Accessibility & Inclusion

CONvergence is serious about doing everything we can to provide a welcoming, accessible environment for all fans. This page is a general overview of the accessibility and inclusion services and facilities offered by the convention.

Unfortunately, we cannot make every aspect of CONvergence barrier-free. We are limited by finances,  logistics, facilities, and volunteer staffing. Please contact CONvergence Accessibility & Inclusion if you have any questions, or if you can offer suggestions or resources to help make CONvergence more accessible.


Accessibility Logo Stylized to look like Connie in a wheelchairAccessibility Table

Located opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton’s front desk, Accessibility Table staff are available to answer your accessibility-related questions in person and provide resources to make your CONvergence experience great!

Accessibility Table Hours

  • Thursday 10:00am – 9:00pm
  • Friday 10:00am – 9:00pm
  • Saturday 10:00am – 7:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am– 3:00pm

Accessibility Table Resources

  • Paddle sign to hold up that says “Use the Mic” on one side and “Show your Lips” on the other side
  • Information on the nearest drugstores, ER, and walk-in clinics
  • Accessible Restroom Tip Sheet
  • Wheelchair/scooter rental venues
  • Large hotel maps specifically marked with:
  • Large print grid schedule
  • Pronoun badge stickers

Connie in a power wheelchairPanel Rooms

Each CONvergence panel room has taped off wheelchair/scooter seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each panel room also has a taped off area for setting up camera tripods. Tripods should not be set up in aisles.

Event Seating

If you need accessible seating for an event at CONvergence, please alert a Nerf Herder line management volunteer (wearing a green smock) and they will do everything they can to get you accommodation. Accessible seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For those who need accessible seating at MainStage (including members with visual impairments, hearing impairments, wheelchairs/scooters, or with other mobility issues), please arrive 20 minutes before showtime. MainStage has a reserved section of priority seating for those requiring assistance or accommodation. Once the doors have been opened for all to be admitted, MainStage ushers cannot guarantee anyone—even those with special needs—a seat.

Unfortunately, there is no room for storage of unused scooters or wheelchairs within the MainStage space. If you want to transfer from your scooter or wheelchair to a stationary chair, your scooter or wheelchair will have to be stored outside of MainStage. MainStage ushers will assist in relocating and returning your mobility aid to you after the show. Please contact CONvergence MainStage if you have any questions.

Scheduling

All CONvergence panels and events are scheduled with at least one half hour break between them in order to allow everyone ample time to use the restroom and to travel to their next destination.

Connie Mark 2 using crutchesElevator Access

If you need reliable access to elevators in order to move around the hotel for reasons including difficulty riding escalators or climbing stairs, please stop by the Accessibility Table (opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton’s front desk) when you arrive at the convention.

If you have any questions regarding elevator access at CONvergence, please contact CONvergence Accessibility & Inclusion.

Waiting in Lines

If you have physical challenges with standing in lines, please alert a Nerf Herder line management volunteer (wearing a green smock) and they will ensure you get accommodation.

If you have limited mobility or you use a mobility device such as a scooter, a walker, crutches, or a wheelchair, you may wait near the front of the line so that you will be able to take advantage of the accessible seating.

Publication Formats

Included with your CONvergence membership is a small print Pocket Programming Grid, and a regular print Programming Guide and Souvenir Book. PDF versions of the Programming Guide/Souvenir Book will be available on the CONvergence website prior to the convention. A large-print PDF of the CONvergence schedule will also be available for you to download and print.

If you would like a text-only version of the CONvergence 2017 Programming Guide, please contact CONvergence Publications with your request before June 15, 2017.

Maps

Maps showing accessible paths in each of the CONvergence hotels are available on the Maps page.

Plain text maps for CONvergence 2017 are below These maps were designed to help visually impaired members navigate the convention and should be compatible for all screen reading software.

This is our third year providing a plain text map of CONvergence function space. If you are interested in having a tactile map for 2018, please contact CONvergence Accessibility & Inclusion.

CaptioningCONvergence mascots as the X-Men

The following CONvergence 2016 events will feature live captioning both projected next to MainStage and broadcast on CVG-TV:

Other panels and events around the convention may offer live captioning. If you have question about captioning service for a particular panel or event, please contact CONvergence Accessibility & Inclusion.

ASL Interpreters

CONvergence offers free American Sign Language interpretation services. To request an ASL interpreter, simply contact CONvergence ASL ahead of time or stop by the Accessibility Table (opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton’s front desk) when you arrive at the convention.

Please visit our ASL page for more information!

Gender Identity

Diversity of gender identity is embraced at CONvergence. All are welcome to use the restroom that best fits their identity. There are Men’s, Women’s, and All-Gender restrooms available during the convention in the DoubleTree by Hilton, and Men’s and Women’s restrooms in the Sheraton Bloomington. Please see the Maps page for specific locations.

