Accessibility at MozFest

MozFest is Mozilla’s annual meeting of minds in London every October. The festival has a feeling of inclusivity: everyone is welcome and everyone is valued for what they have to contribute. MozFest is the kind of place where people new to tech can have a conversation over a craft activity, and find out later they were speaking with one of the original visionaries behind Firefox!

This year we’re making a real effort to make the festival even more accessible to people with disabilities so as many people as possible can attend in comfort. Our brain or body may work in different ways, but our ideas are equally valid.

Registration:

To ensure everyone has all they need from the very start of the festival, there will be a specially designated person to welcome you at the registration desk, there to help answer questions, offer resources and guidance about the weekend.

Photography:

We understand that there are people who do not wish to be photographed for many reasons. If you are one of these people, please ask for a special coloured lanyard at registration. We will not use any yellow lanyards in our communications or website, nor will we share these photos on our Flickr page. All participants are made aware of these lanyards and the importance of respecting them.

Blind and Visually Impaired:

You may be having this page screen read or are looking at it through a magnifier. We will have the slides for the Saturday morning plenary presentation and speaker series available to view through your own device to allow you to have the settings needed to be able to access the information. We are asking facilitators to consider providing notes to their sessions available in digital formats which are possible to be screen read.

We are striving to improve the accessibility of our website and are working towards making more key information compatible with screen readers. Your feedback is incredibly valuable if you have any comments or suggestions.

Our schedule will be published using the Guidebook app, which has many accessibility features when used with compatible assistive technologies.

There will be Braille signage around the venue to help navigate the 9 floors of Ravensbourne and the lifts will tell you where you are!

Neurodiversity:

For people who find their senses are bombarded with information, there will be a quiet space to retreat to for recovery, ear defenders are common and encouraged, and talks will be broadcast at a lower volume in a separate area if the main hall is too much to handle. Blank spaces on walls throughout the venue will be deliberately left to allow eyes to take a break from visual overstimulation.

Some people develop their own personal coping methods, and we want you to feel comfortable in all spaces. You are welcome to display these behaviours throughout the festival. We will also have a private, but not necessarily quiet, space to wind down after sessions; prepare for the next session or the journey home; or let out physical and vocal behaviours which you may not feel comfortable sharing in public.

On Saturday morning, we will have a familiarisation session at 8:00 before the crowds arrive. You can choose to either explore the building alone, or have a tour. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and get to know the building and festival a little better. Arriving earlier will mean the tube station will be quieter too. Please let us know in advance if you’re planning to be there so we don’t get started without you: festival@mozilla.org

Deaf and Hearing Impaired:

The Saturday morning plenary and speaker series will be live captioned. These will be shown on a screen in the venue, but will also be available on your personal device to allow you to read them at your own pace.

We are looking into getting sign interpreters, but are still learning and welcome any ideas about how to make this work with over 40 sessions scheduled at any one time. If you require a sign interpreter, we will do our very best to accommodate you, but please give us as much notice as possible — the end of September at the very latest!

During the facilitators training, we will be letting all session hosts know how to welcome and include deaf participants. If you lip read, please make session leaders aware so that they can face you when delivering their session. Please don’t be afraid to ask anyone to repeat information.

We are currently looking into the possibility of having sound loops installed for the Saturday morning plenary presentation and speaker series.

Dyslexia:

Our schedule app will be available before the event. The app will help you plan which sessions you wish to attend. You will also be able to set reminders to help get you there.

Key information about the festival will be available in a printed guide distributed at registration. A special dyslexia-friendly version of the guide, designed using the best practices recommended by the British Dyslexia Association, will also be available.

We are reminding facilitators, during their training, that not everyone will want to read out their notes made in sessions and that this will not be expected from any participants. If you wish to record audio or video during sessions, rather than taking notes this can be done using your personal device.

Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Users:

The whole venue is wheelchair accessible with lifts on both sides of the building. There are wheelchair accessible toilets on each floor and a companion bathroom on the ground floor.

For those requiring a hoist and changing table, unfortunately there isn’t one in Ravensbourne, but there is a Changing Places bathroom in the O2 Arena opposite. This will be available until 3pm due to preparations for events happening in the evening. You will be required to bring your own sling for hygiene reasons. Please contact a member of O2 staff to gain access to the facility.

We understand that not everyone wants to sit in the front row, so there will be a choice of wheelchair spaces for the talks and presentations.

Standard UK power outlets (13 amp) are available throughout the building should your mobility scooter or electric wheelchair need a power boost. If you require a different outlet, please let us know by the end of September and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

There is disabled parking in the O2 for an hourly rate; North Greenwich Tube station has step free access; and the river boats have four wheelchair spaces should you wish to cruise in style to the venue.

Sidekicks / Personal Assistants / Assistance Dogs:

All the best superheroes have a sidekick and if you need to bring yours, we will provide a free assistant’s ticket with your paid one. Human or canine, be it for medical, physical or psychological reasons, if they are needed so you can be there, they are welcome. Contact us on festival@mozilla.org to make sure we expect you both.

Young Children:

Young children are welcome at the festival when accompanied by an adult, but not all sessions will be interesting to them. We provide a creche to allow you to facilitate or attend a session. Spaces are limited so please contact us to book places and indicate if your child has any additional needs.

There is a microwave available in the cafe area on the ground floor for warming bottles or food.

Toilets:

All toilets at Ravensbourne are gender neutral.

MozHelp:

Throughout the festival weekend, a team of specially trained volunteers will be available to help make all our guests safe and comfortable so they can enjoy the event. If you need to contact them, they will be available on the 4th floor or via the hashtag #MozHelp on Twitter. The volunteers will be spread throughout the building and will be easily identified by their MozFest t-shirts.

Other Needs:

Making MozFest more accessible is an ongoing process. We welcome your suggestions and ideas and would like to learn from your experiences. Please contact us for more information, or to ask for support: festival@mozilla.org