Accessibility Policy

Can-Con is committed to making the convention enjoyable and welcoming for everyone. If you have a question or concern before or during the event, please contact Kate Heartfield, Can-Con’s accessibility liaison, at kate@heartfieldfiction.com. If you can’t reach or find Kate, please ask a con volunteer or organizer to get a message to her.

Please also contact Kate before the convention, if possible, if you require specific assistance or supports. Can-Con may not be able to accommodate all requests but we will do what we can to make sure everyone can attend and have a safe and enjoyable convention.

After the event, Kate would very much like to hear your feedback or suggestions about how Can-Con could improve its accessibility in future years. Feedback from 2016 and 2017 has helped us identify priorities, so keep it coming! We’ve been thrilled to see how the overall level of community support for a culture of accessibility.

Can-Con asks its attendees to refrain from wearing scented products such as perfumes,  colognes and lotions, out of consideration for other guests.

We ask all attendees to be aware of the visible and invisible needs of others, to make space, show respect and accommodate. Moderators can do their part by making sure panels end on time, to leave plenty of time for everyone to make it to their next destination.

Can-Con 2018 accessibility information:

Main entrance and overall layout: The accessible entrance to the Sheraton is near the valet parking sign just to the east of the main doors. Most con events are on the second floor, accessible by elevator. On higher floors, you’ll find the consuite and party rooms, and the new-to-us programming room in the penthouse. The penthouse is accessible but it has one major issue to be aware of: After you get out of the regular elevators, there’s a short staircase leading up to the room. For anyone who needs it, there is an elevator beside the stairs, with an operator, that can take one or two people at a time up that final level.

The restaurant/bar is accessible and on the ground level. The hotel is easy to get to by public transit and cabs, and parking at the World Exchange Centre across the street is free on Saturdays and Sundays.

Washrooms: The washrooms on the convention floor are accessible with push buttons inside and out, and large stalls. There is a non-pushbutton door between the area where the women’s washroom is and the main convention space; we will prop that door open during the convention. If you see it closed, please alert a con volunteer. Alternatively, there are washrooms on a mezzanine between the lobby and convention floor, but those washrooms are not accessible, and are on a landing halfway up a staircase. There are washrooms on the penthouse floor, with wheelchair-accessible stalls, but the doors to those washrooms do not have push buttons. If you use the penthouse washroom, please feel free to ask for assistance with the door from the elevator operator, or a Can-Con volunteer, or a friend. (And let’s all keep an eye out for anyone who needs a hand with those doors.) We expect that trans, non-binary and genderqueer attendees will use the washroom where they feel most comfortable without encountering harassment or rudeness; please see the Can-Con harassment policy for more.

Program areas: The doors to the panel rooms are not pushbuttoned, so please knock if you arrive to a panel late and the door is closed and you require assistance. There is no raised “lip” on the floor in the program room doorways. During the breaks between panels, please try to keep the doors open and clear so people can get in and out. Every program room will have two seats reserved in the front row of each event for visually and hearing impaired attendees. All panel rooms have space reserved in the seating area for a wheelchair or similar device.

Hallways: There are couches and benches in the hallways; please be aware of attendees with mobility issues and make space. If you encounter a wait or queue that could create discomfort or medical concerns, please let a Can-Con volunteer know immediately and we will make sure to move you to the front of the line, offer you a chair and/or find a safer space.

Support: Service animals are welcome (we spotted water dishes for dogs in the hotel lobby, and there are some green spaces for walking not too far away.) If an attendee with a disability requires a caregiver or support person, that support person attends the convention free of charge.

Quiet areas: The consuite is open to all attendees and can be a good place to take a break, and the World Exchange Centre across the street is not very crowded on weekends and has some quiet places to sit. If you need a space where you can be alone, or have a medical issue and need to rest, please contact a con organizer or Kate – we will bring you to a suitable room.

 

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