UIST 2019 Accessibility FAQ

UIST 2019 is committed to providing an inclusive environment and we will do our best to accommodate requests for special assistance. This page describes the accessibility features of UIST 2019, to help you make an informed decision about whether the conference will be accessible to you. Please contact us if your question is not answered here, or if the conference arrangements as described are not enough to allow you to attend. We will work with you to the best of our ability, to make the conference accessible.

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How do I communicate accessibility needs to UIST 2019 organizers?

The Accessibility Chair for UIST 2019 is Megan Hofmann, whose goal is to ensure the conference is accessible to everyone. When you register for the conference, there will be a registration question labeled "Do you have any accessibility or dietary needs that organizers can assist with or should be aware of?". In your response, please indicate any accessibility needs such as wheelchair access, sign language interpretation, or a guide. The Accessibility Chair will follow up with you to clarify your needs. You can contact them directly at any time by emailing accessibility@uist.org.

Who do I ask if my question is not answered here?

Please contact the venue on +1.504.586.0300 or email rsnoreserv@sonesta.com to discuss your specific needs with the venue directly.

If there is specific accessibility information you would like to see here, or if you wish to discuss any conference accessibility requirements, please contact our Accessibility Chair, Megan Hofmann by email: accessibility@uist.org, and someone will respond to you shortly.

Will sign language interpretation or captioning be available?

The conference will make an effort to provide a team of sign language interpreters or captioners if requested by any attendees during the early registration period. However, we cannot garuntee these services will be available. Please make your request as early as possible. Our Accessibility Chair will follow up with you to discuss your needs in more detail. After September 7th, 2019 (the deadline for early registration), a best effort will be made to accommodate requests, but we cannot guarantee that interpreters or captioners will be available.

What are the taxi and public transport options for getting to the conference venue?

From Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, the easiest way to get to the Royal Sonesta Hotel is Airport Shuttle New Orleans which offers many accessible transit methods

Recommended options for getting to the conference include:

Airport Shuttle New Orleans

  • Route: Include the Royal Sonesta in your reservation. They will drop you off directly at the hotel.
  • Pickup point: Airport Shuttle ticket desks are located across from baggage claim areas 1, 5,9,11 and 12. For more information please visit their website
  • Cost: Prices range between $24 and $44
  • Wheelchair accessibility: Airport Shuttle offers multiple services for wheelchair users. Please visit their accessibility page
  • Walking and steps: Shuttles will drop and pick up attendees directly at the hotel lobby entrance. Presence of steps unknown.
  • Service animals: Service Animals are welcome on Airport Shuttle
  • Phone: +1 504-522-3500
  • Book: Book Here

Who can I ask about accessibility in New Orleans, LA, USA?

For information about New Orleans, LA, USA accessibility, including public transport, go to this online source for accessibility information.

Can a student volunteer assist me during the conference?

We are unable to provide student volunteers to assist attendees with disabilities. If you will need volunteer assistance at the conference, please contact us before registering.

Attendees who require personal care assistance should bring their own assistant. Personal care assistants do not need to register for the conference. If the assistant will be having food and drink provided by the conference during coffee/tea breaks, lunches, and/or the reception, we ask that these be added into the attendee’s registration at the ‘extra options’ stage of the registration process.

What is the conference space like?

For the overall layout of the venue, please refer to this map of the conference space.

The conference will take place over the first and second floor of the venue. Elevators are accessible from the lobby of the venue near the hotel's registration desk. Accessible bathrooms are available near the lobby and on the second floor near the meeting rooms. The main entrance to the venue is wheelchair accessible. Accessible hotel rooms are available upon request, please contact the hotel directly. More information will be available closer to the conference.

In the unlikely event of a building evacuation, attendees who require special assistance should make their way to the closest shelter-in-place location, usually a stairwell. This is where emergency workers will have the easiest time reaching attendees.

Please see our other FAQs for more details about wheelchair or power scooter access, provisions for presenters, restrooms, walking and steps, and facilities for assistance animals.

Will the conference be accessible by wheelchair or power scooter?

Yes, the conference will be accessible to wheelchair users. We are still working on a detailed description of wheelchair access.

At this time, we do not have a ramp on to the stage. If you are a presenter who uses a wheelchair, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements. After the early registration deadline we cannot guarantee to be able to provide a ramp. Poster sessions will have space for a wheelchair to move between the posters.

In the unlikely event of a building evacuation and attendees who require special assistance in a evacuation should make their way to the closest shelter in place location, usually a stairwell. This is where emergency workers will have the easiest time reaching attendees.

