Discovering Worldcon: Accessibility at Glasgow 2024

If you have a disability, think you might benefit from support services, and are attending Glasgow 2024 – either in person or online – the Accessibility department is here to serve you!

My name is Meredith Peruzzi, and I’m the Area Head for Accessibility. I’ve also served in this role at DisCon III and have worked in convention accessibility for over twenty years. My day job is in the museum field, where I also work in accessibility, particularly for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind visitors. I identify as deaf and neurodivergent.

The most common question any accessibility department receives is “what services do you offer?” My personal philosophy is that the correct answer is “whatever a disabled person needs, which we are capable of providing.” Sometimes that’s as straightforward as a pair of earplugs for someone with sensory sensitivities, and sometimes it’s as involved as working with a hotel to ensure a special bed is available. To me, it’s not about what a convention offers that a disabled person must then fit their needs to, but rather what a disabled member needs that the team can figure out how to provide.

That said, there are several adjustments (known in the US as accommodations) that we are planning to offer by default, as we have found that many people benefit from them:

  • Scooter/Mobi Rental – We will have a number of scooters available for rental at the SEC and can provide a list of local companies for those who wish to make their own arrangements (e.g., if you are arriving in Glasgow before the convention starts, or staying after it ends).
  • Hearing Support – Currently, we plan to offer live (human) captioning of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Hugo Awards, and other major events, including the Business Meeting. We hope to offer as much captioning as possible and can provide suggestions for events where live captioners are not available. We will offer sign language interpreters at major events; if you would like to specifically request British Sign Language or International Sign, please let us know so we can get a head count of requests for each and provide the best interpreting possible (contact info below).
  • Quiet Space – There will be a quiet space in the SEC Centre and we are planning to have one in the Crowne Plaza as well. These areas will offer comfortable seating, reduced lighting, tissues, water, and low-key activities such as colouring books. They are open to members of any age who feel the need for a quiet area away from the noise and bustle of the convention.
  • Hotel Booking – Rooms will be available for booking by disabled members ahead of general booking. This includes both rooms with accessibility features, such as roll-in showers and visual alert systems, as well as rooms nearer to the convention spaces. Be on the lookout for more information coming soon!

There will be many additional offerings, such as end-of-row seating, places to sit in queues, and route maps to support your journey around the Scottish Event Campus. We’ll update the website as these plans fall into place. If you’d like to get a view of accessible features built in at the SEC, our partner AccessAble has all the details, including a great many photos!

I would like to leave you with two important notes:

  1. The Glasgow 2024 Accessibility team will never ask about your specific conditions or disabilities. While you are welcome to volunteer information, if you wish, we are most interested in what adjustments will help you. Your privacy is important to us; we will not share information you provide outside of the Glasgow 2024 staff who have a genuine need to know in order to support you.
  2. The best way to ensure you receive information from the Accessibility team is to mark yourself interested in email contact from us on your registration. When you register, look for the line “Would you like to be contacted by our accessibility team?” in the contact options. We’ll be using this list to send out information and we don’t want you to miss anything! If you’ve already registered, you can find this line in your existing profile on the registration website. Remember to save after ticking the box!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. You can email and myself or another member of the team will respond as soon as possible!

Meredith Peruzzi (she/her) is a historian who occasionally writes short genre fiction. She is a current PhD student at the University of Leicester, but lives in the Washington DC area. She thinks LeVar Burton’s speculative fiction novel Aftermath deserves more attention.

The 82nd Worldcon will take place in Glasgow, August 8–12, 2024. We can’t wait to welcome you to Glasgow and the SEC/Armadillo for a Worldcon for Our Futures.