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

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  • Delchi
    commented on 's reply
    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.

    https://www.theclearmask.com/

    A quick look at Amazon showed some similar clear masks, that might better accommodate what you need. This one caught my attention.

    https://www.amazon.com/Jelli-M1-Tran...459449&sr=8-43

  • Delchi
    replied
    Originally posted by kathysrazor View Post

    Isn't that the thing with disabilities, though? We build an inclusive environment as a society, because it's better to deal with the exceptions than to punish people for having bodies that are a little bit different.

    When my spouse and I set up our flight school, we were legally required to wrap the lines on the hot water under the sink, replace the handles with ones that could be opened one handed, adjust the door tensioner so that it had a limited amount of pull, etc. It was our legal, and moral responsibility to provide all reasonable accomodations for the differently-abled, even when it required training and actual spending of our money. This was a precondition of our occupancy permit.

    Having previously worked at one of only two handicap-modified flight schools in Canada, it was important to us anyway, and we saw the difference that it made in people's lives to include the differently abled, even when it was inconvenient dealing with exceptions. We took it the extra distance, making arrangements to have a pilot in a wheelchair able to work for us as well. The lockdowns killed the school, or we would be operating that school still, specifically targeting pilots with disabilities.

    Not all disabilities are visible, and the past 16 months have been harder on some of us than others. Before the vaccines came out, I ended up staying home a lot, and having to schedule things in order to limit the continuous mask wearing time. I'd get in, get what I needed, and get out before my asthma attack kicked in - or just order delivery. The CDC's new guidance has been a godsend, as businesses took much the same attitude as Defcon, ignored the legally required exemptions in almost all mask orders, and just trespassed people instead of dealing with disabilities.

    It just seems odd to me to be willing to work with all other kinds of disabilities, but say "oh, sorry, if you have a lung-based disability, stay home, because we don't want the hassle, and don't want to deal with training." We certainly don't allow stores or employers to just go "oh, we don't need to be ADA compliant, because we will just fire or tresspass anyone who shows up in a wheelchair."
    My opinions are my own, and should be taken that way.

    I hear you , and I understand both your frustration and your willingness to work with us to find a way to resolve things. I will look into the potential allowance of a full face shield being acceptable, but please understand that in the end there are people who have a final say that are not me.

    That said I hope that you can understand that there is a difference between making accommodations for day to day access such as adjusting doors & bathroom facilities and having to make accommodations during a pandemic , with multiple government agencies at the federal, state, and local level, sometimes in conflict with each other. It's likewise also very easy to demonize and say that people are making decisions to 'punish' people who are different, or differently-abled when there is no intention to do any of these things. No one is being trespassed , and I hope you understand that I will do my best to research into acceptable accommodations, if they are possible. While it may appear that it's targeting people with disabilities, consider that this is a matter of a biological spread of a disease, and that all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of that disease need to be paramount for the good of all. Try to think of it in that light - protection of all against a biological hazard and not people trying to single out and punish disabled people. Very few people that I am aware of want to single out people and make them feel out of place, unwelcome , or uncomfortable. It's not unheard of, but it is not the case here. It's not about your requirements, your medical condition(s),your being differently abled, or any singling out. It is about the pandemic, the disease, and the desire to be as inclusive as possible without putting people in danger. At the same time please keep in mind that there are people who, if they became infected, would seize on any opportunity such as a relaxing of mask protocols or procedures to hold someone responsible for their illness. You have to think and care for yourself, the organizers have to think and care for thousands of people. The pandemic is a unique situation, with conflicting guidance & regulations, at multiple levels. It is more than just an ADA situation.

    Please do not see yourself as unwelcome, a complication, or a burden. See the situation, a global pandemic, as the problem. Being tasked with a one size fits all solution in a pandemic is an impossible mission, and not one that can be fixed with duct tape and an adjustment to a door.

    In an effort to show you how much I understand, please know that I have been locked down in my apartment for years, even prior to the pandemic because of the lack of accommodation available from the city of Las Vegas to provide transportation for me. I have had many a fight, many an argument and many a discussion about the topic in an effort to get out more, get medical attention, and to have a life. I have been told flat out no, and I have had places go the extra mile to dismantle doorways so I could get in. I have lived this struggle, so I feel I can honestly say I hear and understand you and with empathy & determination I will try my best to find a workable solution. I can not promise you one, but if it fails it will not be for lack of trying, understanding, or without spirit of community.

    Thanks ,
    - D

    Leave a comment:


  • kathysrazor
    replied
    As an alternative to a face mask, would a face shield be an acceptable way to balance the desire of others to feel safe with my need to be able to breathe?

    As you've yourself seen many times, an online experience can't replace what Defcon fundamentally is. I've made arrangements to meet with people, booked hotel and air flight, etc. I'd really prefer to find some way to meet in the middle, and to meet the spirit of accessibility regulations - reasonable accommodations that don't require complete non-participation on the basis of physical limitations.

    Leave a comment:


  • kathysrazor
    replied
    Originally posted by Dark Tangent View Post
    This is why it would be better to attend virtually.

