AdaCamp policies

AdaCamp was a two-day unconference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture. This page is part of the AdaCamp Toolkit, which helps you take AdaCamp’s tools and practices and apply them to your own event. You can re-use the text of this page under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike license with credit to the AdaCamp Toolkit.

AdaCamp had several attendee policies in place for a safer and more accessible event. We’d love other conferences to re-use these policies!


Policy introduction/preamble

EVENT has several policies designed to make the event more enjoyable and productive for participants. Please read and follow these policies, and help us make EVENT amazing! To report any violations of these policies or any other concerns, here’s how to contact us:

In person: anyone who has been introduced as EVENT staff
Email: EMAIL@EXAMPLE.COM (preferred if non-urgent)
Phone: Check the attendee guide


Anti-harassment policy

EVENT is subject to the Ada Initiative event anti-harassment policy, with an addition specifically permitting appropriate discussion related to sex, pornography, and discriminatory language. EVENT is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone at our events. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any event venue, including talks. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the organizers or staff.

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or other protected class status, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Exception: Discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language, or similar is welcome if it meets all of the following criteria: (a) the organizers have specifically granted permission, (b) it is directly related to the topic of discussion, (c) it is necessary to the discussion and no better alternative exists, (d) attendees are warned in advance and respectfully given an opportunity to leave. This exception specifically does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.

The subject of EVENT is TOPIC, which requires discussion of sex, pornography, and discriminatory language. We give permission in advance for respectful, woman-positive discussion of these topics at EVENT. Participants are warned that all sessions have the potential to include discussion on these topics. Related images are permissible but only if necessary to the discussion at hand and with a verbal warning prior to showing them.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the organizers or staff may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately and/or email EMAIL@EXAMPLE.COM. If you are being harassed by someone on conference staff or otherwise don’t feel safe reporting to them, please contact ALTERNATIVE CONTACT.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and any related social events.

This policy is based on the anti-harassment policy developed by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers for use by geek conferences.


Photography/video/audio recording policy

Three piles of coloured lanyards, red, yellow, and green

AdaCamp SF lanyards, before we added pattern markings to them, by Flore Allemandou CC BY-SA

Do not photograph, video, or audio record anyone at EVENT without their express permission, sought in advance. In addition, do not wear or use Google Glass, GoPro cameras, or similar devices, except in sessions designated specifically for working with them.

Most attendees will have badge lanyards showing their preference for photography through colors and patterns:

  • Solid green printed with [pattern]: Photographs always okay
  • Yellow with [pattern]: Ask before photographing
  • Red with [pattern]: Photographs never okay, don’t ask

A green lanyard counts as express permission, sought in advance, for photographs only. There is no prior opt-into audio or video recording, you must always ask before recording regardless of badge or lanyard color.

Wearing a green lanyard does not imply a model release giving EVENT or anyone else permission to use your likeness. We will have model release forms available for people willing to give EVENT permission to use their likeness.

Except when photography is part of a specific session’s activities, you should not continuously take photographs at EVENT rather than participate in sessions.


Reporting/blogging/social media policy

EVENT attendees need the freedom to say controversial things without worrying about their statements becoming public without their permission. To that end, no one is allowed to publicly attribute your comments to you unless you give them express permission.

We do want to spread the word about what happened at EVENT, so that everyone can benefit and to make future EVENTS more successful. We strongly encourage writing about or telling people about EVENT sessions on blogs, social media, news stories, and other media as long as stories follow these rules:

  • No attribution without permission: You can write about what people said but not who said it unless you have explicit permission from the speaker(s).
  • Each session can decide to adopt different rules (e.g., always public, or always private) as long as it informs all participants who join the session.
  • Please do not “live tweet” sessions excessively – it can make people feel like they are speaking in public, and it distracts other people.


Scent and smoking policy

At EVENT, we work to make the conference accessible to all. People with multiple chemical sensitivities, asthma, allergies, or other immune problems can experience serious and debilitating physical and neurological symptoms when exposed to the chemicals used in most scented products. Reactions can include sneezing and severe headaches and force people to leave the conference.

While we don’t ask attendees to be fragrance-free, we do ask that you avoid wearing significant amounts of fragrance (e.g., don’t wear perfume that day). Keep in mind that laundry detergent, clothes softener, soap, body wash, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hair products, cologne and perfume may all have fragrances that can affect people with these sensitivities. If someone is wearing a scent that is causing you symptoms, please let an EVENTe representative know and we will work with the person wearing it to reduce the scent.

Please do not smoke near entryways and other common areas. If you smoke during breaks at the conference, please be sensitive to others and wash your hands after you smoke.

Elsewhere