We at the Seattle Review of Books aren't attending the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Washington DC, but we've been following along on social media as the Seattle contingent of attendees represents us in readings and at conferences. They're doing us proud!
Unfortunately, AWP management doesn't seem to be rising to the occasion. We've seen several Facebook posts complaining about a failure to provide accessibility for the disabled, particularly with power doors onsite at the Washington [DC] Convention Center that don't open at the push of a button. (Here are the ADA's conference planning guidelines and here's an ADA compliance guide for nonprofits.) One writer complained to AWP management that the accessibility desk was not accessible; they say they were told to bring their complaint to the accessibility desk.
I've learned from personal experience that AWP responds best to public pressure. So if you're at AWP — or if you're a literary-minded person who expects a major conference to treat all its guests with fairness and inclusivity — I urge you to read the wonderful Facebook post below and contact AWP management to let them know that this behavior is unacceptable.
UPDATE: Wow. AWP's response to one Twitter complaint is wholly unacceptable: