Accessibility

Penguicon 2019 wants to make sure that our convention is an awesome and accessible one for all.  In order to ensure an accessible convention, we have created an Accessibility Department. If at any time you have anything you wish to discuss, contribute, or inquire about regarding accessibility at Penguicon, you can email accessibility@penguicon.org or chair@penguicon.org. If you have any accessibility concerns during the event, please visit the Operations Desk.

Accessibility Changes

In order to remove barriers, Penguicon 2019 is making changes to previous accessibility standards. While we are aware we may not cover every accessibility issue, we are working hard to remove as many barriers as possible. We are open to any input you may have.

Hallways:

  • All Public Venue hallways will have blue tape on the floor to indicate Traffic Zones. We ask all attendees to look down and not stop to talk in Traffic Zones.
  • We are moving the majority of our Maker Market into the Windover room this year and limiting our hallway makers.

Elevators:

  • Each person with a disability gets priority access to elevators. Please speak to a staff member if you have any difficulty getting onto the elevators.

Accessible Seating:

  • Every official Penguicon Programming/Event Room will have blue taped zones for Accessible Seating. Each area of accessible seating will have space for bags and wider rows for service animals.

Assistive Listening Devices:

  • Penguicon has purchased several Personal Assistive Listening Devices for those attendees with hearing impairments. These will be available for check-out at Ops.

Mobility Devices:

  • Located at Ops, any attendee may come check out any of the following mobility devices:
    • One Manual Wheelchair
    • 1 Extra Wide, Heavy Duty, Rollator Walker
    • 1 Cane

Mobility Equipment Rental:

  • Penguicon 2019 has partnered with Scootaround Mobility Rentals to provide easy access to our attendees who may need to rent personal transportation devices. Please visit our Penguicon Scootaround Portal to arrange for your rental.

Digital Documents:

  • Penguicon 2019 is working with Sched again this year which means a digital copy of the programming schedule will be available online and in our app.
  • There will be digital copies of our Scheduling Pocket Book, as well as our Souvenir Book.
  • Our website has an accessibility toolbar on left hand side for the visually impaired.

Service Animal Accommodations:

  • The Consuite will have fresh water for service animals available upon request.

Knowing that further, detailed information may be needed for an attendee to be able to make educated decisions about attending our convention, we are providing detailed information below.

Event Location

This year’s Penguicon will be held at The Westin Southfield Detroit, in Southfield, MI. and in the adjoining Executive Meeting Center (EMC).

The Westin Southfield Detroit
1500 Town Center
Southfield, MI. 48075

The Westin and The EMC are an ADA Compliant hotel and meeting center. To access any official event or function in either space, there are stairways as well as elevators. Each public restroom has an accessible stall in it. All guest entrances to The Westin and The EMC are accessible entrances.

Ground Transportation:

  • The Westin Southfield has a very large entry space with automatic doors, a roof overhanging the pick-up location, and accessible sidewalk space for waiting for transportation.
  • The closest SMART Bus stops are at 10 Mile/Evergreen (about two blocks southeast of the hotel), and Evergreen/Goldwin (one block east of the hotel). SMART Routes 730 ‘Ten Mile Crosstown’ and 405 ‘Northwestern’ serve these stops Monday through Saturday. SMART’s entire bus fleet is low-floor and wheelchair accessible, and they also offer curb-to-curb SMART Connector service that will get you right to the Westin’s front door. For more information, call 1-866-962-5515.
  • The closest Detroit Department of Transportation bus stops are at Evergreen/Northwestern Hwy and Evergreen/10 Mile (about two blocks south of the hotel). DDOT Route 60 ‘Evergreen’ serves these stops every day. DDOT’s entire bus fleet is low floor and wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 313-933-1300.

