Learn about our inclusion and accessibility provisions and aims
Edinburgh Literary Salon is open to everyone with an interest in Literature, whether professional or personal: writers, publishers, booksellers etc. Events have free registration. While we aim to hold some of our events at accessible venues, our regular salon is currently in The Outhouse’s function room, which is only accessible via a staircase. For this reason, we livestream each event.
The Edinburgh Literary Salon has made consistent efforts to ensure our access provisions are inclusive, reliable, consistent and user-friendly. We strongly believe that good access to literary events should be the norm and not the exception. We want to include all members of our audience, and remain welcoming to new people, by expanding our technological capabilities and giving ourselves targets to ensure we stay inclusive and accessible.
However, please note that as we are a small and volunteer-run organisation without regular funding, these access provisions and inclusivity arrangements are not always ideal. For example, we are currently unable to offer a fee to our guests and chairs. We are very aware of the importance of adequate payment and fair treatment of creatives, so this is something we would like to change in the future.
While we would love to do more for marginalised people in our literary community, we know that we have more work to do and it will not always happen overnight. We are limited, but we always make room as best we can for anyone who would like to join us. One of our main aims is to hold at least three fully accessible events per year.
If you have any questions or recommendations on how we can improve, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to help you.
Our Salons take place on the last Tuesday of every month, running from 6:30pm onwards, in the function room of The Outhouse, Edinburgh. These are generally consistent throughout the year, with some exceptions (e.g. Book Week Scotland) which we will highlight in advance. It is always free to register for our Salons. This is done via our Eventbrite, which is also always linked in our event posts and on our homepage.
Since 2020, we have been made aware of how we can integrate access into our events. This is why all of our events are now hybrid, giving you the option to attend online or in-person. We stream our events using Zoom, for those who can't join us at the venue – whether that's due to health, comfort, or distance (we have an international reach!).
Our event is broken down according to this template (which is also found in each of our events posts):
How it works...
6.30: Doors Open – drinks reception in the Function Room
6.50: Open the Zoom meeting (details are emailed to all ticket-holders)
7.00: Main "presentation" part of the evening begins, with Introduction
7.55: Questions from Audience/Zoom
8.10: Notes of Interest, Live Mingling, and Zoom chat
The atmosphere is generally quite casual – attendees are invited to join in the mingling and networking before and after the main presentation, whether they're in-person or online. There are normally name labels available at the Outhouse for you to customise, and you are more than welcome to grab a drink from the bar downstairs, or to make a small donation towards a glass of wine provided by us. For our online audience, we invite you to introduce yourself (and tell us where you're watching from) in the chat function. You can leave your camera on or off; whichever is most comfortable for you.
Members of the Steering Group also wear name badges, and we are generally around to meet and greet our guests and attendees. Someone will also be monitoring the Zoom meeting. We generally try to encourage our attendees to speak to someone new when they come to our Salons – however, we know that not everyone is comfortable with this and we understand if you need space or a helping hand with introductions. Speak to a member of our Steering Group if there is anything you need help with.
The main presentation takes roughly one hour, including time for questions at the end. We have sound equipment which includes wired microphones on stands for our guests, and a roving mic for our audience. We strive to ensure adequate audibility at our live events and over zoom. We encourage all guests and attendees to employ good microphone technique by speaking clearly and directly into the microphone. This is so that your voice is picked up by the PA system and made audible on Zoom.
Currently, our regular venue is in the function room of The Outhouse on Broughton Street Lane, Edinburgh. Here is some information about travelling to and getting around the venue:
The Outhouse itself is located on Broughton Street Lane, which can be accessed from both Union Street and Broughton Street. It is wide enough for vehicles, and the surface is cobbled.
The entrance to the bar is directly off the street, through two swinging doors. Inside it is an open space with tables and chairs.
The function room is only accessible via staircase at the back of the Outhouse. There is no lift. Occasionally, we are able to hold larger events in the courtyard (weather dependent), which is accessible via a ramp.
The toilets are located on the ground floor.
The function room is a wide space with small windows, which we can open during the summer for ventilation.
We currently plug our microphones into the Outhouse's PA system, but due to previous technical issues we are looking into a new system (funding-dependent). There is no hearing loop. We are also unable to provide BSL interpreters.
We try to keep microphone cables etc. tidy, but since our event setup is impermanent, we ask that our audience and guests remain aware that these cables are on the floor.
We are currently using Zoom to livestream all our events. If there is a problem accessing the livestream, we will do what we can to assist. Here is some information on how you can use Zoom during one of our events:
Online (Zoom) tickets can be registered on Eventbrite, the same as our in-person tickets.
Sometimes we will record our events – we will alert attendees prior to this occurring, however we only tend to share recordings amongst the Steering Group and occasionally with our Buy Me A Coffee subscribers. They are not available to the general public unless stated otherwise.
We invite Zoom participants to use the "chat" function to contribute to the discussion and ask questions – a Steering Group member will monitor the chat and read out any questions.
We can provide Closed Captions through Zoom. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide better live captioning.
We are also unable to provide BSL interpreters.
Our aims for the future
We acknowledge that having a hybrid format is no excuse for not having a fully accessible venue. We aim to have three events per year in a fully accessible venue. We are also looking into improvements for our venue (funding-dependent), and in the future hope to have a fully accessible venue all-year round. In an old city centre such as Edinburgh's, this is a challenge, but we are keeping our eyes peeled...
We hope to secure enough regular funding in order to do the following:
Pay our guests and chairs
Fund our anthology projects (marketing, author fees, printing etc.)
Improve our technological capabilities (camera, microphones, speakers etc.)
Pay for any required BSL interpreters and live caption writers.