2020 Accessibility & Disability Section Leadership Candidates

We are pleased to present a strong and full slate of candidates for the 2020 election! In this election, the Accessibility & Disability Section will select a vice chair, four (4) steering committee members, and an early career member.

Vice Chair / Chair Elect (3-year term as Vice Chair, Chair, and Immediate Past Chair)

Jessica Chapel
Librarian/Archivist for Digital Projects, Harvard Law School Library

Biographical Statement

Jessica Chapel is the Librarian/Archivist for Digital Projects in the Harvard Law School Library (HLSL). Before joining HLSL, Jessica worked as a writer, editor, and digital media producer. She received her MS in library and information science from Simmons University in January 2019. Jessica is an active member of New England Archivists and the SAA. She co-led the formation of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund and is chair of the AWE Fund's review committee.

Candidate Statement

Serving on the ADS steering committee in the section's inaugural year has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. Our section may be new, but it's already had an impact on the archival field through our efforts to raise awareness about the importance of access and expand the understanding of archival work to encompass remote labor. I see this section continuing to lead on initiatives that engage on issues of equity, accessibility, and disability representation. As ADS vice chair, I'm committed to working collaboratively and creatively to build on the successes of our section and address the needs of our professional community.

Steering Committee (2-year term, 4 positions available)

Ingi House
Director, National Archives Denver

Biographical Statement

Ingi House is the new Director of the National Archives at Denver. She is returning to NARA from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), where she managed DPAA's District of Columbia Knowledge Management and Archives. Among her many duties, she provided advice on the management and organization of information and ensured records were preserved, maintained, and properly disposed of following established guidelines. Prior to her work with DPAA, Ingi was an archivist at the National Archives at San Francisco and an archivist with the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme, California. She has also worked at the Defense Acquisition University and various other libraries and archives.

Ingi has a Bachelor of Science in History from the University of Kansas and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University.

Candidate Statement

As a person with mental disabilities, including dyslexia and anxiety disorders, promoting and making sure the various-abled community is seen and understood is hugely important to me. I have been on several panels and have written, both professionally and personally about my struggles and successes with having an 'invisible' disability. Within the archive community disabled professionals are not often talked about, let alone seen. I would love to work with a group of people that realize that talking about what makes us unique and different is the first step in working towards a more inclusive profession.

Bridget Malley
Librarian, Seton Hill University;
Contract Worker, Western PA Disability History & Action Consortium

Biographical Statement

Bridget Malley is (as of May 2020, anyway) a librarian/archivist on hold and a contract worker with the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium (WPDHAC). In the latter role, she's worked with disability advocates, archivists, curators, and educators to preserve and share regional disability history. She is also part of the organizing group for the Archival Workers Emergency Fund.

Candidate Statement

During this next year, I'd like to help guide efforts to highlight disability in the historic record. It's something we've only touched on briefly thus far! Another (ongoing) goal I have for the A&D section: That we may serve as a central resource for information on how to make physical and digital spaces, records, and professional presentations accessible - and why it's necessary! I'd love it if "Have you checked out the A&D section's resources?" becomes a popular suggestion, regardless of whether accessibility is the key thing a person's working on.

Regardless, I'm proud of all we've accomplished thus far and am excited to see where we go in the next year of our section's existence!

Emily Mathay
Project Archivist, University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library

Biographical Statement

Hello! My name is Emily Mathay. I'm a Project Archivist at the University of Michigan and a 2019 grad of Simmons University's MLIS/MA dual degree program. I was raised by a Deaf mother, and grew up surrounded by Seattle's deaf community. As a result, I saw firsthand how often my family and friends were refused even the most basic accommodation, and how often they had to fight for what others took for granted. As I completed my BA in history and pursued my MA/MLIS, I was continuously reminded how people with disabilities have been historically underrepresented in archives and the historical record.

The Accessibility and Disability section came into being as I was finishing up my MLIS/MA program at Simmons; I remember feeling thrilled to sign the original petition and to provide thoughts on the language in supporting documentation. As a current member of the SNAP steering committee, I have had a chance to contribute to SNAP responses to various articles and news items, to work directly with current MLIS students, and to learn the ins and outs of section leadership.

