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Accessibility Survey

The Equity and Inclusion Committee (EIC) of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), in partnership with AIC member Sally G. Kim, conducted a survey on awareness of disability issues and accessibility of professional development opportunities in conservation. The survey period has closed and we are no longer accepting responses. We anticipate being able to share preliminary data in 2022.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions about this project, you may contact Jennifer Hain Teper at 217.244.5689 or If you have any questions about your rights as a participant in this study or any concerns or complaints, please contact the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at 217.333.2670 or via email at

Why are we doing this?

To our knowledge, there is no data on accessibility in the field of American conservation.  We are hoping to collect this information to establish a baseline for the field when it comes to:
  1. Awareness of disability needs
  2. Numbers of members with disabilities
  3. Understanding of if/how AIC is meeting the needs of our community.

What do we mean when we say disability/accessibility?

"A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions)." From CDC Disability and Health Overview

 means that everyone has an ability to access (i.e., use, obtain, examine, engage, or retrieve) services, products, and events, with or without a disability. The emphasis is placed on proactive designs rather than reactive “fixes.” (Definition provided with thanks to Hilary Kaplan for her input.)

In filling out the survey, we do not require that you meet any legal thresholds- for instance, if you have experienced hearing loss that impacts your daily life, but are not deaf, Deaf, or hard-of-hearing.  Disabilities may be temporary (e.g. surgery rehabilitation or severe illness), permanent (e.g. autism spectrum disorder), intermittent (e.g. some types of multiple sclerosis or depression), progressive (e.g. muscular dystrophy or arthritis), or chronic (e.g. diabetes or Lupus).  They may also be visible and/or invisible to others.

How will the data be used?

The data will be used as a benchmark for where we are and tell us what we need to change to move towards where we want to be: an inclusive and equitable AIC. We plan to publish the data and run analyses from it.  All data will be deidentified before it is published. A report will also be available to members, and presented in a public forum, once we have performed the analyses.

Where can I find more information?