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ACM SIGCHI > About > Accessibility Committee > Bylaws

Table of Contents

  1. Article 1: Vision, Mission, and Rationale
  2. Article 2: Terms of reference
  3. Article 3: Membership
  4. Article 4: Member Roles and Responsibilities
  5. Article 5: Meetings
  6. Article 6: Communication and Decision Procedures
  7. Article 7: Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

Article 1 Vision, Mission, and Rationale

The SIGCHI Accessibility Committee, established in 2021, serves under leadership of the Adjunct Chair of Accessibility, an appointed member of the ACM SIGCHI EC (Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction Executive Committee).


We seek a future in which people with a diverse range of disabilities can participate equitably within the SIGCHI community––as SIGCHI leaders, volunteers, and members––and more broadly within society as professionals, academics, and students interested in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).


We will work closely with the SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC), SIGCHI members, and community partners––particularly those with lived experience of disability and multiply-marginalized disability identities. Together, we will identify accessibility barriers and ableist processes, co-develop and implement progressive solutions, and communicate outcomes with our membership. We will celebrate collective achievements toward our vision with respect for authorship and acknowledgment of the work that still remains.


By establishing an Adjunct Chair for Accessibility position and an Accessibility Committee, the SIGCHI EC expresses its commitment to ensuring equal participation in SIGCHI to all of its members with disabilities. This commitment to accessibility is aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a widely-adopted international agreement, which “reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Article 2 Terms of reference


Disability is an evolving concept. Disability “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”. Disabled people include “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments whose interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society”


Accessibility is “access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services.”

Accessibility Services

Accessibility services are strategies, materials, communications, technologies and other forms of infrastructure that are provided to ensure equal access to disabled people. Examples of accessibility services include video captions, audio descriptions, and large-print materials. We use the term accessibility services as a synonym to “accommodations,” as the former is more globally inclusive.

Article 3 Membership

Section 1: Members

The Accessibility Committee shall comprise 10-15 members who are dedicated to realizing the Committee’s Mission and Vision. Qualified members have participated in and/or organized ACM SIGCHI events. Those with lived experience and/or professional expertise regarding accessibility will be uniquely qualified to serve. We seek diverse representation––including students, academic and industrial researchers, and practitioners––that reflects SIGCHI’s global membership.

The Accessibility Committee supports two types of members:

  1. Voting Members are expected to attend all-hands Committee meetings, participate in discussions, and vote on motions.
  2. Non-Voting Members (see Section 3) are invited to attend meetings and participate in discussions; however, Non-Voting Members do not vote, cannot occupy a member role, and do not count toward the 10-15 members required to maintain an all-hands Committee.

Section 2: Appointing Regular Members

Any SIGCHI member is eligible to apply to volunteer in the Accessibility Committee, including current members who are seeking an additional term. Applications will be solicited through an open call process in which the selection criteria are made available to candidates. Criteria will be based on the values and the mission outlined in Article 1. Following the procedures set forth by the SIGCHI EC, the ACM violations database will be checked prior to making any new appointments or reappointments to ensure compliance. Appointments will be made by a 2/3 majority (>66%) vote among current Voting Members. All newly appointed Regular Members start out as Voting Members.

Open calls will be held for approximately half of the Committee member seats at 18-month intervals, such that three-year terms are staggered and continuity is maintained across SIGCHI Executive Committee transitions. Committee elections will be held to fill any vacated Chair positions. Appointments and elections should follow the example timeline outlined in Figure 1 as closely as possible. The figure depicts four fiscal years (Year 0-3)––that is, years that start on July 1 and end on June 30––indicating the timing of activities and terms of service for each Cohort. After each round of Cohort appointments,

  • In Year 0, the recommended activities are:
    • July: EC – Elections
    • August: EC – AC Accessibility / Accessibility Committee Chair – Appointed
    • October: Accessibility Committee – Recruit Cohort A
    • November: Accessibility Committee – Election
  • In Year 1:
    • May: Accessibility Committee – Recruit Cohort B
  • In Year 2:
    • July: Accessibility Committee – Elections
  • In Year 3, the cycle begins again with the following activities:
    • July: EC – Elections
    • August: EC – AC Accessibility / Accessibility Committee Chair – Appointed
    • October: Accessibility Committee – Recruit Cohort A
    • November: Accessibility Committee – Election

Each Cohort’s term spans three years. For example, Cohort A’s term spans Year 0 (October) to Year 3 (September).

