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Now that the 2012 election and its post-mortem are concluded, the preparations for NN13 are in full swing. The deadline for proposing a panel, speaker, training or screening, for example, is Friday, February 8th; application details are available here.

Registration for NN13 itself began shortly after NN12 closed, and thus some of the process for NN13 was fixed even before we had a chance to weigh in. At least a couple of elements for NN13 should benefit KosAbility folks. There is a $5.00 fee per registration earmarked for improving accessibility, which may well be useful this time around.  The registration form also asks two specific questions regarding accessibility needs: first, a set of choices regarding dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan or other, and second, a checklist related to hearing, mobility, and visual impairments, and special medication handling, plus an email address for registration staff if more discussion is necessary. Another question asks whether registrants would be interested in volunteering at the event, potentially useful information for us as well.

Having good information is always important. However, there are many more suggestions for improvement of access at NN13 that are still possible to promote—and that’s the purpose of my diary today.

The last diary I wrote on this topic, Kosability: NN12 Update and Recommendations for NN13, included several objectives that seemed to make sense to the commenters on that diary (and those who responded to Adam B’s request for feedback on NN12). My diary also builds on and makes use of the recommendations that Nurse Kelley had made in previous diaries critiquing the relative lack of access at previous NNs, especially the "not user-friendly" NN10. I refer you to those diaries and comment streams for details--particularly since there are many points therein which we should lift from them--and hope you don’t mind the streamlining here.

In order of timeliness—that is, pressure imposed largely by the looming workshop/panel deadline of February 8th—let me present these topics for discussion here as well as later as we are able to undertake it.

1. Any interest in a specific KosAbility-themed panel, training, speaker or screening? Topics & themes to address, possible panelists & facilitators?

2. Any interest in a KosAbility caucus, with an official time and place published in the schedule?

3. Any interest in seeking to install a “Disability Coordinator” to lead the efforts by the convention organizers to improve access? FYI—TheFatLadySings has recently reiterated her willingness to serve in this position if it is created and if it is the will of the group for her to do so.

4. Any interest in trying to organize a “KosAbility Volunteer Support Corps” (a name still open to change) comprised of skilled and experienced volunteers who would be matched with KosAbility folks who could use their support?

5. Any interest in composing a detailed memo to the NN13 organizers from KosAbility members, which would contain a list of accessibility goals that we would like to see met this time around (as well as suggestions for step-wise improvements in years to come)?

Other topics for discussion are MOST WELCOME.

I do know, believe me, how challenging it is to keep trying to push forward on an organizational level when our health and other personal concerns must come first. It may be that we will have to be very limited in our objectives this time around, since our time and energy are finite. But that’s something we won’t know unless the word is put out—so let’s see where we are.

PS--Please note that this is NOT the regularly-scheduled KosAbility diary for 1/20; I'm merely posting now to try to piggy-back on the likely traffic for that diary, without horning in too much. Thanks for taking part in BOTH diaries as you see fit.

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