Learn more about the 29th Annual OCD Conference >>

March 28th, 2024

Updated Conference Statement:

The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is committed to hosting a diverse and inclusive experience at the 29th Annual OCD Conference in July. Our mission is centered on helping all individuals affected by OCD and related disorders, a commitment that guided our decision to host this year’s Annual OCD Conference in Orlando, Florida.

We value the feedback we have received from our community and recognize the concerns voiced regarding this location. We have heard you, and we continue to engage in extensive dialogue with a wide array of voices to ensure our decision aligns with our mission. Our aim is to make the invaluable support, education, and resources offered through the Annual OCD Conference accessible to everyone in our diverse community, regardless of geographic or sociopolitical challenges.

In line with our commitment, we've crafted the following action plan based on the feedback from our community survey, consultation with our DEI Consultant, and collaboration with both the IOCDF DEI Conference Planning Task Force and our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Council (DEIAC). This action plan is designed to exemplify our unwavering dedication to hosting an inclusive, equitable, diverse event:

Action Plan:

Hybrid Participation: Offering both in-person and virtual attendance options to enhance accessibility.

Local Partnerships: Actively forming relationships with local partners to boost community engagement and support.

Involvement of Local Stakeholders: Collaborating with local clinicians, institutions, and officials to incorporate diverse perspectives, resources, and attendance.

Enhanced Security: Planning additional security measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all attendees, including staff training for emergencies.

Inclusive and Diverse Safety Perspectives: Acknowledging safety concerns, we are exploring less visible security options and actively seeking input from our community members, especially of people of color and LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Community Partnership for Safety: Exploring partnerships with local organizations and communities to promote attendee safety and well-being. 

Gender Inclusive Bathrooms: Designating two restrooms in the conference venue as gender-inclusive.

Diversity in Vendors: Actively seeking and promoting vendors from LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities based in Orlando.

LGBTQIA+ Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetup: Offering a dedicated meetup for our LGBTQIA+ community within the conference to facilitate networking and support.

Supporting Local Initiatives: Supporting initiatives that align with our mission and encouraging attendee donations to those organizations.

Encouraging Diverse Representation: Promoting meetups and resource sharing to encourage diverse representation throughout the Conference.

Amplifying BIPOC Advocates’ Voices: Encouraging participation from BIPOC advocates, individuals, and professionals in the FL region to foster a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue. 

Religion and Spirituality Inclusion: Creating a supportive space for all faiths and religions.

Together, we are committed to ensuring that the 29th Annual OCD Conference in Orlando, FL is a transformative event that advances our mission while promoting diversity, inclusivity, safety, and community support. We appreciate the ongoing engagement of our community in shaping this event and look forward to a conference that reflects the values and diversity of our organization.

Will continue to provide updates as they become available.


Why is the 2024 conference being held in Florida?

We understand the concerns about the political climate in Florida and its impact on our community. However, as an organization committed to supporting individuals affected by OCD and related disorders globally, we believe it's essential to continue our tradition of hosting the conference in different locations. This allows us to reach diverse communities and provide valuable resources where they are needed most. The Southeast of the United States (and specifically Florida) is an area we have not been to in many years and now is the time to provide those communities with this life saving opportunity.

The efforts to make The City Beautiful a more inclusive, equitable community have been recognized as the Human Rights Campaign released its annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) and the City of Orlando obtained the highest score of 100 for the 10th consecutive year.

Is there anything attendees or speakers need to keep in mind regarding current policy in Florida and how it may affect them on-site?

Regarding Florida’s House Bill 1557 (CH. 2022-22), also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, please note that its provisions only apply to schools and school districts within Florida. There are no restrictions on the content or discussions at our conference. We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all attendees.

Update: Following a recent settlement, while the law remains in place, the settlement clarifies that students and educators can discuss LGBTQ+ topics, given those conversations are not part of formal curriculum. The clarifications also state that students can write about such topics in their academic work.

What about the NAACP Travel Advisory in Florida?

The IOCDF is aware of the NAACP travel advisory in Florida and we take concerns about racial profiling and discrimination incredibly seriously. Our priority is to ensure inclusivity and safety at the Conference. We are actively collaborating with local leaders, organizations, and BIPOC community members to foster a more inclusive environment during the event. We encourage attendees to prioritize their safety, and we will monitor any developments related to travel advisories to promote the well-being of all participants.

Are there BIPOC resources in Orlando?
A section of the official tourism website for Orlando, Florida is dedicated to diversity and inclusion. This serves as a hub for promoting and celebrating diversity within Orlando's tourism industry, ensuring that all visitors feel welcome and represented in the city's offerings and experiences. This includes:

  • Diversity Initiatives: Information about efforts and programs undertaken by the Orlando tourism industry to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among visitors, businesses, and residents.
  • Inclusive Tourism Resources: Resources and guides for travelers from diverse backgrounds, including LGBTQ+ travelers, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
  • Community Partnerships: Details about partnerships between the tourism industry and local community organizations, advocacy groups, and nonprofits focused on diversity and inclusion.
  • Events and Celebrations: Information about diversity-related events, celebrations, and cultural festivals happening in Orlando throughout the year.

Are there LGBTQIA+ resources in Orlando? 

Yes, there are LGBTQIA+ resources available for people who are traveling to or visiting Orlando, Florida. While some resources may cater more to local residents, there are still options and support available for travelers. Here are some resources that visitors to Orlando can utilize:

The LGBT+ Center Orlando: The center provides various resources and support services, including counseling, and educational programs. Visitors can access information about LGBTQIA+ friendly businesses, events, and attractions in the area.

This center provides information specifically tailored to LGBTQIA+ travelers visiting Orlando. It offers guidance on LGBTQIA+ friendly accommodations, dining options, nightlife, and events.

LGBTQ+ Travel Guide: Overall, the LGBTQ+ travel guide on the official Orlando, Florida tourism website aims to provide LGBTQ+ travelers with a comprehensive resource to help them plan and enjoy their visit to Orlando while feeling welcomed and supported within the local LGBTQ+ community.  

How are transgender children treated in Florida?

The treatment of transgender children is an important issue, and we are committed to providing support and inclusivity at the Conference. Laws and policies regarding transgender rights can vary, and we encourage attendees to seek guidance from legal experts or organizations specializing in transgender rights in Florida. We are also conducting our own research to ensure a positive and inclusive experience for all attendees.

Is it safe for me/my child to attend this conference?

Attendees should assess their comfort level in traveling to Florida. We prioritize creating a safe environment for our community members and will closely monitor the situation leading up to the conference to ensure the well-being of all participants.

Learn more about the 29th Annual OCD Conference >>