Mission Statement and Activities

      The Committee on Disability and Accessibility (CDA) promotes greater accessibility within the Society for Music Theory (SMT) and in all areas related to music theory scholarship and pedagogy. The committee also actively supports and fosters deeper engagement with the cultural study of disability as it relates to music theory—including, but not limited to, scholarship on physical, psychological, cognitive, sensory, and invisible impairments; scholarship on neurodiversity; and scholarship relating to Deaf Studies. To these ends, the CDA is involved in the following pursuits:

      • Aids in the Society’s adherence to its Accessibility Policy and Guidelines, monitors SMT’s accessibility practices, and makes recommendations involving issues of access and accommodation in SMT’s management and operations;
      • Sponsors a special session addressing scholarly issues in disability studies and music theory at the Annual Meeting;
      • Holds a no-host luncheon at the Annual Meeting to discuss matters that relate to the mission of the CDA to which all interested members of the SMT are invited;
      • Aids in maintaining the official blog of Music and Disability Studies at the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory;
      • Maintains a constituency group open to all members of the SMT via an email listserv;
      • Works with the AMS Music and Disability Study Group and other scholarly societies in providing program sessions and informal forums at national meetings, encouraging participation in regional societies, and seeking grant support for common initiatives;
      • Offers support for navigating disability in academic, professional, and/or personal contexts through our mentoring program, pedagogy resources, and the database on musical representations of disability.

        Annual Meetings

        • Hotel: The Society will hold its Annual Meetings in venues that are fully in compliance with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Society will make every reasonable effort to ensure that locations for events that are open to attendees but not part of the main Meeting also be fully accessible.
        • Meeting rooms: The Society will make every reasonable effort to ensure that meeting rooms at the Annual Meeting are physically accessible, including wheelchair accessibility, and that appropriate space to accommodate persons with disabilities is available in the rooms themselves.
        • Registration: The registration form for the Annual Meeting will contain a section allowing registrants to request any special accommodations they might require. The Society will make every reasonable effort to meet these requests to the extent possible.
        • Paper sessions: The responsibilities of session chairs at the Annual Meeting will include making every reasonable effort to attend to the accessibility of the session for both presenters and audience members.
        • Papers: Speakers at the Annual Meeting who use hard-copy handouts will be encouraged to prepare them to accommodate sighted attendees with visual impairments (e.g., by using accessible font sizes, by providing some additional copies in large-print format, or by posting the material online sufficiently in advance of the Meeting). Speakers who project material on screens will be encouraged to present this material in alternate formats as well (e.g., as handouts, through aural description, or online). The Society will make every reasonable effort to ensure that speakers who are unable to attend the Annual Meeting by reason of disability have the opportunity to present their papers via available electronic or other means.
        • View specific guidelines and recommendations


        Where feasible, the Society’s publications and other communications that appear in print copies will also be available in alternative formats (e.g., large-print, electronic text).

        Accessibility Resources

        For persons requesting information or guidance regarding accessibility issues that pertain to the study, teaching, and dissemination of music theory, the Society will offer to facilitate communication with those who may be able to provide relevant advice and/or referrals to appropriate resources.

        Approved by the SMT Executive Board, November 2019.