Work at CSI for the day with our new Lounge Pass!
Events » [CSI Members] CSI’s Holiday Gathering 2020

[CSI Members] CSI’s Holiday Gathering 2020

The holiday party season is quickly approaching and it’s got us wondering, “What will December be without an epic CSI bash?”

CSI is all about community. Gathering is what we do. While we can’t host IRL cocktail/mocktail or cookie competitions this year, or dance in the Annex Garage all night, we CAN host a blow out, COVID-safe, online, not-Zoom party – CSI-style.

But How?

With Gather.Town. It’s a virtual gathering space built to mimic real life interactions. Walk up to people and their videos and voices appear on your screen. Walk away and they disappear. Just like real life, almost. We love it and we can’t wait to share the spaces we’ve built with you.

Chat, play games, explore with coworkers, go it alone and meet other members. Bring your team, invite your board, and let us host a virtual gathering to celebrate you and all you’ve accomplished (and endured) this year. Gather with the community to celebrate the holiday season and mark the end of a year we’re not soon to forget!

So join us on Thursday, December 17 from 5pm to late for the best virtual party of 2020.

Event Schedule

  • 5pm Holiday Gathering begins: & Zoom open, Cookie Quest Commences
  • 5-7pm Tarot Readings with Laura
  • 6pm Making the Perfect Holiday Drink with Temperance Cocktails & our Cheif Techincal Officer Jane
  • 7pm A Holiday Wish – remarks from Tonya Surman, CEO, CSI Toronto 
  • 7:15pm The Annual BowTie Award honouring a community member
  • 7:30pm Dance, Explore, and Chat the night away!

How To Guide for Holiday Gathering Attendees

Looking for set-up instructions, a run-down of navigation, and where to find tech support if you need them? Read our How to Gather With Us: How To Guide before getting started.

***UPDATE*** To make this on-line (NOT ZOOM) Holiday Gathering even more special, we’ve opened up member led rooms for you to entertain your team and or community! To participate just submit a request to craft a room at our Holiday Gathering via this form by December 10th. 

Happy Gathering!

Accessibility of the Event: CSI’s Holiday Gathering 2020

Date: Thursday, December 17th 2020
Time: 5-9pm (Toronto – eastern standard time) 
Location: in combination with GoogleMeet

Event Description

The Holiday Gathering is being hosted through a combination of the platform and GoogleMeet conferencing service. 

Attendees will be sent a link to sign into CSI’s space where they can log-in to move around a grid map of a virtual world, and speak or chat with other attendees through video and text chat based on their proximity to one another on the map. 

Alternatively, attendees can book an EventGuide and obtain a dedicated conference link to join from their computer or call from their phone.  The Event Guide will present the world to them via screen sharing and live voice description. 

Guides will:

  • Name and customize the attendee’s avatar according to verbal instruction 
  • Show, describe, or read the map and provide options to navigate, explore, and participate in activities. 
  • Enable participation in any activities the attendee would like to participate in, by capturing their contributions and submitting them. 
  • Accompany the attendee to conversations with other guests, and on request, disable their audio for a predetermined period of time to provide privacy. 

To book a Guide for the Holiday Gathering, please email by Tuesday, December 15th, 2020.

Event Registration
The Holiday Gathering event registration is available on Eventbrite. If this registration method is not accessible to you, or if you have any other accessibility concerns not addressed, please email to register and we’ll work to find a solution.

Technical Accessibility Details Event Venue Accessibility
Thanks to UBICOMP 2020 for their work outlining specific accessibility barriers of Gather.Town. The below specifics pull from their research but have been updated to be accurate for The CSI Holiday Gathering 2020.

The platform does not currently provide information about their accessibility online. 

Screen Reader Support was tested with Apple Voice over, and found it impossible to navigate the virtual world. As I moved my avatar no verbal feedback was given on its location nor what virtual spaces or other avatars were nearby. It was possible to navigate the UI using a screen reader to chat to all which would facilitate wayfinding or asking an SV for help, but I was unable to chat with a specific user. You are able to have your avatar follow another to facilitate wayfinding.

Captioning does not support captioning, though interactions with other attendees happen through video chat which facilitates lip reader and/or signing. 

Low Hand Dexterity does not afford moving your avatar by voice. It is possible to move one’s avatar using mouse keys, and the “x” key starts a video chat with nearby users. There are no other key commands to allow one to chat, quickly navigate to a specific room, or access menu items (map, raise hand, set status, setup, etc.).

Accessibility Support & Booking a Guide

A Guide can be booked for the event by emailing Guides will be accessed through conferencing software, and provide navigation, verbal description, and closed captioning of conversations. Please specify what time you plan to arrive. A dedicated link will be sent to attendees the morning of the event.

Alternatively, you can have your own support worker provide assistance, however there may be limitations to their ability to share your video with other event attendees. A map of the event space will be available to guides and support workers through the Gather.Town platform during the event. If this is of interest please email to discuss.  

GoogleMeet Accessibility is a free video conferencing service with built in chat and closed captioning. Please visit GoogleMeet to review specific accessibility information of the tool.