While we are immensely proud of the work that our planning team does each year, we also know that we have a lot more work to do to provide an accessible event for all authors and attendees. Accessibility is complex and multi-faceted and we want many voices contributing to the ideas and implementation plans from the very beginning.
To this end, we are assembling an Accessibility Advisory Committee — a group of book lovers with lived experience with disability — to guide the annual growth and development of Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and storytellers.
Who can be a part of the AAC?
We are looking for book loving people with lived experience with disability from across Canada. We encourage those who have felt excluded and/or overlooked at literary events or conferences in the past or who have attended inclusive events to apply and contribute to the development of Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and storytellers.
Is there a limit to the number of AAC members?
We are looking for a team of about five members, and based on interest, we will chat with applicants one-on-one to get the right amount of contributors. We hope we get a lot of interest, but we know that when it comes down to it, the job won’t be perfect for everyone, so hopefully we end up with close to that number.
What will AAC members do?
AAC members will individually provide advice and direction at three points during the planning process: the idea stage, the production stage, and the post-production stage. Members will complete surveys and provide instrumental advice on how to organize, advertise, and arrange the festival. The surveys will be reviewed by FOLD staff to improve the festival this year and to budget for future events as well.
How often will the AAC meet — and where?
There are no formal meetings for the AAC planned at this time. Surveys will take place online, and where applicable, staff will contact AAC members by phone as well. Depending on grants, an opportunity for collaboration at the festival may be possible.
How much work will be involved with the role?
We expect that surveys and occasional emails will take at maximum a few hours a month cumulatively. Members may choose to spread the work out, based on need or preference.
Will AAC members be paid?
The FOLD relies heavily on volunteer support in planning for the festival. While AAC members will not receive financial compensation, all members will receive a free all-access pass to the festival. Their names will also be included in the festival program. We realize that this means that some will not be able to participate, and we genuinely understand. We are actively sourcing ways to provide funding for the future.
I would like to be involved with the AAC but I am not able to commit at this time. Is there another way to be involved?
We would simply encourage you to get involved by following us on social media and spreading the word about events and resources. We want to be pioneers in the area of diversity and inclusion, but our hope is that the work we do impacts other festivals and events and literary organizations. And for that, we need your help – amplifying what’s working and letting us know when we miss the mark.
I have a question that isn’t listed here. Who should I contact about it?
Feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have any questions or suggestions for the Accessibility Advisory Committee.