The OWCA is accepting applications and nominations for an Accessibility Co-Chair.
- Length of term: 2 years (January 2022 to December 2023)
- Monthly time commitment: ~8 hours
- Renewable?: No
- Elected by: OWCA membership
In collaboration with the Accessibility Chair and committee members, the Accessibility Co-Chair coordinates and develops resources and programming to scaffold inclusiveness and access within OWCA and throughout our community of practice. The Accessibility Co-Chair will be a voting member of the Executive Board, coordinating with the Accessibility Chair on the responsibilities and tasks of the Accessibility Committee.
Our committee is looking first and foremost for those with a strong commitment to accessibility to drive, generate, organize, and maintain previous and new projects that engage with accessible practices in online writing center work and within the OWCA organization. While we value experience in writing center work, our primary interest is your perspective and passion for accessibility and for making both the organization and the wider community of online writing centers more accessible.
We value graduate student labor, aims, and perspectives: those who wish to collaborate with the committee and organization to further their scholarship while giving back to the community are welcome and encouraged to apply.
Year 1 (January to December 2022): The first year of appointment, the Accessibility Co-Chair will act as the co-chair for the Accessibility Committee. The co-chair will be mentored by the chair to acclimate to the responsibilities of the chair and co-chair and responsibilities of the committee.
Year 2 (January to December 2023): The following year, the co-chair will rotate into the position of Chair of the Accessibility Committee and take over the responsibilities of chairing the committee as well as mentoring the newly elected co-chair.
The Accessibility Committee
The Accessibility Committee’s responsibilities include the following: We advise on the accessibility of the OWCA website, resources, events, and other areas of the organization; create and maintain accessibility guides for other OWCA committees and for presenters and attendees of OWCA events; and we collaborate with the Virtual Events Committee to implement effective practices for accessible presentations at OWCA virtual conferences, as well as for webinars and workshops throughout the year. We also share guidance with colleagues in the online writing center community on research and best practices to support their scholarship, pedagogy, and administrative roles. In 2021, our work included developing resources and providing one-on-one mentoring to help people create more accessible conference proposals and presentations. Upcoming activities include: observing and reporting on the accessibility of the OWCA virtual conference to identify lessons learned and to make recommendations for events; researching and developing additional resources, workshops, and webinars; and drafting a formal statement on OWCA’s commitment to accessibility that can guide our work.
The Executive Board
The Accessibility Co-Chair is a voting member of the Executive Board. This means that the Accessibility Co-Chair is expected to attend Executive Board meetings, report on the progress of the Accessibility Committee, review items that need Board feedback/approval, and vote on Board and committee projects.
In 2021, Executive Board meetings were held once per month for an hour and a half. During some months, additional one-hour meetings were scheduled for training or additional discussion of committee projects. Executive Board members also have opportunities to attend Meet and Greets with OWCA members and present at special interest groups (SIGs) on online writing center work.
If you’d like to learn more about this position, you are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Chair, Brooke Hessler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also attend the Executive Board Meet and Greet on October 6 from 2-3pm EST.
Application Timeline and Instructions
- October 31: Deadline for submitting applications
- November 8: Electronic Ballot is sent to members for voting
- November 19: Deadline for OWCA members to submit votes
- November 30: Results are announced
Who Can Apply
Anyone can apply for this position, but you will need to be an OWCA member to accept the position and serve your term. We especially welcome and encourage people who identify as Queer/LGBTQ+, BI/POC, Indigenous, Disabled, Neurodivergent, or an otherwise marginalized identity to apply. Per our Anti-Racism Statement, students and professionals who identify as people of color can become OWCA members at no charge.
Applicants also do not have to be currently employed at a writing center. Current Board members are students, IRB Coordinators, ePortfolio Student Support Coordinators, Learning Resource Center Directors, and Assistant Professors of English. To understand and support our members, though, applicants should have some familiarity with implementing or researching online writing support services, and some experience with supporting and/or navigating accessibility issues.
What to Submit
Please create a written statement (200-300 words) OR video statement (2-3 minutes). Video statements should be uploaded to YouTube and include edited closed captions for accessibility (please review OWCA Guide for Video Applications for assistance).
Your statement will be displayed privately on the OWCA website and distributed to OWCA members. In your statement, you should answer the following questions:
- What types of accessibility tasks/projects would you be willing to start or continue?
- Do you have ideas for projects this committee could take on to improve accessibility of the organization or for the online writing center community in general?
- What ideas do you have for expanding OWCA membership or better supporting OWCA members?
Your statement should focus on your ideas and what you’d like to do as an OWCA Executive Board member. Please do not submit a summary of your resume/CV.
Apply or Nominate Someone
Please use the form below to apply for this position. You can also nominate another individual that you think would be a good fit for this position. If you nominate someone, we will reach out to them and encourage them to apply.