A key part of the ACM FAccT strategic plan is to innovate and lead on diversity and inclusion. In every edition of the conference, we strive to provide an open, diverse, safe and inclusive atmosphere.
The organizers of ACM FAccT 2021 believe that a diverse and inclusive community is an imperative for meaningful conversations about fairness, accountability, and transparency in socio-technical systems. The Executive Committee, ACM FAccT 2021 General Chairs and Diversity and Inclusion Chair worked together to address issues both specific to this year's conference and towards guidelines and practices that align with ACM FAccT's long-term strategic goal of innovation in diversity and inclusion efforts.
As part of our efforts to provide a space for this community to come together, this year we introduced new practices and policies to lower barriers of access to the conference and actively support participation by a diverse community. Additionally, acknowledging that members of our community are disproportionately affected by online harassment, we took a number of steps to provide a safe online experience.
A safe and inclusive conference space is our priority. Please see our community agreements for more information about our policies. If you are involved in or witness an incident of harassment, please submit a complaint to the conference organizers and the members of the Safety and Inclusion team will review the case.
Below are initiatives and practices for ACM FAccT 2021:
Lowering barriers of access to the conference
- Costs of registration
- Tiered pricing program that acknowledges attendees’ differing abilities to pay (students/non-profit, academic/government, industry).
- Deeply discounted rates for attendees registering in countries designated by ACM as "economically developing" (categorization based on World Bank GNI), acknowledging the impact of exchange rates and international inequities.
- Acknowledging that some researchers may be experiencing unemployment and/or financial hardship, a risk that is exacerbated by the economic ramifications of the pandemic, attendees can request to be eligible for the student/non-profit fee tier.
- Waived registration for volunteers.
- Internet bandwidth grants: Intended to cover extra costs of internet access if attendees’ current internet bandwidth is a barrier to their participation in the conference.
- Carer grants: Intended to cover extra costs for caring for dependents if attendees’ caretaker responsibilities are a barrier to their participation in the conference.
Providing a safe online space that is free of harassment.
- Before completing registration, all attendees are required to review and agree to ACM's Policy Against Harassment at ACM Activities.
- All platforms used are only accessible to registered participants, and access is linked to their registration email.
- Safety and inclusion elements are intentionally incorporated into the design of the virtual conference platform, and there is a dedicated team for supporting attendees with safety inquiries or complaints.
- A dedicated process for reviewing harassment and discrimination complaints at the conference hasve been created in collaboration with ACM officials.
- A Safety and Inclusion Panel will provide rapid review and action of complaints reported at the conference.
- Prior to the conference, the 2021 FAccT Hitchhikers’ Guide was shared with participants and provides an overview of community agreements, enforcement actions and reporting procedures.
Providing an experience that supports the diversity of our community members. This includes recognizing that people join our community and this conference with differing abilities and disabilities, from different regions around the world, and in the context of different times in their lives or contextual constraints.
- All platforms used as part of the conference are vetted for accessibility features.
- Closed captioning is available for all pre-recorded videos, and we have secured real-time human captioning for Plenary Panels and Keynote Q&As.
- All paper presentations will be available from the start of the conference.
- All Q&A will be made available after the sessions for attendees who are unable to attend or cannot follow synchronously due to limited bandwidth.
- Asynchronous options for engagement are a central part of the conference experience, to allow attendees to participate in their local time zones.
The conference’s schedule was designed to ensure that most global time zones could participate during at least some of their normal work hours.