The 2019 CWPA Accessibility Guide

For a Printable PDF of this Guide, see the guide section on the "Accessibility for Presenters Page".

Table of Contents

Welcome
            Local Arrangements Team
            Accessibility Information
            Document Creation & Acknowledgements


Arriving in Baltimore

Baltimore Weather
Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)
Accessibility at BWI
Transportation from BWI to Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
Amtrak at Penn Station
Accessibility at Penn Station
Transportation from Penn Station to Marriott Waterfront

 

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront

General Hotel Information
Hotel Guest Accessibility
Parking and Access to Hotel from Parking Garage


Conference Information

Conference Location in the Hotel
Conference Accessibility
Conference Floorplan

 

Accessibility in Harbor East Area and Beyond

Local Mobility and Navigation
Baltimore Water Taxi
 

American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM)

        General Information
        Getting to AVAM
        AVAM Accessibility


Local Health and Well Being
 

Guidance for Accessible Presentations

Suggestions for Preparing and Delivering Accessible Presentations

Helpful Resources for Designing and Delivering Accessible Presentations

CWPA Position Statement on Accessibility


 

Welcome

Welcome to the Council of Writing Program Administrators 2019 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Members of the local organizing committee have assembled the following guide to provide all attendees information about travel to and within Baltimore, the conference hotel, and the area immediately surrounding the hotel. Specific attention has been given to accessibility in hopes that the information will aid attendees in preparing for and participating in the conference.

 

For details not covered in this guide or questions about any of this information, please contact Matt Dowell (mdowell@towson.edu).  The conference schedule can be accessed on the conference website.

Local Arrangements Team

Phaye Poliakoff-Chen (Local Arrangements Chair) – phaye.poliakoff-chen@goucher.edu

Charlee Sterling (Local Arrangements Co-Chair) – charlee.sterling@goucher.edu

Mark Blaauw-Hara (CWPA President) – mhara@ncmich.edu

Dominic DelliCarpini (CWPA Past President) - dcarpini@ycp.edu

Sherry Rankins-Robertson (CWPA Treasurer) – sjrobertson@ualr.edu

Matt Dowell (Conference Accessibility Coordinator) - mdowell@towson.edu

Jill Gladstein (Conference Registration) – jgladst1@swarthmore.edu

Katie Monthie (Webmaster, Guidebook) – kamon002@mail.goucher.edu

Anissa Sorokin (Guidebook) – asorokin@stevenson.edu

 

Accessibility Information

CWPA 2019 accessibility information will be available at the CWPA Accessibility Table in the Harborview Foyer on the hotel’s fourth floor, on the CWPA 2019 website, in this packet, and in the Guidebook app.
 

Document Creation and Acknowledgements

This document was researched and written by Emunah Serman and Matt Dowell. Additional research was conducted by Katie Monthie. Feedback and guidance provided by members of the CWPA Disability and Accessibility Committee including Bre Garrett (Chair) and Melissa Nicolas.

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Arriving in Baltimore

Baltimore Weather

Summers in Baltimore are hot and humid. Expect temperatures in the high 80s (possibly 90s) with occasional rain showers or scattered thunderstorms. Evening lows are normally in the low to mid 70s.
 

We recommend bringing a water bottle and sunscreen with you if you plan on exploring Baltimore during your stay.

Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)

Baltimore Washington International Airport is located 12 miles southeast of the Inner Harbor and conference hotel. Vehicle travel from the airport to the conference hotel can range from a half hour to well over an hour depending on the time of day and amount of traffic.

 

More information can be found on BWI’s website.


Upper- and lower-level airport terminal maps, both interactive and downloadable PDFs, can be found on the airport’s “wayfinding” website.


Accessibility at BWI

Lift-Equipped Shuttles

All BWI shuttles are wheelchair accessible and all drivers are trained in lift operation.

 

Service Animals

Two pet relief areas are located on each side of the security screening area.
 

TDD Devices

TDD devices are available on public telephones throughout the airport and at airport information desks.


Gender Neutral, Accessible Bathrooms

Unisex, accessible restrooms are located on the pre-security side of Concourse D near Hudson News.

