52nd DPS Meeting

Accessibility & Inclusion

DPS 2020
52nd Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences
Virtually Anywhere
26 – 30 October 2020


The Division for Planetary Science is dedicated to creating a welcoming and accessible environment for all meeting attendees. During the meeting, please post to the #help channel on the DPS_2020 Slack workspace with your questions and concerns.


The DPS asks that all attendees of the meeting work to make it an inclusive space. Please keep the following in mind during the meeting:

  • Please respect the preferred pronouns of others. Please add your pronouns to your zoom name (see https://studentaffairs.duke.edu/csgd/resources/changing-pronouns-zoom for instructions).
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking. If you are asked to speak, state your name when you begin.
  • Be mindful of jargon, slang, and assumed knowledge to be inclusive of all attendees.  Use plain language and avoid ableist and other negative language.
  • If your poster includes images, include alternative text and image descriptions.
  • Do not use flashing or strobing animations in a presentation or poster.
  • Respect the privacy of people with disabilities, whether visible or invisible.
  • Use inclusive rather than ableist language. For example, instead of referring to a parking spot as "handicapped," please refer to it as "disability accessible" or "accessible."
  • Additionally, avoid making contrast between a person with a disability and "normal," e.g., do not say, "I'm sorry normal people aren't aware of accessibility for blind people." Say, "I'm sorry sighted people aren't aware of accessibility for blind people."
  • You may offer help, but do not assume that help is needed. If they refuse help, respect this.
  • Presenters should follow the following guidelines for making their presentations accessible:
    • Use a large, easily readable font and sufficient color contrast.
    • Describe any graphics or figures, and remark on important features.
    • Use colors that are accessible to anyone who is colorblind (e.g., by avoiding red-green color pairings).
    • Use captions for audio/video content.
    • Speak clearly into the microphone while facing the audience. Keep your lips visible for anyone who speech-reads.
    • If you have electronic handouts, make sure they are screen-reader compatible for individuals who rely on this technology.
    • Avoid using jargon and idioms.
    • Give sufficient time for conference participants to process the information.
  • Remember and ponder the following ways to promote inclusive spaces when in person. Although they are less relevant for the upcoming online-only meeting, we still list them here for reference:
    • Keep pathways clear for people who use wheelchairs or who have limited mobility.
    • Please minimize the use of fragrances and scented products (e.g., colognes and perfumes). The CC is a non-smoking facility in all public areas; if you smoke, do so outside in designated areas, and please wash your hands after smoking to reduce the scent.
    • Ask before photographing anyone and do not use flash photography without permission.
    • Always use (and wait for) a microphone if one is available, whether presenting or asking questions.
    • Reserve the front row and aisle seats for people with accessibility needs.
    • Do not touch or stare at a person's mobility aid or guide animal under any circumstances. If someone has a helper (e.g., pushing a wheelchair or sign language interpreter), do not talk to them as though they are a stand-in; speak to/look at the person with the disability.
    • Do not touch someone without permission and do not be offended if they refuse (even a handshake). For some people with mental disabilities, this can be a very personal issue and their preferences should be respected.

Accessibility Is a Work in Progress

Information on details of accessibility for this meeting is a work in progress, and there exist several remaining accessibility barriers that need to be addressed during this and future meetings. Some of these barriers include:

  • Unless there is a specific request, this meeting will not have American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or captioning. If you need non-verbal language access, please complete the Meeting Inclusion Request Form as soon as possible and we will do our best to accommodate.
  • Many of the conference materials are not yet optimized for use with reader software, and thus may be inaccessible to blind and visually impaired participants. If you need non-visual language access, please complete the Meeting Inclusion Request Form as soon as possible and we will do our best to accommodate.
  • The culture within astronomy does not generally place a high priority on accessibility above and beyond the legal requirements. Many in our community, including several organizers, are in the process of learning about the principles of universal design and disability justice. A goal of the AAS is to change our community's culture to prioritize making astronomy accessible for all.

Some portions of this page derive from the Inclusive Astronomy 2015 Conference. Please see the AAS Anti-Harassment Policy for additional guidelines. If you have suggestions for making current and future meetings more accessible, please email [email protected].