Towards a More Equitable, Accessible, and Responsive SIGCHI

The SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC) has spent the last two years working to ensure greater equity, inclusion, and responsiveness within SIGCHI. Allison Druin, who served as our Adjunct Chair for Diversity & Inclusion from July 2018 to June 2020, started us off on this path, recognizing the importance of paying attention to many more dimensions of equity than we had earlier imagined addressing. We are grateful to her efforts that emphasized the extent of the work that was needed. In response to what we learned from the efforts she spearheaded, and as part of our efforts to follow through with our commitment to listen, reflect, act, and represent, we put out an open call for new members of the SIGCHI EC.

We are delighted to have among us five new Adjunct Chairs (ACs), introduced below, who have courageously elected to support the EC in addressing the challenges that face us and the global community we are all a part of. These ACs were selected on the basis of their innovative ideas and grand visions for taking SIGCHI in bold new directions. They pull from their prior experiences as SIGCHI members, as well as their experiences with being movers and shakers in their respective communities. Although they have different titles and responsibilities, they make a strong collaborative team that will work this next year with each other, the rest of the EC, and the SIGCHI community.

EQUITY ADJUNCT CHAIRS
Our Adjunct Chairs for Equity will help us expand our diversity and inclusion initiatives across the SIGCHI community. We are very fortunate to have Adriana S. Vivacqua and Vinoba (Vino) Vinayagamoorthy joining us. Both are passionate about taking concrete action to bring about positive change, and have quite a track record to show for it. In their roles as ACs for Equity, they will work closely with the six Inclusion Teams and VP at Large Shaowen Bardzell.

Adriana S. Vivacqua. Adriana is a Professor at The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her main interests are collaborative systems and human-information interaction, especially as it relates to decision-making and group dynamics. While serving with the GROUP conference, she worked to increase diversity among committees and chairs, and broaden overall participation. She has also been involved in organizing activities geared towards increasing Latin American presence in the SIGCHI community. She has been working with the SIGCHI Development Fund Committee for about 9 months now, on projects that promote equity within the global SIGCHI community.

Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy. Vinoba is a research & development engineer with the BBC working on interactive and immersive media experiences. She serves as VP of Conferences on the ACM IMX Steering Committee with a focus on improving the diversity of representation in the conference series. In addition to contributing relevant guidelines and ideas for conference organisers, she has also taken on a hands-on approach as a Technical Programme Chair for ACM IMX 2018, a Diversity Chair for ACM IMX 2020, and a General Chair for ACM IMX 2021.

ACCESSIBILITY ADJUNCT CHAIRS
Identifying an Accessibility Adjunct Chair was the final step in a commitment we made over a year ago to create a stronger foundation of support and guidance on serving our community at all of our events — both physical and virtual. This included steps to clarify funding allocation as well as professional support. Our discussions with accessibility advocates and our formal Inclusion survey from early Spring 2020 revealed that there are still challenges to be addressed in terms of immediate needs and plans for the future. Our two inaugural ACs for Accessibility both bring with them a deep knowledge of accessibility and accessible computing, and they aim to solidify SIGCHI’s continued leadership in creating a community that welcomes, supports, and celebrates its members with disabilities. They will work closely with VP at Large Shaowen Bardzell, VP of Conferences Andrew Kun, and VP of Operations David A. Shamma.

Soraia Prietch. Soraia is a professor in the Information Systems Department of the Federal University of Rondonópolis, Brazil. She has been conducting research and participating on committees on accessibility, assistive technology and educational technology for the last sixteen years. She co-chairs the Brazilian SIGCHI Chapter, and is Vice-Chair for Research of the Latin American Community of Human-Computer Interaction.

Stacy Branham is an assistant professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Her research investigates equitable technology access and inclusion for people with disabilities and other marginalized identities. She recently served as Accessibility Chair for the SIGCSE and DIS/C&C conferences, and she coordinated accommodations at the ASSETS Workshop on AI Fairness for People with Disabilities. She is dedicated to helping realize a SIGCHI in which people with disabilities are represented at all levels.

ADJUNCT CHAIR FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
As we aspired to actively listen and respond to the needs of the SIGCHI community, we also recognized the need for innovating on our mechanisms for reaching out and engaging with our global membership. We sought an AC who could bring energy and creativity to build on our initiatives, and brave the challenge of seamlessly creating and running multiple communication channels across SIGCHI. The AC for Community Engagement will work closely with VP at Large Neha Kumar, the VP for Membership and Communication Regina Bernhaupt, and the rest of the EC to ensure that we are responsive and transparent in communicating the committee’s efforts and decisions.

Casey Fiesler is an assistant professor of information science at University of Colorado Boulder, where she researches social computing, ethics, and governance. She has been involved in communications for multiple SIGCHI conferences — GROUP (publicity chair, 2016) and CSCW (communications and outreach chair, 2018 and 2019), where she also launched the CSCW Medium publication designed to encourage public scholarship. She hopes to support improved communication within SIGCHI, as well as public-facing communication about our expertise and research.

Helena Mentis
On behalf of the SIGCHI Executive Committee