list of building requirements, please refer to the Accessible Meetings Toolkit from the American Bar Association.

▢ Venue has gender neutral bathrooms or is open to designating specific bathrooms as gender neutral

▢ Venue A/V has sound system with microphone & speakers set-up (ideally, wireless microphones)

▢ Set up maternity room at venue

▢ Set up prayer room at venue

▢ Set up quiet room at venue

Programming Choices

▢ Hold a workshop, panel discussion, or activity focused specifically on diversity and equity that includes all participants

▢ Ensure underrepresented perspectives are prioritized in all aspects of the conference, and especially in dialogues about diversity, equity and inclusion

▢ Incorporate participant input into program choices (e.g. through unconference, session proposals)

Accessible Conference Content & Inclusive Engagement

▢ Microphone is used for all presenters, and for all Q&A sessions (for both speakers and those asking questions)

▢ Have facilitators monitor who is asking questions

▢ Allow for remote participation by streaming event online

▢ Make materials (video recordings, slides, notes) freely available online to view after the event, especially if live streaming is not possible

▢ Allow alternative ways to participate in Q&A (e.g. online question submission via Twitter or other platform)

▢ Provide all media in alternative formats: transcripts (or detailed notes) for video-recorded material, and closed captioning if possible

▢ At least 3 weeks before the event, encourage speakers to review guidelines on designing easy-to-read slides:

▢ Offer appropriate sign language interpretation during talks if a participant has indicated this accessibility requirement

Code of Conduct & Anti-Harassment Policy

▢ Code of conduct includes zero tolerance policy for discriminatory behavior on the basis of identity, and zero tolerance for physical, verbal or sexual harassment

▢ Attendees are asked to read and acknowledge the code of conduct during the registration process

▢ Code of conduct is on website and sent to all conference attendees before the event

▢ Code of conduct is re-stated, in person, at the beginning of the conference

▢ Hard copies of code of conduct are provided and easily accessed during event

▢ Code of conduct is strictly enforced, and enforcement process is made clear before and at the beginning of event

𥨪 clear and easy to follow reporting process is decided in advance

▢ Reporting process is communicated clearly before and during the event-ensure that at least one designated organizer is easily accessible to receive reports of code of conduct violations

Pre-Conference Communications on Accessibility and Other Accommodations

▢ Include questions about dietary and accessibility needs in the registration form

▢ Offer the option of discussing accessibility needs over the phone; this can minimize forming assumptions about the needs of the participant

▢ Be clear on what accessibility accommodations will be provided so participants can request or arrange additional accommodations that have not already been covered, rather than putting the burden on them

▢ Communicate the schedule in advance so participants can communicate any accommodations they will need (e.g. long conference days or hackathon style events may not be possible for those with certain health needs)


▢ Provide clear text and image instructions on how to get to the conference venue (and other relevant conference locations, e.g. if participants will be staying at a designated hotel)

▢ Make sure these instructions are print-friendly (and not just a link to a Google Map)

▢ Know in advance whether any participants have mobility needs and will require alternative transportation arrangements (i.e. not public transit)

▢ Ask about mobility needs when asking about additional accessibility requirements in the conference registration form, or in a pre-conference email

Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

▢ Information about dietary needs, allergies, and chemical sensitivities of participants is collected in advance

▢ Vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free options are included for all meals

▢ Any buffet-style meals are clearly labeled

▢ Water easily accessible during the event

▢ Consider making the space fragrance-free if participants have indicated chemical sensitivities in registration form

During the Conference

▢Participants are asked to communicate their preferred pronoun (he, she, they, etc.) on their conference badge; consider using pronoun ribbons

▢ Adequate breaks are provided throughout the day to accommodate those with health needs

▢ Have essential supplies on hand, including over-the-counter medicine (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.), first aid supplies, feminine hygiene products, and food

Conference Social Events

▢ Ensure there is a designated conference organizer present at all social events to report code of conduct violations to, and that this organizer is easily visible and accessible

▢ Provide an option for alcohol-free evening social events; or choose events that are not centered around alcohol

Making Your Event Parent-Friendly

▢ Consider providing childcare

▢ If providing childcare is not possible, provide a list of local child care options

▢ Consider offering full or partial reimbursement for childcare as part of scholarships

▢ Provide list of local children-related resources

After the Event

▢ In the event feedback form, include a question on whether participant accessibility needs were met

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Research Sources