A four-year timeline of accessibility committee appointments and elections, which are explained in the main text of Article 3, Section2.
Figure 1. Example timeline for member appointments and role elections covering four years.

In the case that a Voting Member leaves before the end of their term, the Chair of the Accessibility Committee will decide whether to fill the seat immediately via appointment or wait to fill the seat via the regular open call process.

Section 3: Conversion to Non-Voting Membership and Termination

Membership of a Committee member can be converted to Non-Voting when they:

  1. have not attended three all-hands Committee meetings in a row, or 
  2. are frequently inactive in the Committee discussion and decision process, as archived on the listserv and Discord server, or
  3. self-nominate, for example when experiencing extenuating circumstances/disability leave/sick leave or similar; to self-nominate, notify the Chair at any time.

Membership of a Committee member can be terminated when they are inactive or do not adequately perform or abandon their assigned tasks (see Article 4) and have not informed the Chair or Vice Chair of extenuating circumstances, disability leave, sick leave, etc. In addition, all members must adhere to the ACM Code of Conduct. Upon learning of non-compliance with the code of conduct, Committee membership can be terminated immediately without a vote.

On an annual or semi-annual basis, the Chair and Vice Chair(s) will evaluate member activity status for potential conversion or termination. Members identified as inactive or inadequately performing duties shall first receive a written notice from the Chair explaining the reason(s) for the proposed conversion or termination. Committee members may choose to voluntarily convert or terminate their membership by notifying the Chair at any time, preventing a vote. The voting process is as follows:

  • The Chair will report the conversion and termination recommendations and reason(s) to the members
  • Those who are being considered for conversion or termination shall be given an opportunity to rebut the proposed action to the other members
  • A vote will be called amongst Voting Members, excluding those currently under consideration for termination or conversion
  • A 2/3 majority (>66%) vote is required for termination or conversion

Article 4 Member Roles and Responsibilities

Section 1: Roles and Responsibilities

The Accessibility Committee shall aim to have members with the following roles:


The Adjunct Chair for Accessibility, appointed by the SIGCHI Executive Committee, also serves as the Chair of the Accessibility Committee. In addition to responsibilities to the Executive Committee, the Chair’s responsibilities to the Accessibility Committee include:

  • Liaise with the SIGCHI Executive Committee to communicate and achieve mutual goals
  • Organize meeting agendas, facilitate virtual and physical meeting logistics, and chair meetings
  • Ensure meeting agendas, minutes, and recordings are disseminated in a timely manner
  • Ensure committee seats are filled through appointments and committee roles are filled through elections
  • Conduct succession planning to support continuity and avoid extended vacancies
  • Update the Strategic Plan within the first year of each three-year term
  • Prepare the annual budget to align with and achieve goals outlined in the Strategic Plan
  • Configure Working Groups to align with and achieve goals outlined in the Strategic Plan
  • Oversee the timely completion of tasks by committee members and Working Groups
  • Delegate specific responsibilities to the Vice Chair and other committee members as appropriate
  • Serve as an ex officio member of all Working Groups on the committee

Vice Chair

  • Schedule virtual and physical meetings
  • Support coordination of logistics for virtual and physical meetings
  • Chair meetings when the Chair is unable to attend
  • Ensure meeting minutes are taken during meetings
  • Keep track of Working Groups’ plans and current progress towards goals
  • Monitor the activity status (see Article 3) of members and report inactivity to the Chair

