DSB 2018

4th Workshop on Data Structures in Bioinformatics

Helsinki, Finland, May 16–17, 2018


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It is our wish to provide a conference that's accessible for everyone. That includes those of us with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

As DSB2018 is the first conference we're organizing where we are applying this principle, this accessibility document might still be in baby-steps stage. We'd appreciate very much if you could hint to us what would be good to add. This applies to people without disabilities as well, maybe you've seen something awesome in another event?

Route to the venue

Tram 7 and busses 16 and 17 stop approximately 200 meters from the venue (the stop is called "Snellmanninkatu"). If you are staying in Töölö Towers, the route with the least amount of walking is to take tram 2 from Apollonkatu (approximately 200 meters from Töölö Towers) to Senaatintori, and then tram 7 from Senaatintori to Snellmanninkatu. Trams have screens that show the next stop, but the info is not available in audio.

Unfortunately the road from the tram stop to the venue is uphill (approximately 30 degrees), so it can be difficult for those of us with limited mobility. The entrance door does not have an automatic opening system, but on the good side, it is light enough to open with one hand (tested by a person with slight muscle weakness symptoms). The doorsteps are wheelchair friendly (i.e. non-existant) and the width of the door is approximately 90 cm.

If you decide to take a taxi, the address is Siltavuorenpenger 5 A. For a taxi with a wheelchair lift, it's best to order it in advance (at least 30 minutes before) from number 0100 0600 and to specify that you need one with a lift. Ordering in advance costs an extra 7.10 euros. (The number for taxi without advance order is 0100 0700, but it might take a while to get one with a lift.)

Room K226 is in floor K2 (second basement). The elevator is on your left when you enter the building from the entrance described above. The elevator is small. While inside it is approximately 140 cm x 160 cm, the width of the elevator doors is only 90 cm. A regular-sized wheelchair fits through the doors, but an electronic might not. We're sorry.

On floor K2, turn left, and go straight till you see a glass door ahead. Room K226 is to your left. Again, the door does not have an automatic opening system, and the doorstep is wheelchair friendly.

Toilet facilities

Most toilet facilities are labeled "Men" and "Women", although humans don't divide that neatly. There is a "For All" restroom on floor K1 (first basement, one floor up from the venue) that any/every gender is welcome to use. Wheelchair accessible restrooms usually also contain a babycare table.

The locations of restrooms are the following:

Minimizing stress and maximizing comfort

The weather in Finland in May can be best described as unpredictable. We recommend wearing layers to maximize your comfort in wide range of weather both indoors and outdoors. Additionally if being exposed to drafts makes you miserable, we recommend bringing e.g. an extra scarf and wool socks, as fast weather changes outside can kick the automatic air conditioning to overdrive.

Room K226 is spacious and will comfortably house 30-40 people without feeling crowded. The furniture in the room is movable, so we can make a space for a wheelchair, and a wide path to it. Additionally, a standing desk can be arranged for those of us who prefer taking notes standing instead of sitting. We might not be able to supply an electronic standing desk, but e.g. a bar table at height of ~110 cm instead.

If you need quiet immediately at any time during the workshop, the big room next to the venue is a library. There are a few couches where you can lie down, and at the far end there are big chairs where you can hide from the world (enclosed from three sides and can be turned to face the wall) or relax watching the view over the city through the wall-high windows. Usually in mid-May there are very few people there. We're sorry we can't offer a place that is also dark, for those of us with migraines, but at least the majority of the light in the library is from sunlight instead of fluorescent lights.


If you got a hunger for something small, there is an Unicafe cafeteria on floor 1 (the elevator next to the venue room, past the glass door, takes you directly there), where you can buy coffee/tea, sandwiches, sweet pastries, candy, lemonade and fruit. Unfortunately there aren't many options for restricted diets there. There is a grocery store "K-market" approximately 500 meters from the venue (200 meters down Snellmanninkatu, then turn left along Liisankatu, the grocery store is on the left side of the street approximately 300 meters down the street), which has at least some gluten-free and vegan snacks.

Potential barriers that remain