I'm Helena McCallum, and I am the committee member in charge of Access at Lazlar Lyricon 3. I am proud that the whole committee are focused on making our small, fun convention as accessible to as many people as possible, but for that we will need your help. Please contact me with any way that we can make our convention more open to you. The hotel is in an old building with all the added complications that can bring, but is open to working on the improvments that we have asked for.
There will be Priority seating, both at the front for people who need to be close to the action, and also close to the exit for those who may need to leave the room. We are looking into using an induction loop, but we realise that this isn't a viable option for all people with hearing impairments. We are brimming with ideas, so please do not feel shy to ask.
Committee Commitment to Access
Our committee are fully committed to access for all to Lazlar Lyricon 3. We recognise that we are a small niche convention and want to ensure that any fan who is interested can come along and enjoy the con.
Helena McCallum is our access committee member, and we have sought advice and assesment from Vanessa May, who has considerable experience running access departments for conventions.
We know we have a very quirky hotel which presents certain difficulties, which we want to work to overcome.
Based on the access review below, the committee undertook a number of actions to resolve issues and make the con as accessible as we can. Below are our commitments to resolve MOST of the issues from the review. Moby access will still be a challenge.
A crucial part of our ability to ensure access is communication. We welcome hearing from you if you intend to come to our convention and feel that we have missed something that will impact on your enjoyment. That's lovely to hear, as it allows us to fix it if we can. Many on our committee are solution focussed, while we also appreciate that discretion is vital, and we hope we can work to resolve any challenge put to us.
- We have a dedicated access coordinator on our committee, Helena MacCallum.
- Our review was conducted by committee member Vanessa May, who has considerable experience with con access, working on Loncon 3 access for instance.
- There is a car park free to guests with dedicated blue badge parking. Level access to the hotel is from the car park. We can also arrange close proximity parking for anyone who requires it.
- A lift connects all floors of the hotel and the lift will be prioritised for access use.
- We will arrange a parking area for mobys on the lower ground floor and provide signage for the reception.
- Good signage and maps are a big requirement for us.
- We have requested adjustments be made to the public toilets to improve them.
- We have requested a 1 in 12 ramp for the Longshore room, and as a contingency Emma J King has committed to build one.
- An access route may go through workshop space. We will communicate this but we also could create a corridor using a mobile air wall, and we will determine the need for that in conjunction with those effected.
- No ramp no stage. Emma J King has committed to build a ramp for the stage if the hotel cannot provide one.
- We have committed with the hotel to co-ordinate the use of rooms to ensure the right room for each guest. This will need communication. There are large rooms available but also the hotel are happy to remove superfluous furniture if that is advantageous. 1-to-1 communication of needs will help us tailor this individually.
- The hotel have committed to having a dedicated fully accessible bed room built and ready for the con.
- We will have wheelchair spaces in programme rooms and seats at the front dedicated to access.
- We will look to use an induction loop system in the Longshore room.
- We welcome all fans who would like to volunteer to help with access, especially any with relevant skills such as signing or with experience in this area.
- We welcome all fans to volunteer, and appreciate and understand varying levels of availability and stamina.
Access Review for Quality Hotel
Vanessa May - Visit of 6th February 2016
Overall view: This is a very characterful older hotel with all of the quirks one would expect to find, including warren-like hallways (easy to get lost in), low lighting, and a number of obstacles for those with mobility issues. Positives: The rooms are all different and mostly quite spacious and there is a lift, albeit a very small one. If the issues listed below can be addressed it will be a fun place for a small convention as its quirks will add to the atmosphere.
Accessible entry is via the lower ground. We will need to make people aware that reception is one floor up.
Only one public accessible toilet and this has issues.
- Large cubicle but the handrail is set too close to the toilet making it difficult to access straight on or in any way by a person of larger size.
- The heating for the entire ladies restroom is located in that cubicle making it unbearably warm.
- the toilet itself is too low. It is a bit lower than the regular toilet. This needs to be raised.
Access to the the Longshore is via a narrow and steep ramp. I’m not sure how we will rectify this. Is there enough hall length available?
Stage: a small ramp would need to be available for the stage. Possibly to one side.
Emma has committed to building ramps for both the stage and access to the Longshore if the hotel can’t/won’t provide them. The hotel has offered to move furniture to facilitate ramp placement.
Split Longshore - currently the only access out of the stage end would not be usable as an accessible exit. Need to look at alternatives, but disrupting another program item would present its own set of issues to the person with access needs (undue attention and not in a good way).
Rooms: lovely older rooms are spacious and many could be used as accessible rooms as long as the guest did not require a roll in shower and, in some cases, as long as the guest was able to walk a few steps to use the toilet. We would need to determine how many of the larger rooms were suitable and hold those back for access requests.
Lifts: The hotel does have lifts, but they are very small. They will hold a wheelchair and possibly one person. They will not hold a mobility scooter. I believe we would have to work closely with Moby users. Mobility scooters could be brought onto the ground floor manually, if needed. The exact distances, from the most furthest points and between function rooms need to be measured, so users can make informed decisions of what they can manage and whether they would prefer to park their Moby on the car park level and then manage with a chair, stick, frame or what suits them best.
Visual impairment issues: The hotel is not well lit and this could present problems for those who are only partially sighted. The lighting is part and parcel of the character of older hotels. This is something we will need to think about.
Auditory impairment issues: I did not notice a sign for an induction loop at the reception desk. This needs to be checked. We will also need to check what types of fire alarms are in the rooms. If they are auditory alarms only we will need to see if they can provide vibrating under pillow alarms or some other form of visual alarm.
The longshore, as the main programme room does not have induction. It is not a large room and we may be able to borrow a fan's as it would suit that room size. Someone would need to check. We will need to arrange mics to be used by panelists.
Dietary: We need to ensure that there are options for vegan and gluten free, and dairy free if we are expecting all of our members to have all of their meals in the hotel. If not, then providing our members with a guide to nearby places to eat and what they offer would be a good idea.
Vanessa May - February 2016