At Skepticon we have a dedicated ally, a person whose job is specifically to advocate for the needs of the lovely humans who visit us. That’s you! You are coming to Skepticon this year, aren’t you? Of course you are, and we can’t wait to see you.
You’re quite a diverse bunch, and it’s the sworn duty of the person in the Attendees role to see to it that you have the bestest Skepticon ever. From the job description:
They will work to ensure that attendees are safe, and will feel that way. They will advocate for speaker and workshop choices of interest to, and representative of all communities Skepticon wants to attract. They will advocate for accommodations needed to allow all attendees to be comfortable and able to participate at Skepticon. To do all this, they will seek the advice of expert members of these communities, and produce and analyze surveys of attendees and potential attendees. Major projects for the Attendee role include maintaining the conduct policies and conducting surveys both before and after the event.
One question you might have here is just what “communities” of people do we want to encourage to come to Skepticon? To begin with, there’s Skeptics (undoubtedly), and Secularists (naturally), and Humanists (whole heartedly), and Freethinkers (dogmatically), and Atheists (faithfully), and Agnostics (indubitably). But this is just par for the course with skeptic events, and only covers the philosophical ground.
Skepticon realizes that people of many marginalized groups don’t attend skeptospheric cons for a variety of reasons. Maybe no one on stage looks like them, or speaks to their interests. Maybe they’re skeptical that the con will have their backs if they have a problem with a speaker or organizer or another attendee. Maybe a disability prevents them from attending, participating, or enjoying. Maybe they simply can’t afford the outrageous prices that cons charge just to get in the door.
Skepticon is committed to battling these obstacles and more in any way that we can. We look to represent the widest range of views and interests, and have people of all backgrounds on our stage. We also work to have:
- Red lanyards for those who do not want their images shared publicly
- Closed captioning or sign language interpreters for deaf and hearing-impaired Skepticoneers
- Child care, either cooperatively among parents, or from an organization like Camp Quest
- Fidgits available at the registration tables
- Communication preference stickers
- A food pantry so that no one has to go hungry to attend Skepticon
- Ear plugs to help those sensitive to noise to come to Skeptiprom
- Quiet rooms, for when it’s all just too much
And the best part is that Skepticon is FREE to attend! That’s a big relief to any budget.