The ALA Conference Accessibility Task Force (CATF) was created following ALA Midwinter 2016, as a result of the passage of Council Document 31: Resolution Concerning Accessibility of ALA Conferences and Meetings for People with Disabilities.

The charge of the Task Force reads as follows:

  • Collect data from ALA members and conference attendees with disabilities
  • Establish a process for reviewing and addressing accessibility problems
  • Draft accessibility guidelines to be used by ALA in reviewing contracts, to ensure ADA and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliance
  • Research best practices for accessibility training and make a recommendation for implementation
  • Report progress to Council during the ALA Annual Conference 2016 in Orlando and ALA Midwinter 2017 in Atlanta, and,
  • Make a final report, with recommendations, to Council at the ALA Annual Conference 2017 in Chicago.

CATF has been meeting about monthly since April 2016. The task force elected to divide into four subcommittees to tackle different elements of the charge, working toward a progress report for Council by December:

  1. Survey/Data Gathering Subcommittee

Seeking and compiling data (past and present) on accessibility grievances during and after conferences; developing questions for and planning to launch multiple surveys of membership on this topic in collaboration with ALA’s Office of Research and Statistics.


  1. Process Review Subcommittee

Documenting current processes for responding to accessibility concerns, on-site during conferences and afterward; working to recommend new strategies to ALA Conference Services.


  1. Accessibility Guidelines Subcommittee

Gathering and evaluating existing contract language regarding ADA compliance of convention centers and  language guaranteeing accessible hotel rooms and other event venues in local contracts.


  1. Training Subcommittee

Exploring what training options currently exist for ALA staff, leadership, presenters, and the general membership, and how we might go about implementing a new training system for accessibility, within ALA and for conference-goers.


Read the CATF’s full post-Annual Conference report.

Feature Image: Committee by Matthew Burpee