20NTC Accessibility Guide
We want 20NTC to be welcoming and inclusive for all attendees. We’ve outlined below the ways we’ll create that environment, but if there is anything else we can do to make your 20NTC experience better, please don’t hesitate to ask. Program Manager Jeremy Garcia and Membership Director Jude Parker Koski are our accessibility captains and they welcome any questions or suggestions you may have.
Attendees requiring an assistant to facilitate their participation and accessibility needs can request a complimentary registration for their assistant. To register an assistant, please email us.
Please note that no one will contact you about hotel reservations through emails or phone calls. If you are contacted by someone by email or phone, it is a phishing scam.
All 20NTC conference hotels are ADA accessible. You can request an accessible room when you make your reservations. The hotels have a limited number of rooms available for guests with accessibility needs. NTC hotels often sell out weeks in advance. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. If you prefer an accessible room, please make your reservation as soon as possible. If you are having difficulty securing an accessible room, please email our accessibility captains.
20NTC will be centered around the West Pratt Lobby, with session rooms spanning 318 – 355 on the 300 level. Registration and Customer Service will be in the West Pratt Lobby on the 300 level, while general sessions, all meal services, and the Exhibit Hall will be in Swing Hall, Hall F, and Hall G on the 100 level.
Baltimore is an old city, with a challenging infrastructure. Curb cuts are steep, some streets are cobblestone, some have been paved over and the asphalt has eroded to reveal the bricks below. The area around the Convention Center is ever-changing, but you can get a general overview by checking out Google Maps.
We work hard to provide meal options that meet a wide range of dietary needs, including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, low-salt, and low-sugar. Our menus also avoid peanuts, seafood, tree nuts, eggs, cow’s milk, soy, and wheat. Kosher and Halal meals will be available upon request. If you would like to request other specialty meals, you can request that we contact you about your dietary needs during registration.
Conference meals are served buffet style. If you are in need of assistance during designated meal times, please email us with “Meal Support Request” in the subject line by February 24, 2020, and we will contact you to receive the details of your needs. We have notified the caterer to have staffed trained to assist in selecting your food and taking it to your table.
Gender Neutral Bathrooms
Gender-neutral bathrooms will be available on each floor of the convention center. Why gender-neutral bathrooms? NTEN values gender diversity and recognizes the importance of creating a welcoming and safe experience for all attendees to use the restroom that they choose to use. Accessible facilities for all reduce health complications, negative experiences, and stress that many transgender and gender-nonconforming people — especially transgender and gender-nonconforming people of color — experience when attempting to meet a very basic need.
Designated Gender Neutral Bathrooms
- Restrooms near session room 320 and 344
- Restrooms immediately inside the Exhibit Hall entrance
Conference & Event Space
The Baltimore Convention Center (BCC) is accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All rooms at the Convention Center are wheelchair accessible. Detailed information about the facility can be found on the BCC website.
The general session rooms will be set in draped, round tables for ten. The chairs have padded seats but no arms. There will be reserved space for wheelchairs or scooters in the front and back of the general session and in each of the breakout session rooms. Please keep designated wheelchair areas and aisles clear for people who may be using wheelchairs, canes, crutches, or motorized scooters.
Each breakout session room will feature a variety of seating options, including rows of chairs, chairs at tables, standing tables, and yoga balls to accommodate different needs. The chairs in the breakout rooms have lightly padded seats, no arms, and when set in rows will be attached to the chair next to them, which is called “ganging” chairs.
The official 20NTC party will be at The Assembly Room on Guilford Avenue in Baltimore. We’ve arranged for shuttles to run on a loop from the 20NTC hotels to The Assembly Room. Please be aware that it has two floors, and while the entire first floor is accessible, the second floor is not. The second floor will not feature any unique aspects of the party; it will only mirror the food and beverage that is presented on the first floor. All of the arts, entertainment, and music will be on the first floor. Seating will be provided.
To learn why we changed the party location from the National Aquarium please read Amy’s blog post NTC has a new party venue.
If you have questions or concerns about accommodations, please email us by February 24, 2020. NTEN will make every effort to accommodate requests that arrive after February 24.
The 20NTC event space is large and hotels are conveniently located in close proximity to the venue. Please remember in your travel plans to bring any mobility equipment you may need to help navigate throughout the conference, including between the convention center, hotels, and surrounding areas. If you find you need equipment available to you onsite, please email us with “Equipment Request” in the subject line by February 24, 2020, and we will contact you to receive the details of your needs and assist in coordinating equipment requests.
Conference & Braille Program
The conference program is available online and through the conference app (available in February). Large format print programs and Braille programs will be available upon request. Please email us with “Braille Program” in the subject line by February 24, 2020, to request programs in those formats.
Presentations & Handouts
We have provided resources to all speakers instructing them to make their presentations and materials accessible. While our sessions rarely include handouts, we are make online resources like collaborative notes available for all sessions in Google Docs. If you are a speaker, please consult the Speaker Guidelines for more information about how best to fulfill obligations to the audience, including attendees with accessibility needs.
