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Recently, there have been a number of zine fests that have not been wheelchair accessible, including the NYC Zinefest, and Canzine. I also believe Expozine was held at an inaccessible spot.

 

What gives? What can we, as a zine community, do to make sure this doesn't happen? I know that the inaccessibility of these spaces is not even acknowledged beforehand, so people arrived at the NY Zinefest unable to get inside. I'm not sure if that happened at Canzine, but it doesn't matter. It should NOT be held at a inaccessible site.

 

I would urge anyone who knows of an inaccessible zine fest or event to let the organizers know you will not be attending and why. Access should never be optional or an afterthought.

 

 

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I think it helps to make people aware of these issues, someone might not even realize they should look at the accessibility of the location.  I guess one thing to do is help organize fests.  If the one in your area doesn't meet your needs, get involved in organizing, or try to start your own.  If you think there should be interpreters at the event, you could volunteer to find some.  As Nicole said, it's really hard work, and it can end up being a pretty thankless job.

It would be beneficial if people discussed what "accessibility" means besides wheelchair accessibility.

Rebecca hit the nail on the head.  I'll be a little more frank.

Instead of decrying zine fest organizers for negligence or insensitivity, those for whom "accessibility" and "inclusiveness" are major issues, should organize their OWN fests.  Those who share their mores about them would be most likely to come and the atmosphere should be especially congenial and harmonious.

It's a good thing to be thoughtful about people with special needs, but I don't see a need to make a huge issue of it.  If a wheelchair bound zinester needs help, why not just be there to help them if there's no ramp? Does a wheelchair bound person have any responsibility in asking about accessibility, or does it fall on the organizer to inform her or him first?  How far should a "progressive" organizer go?  Should s/he be expected to accomadate the blind, as well as the hearing-impaired with "ASL".  Couldn't ONLY providing an AMERICAN SL interpreter be chauvinistic?  Maybe there are other sign languages that some attendees prefer.  If the fest should be BI lingual, why not MULTI lingual?  How "multi"?  Who has the "right" to draw the "appropriately sensitive" line?

As far as "anxiety" goes, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've suffered from panic attacks for 15 years or more.  I get mine on freeways and airplanes.  But I don't expect anybody else to deal with that for me.  Hotels are way out of my budget too.  But these are my problems, and nobody else's.


This is NOT the concern of the "zine community", but a certain "faction" within it, with their own politics, mores and sensibilities, that I and other zinesters may not share, at least as strongly.  There is really no "zine community".  There are just different factions and cliques that make paper self-publications, with different politics, social views, styles, personalities, etc.  No zine fest can really be "inclusive" to all zinesters, and when it pretends to, it's a sham.

I came across this a few months ago.  You probably won't like it, but it really speaks to the tone of this and may other threads on WMZ, and also, I just  couldn't resist: 

http://www.jimgoad.net/farts.html

Oh lord, it's the hipster Ignatius J. Reilly.

 

It's derailing to keep bringing up these left-field hypotheticals and then use those hypotheticals as an excuse not to have any accessibility at all. You can't accommodate 100% of potential attendees, but ramps and elevators go a long way toward accommodating at least physical disabilities. There are some things that can't be accommodated for: anxiety at going to someone's apartment for a zine release party probably is one of those, but I also wouldn't call that a public zine event even if you invited people who aren't your friends. It has nothing to do with *~*sensitivity*~*, and everything to do with making it possible for people who want to attend the fest to attend the fest, if they have the time and money to do so. Honestly, James, it wouldn't be "special needs" if it was a place that excluded YOU, now would it? (Rhetorical question; James never admits to seeing another person's side!)

 

And, IMO, it's the job of the organizer to say whether or not an event is accessible, just as much as it's their job to announce the venue and time of the event.

 

And as for "make your own," yeah, it's a lot better to have tons of little balkanized fests than to try to improve and strengthen the one that's already happening. No wait, that's actually an awful idea.


James N. Dawson said:

http://www.jimgoad.net/farts.html

All I have to say is FUCK YOU. I don't even know what else to say. 

James N. Dawson said:

Rebecca hit the nail on the head.  I'll be a little more frank.

Instead of decrying zine fest organizers for negligence or insensitivity, those for whom "accessibility" and "inclusiveness" are major issues, should organize their OWN fests.  Those who share their mores about them would be most likely to come and the atmosphere should be especially congenial and harmonious.

