PRIMER 18 is for everyone and each individual is valued for what they contribute to the community. “Our brain or body may work in different ways, but our ideas are equally valid.”*

Please email as soon as possible so that we can collaborate about how best to provide accessibility for you throughout the PRIMER 18 conference and events. 


We want to be sure that everyone has everything they need from the very beginning of PRIMER 18. At each event’s venue, there will be a designated Check-In desk with volunteers to welcome you, help answer your questions, and provide other resources and guidance as needed. In general, throughout PRIMER 18 please do not hesitate to ask for any assistance at the Check-In desk at any venue/event.


We know that not everyone likes having their picture taken.  If you are one of those people, at Check-In please ask for a special button to pin to your name badge lanyard. We will be sure not to use photos of anyone wearing the special button in our social media feeds, communications, website, etc.  We are asking all PRIMER 18 participants to be aware and respectful of these buttons.


For people who are sensitive to stimuli or are easily over stimulated, we will provide, encourage, and support the following:

  • Use of open/empty spaces within each of our venues and/or designated spaces for retreat
  • Provide ear plugs for reduction in audio stimulation
  • Your own personal coping methods in any space throughout the Conference
  • Space to unwind from/prepare for sessions, your next event, or let out physical and vocal behaviors which you may not feel comfortable expressing publicly (visit Check-In for venue specific location) 
  • Familiarization sessions between 15-45 minutes prior to the arrival of the Conference crowd (explore the space, have a tour, ask questions, etc). Please let us know in advance if you’re planning to come early for this purpose so we are prepared for your early arrival (


Blind and Visually Impaired:
Our schedule is available in large print on the PRIMER 18 website as well as via a .pdf for physical printing/enlargement. We are asking speakers to consider providing their sessions in large print or in digital formats which are possible to be screen-read. We are striving to improve the accessibility of our website and are working towards making more information compatible with screen readers. Your feedback is incredibly valuable if you have any comments or suggestions.


Deaf and Hearing Impaired:
The main PRIMER 18 venue, the David Brower Center, offers assisted-listening devices that can be set up for events in the both the Goldman Theater and Kinzie rooms where PRIMER 18 speakers will be presenting. Please email as soon as possible so that we are prepared to assist you.

During the all PRIMER 18, please let the designated volunteer or MC in each location know how to best welcome and include you. If you lip read, please let us know so that we provide you with the best seating and can have speakers face you when delivering their presentation. During workshops, please don’t be afraid to ask anyone to repeat information. We are looking into future options of providing close caption as well as sign interpreters, but are still learning and welcome any ideas about how to best implement this.


Our schedule will be available before the event in both a digital version via the website as well as a .pdf to help you plan which sessions you wish to attend. Key information about the Conference will be shared and real-time updated via our PRIMER 18 Slack Channel (to which all conference attendees are invited).  The MC in each venue will provide verbal announcements at the beginning and/or end of sessions regarding these updates.

We are reminding workshop facilitators that not everyone will want to read out loud/share their notes and that this will not be required from any participants. If you wish to record audio or video during workshops, rather than taking notes, email as soon as possible to determine how we can best provide you accessibility to content.


Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Users:
Like PRIMER 18, the main venue, the David Brower Center, strives to be accessible to all audiences. The main floor of the venue (which includes the Lobby, Theater, Hazel Wolf Gallery, Kinzie Room, and public restrooms) is fully compliant with ADA regulations. The second floor outdoor Terrace space is accessible by an ADA compliant elevator.

For wheelchair and mobility scooter information for our workshop locations, please email Just like coffee, we’ll have standard power outlets available throughout all the PRIMER 18 venues should your mobility scooter or electric wheelchair need a power boost.  If you require disabled parking, please email us for options and suggestions.

Sidekicks / Personal Assistants / Assistance Dogs:
Peanut butter & Jelly, Han Solo & Chewbacca, Pen & Paper. Just like these great pairs, if you have a sidekick and need to bring yours, we will provide a free assistant’s ticket with your paid one. Human or canine, be it for medical, physical or psychological reasons, if they are needed so you can be here, they’re welcome, too. Contact us so we can be sure to expect you both.


Anyone of any gender identity/expression can use whichever restroom with which they are most comfortable.


General Help:
Throughout PRIMER 18 our Volunteer Conference Staff and general volunteers will be available to help make all our guests safe and comfortable. Our Volunteer Conference Staff will be easily identified by their pink “Staff” badges and will likely be carrying a walkie-talkie on their person. Additionally, if you need to contact them, visit the Check-In desk at any venue/event or use the Slack PRIMER 18 Help channel (#primer18help).


Other Needs?? PRIMER 18 is the new-kid-on-the-conference-block but making PRIMER and Speculative Design Meetups more accessible is an active, ongoing process. We welcome your suggestions and ideas and would like to learn from your experiences. Please contact us for more information, or to ask for support:


*Giving credit where credit is due: These guidelines have been modeled in part or in whole from MOZFEST (  We are grateful for and inspired by their work to provide accessibility to all persons.  The Design Futures Initiative, a 501c3 nonprofit which produces the Speculative Futures Meetups and the PRIMER Conference, is continually striving to improve our means by which we include and provide access to all individuals.