VALA2022 Access and Inclusion

VALA holds professional conferences and events to enable its members to stay on the cutting edge of developments and trends in library technology. To provide all participants – members and other attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff and volunteers – the opportunity to benefit from these events, VALA is committed to providing an inclusive, respectful, harassment-free environment for everyone. We define Access and Inclusion as creating a space that provides opportunities for the VALA2022 community and aims to remove barriers to full participation in VALA2022.

Our Goal

VALA2022 seeks to provide the opportunity for participants to safely learn, network and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual human respect. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment and we make no exceptions for discriminatory, harassing, or negative behaviour. We recognise a shared responsibility to create and sustain that environment for the benefit of all. We are committed to ensuring that our conference program, event space, online space and community of participants are accessible to anyone that wants to participate in a welcoming, safe environment that is mindful of potential participation barriers.

Taking Action

VALA2022 is supported by a number of services and onsite facilities that contribute to an inclusive and accessible conference. These include:

  • Pronoun options via the registration process
  • Prayer rooms
  • Wheelchairs
  • Parents’ rooms
  • Audio assistance
  • Option for an attending Carer or Support Person for Onsite delegates

Learn more about these options below.

Prayer Rooms

Prayer rooms for males and prayer rooms for females are located in Melbourne Convention Centre. Contact a member of the Customer Service team for directions.


A complimentary wheelchair service is available at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. A limited number of wheelchairs are available on a daily, first come first served basis. Visitors can pre-book a wheelchair by contacting Customer Service on +61 3 9235 8310 or by emailing

The following information is required:

  • Date and time the wheelchair is required.
  • Name of the borrower and contact telephone number.
  • Preferred collection location (Convention Centre or Exhibition Centre)

Collection is from the designated Customer Service Desk. Upon collection the MCEC will require some form of identification. Wheelchairs can only be used within the venue.

Parents’ Rooms

Two parents’ rooms are located at either end of the venue. Parents’ rooms are located adjacent to the Customer Service Desk in the Convention Centre. These rooms include a microwave, baby change tables, and breastfeeding and toilet facilities. Please contact the Customer Service team for directions.

Audio Assistance

Most meeting rooms within the Convention Centre are equipped with a hearing assistance system. VALA2022 delegates and guests can borrow a lanyard style infrared receiver which will work directly with hearing aids fitted with a T switch or can be fitted with standard aux headphones. Visitors can pre-book a receiver by contacting customer service on +61 3 9235 8310 or emailing

The following information is required:

  • Date and time the receiver is required.
  • Which rooms you plan to use the receiver (this service is not available in some rooms).
  • Name of the borrower and contact telephone number.

Units can be collected from the Convention Centre Customer Service Desk. Upon collection the MCEC will require some form of identification.

How We Will Achieve An Accessible and Inclusive Conference:

We have created an environment that fosters inclusivity and accessibility by:

  • Creating a conference committee that includes a diverse group of people to represent the perspectives of our community in every step of the decision-making process, including the development of an inclusive and well-rounded conference program across online and onsite spaces.
  • Ensuring onsite VALA2022 events are held in an event space that is accessible and assistance is available when required.
  • Guaranteeing papers are published in an open online space and presentations are recorded to enable participants to access materials from the conference in their own time or location.
  • Establishing a comprehensive, enforced Code of Conduct that outlines our values and expectations regarding harassment, discrimination, and inclusion.
  • Allowing people to choose if they wish to be photographed or recorded and ensuring their choices are respected and observed.
  • Expecting all participants, including event exhibitors, speakers, and committee members, to not engage in any discriminatory or harassing behaviours in all digital and physical spaces and places associated with VALA2022. This includes bars, restaurants and hotels where delegates may be gathered during the week.
  • Nominating a Duty Officer for each day of the event. The Duty Officer is the first point of contact for reporting any incident where harassment may exist. The Duty Officer will determine and carry out the appropriate course of action, and may consult with and engage other conference/event staff, leaders and legal counsel as appropriate.


Our thanks to VALA2022 Inclusivity Partner, SAGE Publishing for their ongoing support of VALA to provide equal access and inclusion to opportunities and resources.

At SAGE, we are committed to building an inclusive organization where all individuals are treated with fairness and respect, regardless of age, ability, gender, marriage and partnership status, pregnancy and parental responsibilities, race, religion and belief, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation.

Diversity is one of the cornerstones of a vibrant culture and we are undertaking work to build a SAGE that is more equitable and representative of the communities we serve and of which we are part.

To do this, we have:

  • Established working groups on Inclusive Recruitment, Retention & Career Progression, Inclusive Leadership & Culture, and Engagement & Inclusion.
  • Created local Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Councils, which are made up of representatives from different areas of the business and meet regularly to co-ordinate work between working groups and their initiatives.
  • Created a global DEI Committee, which has oversight of SAGE’s DEI mission and goals across our US and UK offices, assesses and enables progress and keeps local councils accountable to senior leadership.