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(in-person) HDA - Hackers With Disabilities is back for 2021

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  • Delchi
    replied
    Apologies for the last minute changes :) Here is version 4 of the HDA guide to DEFCON 29.

    If you have any questions please let me know.

    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    Originally posted by panda322 View Post
    I currently have a room at Caesars.. should I switch over to Ballys or Paris to make life easier with renting a scooter or a standing/moving assisted device?

    I bought my ticket for Defcon planning on getting vaccinated.. but have been told that due to my condition I cannot be. I'm fine with wearing mask and all.. I've adapted to that. I kinda booked everything the day the tickets dropped.

    This is all very new to me.
    Panda ,

    I'm sorry to say that as per the DEFCON FAQ all attendees must be fully vaccinated to attend. It is suggested to attend virtually. If you have any questions please let me know. Many people are attending both Blackhat and Defcon virtually due to covid.


    - D

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    IMPORTANT UPDATE : IF you are attending DEFCON in person , and require a personal assistant due to disability please DM me as soon s a possible for some news.

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    HERE IT IS : The HDA guide to DEFCON 29 .... this is version 3, the latest so far. There may still be updates before con time so watch this space!

    Comments and suggestions welcome!
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • The Dark Tangent
    commented on 's reply
    If you are at Caesars you need to navigate and cross the main strip, etc. Ballys or Paris is an elevator ride down.

  • panda322
    replied
    I currently have a room at Caesars.. should I switch over to Ballys or Paris to make life easier with renting a scooter or a standing/moving assisted device?

    I bought my ticket for Defcon planning on getting vaccinated.. but have been told that due to my condition I cannot be. I'm fine with wearing mask and all.. I've adapted to that. I kinda booked everything the day the tickets dropped.

    This is all very new to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cyph3r
    replied
    Originally posted by admford View Post
    Found it! I updated it a bit for 2020…
    Thanks! I will use this!!

    Leave a comment:


  • admford
    replied
    Ah, regarding the Air X Microclimate, Deviant Ollam did a review of it a while ago...

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    THIS JUST IN :

    There is an approved option for folks who have medical issues and can not or do not wish to wear traditional masks. While this is not a solution for everyone it has worked for one person so I feel it's fair to share it here with you all. Please keep in mind that there is no one universal answer or solution, and this may not work for you, but it may work for someone else.


    Air X microclimate
    https://microclimate.com/products/microclimate

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    HDA UPDATE

    - Beta copy of this year's pack is in review
    - HDA Flags ordered!
    - HDA Buttons pending
    - Waiting on details for speaker ops contact
    - Waiting on details of event locations


    ----IMPORTANT----

    IF you are attending DEFCON virtually, and are HDA / ADA please let me know! We have a drawing for a kinda surprise prize!

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    commented on 's reply
    We should trade pictures of our pill collections :)

    I get the same response or worse. I'm fighting now because I refuse to pay $300 for transportation to a doctors office to sit in a waiting room for 2 hours to be seen for 30 seconds and then sent home.

    I'm sorry the face masks won't work out for you . I'm still looking into masks that might work, or alternatives but I don't have much left. I'll keep you posted.

    Stay strong!

  • kathysrazor
    replied
    Have you discussed the situation with your medical advisors? Do they have any options that might better suit you?
    Yes. It essentially boiled down to "don't overuse your inhaler, and we suggest you stay home until you are fully vaccinated." I did.

    My access to medical care has been severely restricted throughout the pandemic. Ontario is the most locked down location in North America (and still doesn't have indoor dining). It took literally 3.5 years to "see" my family doctor or a specialist (virtually due to lockdowns), and Canada's seems to be the only western nation that makes it effectively illegal to pay for private doctors outside the public system.

    The mandatory 14 day quarantine for Canadian border travel literally ended today, which means that I've been effectively unable to go to the US for care since March 20 of last year. I had used the US as a workaround for horrible healthcare here. I've had to rely on telemedicine (with people who aren't my doctors), and walk-in clinics.

    People complain about the US healthcare system (with good reason), but the Ontario system is in many ways much worse. I'd rather be on Medicaid in the US (with all it's many, many, many problems) than have "free" socialized care in Ontario. It's the big reason we're moving out of the province.

    The doctors at the walk-in clinics mean well, but they are not Asthma specialists. Or migraine specialists. Their attitude seems to be "well, it's a chronic condition, so it's going to get worse, you're going to have to live with it, and here's some drugs.".

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    commented on 's reply
    Good hunting!