Community Partnerships Chair

  • Serve as the liaison between the Committee and external entities and organizations (e.g., ACM SIGACCESS) with whom we partner
  • Arrange and attend regular meetings with partners as a representative of the Committee
  • Communicate goals, needs, and activities of/with partners to facilitate synergistic and cooperative operations
  • Make recommendations to the Chair and the Committee on policies and proposals relating to cooperating with partners

Web/Communications Chair

  • Manage the accessibility-related content in SIGCHI’s webspace and ensure it is up to date
  • Communicate Committee updates regularly via SIGCHI’s official communications outlets
  • Monitor social media for topics that need to be considered by the Committee
  • Engage the SIGCHI community on social media and arrange other communication forums around accessibility topics, as needed
  • Work with the SIGCHI VP for Membership and Communications to complete duties

The remaining Committee members will have the title of Regular Member (Voting or Non-Voting).

Section 2: Filling Roles

The Chair of the Accessibility Committee is appointed by the SIGCHI Executive Committee as the Adjunct Chair for Accessibility in accordance with its bylaws. In other words, the same person serves as both the Adjunct Chair for Accessibility on the SIGCHI EC and the Chair of the Accessibility Committee.

The Regular Members of the committee will be appointed as described in Article 3.

The Vice Chair and all other roles on the Accessibility Committee are ​elected by a simple majority (>50%) vote of the current members of the Accessibility Committee​. Qualified candidates should preferably, but not necessarily, have served on the Committee as a Voting Member for at least one year immediately preceding assumption of the role. Each of these positions may optionally be staffed by two members acting as Co-Chairs. Voting will take place within the first two months of each cycle of Regular Member appointment, as needed, to fill vacant Chair positions (excluding the Committee Chair).

Appointments and elections should follow the example timeline outlined in Figure 1 (see Article 3, Section 2) as closely as possible.

Section 3: Terms

The Chair of the Accessibility Committee additionally serves as the Adjunct Chair for Accessibility and is therefore beholden to the term limits set by the SIGCHI Executive Committee bylaws.

The Regular Members of the committee are appointed to three-year terms. There are no consecutive term limits for Regular Members.

Tenure in the Vice Chair(s) and all other Chair roles is by default ​three years​. After three years in the same role, the Committee member who held that role can apply for another role or re-apply for the same role. There is a limit of two consecutive terms for the Vice Chair and all other Chair roles.

Section 4: Strategic Planning and Working Groups

Members will carry out work towards the Committee’s vision and mission through a recurring process of strategic planning and Working Group development.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning will be carried out in three-year intervals to collectively define the Committee’s goals, activities, and metrics to track progress in a written Strategic Plan document.

Ideally, strategic planning will be completed within the first six months of the Chair appointment. Planning should be undertaken in consultation with the SIGCHI Accessibility Committee, the SIGCHI Executive Committee, and SIGCHI members, to explore needs and priorities. The Strategic Plan document is adopted with a 2/3 majority (>66%) vote.

Working Groups

Working Groups, or subgroups within the Committee that work on a specified task, may be organized to fulfill the goals of the Strategic Plan. The Chair, Vice Chair, and any other members in Chair positions may sit on one or more Working Groups in addition to their leadership duties. Working Groups can be created, staffed, and dissolved at the discretion of the Chair.

Article 5 Meetings

Section 1: Frequency & Attendance

A monthly virtual all-hands Committee meeting will be held, totaling up to 12 meetings per calendar year. For these meetings:

  • The recurring schedule will be set at the beginning of each new cohort, to accommodate incoming members’ schedules, and it may be adjusted as needed throughout the year.
  • Meeting times will alternate between time zones to spread out the disadvantage to different members, if any.
  • An open agenda will be maintained and shared in advance of the meeting, to which committee members may contribute.
  • In the event that the Chair and Vice Chair(s) are unable to run the meeting, a designated Committee member will be asked to step in.