It's a good thing to be thoughtful about people with special needs, but I don't see a need to make a huge issue of it.  If a wheelchair bound zinester needs help, why not just be there to help them if there's no ramp? Does a wheelchair bound person have any responsibility in asking about accessibility, or does it fall on the organizer to inform her or him first?  How far should a "progressive" organizer go?  Should s/he be expected to accomadate the blind, as well as the hearing-impaired with "ASL".  Couldn't ONLY providing an AMERICAN SL interpreter be chauvinistic?  Maybe there are other sign languages that some attendees prefer.  If the fest should be BI lingual, why not MULTI lingual?  How "multi"?  Who has the "right" to draw the "appropriately sensitive" line?

As far as "anxiety" goes, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've suffered from panic attacks for 15 years or more.  I get mine on freeways and airplanes.  But I don't expect anybody else to deal with that for me.  Hotels are way out of my budget too.  But these are my problems, and nobody else's.


This is NOT the concern of the "zine community", but a certain "faction" within it, with their own politics, mores and sensibilities, that I and other zinesters may not share, at least as strongly.  There is really no "zine community".  There are just different factions and cliques that make paper self-publications, with different politics, social views, styles, personalities, etc.  No zine fest can really be "inclusive" to all zinesters, and when it pretends to, it's a sham.

I came across this a few months ago.  You probably won't like it, but it really speaks to the tone of this and may other threads on WMZ, and also, I just  couldn't resist: 

http://www.jimgoad.net/farts.html



James N. Dawson said:

If a wheelchair bound zinester needs help, why not just be there to help them if there's no ramp?

Dunno about you, mate, but I'd rather not have some guy fondling my arse while he carries me upstairs.



James N. Dawson said:

Does a wheelchair bound person have any responsibility in asking about accessibility, or does it fall on the organizer to inform her or him first? 

Most public spaces these days are accessible. Literally all of the libraries, community centres, temples and churches I've been to have been. So, yeah, if the organiser is holding their thing in a non-accessible space (which it's their right to do, although they're going to lose my business for doing so), I think we should be informed.



James N. Dawson said:

How far should a "progressive" organizer go?  Should s/he be expected to accomadate the blind, as well as the hearing-impaired with "ASL".  Couldn't ONLY providing an AMERICAN SL interpreter be chauvinistic?  Maybe there are other sign languages that some attendees prefer.  If the fest should be BI lingual, why not MULTI lingual?  How "multi"?

As far as they can to accommodate their guests' needs. It's really, really not as hard as you're making it out to be. I'm not that up on American law, which seems to be what this topic is on, but it seems like the Americans With Disabilities Act should provide accessible community spaces. As for ASL, well, yeah, that would be nice, but in some cases it might not be possible to get a volunteer interpreter, especially if you can't provide evidence in advance that there are going to be Deaf people attending your event. As for the multilingual thing... if your zine festival attracts tablers who write in languages other than English, it's going to attract attendants who speak languages other than English. For somewhere like Quebec it would make perfect sense to provide information in English and French.



James N. Dawson said:

This is NOT the concern of the "zine community", but a certain "faction" within it, with their own politics, mores and sensibilities, that I and other zinesters may not share, at least as strongly.  There is really no "zine community".  There are just different factions and cliques that make paper self-publications, with different politics, social views, styles, personalities, etc.  No zine fest can really be "inclusive" to all zinesters, and when it pretends to, it's a sham.

I came across this a few months ago.  You probably won't like it, but it really speaks to the tone of this and may other threads on WMZ, and also, I just  couldn't resist: 

http://www.jimgoad.net/farts.html

You're right, of course. It's only a concern to the members of the zine community who don't want to be douchebags. You can never be "inclusive" of everyone but you can sure as fuck try to make your venue accessible to everyone who's going to attend. That makes economic as well as social sense.
And hey, while we're sharing links, here's one for ya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGAOCVwLrXo

so James...

Just how difficult do you think it is for a organizer to let it be simply known that the event will or will not be accessible? Yes, it is totally reasonable for a zine fest organizer(s) to be aware and commit to accommodating as many people as possible. For starters, the more people you include in your event the larger the turn out! That not only benefits the people that can be included, but hell, THE PEOPLE ORGANIZING IT. Just how ignorant are you to the many types of wheel chairs there are? Would you be able to lift a 400 pound chair? Or the person in that chair that may have fears or physical restrictions to be lifted and tossed about by strangers?  And have you done ANY research on the fact that Erin does indeed organize her own zine fest? It's in a place called New Jersey, not sure if you've heard of it. She's asking for accessibility acceptance at all venues possible, what the hell is so absurd about that? And if you don't think that asking for accessibility at ZINE events to be a ZINE community discussion, well, sorry dude, you're out of your damn element. Comparing your lack of a budget for a hotel to someone having unavoidable physical restrictions is ridiculous.