Candidate Statement

I am excited to run for a position on the steering committee of the Accessibility and Disability Section! I believe that accessibility is more than a checklist for institutions to complete. It is an ongoing process that requires humility and open communication, and I believe that the Accessibility and Disability section is uniquely positioned to coordinate this communication. With that in mind, I would like to see the section work with SNAP to reach out to new students and professionals who are unsure how to either self-advocate or advocate for colleagues in terms of accommodation and accessibility, and provide them with resources and support. While advocating for new professionals and students, I believe the Accessibility and Disability section could also play a role in increasing disability representation within the profession by actively reaching out to and developing relationships with various disability communities and organizations.

Accessibility is an ongoing and important issue for both archives users and staff. As a member of the Accessibility and Disability steering committee, I will use my privilege to work as an ally to people with disabilities and to push for change both within institutions and within the profession as a whole.

Jamie Seemiller
Acquisitions Archivist, Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Department

Biographical Statement

Jamie Seemiller is an Acquisitions Archivist at the Denver Public Library (DPL) Western History and Genealogy Department. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Acquisitions & Appraisal Section. In the past, she was appointed Chair of the Public Libraries and Special Collections Section and the Atlanta program committee. Jamie is a certified archivist and spent nine years on the board of the Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists. She received her MLIS from the University of Denver and B.A. in film from Southern Methodist University. Before working in archives, she worked in educational television and the cable industry.

Candidate Statement

I would like to be a part of the Accessibility and Disability Steering Committee to help promote the importance of collecting papers related to people with disabilities and the disability rights movement. In 2013 when the Laura Hershey papers were donated to the library, I realized that I had a lot to learn about the disability rights movement and its role in Denver's history. Denver is the birthplace of the disability rights movement with the bus protests by the "Gang of 19" in 1978 and the formation of ADAPT. This history was not documented in any local archive, so I began to actively collect materials. In 2014, the addition of the Wade and Molly Blank papers (founder of ADAPT) strengthened the collection and has created a rich resource for researchers. Working with these collections lead our department to be more aware of the importance of having an ADA compliant reading room, accessibility to online materials, and using people-first language in blogs, exhibits, and social media. I realize that I have a lot more work to do and more to learn, which is why I would like to serve on the Accessibility and Disability section as a Steering Committee member.

David Spriegel
Self-Employed

Biographical Statement

David Spriegel is from the northern suburbs of Chicago. Mr. Spriegel attended Saint Mary's University of Minnesota where he majored in history, graduating in 2012; his senior thesis examined the George H. W. Bush administration's response to the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Mr. Spriegel next studied library science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, graduating in 2013. Courses included archives, special collections, and metadata. He holds the Certified Archivist credential.

Mr. Spriegel's professional career is diverse. Previous experiences have included an internship in the manuscripts division of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library; successive internships in the Saint Mary's University archives; several projects as an independent records management consultant for local government agencies in Illinois; and managing an audio-visual digitization effort in the corporate archives of a large Illinois pharmaceutical company. Later, he assisted a federal agency as a digital archivist, working for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Most recently, Mr. Spriegel worked at the Alabama Department of Archives and History where he served as the Secretary of State Liaison archivist.

Candidate Statement

My name is David Spriegel and I'm a candidate for the steering committee of the SAA Accessibility & Disability Section. My experiences with archives and disability advocacy can be seen in two areas.

I was recently a participant in the "Working With Disabilities in the Archives" panel at the SAA annual conference in Austin, Texas, last August. My presentation, "Disability and the Job Search," focused on first-person experiences of the issues surrounding employing and working with archives staff who have disabilities. I briefly explored specific issues and provided context and background information. The larger discussion contributed to, and encouraged, the further inclusion and acceptance of employees in the archives profession at all levels. Using my experiences, I explored specifics around disability disclosure during the job search and accommodations in the workplace.

I also recently wrote an article for the Academy of Certified Archivists' Spring Newsletter. The article focused on how my two disabilities (mild cerebral palsy and auditory processed disorder) made the recertification process harder than I anticipated; particularly the processing disorder. I wrote the article so that my experience would benefit others who were in similar circumstances. In the article I identified several solutions and areas for improvement in the re-certification process. I communicated these issues to the Academy of Certified Archivists.

These two experiences demonstrate that I will be an effective member, and voice, of the Accessibility & Disability Section steering committee.