Hotel Details:

  • The Westin Southfield has a very large, wheelchair-accessible front entrance with automatic double doors. It is well over 32” wide and has no steps or other barriers in front of it.
  • All Westin guest entrances are accessible.
  • The hotel offers accessible parking spaces to either side of the front entrance.
  • The hotel’s official public spaces are all on the ground floor and accessible with a wheelchair. Our Consuite is on the second floor, accessible by elevator.
  • The hotel has three accessible rooms. The doors to both the room and the bathroom are 33 inches. The commode is 18 inches high, grab bars are accessible and in an appropriate horizontal placement. The shower has a low threshold to enter. The showers feature a built in shower bench attached to the opposite end of shower from shower controls. The sink is a wheelchair accessible pedestal style sink.
  • The Westin has one restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the event, as well as a cafe that serves Starbucks coffee. The Consuite will also be operating throughout the weekend.
  • Tables in food service areas (both in hotel restaurants, and the hospitality suite) are less than 34” high.
  • Restaurants within walking distance of the hotel include Kerby’s Koney IslandFuddruckersQdoba Mexican Eats, and Tim Hortons.
  • The Westin’s room signs and elevators have raised or Braille characters.
  • Exits are clearly identified and accessible.
  • Fire and emergency alarms have both audible and visual signals. All meeting rooms and guest rooms have both audible and visual emergency devices.
  • There is an evacuation plan for persons with physical, hearing, and visual disabilities. The Westin prints out a list of occupied accessibility rooms daily, and in the event of any emergency they will assist as needed.
  • The Westin has two TDD portable systems available for use.
  • Water is available in cups and pitchers throughout the hotel, and someone from Operations would be happy to assist anyone who requests help getting water.

Public Venue Details:

  • All event-specific functions are in the Westin or the EMC, an accessible connected, adjacent building.
  • All official Penguicon events and spaces are accessible via the public elevators.
  • Public facilities are wheelchair-accessible. The hotel provides one accessible stall per public restroom.
  • The Westin and EMC entrances and architecture (ballrooms, meeting rooms, etc.) are wheelchair-accessible. In the case of multi-tiered spaces, ADA-compliant ramps or lifts are provided, or access to the front of the room is provided via alternate entrances.
  • Venue room signs and elevators have raised or Braille characters.
  • All exits in the hotel and the EMC are clearly identified and accessible.
  • Fire and emergency alarms have both audible and visual signals.

Panels and Programming:

  • Should we decide to use a stage, stages and raised platforms are wheelchair-accessible via lifts or ADA-compliant ramps.
  • Seats at the front of the room are available for visually-impaired and hearing-impaired attendees. Seats on either side of “center” in that section are available for lip-readers so that panelists’ faces are not hidden by microphones.
  • Audience seating includes spaces for wheelchairs and scooters.
  • One or more assistive listening devices are available.
    Lighting is at an adequate level to ensure hearing impaired attendees can read lips or clearly see the ASL interpreter. We have purchased lamps to provide additional light for dim rooms.

Mental and Emotional accommodations:

  • Although Penguicon makes accommodations to address attendees’ mental and emotional health, we strongly recommend that each attendee attend to their own mental and emotional health over the course of Penguicon.
  • Penguicon offers Interaction Buttons to indicate your level of desired engagement. Different colors and shapes indicate whether people are open to talking with strangers, only open to talking to people who know them or have a reason to, or people who do not want to interact with others. These buttons will be available at Registration and Ops.
  • Penguicon is offering a quiet area to reset in. This area is to be used to relax and give yourself quiet mental space.

Miscellaneous:

  • In the event an attendee or guest with disabilities requires a caretaker/assistant, the caretaker/assistant’s registration is comped.
  • Service animals are permitted in all hotel and convention spaces. The Consuite has fresh water available for service animals upon request.
  • In our Consuite we offer a variety of foods, some packaged, and some (like fruit) that are not. We will make every effort to mark non-obvious food that may contain common allergens. Consuite will have product labels and you may ask Consuite staff for help in determining the ingredients. Consuite will provide a table for gluten free food.
  • Consuite staff will use non-latex gloves when handling food and drinks.

Attributions

This Accessibility document was assembled using the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America’s Accessibility Checklist for SFWA spaces and Penguicon 2017’s Accessibility policy in order to better acquaint you with Penguicon’s hotel and event. We acknowledge it is not exhaustive nor perfect, and does not cover every accessibility need. We are open to any input you may have. You may contact our Accessibility Liaison through accessibility@penguicon.org or contact our chair, Cassy Sinke, at chair18@penguicon.org with any additional questions you have, and we will update this document accordingly.