BWI’s TSA Cares aids travelers that require additional assistance. It is recommended that you call three days before travel at 855.787.2227. Questions about accessibility at BWI can be directed to Leon Patterson in the airport’s ADA Office, 410.859.7242.


Transportation from BWI to Baltimore Marriott Waterfront

Transportation options from BWI to the conference hotel include rental car, ride hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, taxis, and light rail.

Car Rental 

10 Car Rental companies serve BWI. Arriving passengers should take the free shuttle from the lower level terminal to the car rental facility, 7432 New Ridge Rd., Hanover, MD. The car rental facility cannot be reached (safely) by foot.

Avis

410.859.1680

www.avis.com 

Alamo

410.859.8092

www.alamo.com

Budget

410.691.2913

www.budget.com

Dollar

410.850.7112

www.dollar.com

Enterprise

800.325.8007

www.enterprise.com

Hertz

410.850.7400

www.hertz.com

National

410.859.8092

www.nationalcar.com

Next Car

410.461.1500

www.nextcarrental.com

Payless

410.859.1800

www.paylesscar.com

Thrifty

410.850.7112

www.thrifty.com

 

Rideshare App Pick-up

Drivers from Lyft or Uber pick up and drop off passengers near terminals. The cost is estimated at approximately $35 and may increase due to demand.
 

Taxis

Taxis can be found on the lower level of the airport near baggage claim. The estimated fare is $45. Visit the BWI airport taxi website or call 410.859.1100 for more information.

 

MTA Light Rail

*MTA Light Rail will not deliver you to the hotel’s immediate vicinity*
*Please see detour information below*
 

The MTA Light Rail station is located near Concourse E on the lower level. A one-way fare is $1.90. Credit cards and cash are accepted at the self-service ticket kiosks. All change provided to larger bills is in coin form, including dollar coins.

Light Rail hours of operation at BWI are:

 

Monday through Friday

First Arrival: 4:45 a.m.

Final Departure: 12:40 a.m.

Saturday

First Arrival: 5:05 a.m.

Final Departure: 12:45 a.m.

Sunday and Holidays

First Arrival: 10:35 a.m.

Final Departure: 8:40 p.m.

 

To head in the direction of the conference hotel, take the Light Rail toward Hunt Valley, as listed on the digital signage at the station and on the train cars. For return travel to BWI, board BWI-signed trains on the west side of the Convention Center stop (or any Howard St. stop).

 

Travel between BWI and the Convention Center takes approximately 40 minutes. Please note that the Convention Center stop is located 1.2 miles from the Conference hotel (see below for travel options). A trip planner can be found on the MTA’s Light Rail scheduling website.


For more information please visit the MTA Light Rail website or call 410.539.5000.
 

Travel From Convention Center Stop

Pedestrian travel from the Convention Center stop to the conference hotel will take 20-25 minutes and covers 1.2 miles. Lyft, Uber, and taxis are also available from the Convention Center stop. A Lyft will run $8-$20 depending on time of travel and demand.

 

Pedestrian Directions from Convention Center Stop

The closest intersection to the Light Rail stop is S Howard St and W Pratt St. To get to the conference hotel, cross Howard Street heading east on Pratt (Convention Center should appear on your right). Continue roughly 1 mile. Turn right on E Falls Ave, a brick pedestrian roadway, immediately after crossing over water.  Continue .4 of a mile and take a left on Aliceanna St. The hotel’s main entrance will be on your left.

 

To reduce the number of vehicle intersections you must navigate on Pratt St., alternatively, access the Inner Harbor pedestrian area via a series of crosswalks after crossing Light St. The walking surface in the Inner Harbor is smooth brick, though it features a number of minor inclines and pedestrian bridges over small water channels. You will cross three peninsulas via bridges before arriving at E. Falls Ave. Turn right and continue .4 of a mile. Take a left on Aliceanna St. The hotel’s main entrance will be on your left.
 

**Possibility of Minor Light Rail and Pedestrian Detours ** – As of Friday, July 12th, the presence of two large sinkholes continued to complicate travel in downtown Baltimore, including at the intersection of S Howard and W Pratt Streets. Recommended detours are:

 

Light Rail: Exit the light rail at the Camden stop. This is one stop/one intersection south of the Convention Center stop. It is immediately outside Camden Yards baseball stadium. As of July 12th, all passengers are being required to exit northbound trains at this stop.
 