    ...

    Not the answer I want to give but this year it is the only one I can.
    Isn't that the thing with disabilities, though? We build an inclusive environment as a society, because it's better to deal with the exceptions than to punish people for having bodies that are a little bit different.

    When my spouse and I set up our flight school, we were legally required to wrap the lines on the hot water under the sink, replace the handles with ones that could be opened one handed, adjust the door tensioner so that it had a limited amount of pull, etc. It was our legal, and moral responsibility to provide all reasonable accomodations for the differently-abled, even when it required training and actual spending of our money. This was a precondition of our occupancy permit.

    Having previously worked at one of only two handicap-modified flight schools in Canada, it was important to us anyway, and we saw the difference that it made in people's lives to include the differently abled, even when it was inconvenient dealing with exceptions. We took it the extra distance, making arrangements to have a pilot in a wheelchair able to work for us as well. The lockdowns killed the school, or we would be operating that school still, specifically targeting pilots with disabilities.

    Not all disabilities are visible, and the past 16 months have been harder on some of us than others. Before the vaccines came out, I ended up staying home a lot, and having to schedule things in order to limit the continuous mask wearing time. I'd get in, get what I needed, and get out before my asthma attack kicked in - or just order delivery. The CDC's new guidance has been a godsend, as businesses took much the same attitude as Defcon, ignored the legally required exemptions in almost all mask orders, and just trespassed people instead of dealing with disabilities.

    It just seems odd to me to be willing to work with all other kinds of disabilities, but say "oh, sorry, if you have a lung-based disability, stay home, because we don't want the hassle, and don't want to deal with training." We certainly don't allow stores or employers to just go "oh, we don't need to be ADA compliant, because we will just fire or tresspass anyone who shows up in a wheelchair."
    Last edited by kathysrazor; July 4, 2021, 19:31.

    Leave a comment:


  • number6
    commented on 's reply
    Originally posted by Delchi View Post
    UPDATE :A Scooter / power chair decoration contest! Who can geek out their mobility devices. If you think this is an idea you could get behind let me know.
    I seem to recall a contest to do this at a previous DEF CON. If you were not involved with it, consider people involved in previous attempts and the posted content for ideas, or contacting them directly: https://forum.defcon.org/node/749 "Pimp My Rascal" back in 2013 (DEF CON 21).

    Rascal being broken down and rebuilt in the "Car Hacking" area also mentioned in a review of DEF CON 25: https://forum.defcon.org/node/227266...405#post227405 : maybe you can involve people from the Car Hacking Village in this if you find that could help.

    HTH
    Last edited by number6; July 4, 2021, 16:56.

  • Delchi
    replied
    UPDATE :
    - We have new maps, but they are not complete yet. I am waiting for space assignments so that we can mark where things like registration will be located.
    - We have confirmation that both hotels have service animal relief areas, where they are located , mops and pictures
    - Scooters : The hotels ask that if you need a scooter and are not bringing one with you, to work with the bell desk to rent one via a local supplier. If you should rent directly with a local company you will need to arrange drop off and pick up with them, as the bell desk will not accept nor hold them for pickup/delivery. You may charge your scooters at any available outlet so long as doing do does not interfere with traffic going by or create a hazard.
    - Masks : Masks will be mandatory. See the note in our HDA forum from The Dark Tangent.
    - HDA SCHWAG : A work in progress. Updates soon. We will have flags as we did before , and pinback buttons. These are for everyone who wants to show their support for HDA, but we ask that you limit the flags to people who are on scooters or chairs as they also act as an indicator that they are there.
    - QUESTION FOR YOU : A Scooter / power chair decoration contest! Who can geek out their mobility devices. If you think this is an idea you could get behind let me know. I'll work on prizes.

    As always , any questions please let me know.

    - D

    Leave a comment:


  • The Dark Tangent
    replied
    The problem will be everyone is trained to ask people not wearing a mask to put one on or leave the convention. If you don’t wear one you will be constantly asked to, and attendees will be repeatedly reporting you to staff.

    This is why it would be better to attend virtually. As a private event in a difficult year we need one size fits all rules or we will be burried with exceptions without the staff to manage it.

    Not the answer I want to give but this year it is the only one I can.

    Leave a comment:


  • kathysrazor
    replied
    The Nevada Health Response (COVID-19 division of NHHS) had exemptions to the mask mandate (when there was one) for individuals with disabilities, specifically individuals:

    Who have a medical condition, whether it be mental health, disability, or other health reason that prevents them from wearing a face covering. This includes people with any medical condition for whom wearing a face covering can obstruct their breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
    Will Defcon be honoring disability accommodations for fully vaccinated individuals with respiratory issues, and if so what would the required documentation be? I can power through it with a rescue inhaler if I have to, but I generally prefer to not have asthma attacks in the first place, and to limit my use of bronchodilator in general. Salbutamol tolerance builds up after 5 doses, and is significant after 7.

    Ontario has been on lockdown for a while, but I can try to get in to see my doctor for something different/stronger if I'm going to end up building up a tolerance to my inhalers.

