Accessibility & Accommodations in AAA - Attend Events
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Accessibility & Accommodations in AAA

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Welcome to the AAA Accessibility & Accommodations landing page! The American Anthropological Association is committed to ensuring it is accessible and goes beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

In our dedication to moving beyond the ADA, we have developed this accessibility & accommodations web section. This section has been developed by the new Accessibility & Meetings Coordinator in collaboration with various accessibility community members. These pages outline the supports available from AAA and the expectations of event attendees that will help us cultivate an accessible culture within the Association. We strive to nourish an environment where Disabled, Deaf, Blind, Autistic, Neurodivergent, Mentally Ill, Chronically Ill, Aging, and other disability-adjacent community members can comfortably and meaningfully attend AAA events.

As we cultivate a more accessible anthropology discipline, join us on Twitter using #AccessibleAnthro for critical conversations and to find important resources and news articles about accessibility.

AAA hosts #AccessibleAnthChat to focus on specific and important topics surrounding accessibility and disability. Our last Twitter Chat was held in March on fieldwork accessibility. 

Accessibility at the AAA Facebook Live Recording

This recording shares the history that led to the association’s accessibility position, the importance of accessibility and implementing access standards, and what AAA is doing to center accessibility in the anthropological discipline. Captioning and ASL is provided, and PDF and PPT slides are available for your review. 

YouTube Video

Download the PDF Slides 

Download the PowerPoint Slides

Learn More about Accessibility
Accessibility at the Annual Meeting

We are dedicated to make the AAA Annual Meeting as accessible as possible so that as many participants as possible can meaningfully engage in these upcoming virtual events. All attendees are asked to join us in supporting and implementing accessible practices. We have developed a number of resources for participants to successfully implement accessible practices, which primarily address auditory and visual access needs.

If accepted, you will be asked to review accessibility standards for your presentation and complete them to the best of your ability. At a minimum, you should expect guidance about: 

Finally, our tips, tricks, and tools page can help you determine what resources will be most helpful to you when preparing your presentation. 

Accessibility Tips, Tricks, and Tools
How to be Accessible

Accessibility includes multiple moving parts, which means creating accessible spaces requires the joint effort of everyone sharing the space. Therefore, AAA greatly appreciates all of our members joining alongside us as we cultivate a cultural change in our association to ensure that all our members may participate in all aspects of AAA. 

The practices and guidelines below help all of us foster accessible spaces.

Supporting Collective Access
How to Request Accommodations

While we aim for fully accessible spaces for all attendees, we recognize that we cannot be fully aware of everyone’s individual access needs. We also understand that because of different access needs and experiences, as an association, we may encounter access and accommodation contradictions, where people’s needs interfere with each other. Therefore, we aim to provide accommodations while also balancing the individual access needs of all parties involved.

To ensure that we provide the best support possible to you, your needs, and your experiences, we invite you to directly communicate with us about your access needs and accommodation requests based on these needs. Request accommodations for Raising Our Voices by visiting the link below!

Accommodations Protocol at Raising Our Voices 2020
Accessibility & Accommodations Definitions

What are "access needs"?

  • an individual’s environmental, behavioral, physical, attitudinal, and other needs as related to accessibility and accommodations

What is "accessibility"?

  • the commitment to an environment being initially designed so that the greatest number of people can participate without needing to later alter the space to meet individual needs

What are "accommodations"?

  • individualized changes made to an environment after the initial design of a space upon a person’s request to meet their needs

To learn more about Common Terms related to Accessibility & Accommodations, please review our Common Accessibility Terms page.

Common Accessibility Terms
The Accessibility & Meetings Coordinator Position

As of 2019, the Accessibility & Meetings Coordinator is a new role for AAA and for academic associations in general, which will help center accessibility as an issue to be considered in all initiatives from the ground up and not as an afterthought. The AAA Accessibility & Meetings Coordinator aims to promote disability and accessibility culture in the Association at large and does so by working with AAA members and staff, especially individuals who are also members of the Disabled, Deaf, Blind, Autistic, Neurodivergent, Spoonie, and other communities that require accessible spaces. Through these efforts, the Coordinator is responsible for the development and direction of the Association’s accessibility and accommodation initiatives, whether in AAA’s meetings, conferences, or communications. Alongside accessibility initiatives, the Coordinator provides logistical support for the AAA Meetings team.

Current Coordinator


Nell identifies as a hearing, sighted, physically disabled, and neurodivergent, queer, white woman. She has been a disability rights and disability justice activist, especially within academic and student spaces, and has spearheaded and supported accessibility initiatives in various academic and activist spaces. She completed her Master of Science in Disability & Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Bachelors of Art in Anthropology & European Studies at Vanderbilt University. She is excited for the accessibility and accommodation initiatives she is leading at AAA.

[Image description: Nell, a white woman with short black hair, wears thick, black-rimmed glasses and smiles at the camera. She also wears a collared, button-up shirt that is white with a dark quatrefoil pattern; a black and gold diagonal stripe bow tie; and a glass pendant necklace. She is outside on a sunny day and leans back on the concrete structure behind her.]

Email the Current Coordinator Nell