Policy Statements

1. Accessibility (2013)
2. Mandatory Retirement from Employment because of Age (2021)

1. Accessibility

May 2013

The ISA has adopted the following policy to make its meetings more accessible:

  1. ISA Registration forms will have a box to request particular accessibility services, but without making any guarantees for their provision.
  2. Live broadcast of the Plenary Sessions. The ISA Secretariat will request the Local Organizing Committee to make a live broadcast of the plenary sessions with corresponding language subtitles. This would give electronic access to anyone in the world (with the right equipment) as well as those present at the meeting, thereby making sign-language interpretation unnecessary, at least, for these sessions.
  3. Assistance at Meetings. The ISA Secretariat will create a point person on the ISA staff to communicate with people about access issues and to address them, as far as possible, throughout the meeting.
  4. Conference bids. The ISA will require conference bids to include access to buildings, rooms, and restrooms (including gender-neutral restrooms), and this will be used as one criterion to evaluate the proposed venue.
  5. Presentation Guidelines. The ISA will request all presenters to review and conform to the following set of principles: big, simple, clear, and consistent.
    "Big refers to fonts larger than 24-point that are easy to read from any place in a room. Simple includes limiting text to six lines on a slide with no more than 7 words per line. Clear means choosing sans-serif fonts (such as Arial and Tahoma) in colors and sizes that produce high-contrast visuals. Consistent means creating a presentation with a logical sequence, with transitions that explain how the parts of the presentation are related to each other and the big picture." (Adapted from ASA Footnotes, July-August, 2008).
  6. No guarantees. There is much variability in venues across the world. If it places undue financial burden on the meeting, we may not be able to promise accessibility services to those who need them nor pay for them should they be provided. We will make every effort to inform potential participants of the services being offered before the deadline for registration.
  7. An ISA accessibility committee will be formed that will liaise with the Local Organizing Committee to see what accommodations will be possible for any given meeting.  It will be important for the LOC to provide information about accessibility of accommodation and transportation as well as of the venue itself in advance of the date for early registration.

2. Mandatory Retirement from Employment because of Age

April 2021 
Bearing in mind the World Health Organization's global campaign to combat ageism and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's policy brief, "Combating Ageism in the World of Work," the International Sociological Association (ISA) has developed this statement opposing mandatory retirement from employment because of age. 

The ISA is aware that older employees, including sociologists, can find themselves disadvantaged in their efforts to retain employment and regain employment when displaced from jobs. We know there are countries, institutions and enterprises that have laws, rules and/or practices in place that require mandatory retirement because of age. The ISA is opposed to discriminatory statements and actions because of age.