STC advocates for members with special needs
A Special Needs Committee was formed in 1997 at the STC conference in Anaheim, California. Its first meeting was at the 45th STC Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Judith Skinner, founding member, presented the History of the Special Needs Committee at the 2001 conference in Chicago, Illinois
Three months before the 2002 conference in Dallas, Texas, the committee was told that STC committees do not have a long life and it would be terminated.
Special Needs SIG is founded
The founding members scrambled to quadruple the membership and get the required 75 signatures on a petition to form a SIG. By 2003, the SIG had grown from 20 committee members to 260 Special Needs SIG members.
In 2004, the SIG was renamed the AccessAbility SIG, using a play on English words. In 2015, this was changed to the Accessibility SIG to make the name accessible to speakers of all languages and so it would be rendered correctly regardless of the software application. A brochure
was published in 2005.
Leadership and Process Documentation
Formation Reports and Presentations
Presentations were given at the 48th International STC Conference in Chicago, Illinois
, May 13-16, 2001 about how the SIG started.
- "How Did the Special Needs Committee Get Started?" by Mark Hanigan
- "My Brain Works...My Legs Don't! Let's Take the "Dis" out of Disabilities" by Judith Skinner
- "History of the Special Needs Committee" by Judith Skinner, presented by Dan Voss
- "The Story of the Starfish" by Dan Voss
Community Achievement Award
The Community Achievement Award recognizes a chapter or SIG's outstanding accomplishments towards the goals of STC. This award is presented only to communities that have distinguished themselves by exceeding ordinary expectations. Beginning with the 2001 awards, community achievement awards were separated into three categories: Merit, Excellence, and Distinguished.
– In the SIGs with under 600 members category, the Accessibility SIG received a Community Achievement Award of Distinction
at the 53rd Annual Conference, May 2006. The citation reads: "For outstanding success in completely aligning initiatives with strategic plan and accomplishing them." SIG managers: Karen Mardahl, Mike Murray, Dan Voss
Accomplishments include the following:
- The number of initiatives the Accessibility SIG accomplished this year is mind-boggling! Congratulations!!
- The organization and presentation of supporting materials and attention to detail are excellent. It makes judging easy and enjoyable and leaves no unanswered questions-as you suggested, it did give me a complete picture of your activities. It is evident a lot of effort and hard work went into the presentation of the SIG's activities.
- The following two ideas are especially innovative:
- Negotiating 15 percent from Amazon.com for accessibility-related books purchased through the links on the Accessibility SIG website.
- Increasing membership through inquiries concerning accessibility. (The SIG responds to the inquiry, asking the person inquiring to join the SIG team, which results in many new members and, in some cases, joining STC).
- Commendable actions:
- Efforts to help victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita
- Well thought-out rechartering process
- Excellent job aligning strategic plan with rechartering
- Two prestigious awards for your website
- Great job recognizing members' accomplishments and service to
- International leadership on accessibility
- The website and newsletter are superior. What great resources for your membership.
Community Pacesetter Award
The Community Pacesetter Award recognizes chapters and SIGs for outstanding innovative and successful activities. Unlike the Community Achievement Award, which recognizes a community for exceptional strength across many activity types, the Community Pacesetter Award is designed to celebrate excellence in a specific activity or event.
2005 – The Accessibility SIG received a Pacesetter Award. The citation reads: "For reaching out to STC members with special needs and disabilities; for supporting those members by developing an excellent Accessibility Guide for the annual conference in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005; for setting an example for all STC communities by creating a highly accessible SIG website; and for contributing to the accessibility of the Society website." SIG manager: Fabien Vais.