Sustainability considerations

As noted in the Society for Music Theory's statement on sustainability, "The Society for Music Theory endorses the principle of sustainability in its use of the earth’s resources. The Society therefore commits itself to minimizing the environmental impact of its meetings and other activities . . . by conserving natural resources insofar as possible" . Presenters at the Annual Meeting who choose to provide meeting handouts are encouraged to consider this policy when preparing them. Handouts often serve as vital adjuncts to meeting presentations, and it is important that they be easy to read and provided in sufficient number. To reduce paper use and associated environmental impacts, however, please consider:

  • Using double-sided pages.
  • Printing on paper with at least 30% postconsumer recycled content. Please also consider choosing paper with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) chain-of-custody certification, if it is available.
  • Employing a PowerPoint presentation. A PowerPoint or other digital presentation might allow the presenter to shorten the handout or may even make a handout unnecessary. Those who use digital presentations, however, are cautioned that many attendees might not be able to see the screen (see discussion below under accessibility considerations).
  • Placing supplementary material on the Internet. The SMT will provide links to meeting-related material before the meeting and for one month afterwards (see discussion below under accessibility considerations).
  • Recycling any extra copies of the handout after your session. The SMT will attempt to provide recycling bins at each meeting. If you do not see one, ask at the registration desk.

Accessibility considerations

According to the SMT's Policy and Guidelines on Accessibility and Accommodations for Members with Disabilities, "The Society for Music Theory affirms the principle that its meetings, communications, and other activities shall be accessible to any and all persons, and will make every reasonable effort to accommodate their needs for attendance and participation." Accordingly, we are eager to make our meetings accessible to all SMT members, including those with visual impairments, hearing impairments, and other disabilities. To this end, please consider the following when preparing your presentation.

  • Handouts. Some attendees are likely to experience difficulty when reading small print. If you prepare a handout, consider using for all text a 12-point font or larger. If this is not possible without greatly expanding the number of pages in the handout, we urge you to prepare instead a few of the handouts in large-print copies, to post the handouts in advance on the Internet (see below), or both. The concern with small print applies as well to musical examples and graphs, especially if they are extremely detailed. Please make sure that these are large enough to be read easily.
  • Consider placing material on the Internet before the meeting. Placing material on the Internet prior to the meeting allows attendees to access and process material in advance, which can be especially helpful for those with visual impairments. Presenters should post presentation-related material on their own Web sites and send a link to at least one week before the beginning of the meeting. The links will remain on the SMT site for one month after the meeting, and will then be removed. Presenters are also encouraged to provide the URL for online materials at their session.
  • Screen-projected presentations. Although many find PowerPoint and other screen-projected tools to be useful adjuncts to the meeting presentation (see above under sustainability considerations), one cannot assume that PowerPoint or other screen-projected presentations will be accessible to all attendees; some meeting attendees report that they have difficulty seeing the PowerPoint projections. It is important to use reasonably sized fonts and figures in screen-projected presentations. Consider explaining the material on the slide aurally and/or duplicating the material on a handout or posting it online.
  • Microphones. Please speak into the microphone whenever possible.
  • Language guidelines. Take into consideration the recommedations found in the SMT non-handicapping language guidelines.
  • For those needing assistance. If you have accessibility concerns of your own and foresee needing any special assistance at the meeting, or if you know of any attendee or potential attendee who will need such assistance, please contact the Accessibility Committee chair at least one month prior to the meeting.

Note to session chairs

We are eager to make our meetings accessible to all members of the SMT, including those with visual or hearing impairments and other disabilities. To this end, SMT offers the following recommendations to session chairs and the student volunteers who assist them:

  • Wheelchair accessibility. All meeting rooms are to be wheelchair accessible and space in each room is to be reserved for those who are in wheelchairs. The Local Arrangements Chair will try to ensure that the rooms are accessible for those who use wheelchairs, motorized carts, canes, and crutches; however, room arrangements are sometimes altered during the course of the meeting (e.g., chairs are moved). If you see a problem pertaining to room accessibility, whether it involves entering the room or claiming a safe area in which to sit, please remedy the situation as quickly as possible on your own or with the aid of student assistants and audience members. If you encounter a problem with accessibility that you cannot handle by yourself or with the aid of those present in the room, please ask someone at the registration desk to contact the SMT Accessibilities Coordinator (Anabel Maler) or Executive Director (Jennifer Diaz) to help fix the problem.
  • Reserved seats. A group of seats in the front row of the room should be reserved for those who have visual or auditory impairments. A group of seats close to the door should be reserved for those who have mobility or similar impairments. The volunteer aides should help you administer this; some signs for these reserved chairs will be provided by the Local Arrangements Chair and should be placed on the appropriate seats. Please note that those who most urgently need seats might be unable to move quickly from one meeting room to another; a "first come, first served" policy is inappropriate in such cases. Once the session begins, if the only available seats are the reserved seats, unimpaired attendees might occupy them, but they are expected to yield the reserved seat if asked. You (or the volunteer aides) may need to remind attendees of this policy; consider making a polite announcement asking volunteers among the hardier members of the audience to yield their seats to older attendees and others who are more in need of a seat.
  • Handouts. When presenters have prepared large-print copies of their handouts, please announce this to the audience and solicit the help of the volunteer aides to distribute these copies to those who need them.
  • Microphones. Please insist that all those asking questions during the response portion of the session use a microphone.
  • For those needing assistance. If you have accessibility concerns of your own and foresee needing any special assistance at the meeting, or if you know of any attendee or potential attendee who will need such assistance, please contact the Accessibility Committee chair at least one month prior to the meeting. Likewise, if members of the SMT notify us in advance of any other accessibility issues, we may contact you to ask for your help with these requests as well.

Thank you for your help in making our meetings accessible to all who wish to participate.

Note to chairs of interest groups

The Interest Groups of the Society for Music Theory should adhere to the SMT's Accessibility Policies and Guidelines and are encouraged to adopt the recommendations outlined above for presenters and session chairs, as appropriate.

If a session, concert, or other event hosted by a Special Interest Group is held outside of the main meeting venue, please take special care to ensure that the outside venue is wheelchair accessible. Furthermore, Special Interest Groups are encouraged to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the Web sites they host follow accessibility standards as outlined in the W3 Consortium’s Accessibility Guidelines. (See for details.)

Note to registration desk workers

Attendees who need accessibility assistance will be asked to inform the SMT at least a month before the Annual Meeting, and the Local Arrangements Committee, with assistance from the ad hoc Committee on Disability Issues, will prepare for anything that is needed in this regard. Nevertheless, unexpected problems or emergencies might arise. If a meeting registrant informs you of an accessibility need that is not being met, please alert the Accessibility Committee chair or the Executive Director. At least one worker at the registration desk should have information regarding how to contact the Accessibilities Coordinator or the Executive Director immediately should any such problem arise.