Pedestrian Travel to Hotel from Light Rail: From the Camden stop, cross over Howard Street on Conway Street, walking away from the baseball stadium. Continue on Conway Street until crossing over Light St. Take a left after Light St., walking north. From this point you can follow the instructions above for travel either 1) on Pratt St. or 2) through the Inner Harbor pedestrian area.
 

Driving Directions from Airport

The following directions have been edited for clarity from driving directions provided on the hotel website. Google Maps offers multiple routes and the recommended route may change due to traffic volume. Some routes require tolls, though the one listed below does not.

 

As described above, a number of downtown roads are closed (as of July 12th) due to two large holes caused by water main breaks. Detours have been posted on the roadways.

 

Directions
Take Route 170 to I-195W. Take exit 2A onto I-295 North (Baltimore-Washington Parkway) toward Baltimore. In Baltimore, the Parkway becomes a surface street that quickly changes name from Russell Street to Eislen Street to Paca Street. Continue on this surface road past Camden Yards (the baseball stadium), passing Camden Street, and then turn right onto Pratt Street.

 

Continue through approximately twelve traffic lights to President Street. Turn right onto President Street. Continue through two traffic lights. After the second traffic light, get into the right lane. Continue through a third traffic light in this lane. You will enter into a traffic circle, in which you want to take the immediate first right exit onto Aliceanna Street. The hotel entrance is on the right. The parking garage is accessed via an unnamed alley on the right before the hotel.

 

Amtrak at Penn Station

Amtrak services the Baltimore downtown area via arrivals and departures at Penn Station, 1500 North Charles Street, 21202. The station is located approximately 2 miles from the conference hotel.

 

Accessibility at Penn Station

Accessible Features

Penn Station features wheelchair accessible restrooms, water fountains and ticket windows. An elevator is available from the ground floor to access the waiting/boarding level.


Wheelchairs and Baggage Assistance

Wheelchairs are available upon request. Baggage assistance is provided free of charge by Red Cap.

Arrival at Station

Amtrak suggests arriving 45 minutes before departure if you need assistance or are checking baggage. For those not checking baggage, Amtrak suggests arriving 30 minutes before departure.

 

For additional information, contact Amtrak at 800.872.7245 or visit the Amtrak website for Penn Station.

Transportation from Penn Station to Marriott Waterfront

Travel from Penn Station to the hotel can be made via taxi, Lyft, Uber, or Light Rail.

Taxi

Taxis can be found immediately outside the station entrance. There is no need to call ahead.

 

App Rides

A Lyft would start around $12, increasing depending on demand. Drivers are able to pick up and drop off passengers at Penn Station.


Bus

No direct bus route exists between Penn Station and the conference hotel.

 

Light Rail

Please see information under Travel from BWI for general information about MDOT Light Rail. Riders would take the Light Rail from within Penn Station to the Convention Center stop, following options to continue to the hotel described in section above. You’ll likely find this routing option to be an inefficient use of your time. Detours may be in place because of road and Light Rail station closures downtown.

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Baltimore Marriot Waterfront

Conference Hotel, 700 Aliceanna St, 21202

General Information

The hotel accepts all major credit cards. Check-in is 4 p.m. and check-out is noon. Guests have free access to the fitness center, pool, sauna, and lounge areas. A UPS store is located in the hotel, and an ATM is available in the lobby. Boarding passes can be printed in the lobby. The hotel is non-smoking. For more information, call 410.385.3000 or visit the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront’s website.

Hotel Guest Accessibility

Accessible Guest Rooms

Accessible guest rooms are available that include grab bars in bathrooms, roll-in showers, lowered deadbolts, and accessible outlets. Accessible rooms were being renovated during the early summer, according to the hotel, so photos were unavailable. For questions about accessible guest rooms, please contact the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, 410.385.3000.


Accessible Entrances

The hotel includes accessible entrances at the main entrance and to the fitness center and all meeting rooms. Many of the exterior entrances are not accessible due to steps and lack of push activation buttons. The main entrance is the best entrance to use for accessibility.