All Baltimore Convention Center directional signage is large print on the building bulkheads and can be viewed from a distance or any height.
Interpreters & CART (Computer Assisted Real-Time Captioning)
Interpreters, including American Sign Language and Computer-Assisted Real-Time Captioning (CART), are available. The general sessions will have closed captioning.
Session presenters will repeat any questions asked by attendees back through their mic to amplify the question within the room.
NTEN can provide interpreters and CART services for any conference event, including the receptions in the Exhibit Hall and the 20NTC party. Arrangements for interpreters and CART require advanced reservations. To make a request for an interpreter, please email us with “Interpreter Request” in the subject line by February 10, 2020. We’ll ask you to share your conference schedule by Monday, March 2, 2020, so that those providing ASL and CART services can prepare for the event.
20NTC’s registration system provides attendees with the opportunity to indicate if they have accessibility needs. If you indicate that you have accessibility needs when registering, an NTEN staff member will contact you to help ensure those needs are met.
NTEN does not require that any conference attendee disclose a disability; however, we can better meet specific needs if we know well ahead of time that reasonable accommodation is required.
Onsite registration, located in the West Pratt Lobby of the Baltimore Convention Center, will have a wheelchair-height registration counter.
8.Onsite Accessibility Contact & Tour
If you require onsite accessibility assistance during the conference either during regular conference hours or after-hours, please email us with “Onsite Accessibility” in the subject line.
For any questions about conference accessibility prior to the conference, please call us at (503) 272-8800 or please email us with “Conference Accessibility” in the subject line.
Onsite Accessibility Tour
NTEN will host a tour of the Baltimore Convention Center for attendees with accessibility needs on Monday, March 23rd, at 5:00PM, at the Pratt Street Lobby Entrance. This tour will provide access to the facility and associated accessibility features. For more information, please see the conference schedule or please email us with “Onsite Accessibility Tour” in the subject line.
A lactation room is available at the convention center with comfortable seating, cubbies for storage, WiFi, and a small refrigerator. The room location will be available through the conference app.
We are currently assessing how we might be able to make childcare services or spaces available for our attendees. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be traveling with children.
A quiet room is available at the convention center. It is intended to provide a quiet, calm space where attendees can spend time away from the noise, lights, and other stimuli of conference spaces. The quiet room is not available for conversations or meetings.
Quiet Tables will be reserved during each lunch at the NTC. The Quiet Tables are dedicated spaces for attendees to collect their thoughts, unwind, and take a break from the conference cacophony. The quiet space is not available for conversations or meetings. Please respect the intent of these tables.
11.Allergy Accommodations & Fragrances
As a courtesy to attendees with chemical sensitivities, attendees should refrain from using scented products to help ensure the comfort of everyone at the conference.
Some conference hotels offer allergen-free rooms, cleaning products, and bedding, as well as a mini-fridge, upon request. Please contact the hotel of your choice for more information.
Baltimore in March has a historic average high of 55 degrees and a low around 39 degrees and will likely remain overcast for the dates of the conference.
13.Baltimore Public Transit System
Baltimore provides accessible public transportation that includes the Metro Subway, Light Rail, and the city’s bus network. The Charm City Circulator is another option as Baltimore’s free shuttle system that includes wheelchair accessibility. For more information on accessible public transportation, please visit the Maryland Transit Administration’s accessibility page.
ADA approved service animals are welcome in all spaces at 20NTC. There are green spaces outside of the convention center for pet relief.
Attendees are reminded that service animals are working animals and should not distract or attempt to pet them.
There is a community 12-step meeting each morning at 7:30 am at the convention center. Coffee and pastries will be provided. All official 20NTC receptions and the party will have plenty of non-alcoholic options, and we invite the community to set up sober Dine Arounds, as well as after-hours excursions around Baltimore.
Find Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings in Baltimore.
16.How To Be An Ally
As attendees, we all play a very important role in this work. Here are some easy things you can do to be an ally:
- Recognize that we are a neurodiverse community. People communicate and process in their own ways, on their own schedule. Lead with compassion when communicating with your fellow attendees.
- Be sensitive to our shared space. During keynote sessions, we’ll have reserved space in the front and back of the hall for those utilizing mobility devices. Those sessions will have reserved seating in the front of the hall for those using ASL translation or CART services.
- During breakout sessions, rooms will be set to create space for those using mobility devices, ASL translation or CART transcription, space for folks to sit and listen, have a tabletop for notepads or computers, to stand at a high-top table, or sit on a yoga ball. Presenters will be instructed to repeat audience input via their microphones.
- Keep an eye on your surroundings. If someone using a mobility device needs more space, give them room. Give up that aisle seat if someone needs it. Raise your hand and ask the presenter to describe what’s happening in their silent video, for the benefit of those who can’t see it. These are the actions that add up to a truly inclusive event where we all feel welcome.
- Think ahead! Being an ally starts before you arrive. Remember that some of us are sensitive to smells, sounds, and lights. Please avoid wearing heavily scented products. Please don’t use flash photography. Keep an eye out for pronoun ribbons and address your fellow attendees properly.