Recording Artists and Music Professionals With Disabilities (RAMPD), an organization that advocates for inclusion and access for people with disabilities in the mainstream music industry, will officially launch Friday, January 21 with a pre-recorded virtual event at the Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The event, which streams live on YouTube at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, is set to be hosted by RAMPD’s founder and president. Lachi, a blind black singer-songwriter who also co-chairs the Grammy Advocacy Committee for the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy. Artists selected for the event include Adrian Anantawan, Eliza Hull, Aoede, Tabi and Ryan Gooche Nelson.
Founded in May 2021, RAMPD has previously met with leaders from major music companies and nonprofits and fosters partnerships with the Recording Academy, WomenInMusic.org, NIVA and more.
Among other initiatives, the organization recently partnered with the New York City Mayor’s Office, the Music Inclusion Coalition and Blonde Records to create the first-ever WAVY Awards – which celebrate “historically excluded artists, such as women, non-binary, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and artists who identify as having a disability,” according to its official website — included. of the show and its participants be added in audio form for the benefit of blind and visually impaired participants.
One of RAMPD’s stated goals is to make accessibility ramps visible on TV during awards shows to help normalize disability in the entertainment industry. Other ongoing projects include RAMPD Stamp (“helping sites move beyond compliance”) and AIMS (“making music awards shows fully accessible”).
RAMPD, which is financially sponsored by Accessible Festivals, is minority/woman led; Lachi is joined on the management team by singer-songwriter/violinist Gaelynn Lea (co-founder/vice-president), Andrea Jennings (secretary), pop R&B singer-songwriter Precious Perez (chairman of members) and singer-songwriter Tabi Haley (RP/president).
A RAMPD fact sheet says the organization believes disability is a natural form of human diversity and notes that one in four Americans will experience a disability at some point in their lives. The organization “works to change the way artists with disabilities are viewed in the music industry – moving away from inspirational symbolism and towards competent, competitive professionals who deserve respect and recognition in their chosen field. “, continues the sheet.
RAMPD is also committed to elevating what it calls a “disability culture”, defined as “a celebration of people who identify as disabled, while recognizing the great diversity of the experience of disability and the inherent value and equal of each person. He is unapologetic, creative, innovative, adaptable, imaginative and grounded in problem solving. It is based on the premise that disability should be seen, respected, included and celebrated. This includes our worldviews, our perspectives, our contributions, our art, our words and our music. Disability culture, at least in part, is a dynamic and flourishing counter-response to the exclusion, marginalization and oppression experienced historically and currently by many people with disabilities.
Interested music professionals, recording artists, and allies are encouraged to sign up to join the RAMPD mailing list and receive free community membership. People with disabilities who sign up for the mailing list will receive a Professional Membership notification once the application process is open. Music companies and organizations looking to help amplify RAMPD’s mission can email [email protected] about potential partnerships.