Fragrance

The Marriot Waterfront pipes fragrance in hallways throughout the hotel.
 

Parking and Access to Hotel from Parking Garage

Parking for hotel guests is available in the parking garage located off of the unnamed alley between the traffic loop and hotel on Aliceanna St. Accessible parking is available on each parking level nearest the elevator. To access the hotel, follow the directions in the elevator. To travel from the parking garage to the hotel requires navigating a ramp (pictured below) and a small series of steps. The steps can be avoided via use of an elevator.
 

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Conference Information

Conference Location in the Hotel

The conference will take place on the hotel’s fourth floor. Elevators and escalators are both available. Registration will be located across from the escalator. If you are taking the elevator to the fourth floor, registration will be to the left. Directional information and signage are located throughout the hotel. Conference details will be provided on the digital screen near the elevators and rooms will have schedule information posted outside the door.

Conference Accessibility

Fragrances

Please refrain from wearing fragrances.
 

Keynote Session Captioning

Real-time translation (CART) will be provided for the following sessions:

Thursday Keynote Address, 6:45 p.m.

Friday Lunch Awards Ceremony, Noon

Saturday Lunch Panel Discussion, Noon

Captioning is provided by Vital Signs in part through sponsorship from Towson University’s College of Liberal Arts and its Dean, Terry Cooney.

 

Microphones

Microphones will be circulated by CWPA persons for use during the large sessions. Microphones aid all attendees in hearing questions and comments.

 

Accessible Presentations

Please see the section on page 27 for guidelines for creating accessible presentations. Making individual sessions accessible is the collective responsibility of all presenting CWPA members.

 

Accessibility Assistance and Information Table

The CWPA Disability and Accessibility Committee will staff an accessibility information table throughout the conference in the Harborview Foyer (see floorplan, next page). Those staffing the table are able to assist with accessibility including answering questions about conference and hotel accessibility, accessible presentations, and the ongoing work of the committee itself.

 

Accessible Restrooms

Both sets of restrooms on the 4th floor are accessible.
 

Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

Gender-neutral bathrooms are located next to Laurel D. These bathrooms feature lockable stalls with full-length privacy doors and sides.

Conference Floorplans

 

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Accessibility in Harbor East Area and Beyond

The following info is provided to aid all conference attendees in moving around the areas immediately surrounding the conference hotel. Each item is numbered, and the number corresponds to the maps included on the next page. All information was accurate as of June 27.

Accessible Entrances

A number of entrances to the hotel are not accessible. The main entrance on Aliceanna St. is the best accessible entrance to the hotel (1).

 

Surface Materials

You will encounter surfaces composed of various materials (concrete, pavers, etc.) in Harbor East, the Inner Harbor, and surrounding areas. The vast majority of these surfaces are level. One exception is the historic brick crosswalks in the Fells Point area (2). These are quite uneven. The sidewalks in Fells Point are level concrete but the crosswalks are not in most cases.


Pedestrian Bridges

Two bridges cross the Inner Harbor canal (the home of Mr. Trash Wheel) to provide access to downtown. The Eastern Ave. bridge (3b) offers a less steep incline than the pedestrian bridge closer to the hotel (3a).
 

All-Weather Decking

The all-weather decking between Azumi (a restaurant) and the Harbor south of the conference hotel is very slippery when wet (4). This decking cannot be avoided for persons in this area due to construction. Please proceed with caution.
 

Major Road Construction

Ongoing major road construction is occurring to the east of the hotel. It is recommended that you avoid the intersection at Aliceanna Street and S Central Avenue due to sidewalk closings (5). Access east of this area is provided via a covered sidewalk on Lancaster Street or via the S Central Ave bridge to Dock Street. The entrance to the covered sidewalk is narrow due to an inconveniently placed light pole that bisects the walking path (6). The S Central Ave bridge (7) features an upward incline when moving from North to South (right hand turn from Lancaster onto the S Central Ave bridge/overpass).

