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Jenny Baker
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Practices for an Inclusive SIOP 2024 Conference

The SIOP Conference Inclusion Subcommittee

SIOP’s Conference Inclusion Subcommittee, under the leadership of Soner Dumani, brings together leaders from SIOP’s inclusion-focused committees. Each year, the Inclusion Subcommittee determines specific goals to ensure that the annual conference is inclusive and accessible to all SIOP attendees.

Here are just some of the inclusive practices for the upcoming annual conference in Chicago.

DIAC

The results of recent member surveys estimate that over 10% of SIOP’s membership reports living with a disability, including challenges such as sensory impairments, learning disabilities, long-term medical illnesses, mobility challenges, and mental health disorders. The Disability Inclusion and Accessibility Committee believes that SIOP’s members strive to help make the SIOP conference as accessible and inclusive as possible for all attendees. The actions to take, though, are not always clear or top of mind. DIAC has been working on several initiatives to make these behaviors clearer and easier to implement. Here’s what you’ll find at this year’s conference:

  • Presentation Accessibility Guidelines. Formerly called the Presenter Toolkit, the Presentation Accessibility Guidelines feature general tips and explicit instructions for making your presentations or posters, whether online or live, more universally accessible. These guidelines range from font sizes to layout, captioning to descriptions of graphs, and more. Please consider these guidelines as you put together your materials and give your presentations.
  • Podium reminders. Presenters and session chairs this year will find a quick-tip reminder at the podium for how to turn on captioning, always use the microphone, and to kindly move postsession conversation away from the front of the room to allow reasonable time for the next session to not be rushed.
  • Preconference tours. After last year’s successful preconference tour of the facilities, we have added one more! Tours will be on Wednesday from 4–5 pm and Thursday from 8:30–9:30 am. These tours are for anyone who has concerns about accessibility features of the venue, who is new to SIOP and would like to get the lay of the land, or any who would just feel more comfortable after walking around and getting familiar with things with a friendly group. We will highlight the sites of the main conference events, the elevators, escalators, and stairs, and various spaces that have been reserved for quiet, prayer, and lactation. Please see the website to sign up for a spot.
  • Reserved Seating. There will be reserved seats for those who need them at the front and back of the session rooms.

LGBTQ+

SIOPs LGBTQIA+ Committee continues to grow every year and is thrilled to be fully engaged with this year’s conference. As part of our collaborative work with the Inclusion Subcommittee, this year the registration desk will be equipped with pronoun stickers to include on your conference badge (read more about pronouns here) as part of ongoing efforts to foster inclusion. These are by no means required but are included as an option should conference attendees want to include them on their badges. These stickers should be readily available at registration where badge printing occurs.

WIN

The SIOP Women Inclusion Network (WIN) is excited about seeing everyone again this year in Chicago! In collaboration with the Conference Inclusion Subcommittee, the WIN Committee will be providing a lactation room again at the conference center for our members to use. We made some improvements to the room based on the 2023 conference feedback we received from you. These updates include (a) a dedicated private space that is convenient for members to access, which will be located behind the conference registration area; (b) a visible “Lactation Room” sign next to the room that uses a more inclusive language; (c) extended access hours to all day on Saturday; and (d) improved the quality and usability of the room by providing items such as armchairs, pillows, blankets, and a mini fridge.

MVI

The SIOP Military & Veterans Inclusion (MVI) Committee is happy to celebrate our inaugural year as an SIOP standing committee with everyone in Chicago! MVI has collaborated with the Conference Inclusion Subcommittee to ensure that everyone can find relief from the sometimes overwhelming feel of the conference by offering self-reflection/quiet rooms. These rooms will provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of the conference to those who may not feel comfortable in crowds, have anxiety or PTSD, or simply need to take a bit of time for themselves. These rooms will be open to everyone, but we do ask that “library rules” apply.

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