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Updates from WisCon’s Access Team

Greetings from Accessland, a magical realm where volunteers work behind the scenes to make WisCon accessible for as many humanoids as possible. We’d like to take a moment to remind our attendees of WisCon’s Access-related policies and opportunities, so we can all make the most of a wonderful weekend. Some of this may be old news to long-time con-goers, but I promise there’s at least one new thing below! We invite you to read more at http://wiscon.net/policies/accessibility/. In no particular order:
  1.  I’m blue, daba-dee, daba-dah. WisCon uses blue painter’s tape to mark areas of the convention space for various users, including squares on the floors of panel rooms for wheelchair parking, slashes on chairs near the fronts of panel rooms for those who who need to be close to hear or see, and 6th-floor aisle markings to keep travel lanes clear. It takes volunteer power to mark and upkeep these markings throughout the convention. If you’d like to help with the Blue Tape Crew, please sign up by filling out our online form, or emailing access@wiscon.net.
  2. Oo oo, that smell. WisCon asks con-goers to please consider those with allergies or chemical sensitivities by minimizing strong scents at the con, be it perfumes, incense, cigarette smoke, or similar. Unfortunately, the convention space is not a fragrance-free zone, but WisCon takes steps to minimize strong scents, including providing scent-free soaps in the restrooms. Keep these practices in mind when donating clothing to the Gathering’s clothing swap—washing donations with scent-free detergents before the convention will make the swap more awesome for everyone!
  3. In my room, in my room. WisCon can be overwhelming at times, so we offer a Quiet Room on the 2nd floor where attendees can get some peaceful respite. We also offer three Safer Spaces rooms for people of color, people with disabilities, and people who are trans/genderqueer. Other relaxing escapes are available, like sitting in on a reading or taking a stroll through nearby parks.
  4. I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas. Don’t let the hanger consume you; consume some of WisCon’s goodies instead! We try to accommodate as many eaters as possible, whether vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or just on a tight budget, we have plenty of options for you. The Friday Bake Sale, Sunday Dessert Salon, and free snacks and meals at the Consuite will have major allergens marked, but are not entirely nut-free if you have severe allergies.
  5. I got two turntables and a microphone. WisCon works hard so that everyone can read and listen how they read and listen best. We offer CART captioning at the Guests of Honor speeches and at select panels, as well as limited ASL interpreting. With a heads-up before May 1st, we can also provide large-print or Braille versions of our Souvenir Program Book. Larger panel rooms are equipped with microphones, and we remind our panelists not to cover their mouths when speaking, for the benefit of audience members who lip-read. Descriptions of the visual components of panels will benefit audience members who are blind or low-vision.
  6. I like to move it, move it. WisCon wants to make it as easy to get around the convention space as possible. Because events take place on multiple floors, many attendees use the hotel’s elevators to move around. If you can take the stairs, please do, to alleviate traffic to the elevators for those who need them! Additionally, WisCon provides shuttles to our off-site Thursday night reading. We encourage a visit to the Welcome table at the Gathering on Friday to learn more about getting around the convention.
  7. Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it? This WisCon 42 will be the convention’s first year offering a Tactile Art Tour of our Art Room. With a dozen artists participating, we’re excited for a new way to experience the art showcased at the convention. Details are still being ironed out, so stay tuned!
Questions? Concerns? Forget to request an accommodation, or want to make a suggestion? Email us at access@wiscon.net. We look forward to creating a stellar experience with you at WisCon 42!

Update Your Availability for Panels for WisCon 42 by Friday, March 30th!

We love that so many people sign-up to be panelists every year!

What we need now is your availability so we can schedule panels at the best time for all the panelists.

You will need a WisCon account in order to view the availability form. If you don’t have an account, create one at the “Create Your Account” page. For those with an account already created, go to “Log in to My Account” page. You should see the link to the form once you have logged into your account.

Please let us know your availability by March 30th!

As always, questions/concerns/feedback can be sent to program@wiscon.net.

Jackie Gross, Lead Panel Programming

JP Fairfield, Panel Programming

Jennifer Cross, Panel Programming

WisCon 42

Promote it at WisCon!

While generally we at WisCon are all about smashing capitalism, we know we’re all complicit in it too. Whether you need WisCon to help you advertise your self published shape shifter erotica or want to sell your handmade epic-fantasy-inspired pendants, we have several opportunities for raising your profile at WisCon. Some ways to promote at WisCon require attendance, and some do not. Some are inexpensive and some are less so—thought we think you will find costs competitive! We hope there is something that will help you no matter how deep your pockets.

  • Sponsorship and Advertising:

WisCon has several sponsorships available—these are more high-profile sponsorship spots this year, a fantastic opportunity for businesses to help the con in a concrete and visible way. We also have several sizes and tiers of advertising in our Souvenir Program Book. You can read more about sponsorship and advertising, as well as glance over our rates sheet, here: http://wiscon.net/promote-it-at-wiscon/advertising/.

Advertisements are due April 1, and sponsorships will close when they are gone.

  • Dealer’s Room:

Our Dealer’s Room is a smorgasbord of books, toys, jewelry, and and other items relevant to explorations of feminism, gender, race, class, and disability. If you think you’d like a table to sell items, check out our application here: http://wiscon.net/events/dealers-room/

Applications are due March 15.

  • Parties:

Panels are nice and all, but for anyone who wants a more informal WisCon experience, parties are where it’s at. We are particularly enthusiastic about parties with a history at WisCon as well as parties that are promoting other cons, SF groups, book & author promotional parties, and other events. If you’d like to celebrate a publication, your new publishing business, etc, look into hosting a party: http://wiscon.net/programming/parties/.

Applications are due March 15.

  • Freebies:

While we do not give away swag bags at WisCon—due to our sustainability initiative—we do have several freebie tables in our registration area for the placement of fliers, stickers, buttons, advance reading copies, etc. We do not require an application for freebies, though we do reserve the right to review whether to distribute materials based on our guiding principles. You can read more here: http://wiscon.net/promote-it-at-wiscon/freebie-tables/

Freebies are accepted from late April through the week before WisCon.

  • Fan Tables:

We have a limited number of free-to-use tables in the high traffic area at the entrance of the Dealer’s Room. Groups sign up for these tables to staff them—preference is given to groups whose projects support marginalized groups or are relevant to explorations of feminism, gender, race, class, and disability. You can read more here: http://wiscon.net/promote-it-at-wiscon/fan-tables/.

Applications due March 1.