Starship Congress to be First Interstellar Conference friendly to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Attendees

Starship Congress to be First Interstellar Conference friendly to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Attendees

Icarus Interstellar is proud to announce that the upcoming Starship Congress will be the FIRST interstellar conference to feature live captioning! Reaching out to as many people as possible is an important goal to us at Icarus Interstellar, and we strive to make sure that everyone will be included in our first annual Starship Congress.

For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, attending technical conferences can be taxing. There is usually no CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) or live captioning provided at the conferences. That means that understanding the speakers is usually limited to trying to read their lips without being close to the speaker, or what can be gleaned from the PowerPoint slides. Many Deaf and Hard of Hearing STEM professionals avoid attending technical conferences as a result, relying instead on conference proceedings, and foregoing the opportunities that conferences give to network with other professionals in their field.

We at Icarus Interstellar want as many people as possible to be included in the process of making humanity a star-faring society. Icarus Interstellar was able to raise several thousand dollars to provide the live captioning service for the Congress. Icarus members provided the generous donations in an internal fundraising effort. Because of this, the captioning providers (who are certified in court reporting and CART services) will be live on the site of the conference, providing a separate projector and screen to project the captions while the conference presenters are speaking.

Marc Millis, the founder of the Tau Zero Foundation who also happens to be Hard of Hearing states:

“It didn’t even occur to me, at first, that this would help me too. For the most part I can hear, and only remember my difficulties when in noisy situations that overtax my hearing aids and overload my brain’s ability to filter out unwanted sounds.  Being able to READ the words that someone is speaking will help me fill in the gaps that do occur when I’m watching such things and can’t make out what they are saying, and can’t see well enough (too far away) to get clues from looking at their lips.”

Tiffany Frierson, the Head of Accessibility for the Starship Congress and member of Icarus Interstellar states:

“I am extremely excited that we will have live captioning at the upcoming conference. As I plan to have a career in interstellar studies, I am very happy that I will be able to understand what the speakers are saying as much as possible. These speakers are the pioneers of interstellar studies, and I’m very excited to be able to learn from them. 

If you are differently-abled in any way and will be attending the Starship Congress this year, please e-mail us at and let us know how we can make this conference as inclusive as possible.