Inclusivity Tips for Conference Speakers

I'm lucky enough to get invited to speak at a variety of conferences around the world.
After accepting a speaking invitation, and checking I'm not on an all-male line-up, I usually make one of the following requests to the organisers.

  • Thanks for inviting me. Can you let me know if the venue is wheelchair accessible?
  • So excited to be there. What are the crèche facilities going to be?
  • Looking forward to speaking. Will you be providing a sign-language interpreter?
  • Can't wait to see you. Please can you ensure that videos of the sessions have subtitles?
  • Here are the slides you requested. Does the venue have gender neutral toilets?
  • Cheers, I've booked my travel. What's the link to the Code of Conduct?

These aren't things which I necessarily need - but they're incredibly important for people who might feel nervous about making special requests.

I'm not saying you have to do all of these - or that these are the only issues you should care about. But pick something. Spend a few of your privilege points on making the event a bit more inclusive for everyone who attends.

Huge thanks to Charlotte Jee and Jemima Gibbons for encouraging me to write this post.

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