Results of the Poll

Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

I’m writing to announce the results of our online poll for the AMS Music and Disability Study Group (AMS MDSG). Thank you to everyone who voted.

Firstly, our by-laws were passed unanimously. Thank you. These are always view them on the MDSG WordPress blog, on the left-hand column.

Secondly, the theme of next year’s special session at AMS Rochester will be on the intersections of music, disability, race, gender, and other related studies. This was overwhelmingly the most-requested focus. Other suggestions include to hire a guest speaker, and to have a poster session. I will be discussing these suggestions and any others you would like to send my way with my new co-chair and the other new leadership members.

Thirdly, I am happy to announce the new leadership joining myself, Jeannette Jones, and Michael Accinno this year. Jessica Holmes will be joining me as fellow co-chair, Beth Keyes will join as Secretary/Treasurer, and Michael will remain as social media officer. There were no additional nominations that were accepted, so these are the results of our election. Additionally, James Deaville has volunteered to assist Michael with the blog as Blog Editor and to help us solicit regular blog posts. Jeannette Jones will stay on as chair of the ad-hoc accessibility committee, but is working to transition this committee to be under the umbrella of the official AMS Board rather than just the study group. The terms will for leadership will continue to be for three years, and there will be new votes as needed. We encourage other members of the study groups to volunteer their services. The next votes will be in 2018, when I will transition off as chair, and Michael will transition off as social media officer.

We will publish bios for the returning and new officers of the MDSG, and would also like to publish bios for the returning and new officers of the MDIG (Music and Disability Interest Group of the SMT).

Thank you so much for your contributions to the poll, and for your continued work in our shared fields of interest within music studies. Please do not hesitate to e-mail me with any questions or concerns.

Very Best,

Samantha Bassler, Co-Chair, AMS Music and Disability Study Group,

with the leadership:

Jessica Holmes, Co-Chair

Michael Accinno, Social Media Officer

Beth Keyes, Secretary and Treasurer

James Deaville, Blog Editor

Jeannette Jones, Chair of the Ad-Hoc Accessibility Committee

Electronic Textbooks and Accessibility

Joseph Straus asked me to post the following to the blog, in order to ensure the widest possible readership. You can respond with comments to the blog post, which Joe can access, or you can e-mail him (his e-mail is easily found via Google searches).

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Dear colleagues,

I need your advice.

Poundie Burstein and I are writing a new harmony text for Norton, which is eager to make the book fully accessible. For the ebook version of the text, Norton is looking into using alt text for the musical examples (i.e. text that a screen reader can read when a student reaches an example on the page). Apparently this is somewhat controversial and some people find recordings preferable to alt text.

Have you had experience with alt text for musical examples?
Would you be willing to share that experience with me and with Norton?
Or do you know someone who has had experience whom I might contact?

More broadly, can you think of accessibility issues you have faced with previous harmony texts you have used, and ways that Norton might effectively handle those issues?

I would be grateful for your guidance.

Joe Straus