Building a Remote Work Toolkit and Panel Opportunity

Building upon the Archivists at Home remote work advocacy document, the SAA Accessibility & Disability Section is building a remote work toolkit to continue to advance hybrid or fully remote archival work options. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many jobs transitioned at some point to remote work and the Section continues to advocate for the continued adoption of this work approach. 

The benefits of remote work, particularly for archival workers with disabilities, can be truly transformational. Whether it is flexible work hours or personal control over work environment and set up, remote work can be beneficial for both employees and employers. For employers, remote work allows for a wider and more diverse job pool, regardless of geographic location.

The Section has begun compiling examples of remote work job descriptions and remote work policies. Would you like to help us build this toolkit? Volunteer for the team or please send along helpful resources! Contact us at SAAdisabilityarchivists@gmail.com or on Twitter @SAA_ADS.

Additionally, we are also seeking participants for a panel discussion in October for National Disability Employment Awareness Month on the intersection of archival work, disability, and remote work. If you’re interested in participating, submit this form by Monday August 29th.

Seeking volunteers: QA reviewers for SAA Education webinar captions

In 2021, the Accessibility & Disability Steering Committee received a SAA Foundation grant to caption pre-2020 SAA Education courses using the Rev transcription service. We are recruiting volunteers to help with the transcription quality assurance!

If you would like to help us, please fill out this form. Volunteers would be trained by the project coordinator Lydia Tang on how to review and correct captions within the Rev interface. Volunteers need to be a member of the Society of American Archivists. In addition to being able to access the course recording during the QA process, volunteers who would like to get credit toward the DAS Certificate will be able to purchase access to up to 5 course exams at a rate of $40 per exam. For questions about this project, please contact Lydia Tang (lydia.tang@lyrasis.org) and/or SAA Director of Education Rana Salzmann (rsalzmann@archivists.org)

DEADLINE EXTENDED 4/1: Call for Abstracts – Preserving Disability: Disability and the Archival Profession (Litwin Books)

Call for Abstracts – Preserving Disability: Disability and the Archival Profession (Litwin Books)
Edited by Gracen Brilmyer and Lydia Tang

Key Details:
– Abstracts due: EXTENDED to April 1, 2022 Submit your abstract proposal
– Invitations to submit full papers: April 15, 2022
– Full papers due: August 1, 2022
– Estimated publication: September 2023

Looking for collaborators? Contribute your ideas and connect with others on our brainstorming document

Questions for the editors? Contact Gracen Brilmyer & Lydia Tang

We are inviting contributions from disabled archivists and disabled archival users to bring critical perspectives and approaches to the archival profession for a forthcoming book, Preserving Disability: Disability and the Archival Profession (to be published by Litwin Books). This book aims to address disability, ableism, and accessibility as they intersect with the archival profession-through collection development, archival labor, and accessing historical records.

The deadline has been extended to expand representation of ideas and identities within the book. We particularly encourage contributions from disabled people of color.

We are especially are seeking submissions that address:

– Disability collection appraisal, acquisition, description, and preservation that explicitly addresses the nuances of archival theory and practice
– Surfacing disabled narratives in community-based archives that focus on other identities
– Post-custodial practices around disability collections
– Community archives, post-custodial practices, and/or reparative work
– Disability community engagement: creating and sustaining relationships with donors, creators, and community members for historical documentation, events, and outreach
– Funding and fundraising around disability and accessibility
– Navigating challenges with privacy and access for disability collections

Contributions could also address topics including:

– Historical overviews of disability and/or accessibility in the archival field and profession
– Overviews of accessibility, legal regulations, standards, and best practices across different types of archives-community, university, government, corporate, etc.
– Critiques of standards and policies that emphasize legal compliance over actual users
– Disabled users’ experiences of accessibility or inaccessibility of digital and/or physical spaces, archival content, and services
– Calls to action for archives to better support disabled archivists, users, and disability-related collections

Call for Abstracts – Preserving Disability: Disability and the Archival Profession (Litwin Books)

Edited by: Gracen Brilmyer and Lydia Tang

Submission form: Please submit your abstract and author details

Looking for collaborators? Contribute your ideas and connect with others on our brainstorming document

Questions for the editors? Contact Gracen Brilmyer & Lydia Tang

Key Points:

– Abstracts due: February 19, 2022

– Invitations to submit full papers: March 1, 2022

– Full papers due: July 1, 2022

– Estimated publication date: September 2023

We are inviting contributions from disabled archivists and disabled archival users to bring critical perspectives and approaches to the archival profession for a forthcoming book, Preserving Disability: Disability and the Archival Profession (to be published by Litwin Books). This book aims to explicitly address disability, ableism, and accessibility as they intersect with the archival profession—through collection development, archival labor, and accessing historical records. We seek submissions that cover topics including but not limited to:

