We continue to emphasize the importance of increasing accessibility because we recognize that increased accessibility in any space can lead to positive changes for members of disability and accessibility communities in all spaces. We also know that our professional community includes disabled anthropologists and the populations we study include disabled people; it is critical for all of us to promote increased accessibility initiatives in a variety of spaces.
As we identified during Raising Our Voices, collective access is key to making spaces more accessible to disabled populations and people with access needs. Therefore, we are thrilled that the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) is also encouraging its attendees and presenters to incorporate accessibility into their plans for participation during the virtual 2021 SfAA Annual Meeting, March 18–19 and 22–27. Rebecca-Eli Long, the SfAA’s accessibility and online programming consultant, has been working closely with the 2021 SfAA Annual Meeting Working Group and SfAA leadership to identify the accessible practices and accommodations necessary to make the SfAA virtual space more accessible and welcoming to attendees with disabilities, such as by hosting accessibility presentation trainings. As AAA’s accessibility and meetings manager, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Rebecca-Eli and to participate in the accessibility presentation training for live presentations. For the 2021 SfAA Annual Meeting, SfAA has encouraged presenters to create accessible documents in PowerPoint, Word, and PDFs, as well as guided presenters to the AAA’s Presentation Guidelines for Success and Accessibility. For prerecorded content, SfAA also asked presenters to provide captions and transcripts for their submitted content. By guiding more people in our field to learn accessible practices and skill sets, we have a greater opportunity to develop a culture of accessibility in which disabled people can easily participate with minimal barriers.
As our community learns more about accessible practices, the more we will be able to share our work with a wider audience to help them more easily include disabled people and people with access needs. We are excited for more anthropological spaces to join us in this journey of accessibility!
Nell Koneczny is the AAA’s accessibility and meetings manager.
Cite as: Koneczny, Nell. 2021. “#AccessibleAnthro for All.” Anthropology News website, April 14, 2021.