boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I should have thought about this earlier, and asked you guys for feedback, or maybe I should have waited until next year. But here's what I just sent to this year's Wiscon access committee:

Problem: Panelists sometimes forget to use the mike or to move their hands away from their mouths when they talk.

The only method I, as an audience member who cannot understand what is being said, have to address this problem is to put my hand up and wait for the moderator to call on me. This solution is not available when the panel is not taking questions[*], takes some wait time even when it is available, and is an interruption to the actual discussion.

Suggestion: Print HANDS or MIKE (depending on whether the panel has mikes) on cardstock in large friendly letters. Leave them on the blue-stripe seats or at the entrance to the room. Somehow inform everyone that these are intended to be used to remind the panelists to move their HANDS or use the MIKE.

ETA: The access team thinks this is a great idea. They're going to see what they can do for this year.

[*]ETA: I know that some people can call out "mike!" even when the panelists are talking. I appreciate it when they do. But. I wish everyone could understand how painful it is for a shy person to push herself forward, when it is not her turn, to ask.

Date: 2011-05-04 12:50 am (UTC)
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
From: [personal profile] wired
I like this idea! I am sometimes that panelist. I am trying hard to remember, but I am also nervous and all that, so I forget. This is a nice non-confrontational way to fix it without interrupting the flow of the panel.

Date: 2011-05-04 01:43 am (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
I like that idea. Not just at the blue-stripe seats, if possible: someone who doesn't identify as disabled or hearing impaired, or doesn't take one of those seats for some other reason, might still have a problem if a panelist spoke too quietly or covered her/his mouth.

Date: 2011-05-04 01:57 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Photo of baby wearing huge black glasses  (eyeglasses baby)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
I *love* this idea. It delicately sidesteps many of the difficulties people encountered when we speak up for speaking up and more clearly.

Because the "communication cards" are official, and supplied by the con, it helps to convey the "Hey! We want everyone to participate equally" message without (I hope) scaring the shy folks.

Thanks!

Date: 2011-05-04 03:44 am (UTC)
kalmn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kalmn
i was gonna say-- if perhaps someone knew the official signmaking person for wiscon, perhaps that person could make some signs. :)

Date: 2011-05-04 04:11 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (CKR smiles in hat)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
You think?

It's under advisement.

One thing that I'm unsure of is "Hands". Those of us who want to see the lips moving know why we're making this point, but the panelists might be confused.

What do you think of "Show me your teeth"?

Date: 2011-05-04 07:42 am (UTC)
jinian: (Wiscon braid)
From: [personal profile] jinian
HANDS is at least not creepy when not understood. SHOW ME YOUR TEETH is creepy!

Date: 2011-05-04 01:57 am (UTC)
laughingrat: Ringo holding sign that says "I CARN'T SPEL." (I CARN'T SPEL)
From: [personal profile] laughingrat
I don't go to Wiscon, but I still think this sounds brilliant.

Date: 2011-05-04 02:13 am (UTC)
kaigou: Toph says: hell yeah, meeting adjourned. (2 meeting adjourned)
From: [personal profile] kaigou
I can't even name how many panels I've seen where I would've given my eye-teeth to have a sign like that. Something to remind the panelists without interruption. Excellent idea.

(And one I think could be used at pretty much any panel, at any conference or convention.)

Date: 2011-05-04 02:58 am (UTC)
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 flying monkey)
From: [personal profile] kaigou
"And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day... Friends, they may think it's a MOVEMENT..."

Date: 2011-05-04 05:08 am (UTC)
hobbitbabe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hobbitbabe
What a great suggestion.

In contexts where people are likely to know what I mean by it and not mind, I can occasionally bring myself to call out "Point of order!" as a prelude to saying "We can't hear you back here" or "There's someone trying to get in the door behind you" or whatever. But I can't do it without consulting with everyone near me first about whether they agree, and that is disruptive in itself.

Your idea is great. It can empower lots of people who need the accommodation, and it can normalise the accommodation for other people who could do with reminding. Ideally, the signs would be legible from both sides, so the people in the back know what you've said.

Date: 2011-05-07 02:10 pm (UTC)
amaebi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
You're giving a gift to a lot of people.

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