Decision Maker Response
The American Philosophical Association’s response
Mar 14, 2014 — The APA board of officers takes very seriously the issues of accessibility and inclusiveness and welcomes the opportunity to evaluate, expand, and improve the association’s current policies and practices. The APA is always open to suggestions and recommendations for improving inclusiveness.
The APA has long been committed to combating all forms of discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of disability, as codified in our nondiscrimination statement (http://www.apaonline.org/?nondiscrimination). The APA’s practice is to be in full compliance with both the Americans With Disabilities Act and accessibility standards in the states and provinces where meetings are held, as most recently affirmed by the APA board of officers in 2005.
Ensuring that all philosophers have access to APA meetings, resources, and support is a top priority for the association. Nondiscrimination and accessibility are attained by, for example, requiring that meeting sites meet with federal and state access regulations. If a contracted meeting site ever is found to deviate from these standards, the APA takes action to repair the problem immediately. In addition, following best practice to make effective accommodation, APA staff work collaboratively with members requesting accommodation to provide fullest access for that particular individual. For example, members requesting sign language access work closely with staff to identify sign language interpreters competent for philosophical content. Texts are provided in large type or screen-reader accessible formats upon request and specification of the individual’s preferred format. Many other kinds of individualized accommodations have been arranged in response to members’ requests.
Further, the APA ombudsperson for nondiscrimination is available to assist and advise members who experience discrimination of any kind through both formal and informal complaint procedures (http://www.apaonline.org/?discrim_complaint), and the disability representative of the APA’s committee on inclusiveness in the profession advises on accessibility and inclusion within the association (http://www.apaonline.org/group/inclusiveness). A group of APA members with various disabilities also is available to assist with advice on effective accommodation.
A session on implementation of the APA’s nondiscrimination policy will be held on April 17 at the upcoming Pacific Division meeting in San Diego, and members interested in aspects of the APA’s work on inclusiveness and nondiscrimination are invited to join this discussion.