In this guest blog post, Serah Rono and Emily Lescak summarize Serah’s presentation and discussions from her Code for Science and Society community talk on accessibility in virtual events, and share an accessibility checklist to guide you as you plan virtual events.
Accessibility is to equity as a foundation is to a house. A well-rounded and intentional approach to making your community spaces and resources accessible levels the playing field for all in your community, and benefits everyone in the long-run.
December 3, 2020 was last year’s International Day for People with Disabilities. Under the theme “Not all Disabilities are Visible,” the day’s focus was on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.
In this guest blog, CEFP 2019 Fellow Arielle Bennett-Lovell considers how her community organizing efforts outside science help her in her day job as Coordinator for the Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.
What do a local campaign to save libraries, shared allotments, extinction rebellion protests, and a society of learned individuals all have in common? All of these are groups of people brought together by a shared goal, often with the intention of using collective discussions and engagement from members to push forward a set of ideas or principles using a variety of different initiatives.
A mature scientific community, which is co-creating its programming and future direction as part of a member-led exercise, or advocating for larger societal change on key issues in broader society, shares a lot of organisational parallels with an active community outside of science. However, as community managers, we sometimes don’t see these connections and miss the opportunity to use a breadth of examples in our own organisations.
We can, and should, examine the experiences of other communities, bringing them back into our own as examples of collective organising. This can enrich planning and programming for our scientists, students, and stakeholders. I’ve been lucky to be a part of a number of different campaigns and communities outside of my day job, and in this piece, I’ve outlined some of the key aspects of collective organising I’ve picked up from outside science.
Successful event programming is a feature of many communities – whether that’s a monthly community call or an annual conference. But how do you design events that are welcoming from the outset and that promote enjoyable, inclusive interactions between attendees?
Guidebook to virtual events
This guidebook was co-created with members of the CSCCE community of practice. We are releasing sections of the guide as they are published.
by Lou Woodley, Katie Pratt, Rachael Ainsworth, Eva Amsen, Arne Bakker, Stefanie Butland, Stephanie O’Donnell, Naomi Penfold, Allen Pope, Tom Quigley, and Emmy Tsang
July 20, 2020
We created this guide to help you host successful online meetings that your attendees enjoy. Our emphasis is on engaging and inclusive events where attendees will feel able and motivated to participate and connect with others.
This section outlines five steps to assist your assessment of virtual tools to supplement online meetings and events. We walk you through the process; defining the goals or use case first and then finding the right tool to meet your needs.
This tech tip sheet is intended to support you in scenario planning so that you feel well prepared to address any disruptions caused by a Zoom bomber. It includes a checklist of things to do before, during, and after your event.
The CALM events project team of Arne Bakker, Chiara Bertipaglia, Megan Carter, Liz Guzy, Leslie Hsu, and Ann Meyer from the CEFP2019 cohort created a comprehensive guidebook to organizing in-person events.
Please see our DEI resource page for additional tip sheets and blog posts to help you consider ways to make your meetings inclusive and accessible.
Six tips for running a successful unconference – From having a code of conduct to planning how to capture content from the event, CEFP2017 Fellow, Stefanie Butland, shares things to plan ahead of time for a successful unconference.
Breaking the ice well – CEFP Fellows Allen Pope, Amber Budden, and Stefanie Butland and mentor Aidan Budd discuss facilitating interpersonal community interactions in person. In part one they describe several icebreaker activities and in part two they describe how to bring your community along with you in what can sometimes be a nerve-wracking activity for a community manager!
Prioritizing Accessibility in Organizing Online Events – In this guest blog post, Serah Rono and Emily Lescak summarize Serah’s presentation and discussions from her Code for Science & Society community talk on accessibility in virtual events, and share an accessibility checklist to guide you as you plan virtual events.
Our virtual tools trials bring together interested members of our community of practice to try out platforms that might be useful for convening communities online. Our tools trials are ongoing, so if you have a platform you’re interested in trying, or would like to co-host a trial and share your experience, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
After each trial, we share a recap of our findings on our blog, each of which includes a link back to the full collaborative notes document from the trial. Find out more about:
Wonder – a lightweight, spatially-controlled, networking platform
In July 2020’s CSCCE community call we discussed “Planning and evaluating accessible online events” with three speakers from the CSCCE community of practice.
Speakers and their slides
“It’s Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This – Non-Player Characters & Prepping For Your Virtual Event” – Tom Quigley, ConservationXLabs (slides)
“It’s All About Access: Planning Meetings for Wider Audiences” – Rebecca Carpenter, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Virtual Academic Community (slides)
“Evaluating Virtual Events” – Emily Lescak, Code for Science and Society (slides)
Summary and resourceS
Check out the blog post recap of the call – including additional resources recommended by attendees.
And on our March 2021 Community Call, we hosted a series of thematic breakout rooms to share our knowledge after a year of hosting and attending virtual events. We also considered how to design engaging hybrid events.
Breakout themes and discussion moderators
Meetings from the participant’s perspective – Amber Budden, NCEAS
Hybrid meetings and events – Emily Lescak, Code for Science and Society
General event planning – Chiara Bertipaglia, Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute
Surviving the day of the event- Megan Carter, ESIP
Summary and resources
Our blog post recap summarizes the discussion had in all four rooms, offering a great jumping off point for anyone organizing a virtual or hybrid event.
In this post by CEFP2019 Fellow Camille Santistevan, Associate Director of Public Relations at the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY, she explores how an organization’s anniversary can be an opportunity to nurture community. Camille shares 5 tips for success and 3 potential challenges to anticipate.
Community-first event planning
Is your scientific organization celebrating an anniversary sometime
soon? If so, how will you be celebrating?
In the higher education and non-profit sectors,
anniversaries are often used to launch major fundraising campaigns. Central
leadership, in concert with the development office, tend to spend a lot of
time, energy, and resources to organize a big bash for external stakeholders,
with the internal community often left as an afterthought.
How can we re-engineer some of this content and programming to supercharge our scientific communities? Below are some ideas both big and small for how community managers can leverage anniversary activities to nurture community.
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