For more information about wheelchair accessibility at Royal Sonesta Hotel, please contact the venue directly on +1.504.586.0300 or rsnoreserv@sonesta.com.

We cannot guarantee that the walking route to the reception is accessible and encourage attendees to consider other accessible routes such as a taxi. The reception venue is wheelchair accessible. The venue has accessible restrooms near the reception area. A limited number of wheelchairs are available to attendees for complimentary use during the reception. The reception venue also hosts a courtesy room which offers a private area for guests upon request of the venue's event manager. Accessible restrooms are available on all floors of the reception venue. Service animals are welcome in all guest areas open during the reception.

What are the restroom facilities like?

We are still working on a description of the restrooms.

What are the arrangements for presenters with accessibility needs?

Session presentations will take place on a raised stage with a few steps. Wheelchair ramps can be made available if a request is made by the early registration deadline. Presenters will stand behind a podium.

We do not at this time have a ramp on to the stage. If you are a presenter who uses a wheelchair, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements. After the early registration deadline we cannot guarantee to be able to provide a ramp. Poster sessions will have space for a wheelchair to move between the posters.

If you would like a student volunteer to operate slides or guide you onto and off the stage, or have other accessibility requests please contact Megan Hofmann at accessibility@uist.org by September 7th, 2019.

Can I bring my guide dog?

Yes! Guide dogs and other service animals are welcome at UIST 2019. There will be a relief area with water available. The Royal Sonesta does not have convenient designated pet relief areas. Their recommendation is Armstrong Park or River Walk which are a 5-10 minute walk. Attendees are asked to pick up after their service animals. The Royal Sonesta requests that attendees sign a waiver to have the service animals enter the hotel rooms. Please indicate on your registration form if you anticipate bringing a service animal to the conference.

Can I attend the conference by robot?

We are sorry, but UIST 2019 will not be able to accommodate remote attendance by robot.

How much walking or standing will be needed?

The conference will be concentrated on the second floor with seating available in the meeting rooms. The elevator is down about 50 ft down the hall from these rooms. A limited amount of seating will be available during breaks and the poster sessions. Attendees have access to the hotel lobby with additional seating.

We are still gathering information on walking demands of the offsite events.

Please contact Megan Hofmann at accessibility@uist.org as early as possible if you have further questions or special requests.

Will there be an induction loop in the meeting rooms?

We are still working on establishing which rooms have induction loops.

Will speakers and audience members asking questions be using a microphone?

Yes, microphones will be used for all speakers. Attendees with questions will be requested to use a microphone so that their question is more easily heard.

What food service will be provided?

The conference will provide a variety of light refreshments during all coffee breaks, poster, and demo sessions. We will try to accommodate a variety of dietary needs, please make special requests by the early registration deadline to ensure that your needs can be met. Dishes will be labeled. For more detailed information please contact Megan Hofmann at accessibility@uist.org.

Can the conference accommodate special dietary needs?

Yes. Attendees who indicate special dietary requirements on their registration form will be provided with special meals when the conference catering does not accommodate them. If you have a severe allergy please indicate this on your registration form. For more detailed information please contact Megan Hofmann at accessibility@uist.org.

Will the conference be a smoke-free environment?

The entire conference venue is a no-smoking area. Their is a designated outdoor smoking courtyard at the venue. No smoking is allowed indoors.

Will there be loud music, strobe lighting, spotlights, or other strong sensory experiences?

The demo sessions and demonstrations included presentations may include strong sensory experiences such as loud noises, strobe lighting, flash photography, and others. We will do our best to mark demonstrations that include these features based on author feedback. Please indicate on your registration form if there are specific items you would like to know about in advance.

We are still gathering information on sensory demands of the offsite events and availability of quiet places.

Please contact Megan Hofmann at accessibility@uist.org as early as possible if you have further questions or special requests.

Will there be a designated quiet space at the conference?

We hope to be able to provide a quiet space at the conference but are still checking on availability. Please contact us if you are planning to attend the conference and may need such a space.

What if I have a medical emergency or health problem during the conference?

In case of emergency call 911 for an ambulance. Multiple hospitals and Medical facilities are located within 9-15 minutes of driving from the venue. For non-resident attendees, buying travel insurance that covers medical expenses is strongly recommended as fees for emergency treatment can be very high.


This FAQ has been generated using the Accessibility FAQ Generator tool provided by ACM SIGACCESS. Event organizers are welcome to modify and reuse this template for other events. Please contact SIGACCESS for more information.

Accessibility Chair

Questions? Contact: accessibility@uist.org

Megan Hofmann's profile image Megan Hofmann
CMU