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DC 2019 - Accessibility at #ica19
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ICA Conference Inclusion and Accessibility

ICA is committed to creating an inclusive, accessible environment for all conference attendees. There are two ways to let us know of your needs:

  1. Indicate your needs via the “accessibility” question on the registration form
  2. Contact ICA Executive Director, Laura Sawyer, directly

Because of the lead time required to accommodate many requests, all requests must be received by 1 April 2019. Attendees who have not made advance arrangements for services or equipment can inquire at the ICA Registration Desk onsite. Every reasonable effort will be made to assist attendees onsite however, ICA may not be able to provide all services or equipment requested onsite due to availability or the time required to obtain them.

ADA-accessible sleeping rooms
ICA’s room block includes ADA-accessible sleeping rooms in each of the hotels in our housing block. Please contact Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director and Anthony Stewart, Experient Housing Supervisor, for assistance in booking into an accessible room.

Alcohol-related Events
ICA is making efforts to de-emphasize alcohol as a focus of social events in order to make socializing less stressful for those who are abstaining from alcohol consumption due to pregnancy, addiction, or other health-related issues, and will provide clearly marked, additional water-and-soft-drinks-only bars as part of the opening reception and other events. Divisions and interest groups, as well as satellite events such as university receptions, are encouraged to provide a non-alcoholic bar station as part of their events as well. For those who wish to attend meetings while in Washington DC, the Dupont Circle Club, a local Alcoholics Anonymous group with a robust schedule, meets at 1623 Connecticut Avenue NW, a seven-minute walk from the Washington Hilton. The Dupont Circle Club also hosts Narcotics Anonymous meetings in the same location, please check the schedule for details.

Bill W., Friends of
The Woodley Room (first floor, end of the hallway) will be available every morning of the conference from 7:00 to 7:45 (sessions begin at 8:00) for a daily Friends of Bill W. meeting.

Captioning/transcription services
Because of the sheer number of concurrent sessions (32 separate rooms at any given time), ICA does not automatically provide captioning for every session. However, we have a strong record of working with individuals who have specific needs to make sure that the sessions they plan to attend are made accessible to them. Please contact Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, to discuss your needs.

Childcare
Availability of affordable and accessible childcare is an inclusion issue that ICA takes very seriously. Now entering its third year, “ICA Kids” is available for parents in need of childcare during conference hours. To provide this service, ICA is once again partnering with KiddieCorp, a highly respected national company with a 33-year history of providing childcare for conferences and events (we also used KiddieCorps at the ICA conference in San Diego, to rave reviews!). More information on how to sign up for childcare is forthcoming. The childcare room will be onsite at the Washington Hilton.

Comfort Room/Quiet Room
The Woodley Room (first floor) has been designated as a comfort room/quiet room for use by attendees requiring a respite from meeting activities. Please note that this room is not to be used for meetings, conversation, or phone calls. The room is available for Quiet Room use from 8:00 to 18:00 each day.

Presentations
Each presentation or session should be designed and conducted with the full participation of all in mind. ICA suggests that all presenters review the Accessibility Guidelines for Presentations from the Society for Disability Studies and take the steps necessary to make all programming accessible to their respective audiences.

Exercise facilities and pool
ICA has requested expanded hours for the hotels’ exercise facilities and pool in order to accommodate large numbers of attendees. More details on exact schedule to come. The Hilton’s exercise and pool facilities are disability accessible areas.

Fragrance-Free Environment
ICA requests that all participants refrain from wearing perfume, cologne and other fragrances, and use unscented personal care products in order to promote a fragrance-free environment for the benefit of attendees with multiple chemical sensitivities.

Gender-neutral Restrooms
ICA has designated gender-neutral restroom facilities on each level of the Washington Hilton. These restroom facilities are available for use by all persons, regardless of their gender identity. The facilities will be marked with green door signage. Please help make these facilities and this meeting an inclusive space for transgender and gender non-conforming attendees by respecting the right of all genders to use them. Single-gender restrooms will also be available on each level. Gender-neutral restroom locations in the Hilton:

  • First floor: end of the hall, between Woodley and Van Ness Rooms.
  • Lobby level: across from Heights Courtyard, next to Holmead Room.
  • Terrace level: International Terrace East, next to Albright Room.
  • Concourse level: next to the Monroe Room.

Harassment
ICA takes its attendees’ and members’ safety seriously. If you experience harassment of any kind during the ICA conference, please contact Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, immediately with your concerns so that ICA staff may assist you. You may also feel free to enlist the aid of hotel staff or security, who will coordinate with ICA staff in addressing the issue.

Hotel Accessibility
Every area of the Hilton is accessible by both elevator and stairwell, and escalators also connect three of the public levels. In addition, the hotel offers:

  • ADA Accessible Rooms.
  • Accessible business center, concierge desk, and exercise facility.
  • Accessible guest rooms with mobility features with entry or passage doors that provide 32” (81 cm) of clear width.
  • Accessible hotel restaurant.
  • Accessible parking spaces for cars in the self-parking facility.
  • Accessible swimming pool.
  • Closed captioning on guest room televisions.
  • Service support animals welcome.
  • TTY for guest use.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Hotline
When in the US, individuals with a need for intervention and assistance with mental health and/or substance abuse issues can also call the helpline for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association at +1(800)662-HELP. The helpline provides services in English and Spanish.

Nursing/Lactation Room
ICA has designated a private room for parents with lactation needs. The “family room,” located on the Terrace level near the elevator bank (across from the events office), has a door code and a do not disturb sign to deploy when in use. The room is equipped with comfortable chairs, low lighting, and a mini refrigerator. Guests who are staying in the Hilton may also request a complimentary mini-fridge for their sleeping room for the storage of breastmilk. Please contact Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, for the room code.

Yoga
ICA plans to provide yoga classes each morning of the conference once again this year. Yoga can help with combating stress, providing an avenue for self-care and body awareness before spending the day sitting in hotel chairs, and centering the mind. Classes are free of charge. More details to come.

Should a Problem Arise While You are Onsite at the ICA Meeting
If you have any problem or negative experience related to accessibility, including issues with housing, meeting sessions, or any other accessibility-related issue, please email Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, at lsawyer@icahdq.org. In addition to meeting these needs, we keep a record of all requests and our ability to meet them in order to improve each year; we also provide feedback on accessibility issues to our hotel partners and the cities in which we meet.

ICA welcomes your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact the ICA staff at anytime.

Contact

International Communication Association
1500 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036 USA

Phone: (202) 955-1444

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