Poster illustrating pronoun stickers

Add a pronoun sticker to your convention badge! Pre-printed pronoun stickers for They/Them, He/Him, and She/Her, as well as blank stickers for you to write in your pronouns, are available at Registration & Badge Pick-up, The Bridge, and the Accessibility Table.

Not sure which pronouns to use for a new friend at CONvergence? Check their badge for their pronoun sticker, or if they don’t have a sticker, just go ahead and ask. It really is not a big deal!

Parents

Need a space at CONvergence to feed your infant or toddler, change diapers, or express milk? The Parenting Lounge is located in Room #222, right next to ConSuite. Parents and caregivers with infants, toddlers, or children with special needs, as well as mothers and female-bodied people who need to express milk, are welcome in the Parenting Lounge.

Please visit our Parenting Lounge page for more information!

Sensory Break Room

CONvergence’s sensory-friendly Sensory Break Room (located in Atrium 5) is the ideal place to take a break from CONvergence and quietly reenergize yourself with minimal distractions.

Please visit our Sensory Break Room page for more information!

Service Animals

Service Animals as defined by the Federal ADA are welcome at CONvergence and a special badge is available for your service animal if you would like one.

Please visit our Service Animals page for more information!

Connie as Rosie the RiviterShuttles

The free CONvergence shuttle service includes two accessible van shuttles that run 24 hours during the convention.

Please visit our Shuttles page for more information!

Medical Needs

The First Advisors Room, located at The Bridge (next to the DoubleTree by Hilton’s front desk), offers both a refrigerator to store your medication for the day and a controlled space to see to your own medical needs. It is available at all times during the convention.

Please visit the First Advisors page for more information!

Hotels & Facilities

If you need an ADA compliant/accessible hotel room, please indicate that when you enter the CONvergence hotel lottery. If you need other special hotel room accommodations, please contact the Hotel Room Allocations directly.

Mini-fridges can be rented from the DoubleTree by Hilton for a nightly rate and are available from the hotel on a first-come, first served-basis. Call the DoubleTree by Hilton at 1-952-835-7800 to reserve one.

Maps showing accessible paths in each of the CONvergence hotels are available on the Maps page.

Connie using crutchesThe DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington offers the following:

  • Accessible parking spaces for cars in the self-parking facility
  • Van-accessible parking in the self-parking facility
  • Accessible transportation with advance notice
  • Accessible public entrances
  • Accessible registration desk and concierge desk
  • Accessible business center and hotel restaurant
  • Accessible exercise facility and swimming pool
  • Accessible guest rooms with mobility features, entry, or passage doors that provide 32” of clear width
  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the accessible guestrooms
  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the registration area
  • Accessible route from accessible entrance to the meeting room/ballroom area
  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to at least one restaurant
  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the business center
  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the exercise facilities
  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the spa
  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the swimming pool
  • Accessible all-gender family toilet facility located near the pool
  • Assistive listening devices for meetings upon request
  • Closed captioning on televisions or closed captioning decoders
  • TTY for guest use

The Sheraton Bloomington offers the following:

  • Accessible public entrance
  • Accessible route from public entrance to registration
  • Accessible route from public entrance to guest rooms
  • Accessible route from public entrance to restaurant
  • Accessible route from public entrance to meeting room/ballroom
  • Accessible route from public entrance to fitness center
  • Accessible route from public entrance to business center
  • Accessible Restaurant
  • Valet parking
  • Accessible self-parking area for cars and vans
  • Accessible business center
  • Assistive listening devices for meetings
  • Accessible guest rooms with mobility features, entry, or passage doors that provide 32” of clear width
  • Closed captioning on televisions or closed captioning decoders
  • Portable communications kits containing visual alarms & notification devices
  • Clarifying Note: Certain areas of the Sheraton Bloomington hotel are not fully accessible to guests with disabilities

Potential Barriers

CONvergence strives to be accessible to all members. Due to financial, logistic, facility, and volunteer staffing limitations, some barriers still remain.

  • Public areas can get very crowded.
  • Not all of the CONvergence Shuttles are always wheelchair/scooter accessible.
  • Valet parking is not available at the DoubleTree by Hilton during the convention.
  • First floor party rooms have stairs at their pool entrance, but an accessible entrance is available in the hallway.
  • Most of the programming rooms are illuminated with fluorescent lighting.
  • Some parties, events, or spaces may utilize strobe lighting and/or black lights.
  • Not all of CVG-TV is captioned.
  • Most convention signage features regular-sized print. If you have questions about signage during the convention, please visit the Accessibility Table (opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton’s front desk.)
  • CONvergence is not scent-free. The Sensory Break Room and First Advisors Room try to minimize scents within their space.
  • Some public hotel toilet facilities may use binary language such as “Men” and “Women”. At the DoubleTree by Hilton, there are several All-Gender restrooms available for use.

CONvergence welcomes suggestions for making our convention more accessible! If you have a comment or suggestion about accessibility at CONvergence, please contact CONvergence Accessibility & Inclusion.

Connie reclining