HDA After Action Report , DC 30


First off this was a great year for HDA, otherwise known as Hackers with Disabilities. We responded to 57 inquiries for assistance information or assistance before con , and countless ones during con. The HDA infopack was well received and used in the DEFCON infobooths as well as carried around by myself and other Goons digitally. We received input , updates and changes right up until Thursday and they all made it in.


Things that went right :
  • People with ADA needs being escorted to the front of lines. I did this personally for a few people in registration and other lines, and reminded Goons to help those out who were spotted in lines to escort them to the head of the line.
  • NEW first time DEFCON attendees with ADA needs who felt comfortable, welcomed and appreciated the time and effort put forward to make DEFCON awesomely accessable.
  • Excellent cooperation with the hotel and venue staff to make areas accessible, to put up our HDA signage to point the way, and adjusting what we could to help attendees across the multiple venues.
  • Large amounts of positive feedback about the layout, and the ease of getting around thanks to the HDA mapkit, the Las Vegas Monorail, and the skybridge.
  • Distribution of HDA schwag! Loved seeing all the stickers, pins and other goodies from the sticker grab bag about the con. If you missed out please let us know on the forums and we will work something out for you.


Awesomely Accessible! :
  • The Awesomely Accessible recognition this year goes to the team at the Wall of Sheep who went above and beyond to ensure that their space was accessible to all, and invited the HDA team to look over their setup for assistance.


Things that need improvement :
  • The aerospace village had some issues with crowding and moving people in and out that made it difficult to access for attendees with ADA devices. I will be working to ensure this is improved for next year. They did the best with what they had, and just need a hand to make it better.
  • Elevators : They broke down. A lot. Along with dispatch and the Goon team HDA did our part to get the problems reported and fixed as soon as possible when an elevator or escalator broke down. . We need to create better , safer, and more friendly alternate routes for when these failures happen. `Late night wandering through parking lots, unmarked crosswalks, and unlit areas is not acceptable!
  • Concession Lines : These were not well managed, not wide / large enough and were often backed up in such a way that attendees with special needs would not be able to readily navigate them. This will be brought up before we kick off next year.
  • Some attendees complained about the elevators at the Flamingo. There is not much we can do about the state they are in, but I will bring it to the attention of the venue.
  • “EXIT ONLY” signs : I do not know who labeled the ADA accessible doors to the courtyard “Exit Only”. This is incorrect and I will work to see that this does not happen again.



Next Year :
  • HDA now has its own section of the forums , https://forum.defcon.org/node/242670 , or search for HDA in the forums. We also have a twitter : @HDA_DEFCON. We don’t have space on the discord … yet :) Please give your feedback and help us plan for next year.
  • Volunteers! We had more than a few people ask to volunteer to work with HDA. I am working on this and putting together a training program.
  • Requests for an HDA meetup , and / or party! Once again please get with us on the forums or via twitter and help us gauge interest and it will be done!




In conclusion , a huge thanks to all the Defcon Staff, Goons, Artists and planners who worked with HDA to make Defcon Awesomely Accessible. Two years ago a Defcon attendee said we were the most accessible con they had ever attended. We aim to keep that distinction, and welcome all members of our community with the dignity, respect, and family that we have all come to enjoy at Defcon. See you next year!
  • Delchi