Hi @Zach, @Rikke, @themanmaran-
Good discussion. Been lurking long enough, so to catch up with some thoughts I’ve had…
When introducing visitors to NB, we tend to make them aware of several key principles:
- The One Rule: Be Excellent To Each Other
- Do-ocracy: if you see something that needs doing, do it
- Subtenet: when making changes, do a consensus reality check: does it require small-c or Big-C consensus?
- Anti-Harassment Policy: the anti-harassment pol posted everywhere (and how to reach out for help, #space-guardians)
Let’s add a fourth principle: Noisebridge must always be accessible.
We’ve all witnessed Zach, Alex and others being blocked from moving about 2169, pre-elevator-kaput, over and over again.
For accessibility to work continuously, we’ve got to elevate awareness of it to the same level as the existing core principles. It’s got to be on everybody’s lips and minds. Let’s give it enough momentum that it continues moving forward in everybody’s minds.
Accessibility won’t work if we delegate it to do-ocracy or being excellent, or a policy posted on a wall someplace, not in my opinion. (Few actually take the time to read the anti-harassment policy, fewer still are conversant about it.)
The end result of this process is for every Noisebridger to become an agent of accessibility. If you see blockage, clear it up. If somebody parks their project, bike or donation in a passageway, ask them to move it, or move it yourself. Remind fellow NBers when their actions block accessibility.
The world is ableist. Let’s change that for good inside NB.
In retrospect, Hackitorium’s layout seemed thoughtless about mobility device users. I remember Zach driving round and round the tables, at various times, to educate people that there needed to be room for chair users. We need to incorporate that awareness when laying out rooms in the new space.
With a ground-floor entrance, we should be expecting (and welcoming) more of our fellow hackers who use devices to get about. Let’s make the space an always-safe place for them, starting on day 0.
I also support making accessibility a consensus item, because every action we can take to improve visibility will help cement it in all our minds.