soc_puppet: Words "Humorless Feminist" in pink (Humorless Feminist)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
It's time for my AnimeIowa 2014 report!

* My blue gaffer's tape arrived promptly before AI, which allowed me to mark out wheelchair spaces in the various programming rooms. Sadly, after the rooms were "torn down" for various events (most noticeably the Masquerade), the hotel staff was possibly unaware of the blue tape's significance and didn't bother to lay out the chairs around them when setting the rooms back up. I managed to fix two of the three rooms affected, but Main Programming had far too many chairs for me to even attempt on my own. I will have to see if I can include notes on this next year.

* I did not manage to print out all of the Use The Mic signs I had planned to make before my parents' printer ran out of black ink, but between what we actually had leftover from last year and what I managed to print out this year, we had more than enough signs to go around, yay! The Info Desk people kindly wrote "Please Return [this sign] to the Info Desk" on the back of all the signs, so hopefully we'll have minimal losses this year and will continue to have sufficient signs for at least a few more years in the future.

* While the Dollar Tree's website insisted that the hand sanitizer I ordered would not be available for pickup until the Saturday of the convention, I learned otherwise when I went to visit my local store to purchase contingency hand sanitizer and ask when a good time for pickup would be. Turns out, that store (perhaps all stores) gets its shipment in the middle of the week, and the employees would actually prefer people to pick anything they order in up on a weekday, as Saturday is typically their busiest day. This worked out quite serendipitously for me, all in all, and I was pleased as punch to have the hand sanitizer available on the first day of the convention.

I placed bottles of hand sanitizer at all the water stations, on the tables of the eating area in the Consweet, and left one at the Bridge. For whatever reason, it completely escaped my mind that I should include one or more in the Recharge room, where we had sandwich makings; I plan to correct that next year. I also plan to leave a few bottles in Video Gaming and Tabletop Gaming.

While overall less sanitizer was used at the convention than I had anticipated (and frankly would have liked), I have already seen one thank-you for its inclusion. There was an attendee with asthma who was very grateful for them, and mentioned doing a lot of high-fives that ze normally wouldn't have partaken in and then only having to go to the nearest water station to get a squirt of hand sanitizer. Since ze has asthma, ze said, con crud is a much more serious problem, and a cold can last months, so the hand sanitizer was very welcome. AnimeIowa's sister conventions are planning to use the leftover hand sanitizer at their events in the future; one of the staffers suggested that I started a healthy trend with it :)

(Side note: The Dollar Tree was the cheapest source of hand sanitizer I could find. I did overhear at least two complaints about the scent, but considering it was much less expensive than even the industrial sized bottles I could find elsewhere, I think I can live with a few people who just don't care for the smell. That said, since scented items in general are a real health problem for a lot of people, and since hand sanitizer generally goes on hands (which get waved about quite a lot), I will probably be looking into unscented alternatives as soon as this supply runs out - may it be sooner rather than later. I don't really know if I would get budget approval if I asked to get unscented hand sanitizer before then, and I do regret not thinking of scents when looking to purchase.)

* I managed to remember some key items when making my speech at Opening Ceremonies this year, woo! I included a request for able-bodied attendees to consider using the stairs, especially if they were only going up or down one or two floors (and added a note not to harass people for taking the elevator if it didn't look like they needed to, because you really can't always tell by looking what someone's ability level is); I made a gentle reminder to use the microphone, with general instructions on spacing (I think I said something like "hold it under your chin"?) and mentioned the Use The Mic signs at the Info Desk; and I pointed out that service animals in attendance at AI were there on the job, so please attendees ask their boss if it's okay for them to socialize first.

(This year's MC did "help" a bit with my speech, interjecting twice. The first time was with the microphone bit, where I pointed out that asking "Can everyone hear me?" was kinda pointless, since people who can't hear won't be able to answer; there he was actually helpful and even used my favorite comparison, asking everyone in the audience who wasn't there to put their hand up. I went on to suggest that panelists could ask, "If you can hear me, please raise your hand," and then to watch for people who didn't raise their hands, especially in the back. Not a perfect solution, but definitely better than "can everyone hear me". The second time was a lot more cringe-worthy for me. When I asked attendees to ask a service animal's handler before touching the animal, the MC added, "Just like if you're asking to touch someone's baby. Or their wife." [Emphasis mine.] Just. Wooooooow. Way to imply that people's wives are both their spouse's babysitter and their property. Ick ick ick. Since I wasn't sure how much time I had, I basically continued with my speech, but that bit has been sitting with me ever since.)

* I forgot to make a lot of large-print copies of things this year; I rather hope we saved some from previous years, but don't actually know if we did. That's definitely something I need to do for next year. It's also something I can potentially assign to someone in the event that I try to recruit more people to work for Accessibility. Now that I'm figuring this out, it's something I have to consider.

It's getting late for me, so I'm going to set aside the report for now and pick it up later. G'night!

Edit: Part 2 of this report can now be found here.

Date: 2014-08-08 04:49 am (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
Sounds like it went well!

Would you like to post a link to this in access_fandom? (or would you like me to do so?)

Date: 2014-09-13 09:14 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Better late than never!

Sounds like you're doing GREAT! Creating cooperation between hotel setup and con setup over blue squares is a challenging task. At WisCon we have "room setup" sheets which show where the stage goes, where the aisles go, and so on: the hotel managers use this to communicate with the hotel setup crews. But so far that hasn't prevented the same last-minute Yipes! where did the tape go this time! shenanigans. And why do the blue stripe chairs (for front-row seats) always migrate to the back of the room?

I suspect (can't prove) that hand sanitizers' strong perfumes are an on-purpose indicator: if the person's hands smell like baby powder, they've sanitized recently. I'm thrilled you got some feedback on that. The scented type triggers my asthma, so it's a generally frustrating proposition.

Yipes, that "or their wife" at opening ceremonies turns my stomach. Congratulations for not screaming.

(commented with wrong identity before)

Date: 2014-09-14 09:17 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Re: blue stripe chairs. Every year I promise to take pix, and every year I fail :(

We put a diagonal blue tape stripe on the *back* of a few chairs in front row, both sides of center aisle. Folks can see those on entry, and I think you could slap some painters tape on plushy chairs without damage. (It's never harmed the flocked wallpaper in our hotel.) We advertise these as "for folks who need to hear or see better or otherwise their body needs them" (so if these were the only plush chairs in a room, someone could use to minimize back pain.)

We tried doing the wheelie squares with just two sides -- an L -- but it wasn't distinctive, was easier to trip on, and didn't save that much tape. Our first blue-tape year the co-chairs did a great mini-skit where they hid and popped up in what they called Teleportation Zones. "Sudden teleportations have been observed, but wheelchairs and scooters are immune." That got a big laugh, which I think helps cement learning. Now a simple square seems to work, if we can keep up with the moving room layouts (resumes),

I do learn :)

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