Baltimore Water Taxi

The Baltimore Water Taxi (#8 on previous maps) is a unique way to travel around the greater Inner Harbor area. Unfortunately, the accessibility of the various water taxi stops varies greatly. The stop directly outside the conference hotel requires navigation of a steep metal ramp (pictured).

 

For information about routes, times of operation, and fares visit the Baltimore Water Taxi website.


[Alt-Text: Pictured is a metal ramp with a steep incline down to the water taxi’s boarding dock. Mr. Trash Wheel, a mechanical tool used to collect liter in the harbor, is in the background.]

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American Visionary Art Museum

Saturday Outing, 800 Key Hwy, 21230

8pm – 10pm

General Information

The CWPA Conference outing will be held at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). The museum has three buildings that will be available for use during this time. The main building that the conference will be using is called the Jim Rouse Visionary Center and dessert will be provided. CWPA conference participants have access to the museum exhibits for the duration of the outing.

Non-flash photography is permitted.

For more information, visit the American Visionary Art Museum website or call 410.244.1900.

 

Getting to AVAM

Two buses have been reserved for the duration of the event. Buses will run on a continuous loop between the conference hotel and AVAM beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Driving takes approximately 15 minutes (assuming some traffic) and walking will take 20-30 minutes over mostly flat ground with a mixture of hard, smooth surfaces.

Metered parking is located on Covington Street and Key Highway. Please keep in mind that meters are always in effect.

 

AVAM Accessibility

General Area

Curb cuts are located at the intersection of Key Highway and Covington Street, at the intersection of Key Highway and Ponte Villa N, and in the middle of the block near the entrance to the Jim Rouse Visionary Center. The area behind the museum buildings is cluttered with construction debris which may make accessing the accessible sidewalk challenging. When moving between buildings, the area behind the Sculpture Barn requires navigation of a small staircase.

Jim Rouse Visionary Center Restrooms

The restrooms in the JRVC are not accessible due to narrow stall size.

 

Main Museum

The front entrance to the museum building is wheelchair accessible. To access the museum’s exhibition spaces, visitors must navigate a lengthy ramp immediately inside the main entrance (see picture). This ramp’s surface is divided between smooth carpet and hard tile flooring. The ramp includes a less inclined portion near the halfway point, though this section is not entirely flat. Access to the elevators requires navigation of this ramp. Wheelchairs are available at the front desk.

Accessible restrooms are located on the bottom and 3rd floors. The hallway door to the bottom floor restrooms features a latch handle. The hallway door to the 3rd floor restrooms includes a door pull.

[Alt-text: The above picture shows the gradually rising yet also lengthy ramp from the museum’s main lobby to the first floor exhibition space. The surface on the right is carpet laid on top of a hard tile surface. The left side of the ramp is hard tile. The ramp curves very gradually to the left as it rises.]

 

The Sculpture Barn

Gender neutral restrooms will be available in the Sculpture Barn. The museum designates these bathrooms as wheelchair accessible but, as the photo on the next page shows, a cabinet may present navigation impediments. The Sculpture Barn is not air conditioned though large fans are provided.

 

[Alt-Text: The above pictures shows a wide, single-stall bathroom including a toilet and sink, though a cabinet is present on the right wall that may impede navigation.]
 

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Health & Well-Being

Hotel Amenities

The hotel provides for guests a 24-hour fitness room and a heated, indoor swimming pool. The pool is open 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

AA and NA Meetings

Various Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are available in the area. Meeting times vary. AA meeting times can be found on the Baltimore AA website. The website allows search by location, time, and day. Likewise, NA meeting times can be found on the Baltimore NA website.

Nearby Pharmacies

CVS Pharmacy (.4 miles)           

630 S. Exeter St., Baltimore, MD 21202

410.962.6520

Open Hours:

Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 

Walgreens Pharmacy (1.3 miles)     

301 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD, 21202 (at Mercy Medical Center)

410.625.2618

Open Hours:

Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, Closed

 

Mt. Vernon Pharmacy (.9 miles)   

421 Fallsway, Baltimore, MD 21202

410.962.1100

Open Hours:

Monday – Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, Closed

Nearest Hospital

Johns Hopkins Hospital     

1800 Orleans St., Baltimore, MD, 21287

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Guidance for Accessible Presentations

This year’s conference theme, “More Seats at the Table,” necessitates that everyone join in to promote access and create what the conference CFP refers to as “radical inclusion.” We can do it! CWPA’s commitment to accessibility for all members begins with each of us—and the important work of delivering accessible presentations must occur alongside project invention—as we make and design our materials.
 