Additional meetings, such as Working Group meetings, may be held on an as-needed basis. Attendance at these meetings is strongly encouraged but not required to maintain full voting status (see Article 3, Section 3).

In the event the Committee decides it is beneficial to hold a physically collocated all-hands Committee meeting, attendance will be optional. Additionally, members may choose to synchronously join the meeting remotely.

Section 2: Participation & Transparency

Committee meetings must be open to all SIGCHI members. Meeting joining information will be published at least one week in advance on the SIGCHI website, such that any SIGCHI member can attend. Non-member attendees will be asked to leave the meeting when an executive session is called and will be invited back after its conclusion.

The Committee will endeavor to provide any necessary accessibility services to ensure that, regardless of whether the meeting is virtual or physically collocated, the platform/venue and procedure are fully accessible to all attendees. 

If a vote is cast during a meeting, Voting Members who are not present will be given an opportunity to vote remotely, with votes due within 48 hours of the meeting minutes being shared. Any decisions or votes taken by e-mail or individual calls must be reported at the next all-hands Committee meeting and recorded in the minutes of that meeting.

Committee members shall be able to asynchronously access meeting records––meeting agendas, minutes, and video recordings with auto-captions––within one week of the meeting’s conclusion. After each meeting, agendas and minutes will be lightly edited to remove sensitive internal document links and any content discussed during executive sessions. However, the Strategic Plan must be made publicly available to SIGCHI members. Lightly edited minutes will be made public on the SIGCHI website within one month of the meeting date. Video recordings with auto-captions will be maintained for internal Committee use only.

Article 6 Communication and Decision Procedures

Section 1: Raising Topics

Any Committee member can raise a topic by adding items to future meeting agendas, sending an email to the mailing list of all Committee members, or by communicating with the Chair or Vice Chair.

Section 2: Voting on topics

If no consensus on a raised topic is apparent, the Chair will call for a formal vote, either online or in person. Every Voting Member has one vote, which can be “yes,” “no,” or “abstain.” Every member should vote within a week for virtual votes, and immediately in person, unless otherwise specified by the Chair. A simple majority (>50%) vote will decide the result of the voting procedure unless otherwise specified by these bylaws. If no vote is received from a Committee member within the time specified, the vote will be finalized. If there is a tie, the Chair’s vote counts as double. A quorum of 50% (rounded up to the next whole number) of votes from Voting Members must be reached in order to accept the voting result.

Topics raised during an all-hands Committee meeting will be voted upon by the present Voting Members (either physically or virtually) and made available to those not in attendance (see Article 5, Section 2). Any vote (physical or virtual) can be made by secret ballot at the discretion of the Chair, if requested by a Voting Member.

Section 3: Document Repository

A document repository will be maintained and shared with future Committee Chairs and members to maintain continuity across terms. At a minimum, the following must be maintained in the repository. Maintenance responsibilities for these records follow from roles and responsibilities outlined in Article 4. Timeframes for maintaining records are as follows:

  • Maintained ~1-2 years into each new Chair’s term, then purged for privacy:
    • video recordings and transcripts (Committee Chair)
  • Maintained indefinitely:
    • the Strategic Plan and progress (Committee Chair) 
    • Working Group plans and progress (Vice Chair)
    • open calls and selection criteria (Committee Chair)
    • membership, roles, and Working Group composition (Committee Chair)
    • budgets and spending (Committee Chair)
    • meeting agendas and minutes (Vice Chair)
    • policies, contracts, guidelines, assessments, presentations (all members)

Sensitive information that is collected in the course of Committee work, such as disability status that can be traced back to individual SIGCHI or Committee members, must be deleted within the period specified by the member, or, in the absence of member input, within one year of data collection.

Section 4: Changing Committee Bylaws

The rules and procedures in this document can be changed by a 2/3 majority (>66%) vote, first within the Committee and, upon passage, within the SIGCHI Executive Committee.

Article 7 Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

The Accessibility Committee follows the ACM Bylaws Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.