Behind the scenes: making the Forum as welcoming and accessible as possible


One of our goals for the annual DLF Forum is that it be as welcoming and accessible as possible. For the first time this year, the DLF Forum Planning Committee includes an Inclusivity subcommittee, made up of volunteers who are helping us to do just that. With this blog post, we publicly express our gratitude to the folks who signed on to contribute their energy, smart ideas, and time to this work, and we share some updates on the group’s directions with our broader DLF community.

So far, the Inclusivity subcommittee has had two in-depth phone conversations, alongside email correspondence and some good old-fashioned collaborative document-writing, to pool ideas, share experiences, swap readings and resources, and map out directions. The group is now moving forward on several concrete projects and activities, including:

  • Expanding and updating DLF’s Code of Conduct
  • Creating a community “ambassador” role for a small group of volunteers at the DLF Forum, who can assist DLF staff in creating a safe and welcoming environment and pointing people in the right direction for questions and concerns
  • Reviewing the conference registration form to ensure that registrants have the opportunity to provide us with accommodation requests, preferred pronouns, dietary restrictions, etc.
  • Serving in intentional “connector” roles to our many other Forum planning groups (from the social and local planning committees to the program and sponsorship committees), to ensure that the spirit of inclusivity touches every aspect of Forum planning
  • Designating and publicizing a quiet room, nursing room, and gender-neutral restrooms at the Forum venue
  • Helping to arrange the childcare services in Milwaukee that DLF will once again be able to subsidize for Forum attendees
  • Setting up and publicizing community note-taking docs, compiling important accessibility tips for people creating slide decks, and promoting sharing of conference materials through DLF’s OSF for Meetings account
  • Facilitating ride-share and room-share connections via a public exchange, to help make the Forum more economically accessible
  • Serving as a helpful sounding-board for DLF staff who are working to organize the Forum, and assisting with other projects, large and small–including some surprises!

The 2016 Forum Inclusivity subcommittee includes:

  • Laurie Allen
  • Cathy Aster
  • Amy Buckland
  • Jonathan Cain
  • Eleanor Dickson
  • Anne Gaynor
  • Alex Gil
  • Julie Hardesty
  • Christina Harlow
  • Margaret Huang
  • Carrie Johnston
  • Jasmine Jones
  • Francis Kayiwa
  • Alix Keener
  • Drew Krewer
  • Anna Michelle Martinez-Montavon
  • Angel David Nieves
  • Erin Pappas
  • Christie Peters
  • Cat Phan
  • Kristen Regina
  • Michele Reilly
  • Barbara Rockenbach
  • Chelcie Rowell
  • Hannah Scates Kettler
  • Yasmeen Shorish
  • Amanda Visconti
  • Cecily Walker
  • Cynthia York
  • Stewart Varner

Please join us in thanking them for their service! If you have suggestions for this group as we work to make the Forum as safe, inclusive, welcoming, accessible, interesting, and fun for everyone as possible — please let us know! You are welcome to write to Oliver and/or Bethany privately and directly, or share messages for us to pass on to the group.

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