Suggestions for Preparing and Delivering Accessible Presentations

The more accessible your presentation is, the more likely your ideas are to reach all people who attend your sessions.

Specific actions for creating an accessible presentation and materials include:

- Providing alternative formats at the beginning of your panel, including large-print (18 pt.) copies.
 

- Considering readability of presentation visuals in relation to font size, colors, contrast, etc.
 

- Bringing materials to audience members so not to assume everyone can move easily to get them.
 

- Sharing your materials online to allow further engagement with your ideas including by those people not at the conference.
 

- Describing presentation visuals and images as part of your spoken presentation.
 

- Inviting audience members to submit written questions to diversify how conference participants can interact in your session.

 

Helpful Resources for Designing and Delivering Accessible Presentations

The website Composing Access, a collaborative project out of the Ohio State University, provides advice and direction on both creating and delivering accessible presentations. For suggestions on presentation space, handout design, digital access, and scripts, please visit the Preparing your Presentation page. For suggestions on delivering accessible presentations, visit the During the Conference page.

 

Tara Wood provides detailed feedback on preparing a script, designing audio/visual elements, and interacting with sign interpreters or transcriptionists in this 2-page, downloadable handout, Preparing an Accessible Presentation.

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CWPA Position Statement on Accessibility

Revised 8.6.13

 

CWPA promotes a participatory designed learning conference environment in which accessibility is the responsibility of all members with regard to writing program administration, the teaching of writing, and scholarly delivery via conference platforms, print & digital publications, and so forth. As an organization that researches writing and rhetorical theories, pedagogical praxis, assessment, methodologies, teacher-training, writing across the curriculum, issues of stigma, and writing in the disciplines, we value the opportunities that differences and diversity afford to explore a more capacious understanding of communication and the available means of persuasion. We hold a core value to deliver textual spaces to which all audiences are able to respond. In this Position Statement, the CWPA puts forth policies that aim to open access and invite varied means of participation by all members and audiences and to recognize the rights of the disabled as one of civil rights.

 

The CWPA Disabilities Committee commits to the following policies:

 

Following the policy establish by CCCC, the CWPA maintains the following policies regarding (dis)abilities:

 

- The CWPA affirms the CCCC position that “students, staff, and faculty on college campuses include people with a wide range of visible and invisible disabilities--cognitive, learning, emotional, psychological, and physical” (CCC Position Statement on

Disability).
 

- The CWPA recognizes that people living with disabilities—indeed all people—add new perspectives on the term “diversity” in classrooms, in writing program administrative work, and on campus in general.

 

- The CWPA values the insights added to composition and rhetoric from the field of

Disabilities Studies and encourages WPAs, writing instructors, and writing tutors to   explore key issues in the field of composition and rhetoric in conjunction with

Disabilities Studies.

 

- The CWPA affirms the valuable perspectives on accessibility, inclusion, diversity, and difference that people with disabilities offer for scholarship in composition and rhetoric and writing program administration.

 

- The CWPA understands that physical and digital environments on campus and at professional meetings must be accessible and inclusive for all writing instructors, writing tutors, writing program administrators, staff, and students to participate.

 

- The CWPA encourages writing program administrators, writing center directors, and writing instructors to build inclusive curricula and promote flexible pedagogy premised on accessibility and meaningful engagement with difference.

The CWPA Disabilities Committee commits the following initiatives:

 

The CWPA commits to the following short-term goals:

 

- Renaming this committee as The Disability and Accessibility Committee

 

- Including an institute dedicated to accessibility and disability at future conferences

 

- Encouraging proposals for panels and presentations that deal specifically with accessibility and/or disability issues

 

- Making all events it hosts accessible to all members

 

- Communicating in conference documents--CFPs, Conference Program books, and the Conference website-- that all conference participants/attendees are responsible for Accessibility

 

- Hosting an “Accessibility Table” similar to the one at CCCC that offers suggestions on local attractions that are accessible, information about the accessibility of the area in general, details connected to accessibility at the conference, etc. This table could be staffed by a variety of attendees since accessibility is everyone’s job.