  • Historical overviews of disability and/or accessibility in the archival field and profession
  • Overviews of accessibility, legal regulations, standards, and best practices across different types of archives—community, university, government, corporate, etc.
  • Critiques of standards and initiatives that emphasize legal compliance over actual users 
  • First-person experiences from disabled archivists or users working with disability collections and connecting with the past
  • Disabled archivists experiences in the workplace: job requirements, disclosure, accommodations, self-advocacy, and ableism
  • Professional values, ableist expectations, and job precarity for disabled archivists (for tenure, promotions, contract renewal, etc.) 
  • Funding and fundraising around disability and accessibility
  • Disability collection appraisal, acquisition, description, and preservation
  • Archival absences in collections and the evolving concept of who and what is worthy of remembrance
  • Navigating challenges with privacy and access for disability collections
  • Disabled users’ experiences of accessibility or inaccessibility of digital and/or physical spaces, archival content, and services
  • Gatekeeping and stigmatization: the policing of behavior, bodies, and disabled people in reading rooms
  • Disability community engagement: creating and sustaining relationships with donors, creators, and community members for historical documentation, events, and outreach
  • Proposals or best practices for disabled leadership and disability-centered hiring, inclusive workplaces, and job models
  • Calls to action for archives to better support disabled archivists, users, and disability-related collections

We welcome contributions especially from multiply marginalized or minoritized archival workers and users of archives as well as a broad representation of archival repository types. We also actively seek contributors from outside academia who reflect on their experiences in archives. 

Abstracts are encouraged to be under 500 words in length. 

Please submit your abstract and author details by February 19, 2022.

We are also recruiting peer reviewers for this book. If you wish to be considered as a peer reviewer, please fill out the Peer Reviewer Recruitment form. Possible peer reviewers will be contacted in late spring.

Introducing the Accessibility & Disability Section’s Mentoring Sign-up Sheet!

The SAA Accessibility & Disability Section Steering Committee is pleased to share this test pilot mentoring sign up sheet. Inspired by the mentoring sign up sheets by DLF and DigiPres, this sign up sheet is a lightweight and flexible tool for facilitating mentoring connections.

Eligibility:

Archival workers and students who share an interest or identity relating to disability and accessibility and an interest in the archival field. You do not need to be a member of SAA to sign up on this sheet.

How it works

Sign up!

Please sign up on this Google sheet. Anyone can volunteer to participate as a mentor or mentee.

Mentors, if you feel that you can work simultaneously with more than one mentee, please duplicate your line.

To support the confidentiality of Mentees, if you see a mentor who you would like to chat with, mark an “X” by your mentor’s line and contact your mentor.

If you have difficulty accessing, editing this form, or encounter other issues, please contact us at adsectionblogsaa@gmail.com

What is the time commitment?

Mentors indicate time commitment capacity on the form. Some may only be able to do a single informational interview while others may be able to meet regularly for an ongoing basis. When you make contact with your mentoring partner, you can establish expectations according to your mentoring needs and personal time commitment capacities.

Disclaimer

While participants do not need to be members of SAA, we expect all participants to adhere to the SAA code of conduct to ensure that this is a welcoming, supporting, and safe experience. If anyone encounters behaviour that violates the SAA code of conduct, please contact us (adsectionblogsaa@gmail.com). Thank you for doing your part to support your colleagues and make this a fun and educational experience!

October-November Resources!

Hello, everyone!

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and several other disability awareness commemorations

Here is a brief list of upcoming free and low cost webinars:

DLF Accessibility Working Group’s free webinar “Inclusive Design and Accessible Exhibits: Some Guidance for Libraries, Galleries, and Museums” taught by Sina Bahram, October 12, 3-4:30 ET

Neurodiversity Rising: Eliminating Bias from Hiring” free virtual conference featuring speakers including Temple Grandin, Yuh-Line Niou, and Finn Gardiner, October 14, 1-3:30 ET

The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) will be hosting two disability-focused webinars (scaled registration fees):

  • Disabilities Consciousness Raising
    Thursday, October 15th, 2020 from 12pm-1pm PST
  • Practical Applications for Disabilities Consciousness Raising (including Immediate Past Chair Lydia Tang as a panelist)
    Friday, October 16th, 2020 from 12pm-2pm PST

Stay tuned on their website for registration information!

The Library Accessibility Alliance has been putting on free webinars on accessibility:

The University of Maryland has created a host of webinars for this month. While the content is primarily oriented towards the UMD campus community, the webinars appear to be free and open to the public. Session topics include workforce recruitment, accessible courses and teaching, #BlackDisabledLivesMatter, Mental Health Awareness Week, IT accessibility, self-care, adaptive sports, disclosure and accommodations, disability rights, and disability stigma. Steering committee member Zachary Tumlin is a co-organizer and moderator for the October 5th event. 

The Starkloff Disability Institute is having a Workforce, Workplace Disability Summit series of free webinars every Wednesday this month:

Oct 7 – Accomodations and the Remote Workplace

Oct 14 – Creating a Culture of Inclusion

Oct 21 – Digital Accessibility: What HR Professionals Need to Know

Oct 28 – The Role Your D&I Team Plays During Crisis

We also want to acknowledge the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was a champion of disability rights. May her memory be a revolution.