Zachary Tumlin
Rinzler Archives Fall Intern, Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

Biographical Statement

Zachary Tumlin is an adult-diagnosed Autistic self-advocate with a passion for Disability Studies and an interest in accessibility, neurodiversity, employment, policy, and media. He holds a Master of Library and Information in archives and digital curation from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Music in music education from West Virginia University. He is a former middle school band director and maintains an affinity for music and performing arts material. He has worked in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, Special Collections in Performing Arts, National Agricultural Library, Library of Congress, and Folger Shakespeare Library. He has been furloughed from The Cadence Group and their client, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, and has accepted a summer-now-fall internship offer at the Ralph Rinzler Archive at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He is a member of the Music Library Association (MLA) Diversity Committee and SAA Accessibility and Disability Section Steering Committee. He has published on neurodiversity in a music librarianship journal and presented on autism, neurodiversity, and disability many times, including at the MLA annual meeting.

Candidate Statement

I would like for the Accessibility and Disability Section to continue to pursue opportunities for meaningful contributions with regards to employment, policy, and the annual meeting. Specifically, I want the Section to generate a follow-up to the "Inclusive Interviewing/Recruitment Practices for People with Disabilities" document, this time focusing on employee retention and advancement. The short-term (2021) goal would once again be publication in Archival Outlook, but ultimately I would love for us to have a long-term goal of generating a more substantial piece that would appear in American Archivist (if possible, like a combination of the two docs plus new content, such as original research on disability employment numbers and experiences in archives).

The Section should also be the leading voice and resource when it comes to the accessibility of the annual meeting. Necessities must be expanded to include captioning and virtual participation (on par with physical participation), and issues like cost of attendance should be viewed as an accessibility concern. Lastly, I am still really curious to hear from our members about how the Steering Committee can best support them. For example, we have talked about producing a Project STAND-like map of disability collections in the US, but would that be of us to them? Also, what about archives+disability researchers, like the new Dr. Gracen Brilmyer, who has landed at McGill University in Montreal--are people like that members of the Section and is there anything we can do to support them, like sponsoring an award to recognize research.

Early Career Member (1-year term)

Brad Ferrier
Digital Projects Librarian, University of Iowa

Biographical Statement

As a librarian, I am involved primarily with the caption and transcription of A/V material, the ingesting born-digital materials into the library, and web archiving for the university and related websites. I am involved in numerous activities and committees related to Digitization and Born Digital projects.

In 2013, I had a stroke less than a month after earning my MA from the University of Iowa School of Library & Information Science. In 2016 I started volunteering at the UI Libraries (Art Library, Preservation) and at the UI Stanley Museum of Art (Registrar's office). Then in 2018, I was hired on as the Digital Projects Librarian in the Preservation & Conservation Department of the UI Libraries.

I now have right-side hemiparesis and anomic aphasia. Anomia is a deficit of expressive language. In other words, I take in information normally, but sometimes relaying that information, verbally, can be a challenge.

Candidate Statement

For the past two and a half years, I have been involved in making the University of Iowa and the surrounding communities a better, welcoming, more inclusive and diverse space. I have had some small, but moderate successes. As a Digital Projects Librarian, I work to make the audio/video collection in the Iowa Digital Library (IDL) accessible and searchable by overseeing the transcription and caption of the backlog of materials. I walked through the library's gallery with the Exhibition and Engagement Coordinator, a curator, and a visually impaired member of the university faculty to investigate what changes could be made for future exhibits. Additionally, I have worked with through the Council on Disability Awareness (CDA), of which I am a member and current treasurer, and with the UI Department of Public Safety (UIDPS) to make their Violent Incident Survival Training (VIST) course inclusive to all those who would be interested in taking it. I am also working with colleagues from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to draft a proposal for a Disability Zone training for staff and faculty to learn about the disabled experience and campus/community resources. Both of these last two things are on hold with the current unfortunate situations.

I have also met with a lot of frustration. A group of fellow librarians was trying to get a distraction-free, silent study space in the University Main Library. That was put on hold indefinitely due to funds it would take to outfit the space. As a person who often uses a wheelchair, I am aware of much of the limitations and accessibility concerns in the building, such as the lack of automatic doors on many of the spaces within the library (Special Collections/University Archives, the Iowa Women's Archives (IWA), the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio), and the lack of adequate spaces between the shelf stacks throughout the building, just to name a few. Things must change. But, to be completely honest as I write this, I am not certain that I know what actual change looks like. I do know what it could look like. I would be proud to be a part of the SAA Accessibility & Disability Section and to advocate for these changes while they are happening.