    Leave a comment:


  • kathysrazor
    replied
    Thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    Originally posted by kathysrazor View Post
    The biggest thing for me (other than breathing) is standing. I have orthostatic hypotension, which essentially means that I faint if I stand still very long.

    I don't need a wheelchair, but for any kind of line I either need a chair, or to sit on the floor. Sitting on the floor tends to get weird looks.

    For the rooms themselves, I prefer rooms with accessible showers, as long as I'm not taking one that is needed for someone in a wheelchair. Again, I can sit on the floor if I need to, but a chair is better. Packing a shower chair is a bit inconvenient, but if I know in advance that I can't get an accessible room I can try to find a place to buy one, or fedex one to the hotel.
    OK I have some news for you :

    While all rooms have accessible devices , if you ask for an " accessible room " when making your reservations you can get a room that has a wheel in shower.

    As for shipping, see the attached PDF.

    Let me knwo if you have any other questions!

    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    Originally posted by kathysrazor View Post
    The biggest thing for me (other than breathing) is standing. I have orthostatic hypotension, which essentially means that I faint if I stand still very long.

    I don't need a wheelchair, but for any kind of line I either need a chair, or to sit on the floor. Sitting on the floor tends to get weird looks.

    For the rooms themselves, I prefer rooms with accessible showers, as long as I'm not taking one that is needed for someone in a wheelchair. Again, I can sit on the floor if I need to, but a chair is better. Packing a shower chair is a bit inconvenient, but if I know in advance that I can't get an accessible room I can try to find a place to buy one, or fedex one to the hotel.
    This was talked about directly on the call yesterday. Both the hotels and the DEF CON staff have seen my proposal for a separate registration line for HDA so that people like yourself do not have to partake in linecon.

    As far as I have been able to tell, rooms are ADA compliant as required, but they may not have shower chairs. I have seen rooms that have accessible showers that you can wheel a wheelchair into, but I'm not sure if any have shower chairs. I'll inquire about that and let you know what I find out. Locally there are a large number of medical supply shops where you can buy such things, however you might want to look into buying it from Amazon and having it drop-shipped to the hotel to save money. I know my shower chair would be more than a problem to pack and take with me, so I surely hear you on that count.

    All that aside, this is a hacker convention - we always get weird looks from some people, but always remember you are one of us.

    - D

    Leave a comment:


  • kathysrazor
    replied
    The biggest thing for me (other than breathing) is standing. I have orthostatic hypotension, which essentially means that I faint if I stand still very long.

    I don't need a wheelchair, but for any kind of line I either need a chair, or to sit on the floor. Sitting on the floor tends to get weird looks.

    For the rooms themselves, I prefer rooms with accessible showers, as long as I'm not taking one that is needed for someone in a wheelchair. Again, I can sit on the floor if I need to, but a chair is better. Packing a shower chair is a bit inconvenient, but if I know in advance that I can't get an accessible room I can try to find a place to buy one, or fedex one to the hotel.

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    Originally posted by admford View Post
    Take a look at the seating arrangements that I covered in the guide that I wrote. It should help out regarding number of spots and placement. I think rather than having them in rows, since wheelchairs and scooters tend to seat people higher, I think the placing of the seats should be at the start of the rows, at the middle corridor going down to the stage. Possibly have seating staggered from side to side. This mainly because wheelchair users will obstruct vision for some people. So having a row of wheelchair users is actually counter productive.

    Either way it's better than having us be placed in the back of the room as we're a "fire hazard"...
    I spoke to DT & the room space coordinators about this earlier today. They have a fire marshal approved plan for the layout / arrangement and will be sending me an updated diagram soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • admford
    replied
    Take a look at the seating arrangements that I covered in the guide that I wrote. It should help out regarding number of spots and placement. I think rather than having them in rows, since wheelchairs and scooters tend to seat people higher, I think the placing of the seats should be at the start of the rows, at the middle corridor going down to the stage. Possibly have seating staggered from side to side. This mainly because wheelchair users will obstruct vision for some people. So having a row of wheelchair users is actually counter productive.

    Either way it's better than having us be placed in the back of the room as we're a "fire hazard"...

    Leave a comment:


  • Delchi
    replied
    UPDATES FROM THE MEETING :

    - They will look into carpeting and doorway barriers that can hang up wheelchairs
    - New maps with upcoming construction and potential obstacles will be coming from Bally's / Paris
    - YES we can recharge mobility devices at outlets we see in the convention area - but we must be careful to not create tripping hazards or block the normal flow of traffic.
    - Yes there are service animal relief areas! We will point them out on the maps
    - Yes to helping us block off areas for ADA needs in the meeting rooms ( first row, exits , etc )
    - Yes they will help us with ramps for speaking stages as needed - WE NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF TIME. If you are a speaker and need a ramp to get on stage let us know NOW.
    - Yes they will provide points of contact for ADA needs during the con that are manager level at the hotel(s).


    Anything else we need ?

    - D

    Leave a comment:

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