Recently I was inspired to update my workshop agreement, a contract which outlines the responsibilities of myself (as the presenter/facilitator) and the folks who are hosting my workshops. This was the perfect opportunity to add clauses into my contract regarding accessibility for attendees who are disabled, nursing, and of diverse genders and sexualities. For those of you who have similar contracts, I encourage you to consider adding sections related to these needs as well:
- Handicapped accessible locations, parking and restrooms
- Reasonable heating/cooling control
- Availability of non-alcoholic drinks, especially if alcohol is sold or provided
- Open breast feeding policy, or dedicated space for breast feeding
- Sturdy chairs, some without arms and some with (for differing accessibility needs)
- Expectation that all genders and sexualities be welcome at all events
- Vending allowances which exclude toxic or body-unfriendly products
Sometimes it isn’t possible or desirable to meet all of these requirements. For example, I may be hosted by an organization on the third floor of an old building with no elevator, or the workshop may be designed specifically for a certain gender. However, my contract now requires that this be disclosed and agreed upon at the time of booking and that all promotional materials include this information. That’s right, accessibility is now a contracted default at all of my workshops, instead of a request. It’s about time! After all, it is the societal ignorance and bigotry that creates accessibility problems for those with disabilities, not the disability itself. Please consider joining me raising your requirements to meet these appropriate and oft neglected points.
Got suggestions for something I forgot or overlooked that can be readily addressed in a general contract like mine? Let me know!