 

- Creating a space on all future conference registration pages that asks “How can we make your experience more accessible and/or successful?”

The CWPA commits to the following long-term goals:

 

- Devoting at least one part of the new WPA summer workshop to issues about accessibility and disability

 

- Creating training materials for WPAs on making their writing programs accessible and providing best practice guidelines for all

 

- Improving CWPA website accessibility by providing links for downloading free screenreading software, by providing information about accessing PDF files with screen reading software, and by permanently including on the website guidelines for how to take issues of disability and accessibility into consideration when planning a presentation (seecomposingaccess.net)

 

- Making CWPA publications available in multiple formats to make materials more accessible and more universally designed

 

- Encouraging more presenters to speak about universal design from a variety of perspectives.

 

- Having the site visit committee consult with a member of this committee to help evaluate the accessibility of future sites (perhaps this committee could also collaborate with local organizers) and provide this group with a checklist of items that should be evaluated at each site

 

- Inviting plenary speakers that address different issues of ability

 

- Creating a mentoring strand about disability and accessibility

 

- Distributing sessions about accessibility and disability more evenly through the program in order to avoid overlap and actively bringing these sessions to the awareness of conference attendees through an icon or some kind of marker

 

- Providing real time closed captioning for at least the plenary speakers

 

- Encouraging WPAs to be more proactive in reaching out to the services on their own campuses that address issues of ability and access so that this information can be shared departmentally

 

The Disabilities Committee recommends the following actions in 2014 to increase conference accessibility:

 

- We recommend that CWPA adapt conference presentation accessibility guidelines for all conference presenters published by the Society for Disability Studies, such as

 

o   Provide hard copy and large print hard copies (17 point font or larger) of all handouts used during the presentation on non-white paper

 

o   Provide an e-text version of papers, outlines and/or presentation materials such as PowerPoint slides and a summary of one’s presentation with a list of proper names, terminology and jargon in advance of their delivery (for open captioning, distribution to attendees who experience barriers to print, and to assist ASL interpreters with preparation)

 

o   Make allowances for a “Plan B”: consider bringing your presentation on a jump drive and projecting the text of your paper to enhance captioning

 

o   Provide audio-description of visual images, charts and video/DVDs, and/or open or closed captioning of films and video clips

 

o   Discuss with your audience prior to the delivery of your paper if an alternate physical design in the room would better accommodate all persons (i.e. a circular format would be more receptive for ASL interpretation)

 

o   Contribute to improving intellectual access at the conference: consider your presentation as an opportunity to engage your audience.

■ Avoid reading your paper.

■ Plan your presentation to accommodate captioning and ASL interpretation. Avoid using jargon and slow the pace of your presentation to allow time for eye contact and spelling proper names and terminology.

■ Speak at an appropriate, regular volume.

 

- We recommend that CWPA explore the feasibility of allowing individuals to present from remote locations via Skype, video files, or audio files (note: The Society for Disability Studies is “experimenting with ways to make our conference accessible to those who cannot travel while ensuring feasibility, reliability and accessibility for those attending the face-to-face meeting”)

 

- We recommend that CWPA publishes accessibility guidelines in multiple venues, including the conference CFP, the conference website, and in conference organizers’ communication to presenters

 

- We recommend that CWPA provides conference materials in multiple formats upon request, including text, large print, aural, standard contrast (for electronic texts), high contrast (electronic documents), PDF/HTML options

 

- We recommend that all future conference sites include a “quiet” or “comfortable” room for those who need a quiet break from the sessions.

 

- We request that future CWPA conferences have available for attendees an accessible business center or similar space providing printers and/or copiers for our use (perhaps this could be sponsored by a publisher).

 

- We suggest that future CWPA conferences host an “Accessibility Table” similar to the one at CCCC that offers suggestions on local attractions that are accessible, general information about the accessibility of the area in general, details connected to accessibility at the conference, etc. This table could be staffed by a variety of attendees since accessibility is everyone’s job.

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