My goal in reprinting these links is to encourage all cons to provide best access to all members.
Stephanie Saulter has an informative old-timer posthttp://stephaniesaulter.com/2013/11/05/what-i-thought-of-wfc-2013/
with these notes on access:2. ACCESSIBILITY. Whether it’s for fans or professionals, or fans and professionals, WFC needs to be much more committed to providing full, uncomplicated accessibility. It’s not good enough to simply say, ‘oh, it’s an old hotel’ and throw your hands up. It is not acceptable for people who have paid their membership like everyone else, who have just as much to contribute and just as much to learn as anyone else, to be unable to access large parts of the con, to have poor to no directions on how to get to the parts they technically could reach, or for the hotel staff to whom they were referred to appear baffled by the question. And I also want to point out that disabilities and constraints are not only around mobility. If there were provisions for sight- or hearing-impaired members, for example, I saw no sign of them. (Maybe that’s because the con knew no one with those constraints would be coming. Fair enough. But is that because people with those constraints know there’s no point trying to come? That would not be fair. I don’t know which it is, but it troubles me.)
Joely Black comments on a mundane but crucial missing access feature: chairs.http://joelyblack.com/2013/11/06/wfc2013-stories-chairs/Other than panels, the events at the convention were remarkable for their lack of chairs. You’d think this was a minor issue, especially as you could sit down during panels. Most of the big events were in the evening, and were chairless.
[... snip ...]
It made networking hard. Standing in a group of people, we’d agree that we needed a sit down. Just as we set off to find chairs, somebody would join the group and we’d all be pressed into fresh conversation. After hours of standing, walking, standing, we’d all grimace at them as they brought new party flotsam into the group as fresh opportunities to sit down slipped away.
From my con-running experience, there's a constant tension between enough chairs for folks to take a load off their feet versus fewer chairs for smoother traffic in functionally wider hallways. Joely points out their importance for everyone. Universal design, our friend!