I can rightfully speak on behalf of people with half a mind or ounce of compassion to your response: shut up.

 


Erin H said:

All I have to say is FUCK YOU. I don't even know what else to say. 

James N. Dawson said:

Rebecca hit the nail on the head.  I'll be a little more frank.

Instead of decrying zine fest organizers for negligence or insensitivity, those for whom "accessibility" and "inclusiveness" are major issues, should organize their OWN fests.  Those who share their mores about them would be most likely to come and the atmosphere should be especially congenial and harmonious.

It's a good thing to be thoughtful about people with special needs, but I don't see a need to make a huge issue of it.  If a wheelchair bound zinester needs help, why not just be there to help them if there's no ramp? Does a wheelchair bound person have any responsibility in asking about accessibility, or does it fall on the organizer to inform her or him first?  How far should a "progressive" organizer go?  Should s/he be expected to accomadate the blind, as well as the hearing-impaired with "ASL".  Couldn't ONLY providing an AMERICAN SL interpreter be chauvinistic?  Maybe there are other sign languages that some attendees prefer.  If the fest should be BI lingual, why not MULTI lingual?  How "multi"?  Who has the "right" to draw the "appropriately sensitive" line?

As far as "anxiety" goes, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've suffered from panic attacks for 15 years or more.  I get mine on freeways and airplanes.  But I don't expect anybody else to deal with that for me.  Hotels are way out of my budget too.  But these are my problems, and nobody else's.


This is NOT the concern of the "zine community", but a certain "faction" within it, with their own politics, mores and sensibilities, that I and other zinesters may not share, at least as strongly.  There is really no "zine community".  There are just different factions and cliques that make paper self-publications, with different politics, social views, styles, personalities, etc.  No zine fest can really be "inclusive" to all zinesters, and when it pretends to, it's a sham.

I came across this a few months ago.  You probably won't like it, but it really speaks to the tone of this and may other threads on WMZ, and also, I just  couldn't resist: 

http://www.jimgoad.net/farts.html

I think I brought up some very valid questions.  I don't see anything wrong with someone urging wheelchair access, but just the tone that people who've failed to do that are insensitive, uncompassionate assholes.  If Erin's organized her own fests with wheelchair access, that's great.  Maybe she has some concrete, constructive advice on how to do that for those organizing larger fests.


I hope the actual organizer's of these less-than-accessible" fests chime in.  I'd like to hear their side in more detail.  .  Maybe they have some good excuses.  Maybe they don't.  Maybe both sides could work together through civil discussion.  We'll never know unless we hear from them.

 

You say you want a discussion.  It seems to me your looking more for the "amen choir".  I realize my directness can put crypto-authoritarian leftists off.  I'm not in the habit of  making all the right noises and spouting empty pc shibboleths.

 

Anyway, I will "shut up", Bree.  I'm not sure if there's much point at all in having any sort of substantial discussion on this forum, with the intolerant, hostile and narrow-minded climate that's so typical on it.

Bree Adorn said:

so James...

Just how difficult do you think it is for a organizer to let it be simply known that the event will or will not be accessible? Yes, it is totally reasonable for a zine fest organizer(s) to be aware and commit to accommodating as many people as possible. For starters, the more people you include in your event the larger the turn out! That not only benefits the people that can be included, but hell, THE PEOPLE ORGANIZING IT. Just how ignorant are you to the many types of wheel chairs there are? Would you be able to lift a 400 pound chair? Or the person in that chair that may have fears or physical restrictions to be lifted and tossed about by strangers?  And have you done ANY research on the fact that Erin does indeed organize her own zine fest? It's in a place called New Jersey, not sure if you've heard of it. She's asking for accessibility acceptance at all venues possible, what the hell is so absurd about that? And if you don't think that asking for accessibility at ZINE events to be a ZINE community discussion, well, sorry dude, you're out of your damn element. Comparing your lack of a budget for a hotel to someone having unavoidable physical restrictions is ridiculous.

I can rightfully speak on behalf of people with half a mind or ounce of compassion to your response: shut up.

 


Erin H said:

All I have to say is FUCK YOU. I don't even know what else to say. 