    Although it does note that the CDC makes the exemption, so far DEFCON has not, and I think we both now fully understand why ( protecting all, not punishing some ).

    The CDC did not approve face masks, and I think I can see why - any droplets caught on the mask will just run down and drip out into the open, unlike with a mask where they will be absorbed.

    The problem circles back to how do we , at scale , deal with people who decide to say they have a disability when they do not , to get around the mask requirement? There is no way we can at scale examine, certify or verify every attendee. We already have reports of fake vax cards and forged paperwork saying no mask is required citing everything from fake laws/regulations to sovereign citizen freedoms.

    Also in the end, the CDC echoed what DT said previously : "Mask adaptations and alternatives
    CDC recognizes that wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people. Those who cannot wear a mask are urged to prioritize virtual engagement when possible. "

    I understand fully how not being there in person takes away from the experience. There were years where I could not attend and could only watch the videos - there was no virtual option back then. It's not the same. To put on for all intents and purposes two conventions at one ( one in person one virtual ) is a herculean task with a mostly volunteer staff and the organization / tech considerations taken in to account. It might just be best medically and in full consideration of your circumstances to attend virtually this year, and then with any hope join us next year for the 30th without a mask, or any inhibiting factors from the pandemic.

    Have you discussed the situation with your medical advisors? Do they have any options that might better suit you?

  • kathysrazor
    replied
    Take a look at this : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...-guidance.html

    While the CDC guidance does not approve full face masks or goggles, they do have a suggestion for a mask for people with disabilities.
    I appreciate you looking, and the feedback.

    I note the page also mentions:

    The following categories of people are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask:
    • A child under the age of 2 years;
    • A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, for reasons related to the disability;
    The clear masks are actually incredibly useful for me, when others wear them. I have a minor auditory processing disorder, so in crowds I tend to lip read (as I have difficulty parsing speech with significant background noises).

    The issue with me and masks is that my breathing is rather compromised. Anything that adds difficulty (resistance) to breathing will cause an asthma attack, as well as distress (because I know that it will eventually trigger an asthma attack). This ends up being a vicious cycle, as distress elevates my heart rate, which increases my breathing, which makes the problem worse. The issue is not the oxygen levels - there's plenty of oxygen in the air, and the air exchange happens just fine. The issue at it's core is that my lungs are inflamed and narrow, and this limits my overall lung function. My lungs are damaged from decades of Asthma, and COVID made them worse.

    When I get an asthma attack, my lungs constrict even more, and I have to use a rescue inhaler. Anything that affects airflow makes this worse. Anything that doesn't affect airflow has a hard time being effective.

    That was why I asked about the face shields as an alternative. It's one of the things that businesses did, because it still stops the droplets and sneezes, protecting others. It doesn't restrict airflow, though, which is why people with difficulty breathing often use them.

    Leave a comment:


  • kathysrazor
    replied
    I appreciate it. I don't want to come off as unappreciative, nor (truth be told) feel like I'm being a burden to others. I guess it was easier to understand before the vaccines, because it's like "yeah, I'm paying a disproportionate price, but I'm doing it to help others". Somewhat ironically, it would be a lot easier emotionally if the vaccines didn't work nearly 100% effectively, because then it would be doing my part for a good reason.

    When the news talks about 99.8% of the people in the hospital not being fully vaccinated, it feels like compulsory mask policies without exemptions are a combination of kicking me while I'm down, and like after doing my part now I'm expected to pay the price for the people who are going to lie about being vaccinated.

    Intellectually, I get it. Emotionally, it's just yet another way my body is failing me, in a long line of failures. Hormone and birth issues cause all kinds of body problems, but because I'm extremely tall people are always telling me how lucky I am, how they wish they had my body, how great I have it. They don't see the spontaneous dislocations, the mental issues, the chronic migraines, the connective tissue issues, the inability to stand, the difficulty breathing, the sleep deprivation. My issues are hidden, and I get sensitive. It's not you, and I know that, but it's hard sometimes not to feel like it's one more case of "invisible hardships don't exist".

    I know I could have it worse, and I know DEFCON isn't the enemy. My whole life, I've had to fight just to have a semi-normal life, to hold a job, to get through school. I've learned that I often have to fight the system to be able to participate in society, and I need to keep in mind that the system is not the people, and the people aren't the system. DEFCON's approach of "all masks, no exceptions" is done out of a desire to protect everyone, but the receiving end still feels like a lot of my life, with organizations and governments going "it's not worth working around your limitations, so we're going to [fire/warehouse/not educate] you."

    Again, thank you.

    Leave a comment:

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