Do you know of other resources or news to share? Please feel free to share it or send it to us to amplify! adsectionblogSAA@gmail.com

Be well,

Lydia Tang

~ on behalf of the Accessibility & Disability Section Steering Committee

ADS Year One Retrospective

Comments from the outgoing chair, Lydia Tang, at the Accessibility & Disability Section’s first annual meeting, July 30th, 2020. See the notes from the annual meeting for more information.

Nearly a year ago at SAA, I heard that the Accessibility & Disability Section was approved by the Society of American Archivists’ Council, and today we are together here celebrating our first year!

This section has been the kernel of dreams for several years. When the first Archives Management and Records Management Joint Task Force on Accessibility submitted their initial Best Practices in 2008, they recognized that it wasn’t enough to assemble best practices and put it on a shelf. Accessibility is ever evolving and the concept of disability representation – that people with disabilities are not only your patrons but your peers – was still a “new” concept.

It took 10 years to assemble a Task Force to Revise these best practices, and when I joined in March 2018 as a last-minute scrappy walk-on, I wrote to the co-chairs and said that I wanted to create a section on accessibility. 

After the Best Practices were revised and submitted, I convened a Section Visioning committee to help build the SAA Council proposal which included the following individuals: Gracen Brilmyer, Steven Gentry, Eric Hung, Nicole Joniec, Helice Koffler, Anna Kresmer, Charity Park, Blake Relle, Amy San Antonio, Jamie Seemiller, Lindy Smith, London Stever, Phillip Stone, Chris Tanguay, Lauren White, and Carol Wilson.

The initial petition to establish this section received the minimum 100 signatures in less than 24-hours, by the time of submission at the end of the week to nearly 300 signatures. In this initial planning team, we grappled with the vision, scope, and name of the section:

  • Disability Rights
  • Accessibility of spaces, technologies and services
  • Disability in the historical record
  • Accessibility, inclusion, and empowerment for archivists with disabilities – I don’t think there is another professional LIS organization that actually has disability representation of peers, not only patrons. 
  • It’s all there… or can be.

“Accessibility & Disability” is two sides of a coin and hopefully leaves the door open to address everything. Disability must be represented and embraced and accessibility must be constantly present and continuously innovated. 

It took a some back and forth with Council to make this section happen – there are already a staggering number of existing sections for the organization to sustain. When the word came out that Council had finally approved the section at SAA last year, I was thrilled and… completely overcommitted. I knew that I needed someone with tremendous energy and drive to get this section off the group and the obvious choice to me was Michelle Ganz to be the founding co-chair. As a member of the original 2008 Joint Task Force and someone I knew from past experiences to be tirelessly passionate about disability representation, accessibility, and who knows how to get a job done, it has been my absolute pleasure to share the leadership with her this year. 

The initial steering committee was a 12-person dream team tasked with the daunting role of establishing a section from the ground up. Over the course of the first year the committee was able to: 

  • Establish bylaws
  • Establish and populate a blog
  • Create numerous resource guides including the widely distributed Archivists at Home document and inclusive interviewing and recruitment document
  • Advised Annual meeting planners on providing captioning for section meetings
  • Provided feedback and suggested changes to SAA Education re: webinars and workshops
  • This section has also been an incubator to other great projects spearheaded by members of ADS leadership, such as the Archival Workers Emergency Fund.
  • Laid the administrative foundation to sustain the Section in the future. 

Our efforts were recognized this year by a Council Resolution, which solidly affirms our integral role within the archival profession.

I’d like to thank the following ADS leaders who are rotating off who all contributed to this banner first year: Jade Finlinson, Cheryl Oestreicher, and Sara White.

I’d also like to congratulate and welcome the following new and rising members of the ADS leadership:

Vice Chair: Jessica Chapel

Steering Committee Members: Ingi House, Bridget Malley, Emily Mathay, Zachary Tumlin

 Early Career Member: Brad Ferrier

It has been a profound honor to work with you all to establish this section. In this coming year, I will be stepping back into the role of Immediate Past Chair and Michelle Ganz will continue on as the Chair. 

Congratulations on a great first year! Looking forward to everything ahead!

Lydia Tang

Immediate Past Chair, Accessibility & Disability Section

July Updates

Happy Disability Pride Month and happy 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act!

Register to join the Accessibility & Disability Section for our first SAA annual meeting on Thursday, July 30th, 1-2:15 CT! This meeting is open to everyone, not only SAA registered attendees, and will be recorded. We are pleased to feature the following presentations:

  • Nicole Joniec: Universally Designing for Accommodation: Accessibility at the Science History Institute
  • Tyler Stump: Collecting Intellectual Disability Records in a Time of Deinstitutionalization

Following the presentations, we will hold a brainstorming session to identify section goals for this coming year. We look forward to seeing you there!

For SAA attendees, be sure to check out Archivists with Disabilities, Friday, August 7, 2:30-3:15pm CT, which features presenters Veronica Denison, Ann Abney, Michelle Ganz, and Chris Tanguay!

Learn more about disability and accessibility in new and recently released resources:

 

Not a member of the Accessibility & Disability Section yet? Join us in SAA Connect!