DIVERSITY & ACCESSIBILITY
Northeast Pet and Handler Contest (NEPAH) is committed to making its events a safe and welcoming environment for all adults 21 years and older. NEPAH wants each attendee to understand that diversity and inclusion are active choices and not just passive assumptions.
Our space is open and welcoming to all Human Pets, Trainers, Handlers, Owners, Admirers, and those expressing curiosity about the scene in a respectful manner. In order to achieve the reality of inclusion, several concepts must be considered and several must be actualized.
These concepts must be present and adhered to in our events, staff, volunteers, educators, judges, titleholders, and contestants.
We know that unity comes from creating cultures that support and affirm access to inclusive and diverse spaces, so be sure to check your run books for shared values and other guides.
Together we’re continuing to create something excellent in pet play communities around the world.
Equity and Accessibility
As much as possible all NEPAH events, communications, policies, and procedures will support and affirm equity and accessibility for its members to pet play information and resources.
Where needed and possible we supply language, transportation, space accessibility, pronoun, anti-racism, and inclusion resources, guidelines, and training.
Joy and Sovereignty
Pet play, along with any other types of play, are activities that should bring you happiness. We see modern pet play as a true expression of joy. We feel this is a critical value to support in times like these and encourage all to remember this value in their daily life and play.
The concept of sovereignty guides us in policy creation and attendee relations. Sovereignty means that each person is the property of one's self, expressed as the natural right of a person to have bodily integrity, and to be the exclusive controller of one's own body and life.
NEPAH uses personal and group autonomy and sovereignty to guide its rules and policies.
As much as possible we ask that our attendees use gender- and role-neutral language. This is done so that everyone feels welcome to participate regardless of gender, gender expression, relationship status, or role.
For example: we say “Friends and Family”, “All Ya’ll”, “Critters and Comrades”, “Paws and People” (We also encourage and endorse creative alliteration ).
We do not say “Ladies and Gentlemen” or other gender exclusive statements when addressing groups. NEPAH welcomes everyone and using gender and role neutral language as our default helps build safe spaces and encourages the values of equity and accessibility.
We use color flagging to communicate pronouns regardless of headspace or proximity. (i.e.- people in altered headspace can be properly identified non-verbally or if they are across the room). This small act and invitation cultivates a culture that is pronoun-aware, which in turn creates safe spaces for our friends and family.
We are committed to communication of pronouns and we have adopted a color flagging system to help with this. There are also badge pronoun flags (He/She/They and “My pronouns are…” ) available at registration that adhere to your badge.
Code of Conduct
NEPAH wants each attendee to understand that consent, inclusion, and safety are active choices and not just passive assumptions. To help with this understanding, we have put together a few basic guidelines and things to remember:
Always ask for permission to touch people and/or their property.
· To help make things easier, NEPAH has provided two color-coded wristbands. Green: hugs and social touching is ok. Red: ask before any physical contact.
If someone is without a wristband or their wristband isn't visible, always assume that verbal consent is required.
Sexual or suggestive contact should always be negotiated.
This space is provided to help all in attendance to explore and enjoy the Human Pet scene. Those who share our space need to be aware that there may be blatant displays of kink and sexuality. If this kind of open environment is of concern, we would recommend that you not attend.
If you have concerns about consent or possible violations, please contact the Helping Paws desk or Safety staff at X platform
Discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated.
Do not shame the interests of others (sexual or otherwise) in word, action, or behavior.
Do not shame people’s bodies or self-expression in word, action, or behavior.
Do not photograph anyone who has not given you express consent. Do not tag people on social media without their express consent. There is an event photographer who will be taking photos and doing their best to blur out those who do not consent and those that don’t wish to have their photos taken which will be wearing a red lanyard and badge.
· Be mindful that not everyone has the luxury of having home and work lives that are safe from discrimination.
· If you accidentally snap someone in the background, crop or edit them out.
If individuals or groups are found in violation of the Code of Conduct or the Diversity & Inclusion Policies after investigation by NEPAH Executive Staff/ Board of Directors they will be immediately dismissed from the event without refund.
If you have ANY needs or concerns not addressed here please seek out a contest producer or staff member. They are empowered to do everything within their power and ability to make this the best NEPAH yet.
We care about you. NEPAH cares about you. Have a wonderful weekend and PLAY!