I can speak for the Chicago Zine Fest by saying that last year, we had three different venues and one of them was not wheelchair accessible. It was our first year organizing the fest and we had no idea what we were doing. We had ten thousand questions and things to think about. We certainly didn't do everything right and we won't do everything right this year. I can honestly say it didn't even cross our mind in the beginning of planning to think about accessibility of our venues and that's because it's not something we're faced with every day. When we realized it, it was so obvious that we should have thought of it and made it a necessity for our venue choices that we felt very foolish about it. We did include on the website and flyers that the specific venue was not accessible.

 

This year, it was a deal breaker when looking at venues. Of course there are a lot of things to think about and planning a zine fest is hard and a lot more work than people would realize. However, that doesn't mean you get a free pass when making important decisions like these. Of course we want to be as inclusive as possible. That's the responsibility you take on when putting on a public event, and it's the respect that the community you're a part of deserves. You're not making a fest for just you and your friends. You're making a fest for everyone. And chances are if you had a friend who needed wheelchair accessibility, you would take it a lot more seriously.

 



James N. Dawson said:

I think I brought up some very valid questions.  I don't see anything wrong with someone urging wheelchair access, but just the tone that people who've failed to do that are insensitive, uncompassionate assholes.  If Erin's organized her own fests with wheelchair access, that's great.  Maybe she has some concrete, constructive advice on how to do that for those organizing larger fests.


I hope the actual organizer's of these less-than-accessible" fests chime in.  I'd like to hear their side in more detail.  .  Maybe they have some good excuses.  Maybe they don't.  Maybe both sides could work together through civil discussion.  We'll never know unless we hear from them.

 

You say you want a discussion.  It seems to me your looking more for the "amen choir".  I realize my directness can put crypto-authoritarian leftists off.  I'm not in the habit of  making all the right noises and spouting empty pc shibboleths.

 

Anyway, I will "shut up", Bree.  I'm not sure if there's much point at all in having any sort of substantial discussion on this forum, with the intolerant, hostile and narrow-minded climate that's so typical on it.

Bree Adorn said:

so James...

Just how difficult do you think it is for a organizer to let it be simply known that the event will or will not be accessible? Yes, it is totally reasonable for a zine fest organizer(s) to be aware and commit to accommodating as many people as possible. For starters, the more people you include in your event the larger the turn out! That not only benefits the people that can be included, but hell, THE PEOPLE ORGANIZING IT. Just how ignorant are you to the many types of wheel chairs there are? Would you be able to lift a 400 pound chair? Or the person in that chair that may have fears or physical restrictions to be lifted and tossed about by strangers?  And have you done ANY research on the fact that Erin does indeed organize her own zine fest? It's in a place called New Jersey, not sure if you've heard of it. She's asking for accessibility acceptance at all venues possible, what the hell is so absurd about that? And if you don't think that asking for accessibility at ZINE events to be a ZINE community discussion, well, sorry dude, you're out of your damn element. Comparing your lack of a budget for a hotel to someone having unavoidable physical restrictions is ridiculous.

I can rightfully speak on behalf of people with half a mind or ounce of compassion to your response: shut up.

 


Erin H said:

All I have to say is FUCK YOU. I don't even know what else to say. 

All of the Portland Zine Symposoiums (So far) have been at Portland State University. As a University they are required to have an accessible space. however, in 2002 we used a cafeteria that had a few risers that were unnavigable for some folks. This was brought to our attention at the event and we realized we had mad this mistake.  Every year since we have made it a priority to have an accessible space.

 

When it comes down to it it just makes sense to have public events in accessible spaces, even able bodied people can appreciate that when they encounter a temporary mishap like a busted ankle or something. I know I did.

You're making generalizations. Some people just enjoy getting about in wheelchairs. I have seen wheelchair basketball matches before where at the end of the game a bunch of the players get up out of their chairs and walk around. They don't need them, they just like riding about on them.

I would say that a person who is poor due to reasons out of their control is worse off than a person who chooses to use a wheelchair.


Bree Adorn said:

Comparing your lack of a budget for a hotel to someone having unavoidable physical restrictions is ridiculous.

and what you hope to gain from trolling is...?

whatpeoplearethinking said:

You're making generalizations. Some people just enjoy getting about in wheelchairs. I have seen wheelchair basketball matches before where at the end of the game a bunch of the players get up out of their chairs and walk around. They don't need them, they just like riding about on them.

I would say that a person who is poor due to reasons out of their control is worse off than a person who chooses to use a wheelchair.


Bree Adorn said:

Comparing your lack of a budget for a hotel to someone having unavoidable physical restrictions is ridiculous.

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