Accessibility and Inclusion Resources—AERA 2023 Annual Meeting

2023 Annual Meeting 
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Accessibility and Inclusion Resources and Policies

Report an Incident or Concern
AERA takes seriously any form of harassment, discrimination, or unwelcome conduct at its meetings and events. To report an incident or a concern about inappropriate behavior during the Annual Meeting, contact or (202) 238-3222.

Ensuring an Inclusive and Welcoming Environment

AERA is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, welcoming, and productive environment for all AERA Meetings and Events. The aim of AERA meetings and convenings is to accomplish the purposes of the event in a way that supports the presence of all participants or attendees. AERA expects that activities held under its auspices, whether in-person or virtual, promote the full participation or engagement and belonging of all attendees, and are free of harassment, unwelcoming or exclusionary conduct, or discriminatory actions or innuendo. AERA expects those speaking at or leading such activities or those participating in them to value and support the diverse, inclusive community that the Association strives to be and that its mission seeks to advance.

As an association, AERA is committed to inclusion and values the contributions that attendees with disabilities bring to our research community. As outlined in the AERA Disability Access Statement, each presenter, chair, participant, attendee, and vendor at the Annual Meeting has a role to play in working together to create an inclusive meeting environment.

Accessibility Features at the Annual Meeting

AERA is committed to making the Annual Meeting welcoming and accessible for all attendees.

The place-based 2023 Annual Meeting in Chicago on April 13–16 will feature designated Quiet Rooms for persons who desire a quiet place to relax or prepare for a presentation. AERA will be offering subsidized rates for on-site childcare for meeting registrants. In partnership with conference hotels, there will be several designated gender-inclusive restrooms in several hotels.

Sign language interpretation and captioning will be provided for all plenaries and selected other major sessions, including the Opening Plenary, the Presidential Address, the AERA Distinguished Lecture, the Wallace Foundation Distinguished Lecture, the Social Justice in Education Award Lecture, and the AERA Awards Ceremony, among other sessions. For the virtual meeting on May 4–5, AI captioning (i.e., computer-generated) will be provided for all sessions except poster sessions delivered through the virtual platform. A shuttle bus for attendees with disabilities will provide transportation between meeting venues.

The AERA i-Presentation Gallery, which will host 2023 electronic presentation of papers accepted for poster sessions as well as other paper presentations, has been given special attention to access. Key features include accessibility controls for attendees with visual impairments, as well as high-resolution images with alt text for text-to-speech readers, high-definition videos with captioning, and video or audio narrations with transcripts.

How to Request Accessibility Services

Upon request, AERA will provide presenters and attendees with tailored services throughout the place-based meeting and the virtual platform in order to maximize participation in substantive sessions, the exhibit hall, business meetings, on-site receptions and social events, and informal networking opportunities, excluding affiliate group events. Services provided to attendees include, for example, ASL interpretation, captioning, a reader for an attendee with a visual disability, a motorized scooter or an assistant for an attendee with a mobility impairment, shuttle transportation between meeting venues, etc.

Individuals registering for the Annual Meeting may request accessibility services at the time of registration. Those who have already registered but did not indicate accessibility needs when registering should email to provide a brief overview of the services they require, noting the dates and times they will be attending the Annual Meeting. The AERA meetings team will follow up to request additional details and/or to provide specifics about the accessibility services attendees will receive.

If attendees are requesting ASL interpretation or captioning, they are asked to provide as complete a schedule as possible at least one week prior to the conference to ensure that interpreters and captioners will be available. Interpreters and captioners can and will remain flexible with schedule changes prior to and during the conference. AERA can accept additional on-site and virtual requests for ASL and live captioning services on a limited basis and will honor such requests to the extent possible dependent on the availability of stand-by ASL interpreters and captioners. Last-minute requests can be made at the AERA Accessibility Services Desk in the registration area of the AERA/Sorenson Interpreting and Captioning Center at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

Best Practices for Presenters, Chairs, and Attendees

Presenters, chairs, and attendees should ensure that Annual Meeting sessions and presentations are accessible for those with disabilities. Best practices include:

  • Provide an audio description of all slides, images, i-Presentations, and all other shared visual materials.
  • Speak at a moderate rate so that the interpreters/captioners can keep pace.
  • Whenever possible, presenters should keep their video on while presenting in virtual sessions for those who read lips.
  • During free-form discussion, individuals should say their name as they begin speaking.
  • On PowerPoint slides and i-Presentations, presenters should use sans serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana, and Tahoma, and a large font size, and use colors and fonts that have high contrast.
  • Avoid ableist language.
  • Avoid jargon and highly academic terms, since captioners and sign language interpreters, who are less likely to know these terms, must spell them out.

An Ongoing Commitment

Access is a work in progress and an ongoing commitment for AERA. The association is fully committed to making further headway in better inclusion this year and learning from any mistakes or missteps as AERA grows to do better now and in the future.