On October 10, 2021, FAI’s executive director Aengus Finnan joined Gaelynn Lea’s Sunday Sessions alongside guest speakers and performers Lachi, a blind singer-songwriter from NYC and co-founder of RAMPD (Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities), and Question, a blind hip-hop artist from Atlanta. The session was part of a celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and FAI was invited to share thoughts on its commitment to holding space and working towards a more accessible conference, organization, and industry, as well as to discuss upcoming partnership efforts (detailed below).
Specifically, following preliminary panels and peer sessions over the past two years, FAI will be hosting a dedicated half-day online summit in January for artists with disabilities, followed by a live-streamed summit summary panel from the in-person conference in February. Additionally there will be a pre-recorded “Celebrating Disability Culture” panel available to all attendees presented in partnership with RAMPD, and Attitude is Everything.
FAI is committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access, as identified in its 2020 Cultural Equity statement. FAI has also endorsed the 10/20/30 APAP pledge and as such is now committed to reporting publicly on all efforts to improve and increase representation and compensation for colonially-marginalized community members. As such FAI has expanded aggregate demographic data collection from all members and attendees to include disabilities and is actively consulting with disabled community members to broaden its database and welcome new voices and participants.