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Will I? Won’t I?

Jean Alcock

Well I did and here I am – the new Chairperson of SAIF. The position became vacant, following Ben Forsyth’s decision to resign after many years of service. It was Ben’s determination to be there in person that helped SAIF survive over the last few years. We are very grateful to him for all his efforts on behalf of the Forum and, more widely, in the cause of accessible information. I hope I’ll make a worthy successor.

My connections with SAIF go back a long way when as Secretary of the Community Services Group Scotland of the Library Association, I organised training courses and seminars. SAIF representatives were frequently invited as speakers and it was their input that started my passion for making information accessible for disabled people. I finally became a member of the forum about ten years ago and since then I have helped SAIF develop its training programme.

I take on the role as Chairperson at a very challenging and exciting time. The number ways in which information can now be accessed is staggering and the pace of change is astounding. I see SAIF’s role in this changing landscape as:

  • continuing to raise awareness about accessibility issues in both printed and electronic media;
  • to keep up- to- date with new developments in order to monitor their accessibility; and
  • to lead by example in the production of accessible information.

We have recently recruited a number of new members to the Forum from a wide cross-section of interest groups. I look forward to working with them and with Mairi and Matt over the coming years.

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