September 2023 CDI meeting minutes

CDI Minutes – Sept. 26, 2023

September 26, 2023: agenda
1. Greetings and Introductions
2. Set agenda and goals for CDI 23-24:

a. Mission

b. Links with intersectional committees

c. Other ideas?

Disability issues are inherently intersectional, and CDI would like to conduct more panel collaborations with other committees to explore those ties. Nicole explained that this has been difficult to achieve, as proposed collaborative panels have not always received enough paper proposals or have not had the full support of our partnering committees.

Jason noted that the last paragraph of the CDI mandate focuses on the MLA Bibliography. Is there any work that we want to do on this? How can we better promote and make legible recent work in disability studies through the database?

Terry explained the history of this charge: a member of the Bibliography staff met with the CDI committee in the past, to change certain search terms in the bibliography. At that time, it was the Bibliography committee that requested that meeting and input, but we could be proactive about reaching out to them if there is something that we would like to address.

Nicole floated the idea of putting together a database or list of potential peer reviewers specialized in disability studies for journals.

3. Review MLA statement on access

a. Action item for Nov: potential revisions to access statement, inspired by Jason and Travis’ best practices article

This year we would like the committee to review the MLA statement access. Does it need to be updated? If so, how?

One path forward is to look at the best practices article published by Jason and Travis as part of a special issue on the public humanities, and see if there are any suggestions there that we would like to incorporate into the MLA official statement. Jason notes that article was published in 2019, and may not be fully up to date. Terry explains that all official MLA statements have to be reviewed and approved by the executive council. So perhaps after we incorporate ideas from the Jason/Travis document and synthesize it with the official communication, we can then send it off for approval.

Eduardo asked to clarify the committee’s charge. He noted that the official access guidelines are geared toward presenters (and could give recommendations on things like font size, which is often woefully undersized for the visually impaired) and what they should do, but wonders if CDI’s scope goes beyond presenters. Brings up lighting issues in MLA hotel conference rooms that also negatively affecting the visually impaired. Terry explains that we can certainly try to provide hotels with guidance on things like lighting, but may not be fruitful in those efforts.

Discussion about the scope of the committee: serves MLA conference attendees, members of the MLA more broadly, and provides guidance on issues in the profession.

4. Reminder about January sessions sponsored by CDI

a. Action item for Nov: collect list of disability-related sessions and promote

CDI Committee sessions for January 2024: sessions 122 and 334, please attend!

Jason and Nicole will contact their panel members to ensure they are up to date on the accessibility guidelines.

We will have a committee meeting on Jan 4th, Thursday morning at 11 for one hour.

Perhaps Paula Krebs can meet with us for ten mins, think ahead of time of what we would want to talk about with her.

Discussed issues with CART at the last MLA conference. MLA was unable to find in-person CART, they only do it remote. At a conference, it is challenging to have remote CART work properly, since they have trouble hearing what is going on and capturing it accurately. MLA is trying to get an in-person CART interpreter, and enough ASL interpreters to provide access. Jennifer suggests that the in-person ASL interpreter coordinate with the remote CART captioner.

5. Schedule meetings for November and January (at MLA)

Our next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 7 at 3 PM EST.

Action Items for next meeting

  • Review access statement currently provided by MLA, as well as access best practices guide by Jason Farr and Travis Chi Wing Lau. Are there ways that we can synthesize them? Are there any modifications that we want to propose to the current MLA access statement? (Note that these suggestions must be reviewed and approved by MLA executive council at a future date.)
  • Come up with potential panel topics for 2025 in New Orleans (2 guaranteed sessions, but we can also propose non-guaranteed sessions, possibly with collaborators).
  • Come up with topics to chat about with Paula Krebs in Jan (if she can meet with us for 10ish mins).
  • Remind our Jan 2024 panel members of the importance of getting their papers in on time, to accommodate interpretation.