Friday, October 12, 2012

Call for papers: AHEAD 2013

The 33rd Conference of the Association on Higher Education And Disability

AHEAD 2013: Challenging and Changing Disability Perspectives 
The 36th Conference of the Association on Higher Education And Disability

July 8 – 13, 2013
Hilton Baltimore Hotel
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Call for Proposals
Submission Deadline: November 12, 2012

The Association on Higher Education And Disability is pleased to announce its thirty-sixth annual conference to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, July 8-13, 2013. The Association provides opportunities for professional development to those who work to facilitate the development of usable, sustainable and inclusive higher education environments for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities and who believe society is ultimately enriched by human difference.

The annual conference is the Association’s hallmark event and draws participants from around the world who represent education, government, legal, research, and technology fields, among others. Attendees come together for an exciting mix of learning, policy development and face-to-face networking.

The Baltimore 2013 AHEAD Conference has been designed to develop professional competencies, challenge perspectives on disability, and influence practices. This conference will explore and challenge our profession and perspectives.

2013 also marks the 40th anniversary of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. With this in mind, AHEAD enthusiastically seeks proposals from Disability Resource/Services personnel, higher education professionals, faculty, researchers, and professionals in the disability field for presentation at AHEAD 2013 that recognize the great accomplishments made in disability and higher education through activism and social justice efforts since that time and looks forward to innovative and creative practices and policies. We encourage submissions in many formats (lecture, hands-on demonstrations, panels, roundtable discussions, etc.). Proposals may be submitted under one or more of the following topical areas as a part of the application process. Presentations from partnered projects where multiple partners will be present are highly encouraged to exemplify best practices in collaboration. Consider the comments and examples below when developing your proposals.

We are calling for proposals in the following target areas for the 2013 AHEAD Conference:

Diversity and multi-cultural perspectives on disability
Disability contributes to the rich diversity of our country and world. AHEAD has devoted a topical area to the many unique viewpoints which broaden our understanding and awareness of the breadth of experiences of people who have disabilities. We seek examples of successful practices and programming on your campus that have helped to develop the cultural competencies of DS staff, colleagues and students or, practices which built in-roads with other cultural groups on campus. We also welcome proposals showcasing the many intersections of other aspects of diversity with disability, including but not limited to: race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and socio-economic status. Internationally-focused presentations might include insight into how disability is experienced and how disability services are provided in other countries around the world or how we as DS professionals can best support our students studying abroad.

Eliminating barriers through access technologies
Access Technologies are incredibly diverse in terms of their design and functionality. However, the objective is consistent: barrier removal. To those who do not consider themselves “tech savvy,” the ins and outs of AT hardware and software can seem daunting, not to mention managing all of it. AHEAD seeks presentations designed for a hands-on lab setting which offer exemplary solutions for instruction, communication and information access, DS management and student empowerment. We welcome submissions geared to the general DS audience in addition to those designed for our resident experts.

The influence of Disability Studies in the work of disability services
Social, interactional and cultural models of disability are at the heart of the academic field of Disability Studies. Scholars study the social, political, cultural, and economic factors that impact the perception of disability in society. The discipline also fosters an enhanced awareness of the stigmatizing connection that can exist among medical research, intervention, and disability. AHEAD seeks proposals which link Disability Studies with Disability Services, educating participants and encouraging forward thinking and progressive policy/ procedure development and professional growth.

Teaching and Curriculum Collaboration
DS providers are beginning to bring fundamental change to our campuses by working with faculty, faculty development and instructional design professionals, and administrators on the design of courses and learning environments to ensure that they provide all students equitable opportunity to learn and to demonstrate their learning. We seek success strategies for working with faculty regarding course design and delivery. We seek presentations on what learning is, how it works and its impact on the classroom; the “backward” method of course design, which focuses on desired learning outcomes, and is different from what many faculty do now; and exemplary models of inclusive design of face-to-face or online courses.

Campus Climate and Strategic Partnerships
Partnerships across the institution and in the community allow for a more robust and well-executed provision of accessibility, not to mention the fact that the work of these partnerships often creates a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. Presentations are encouraged which show how understanding of disability is broadened and inclusive design incorporated across all campus environments. Innovative practices in DS management and whole-campus approaches to service delivery fall into this category. Strategies for successful outreach to, and work with administrators and campus partners are especially sought.

Community College Perspectives
AHEAD welcomes proposals that are representative of the unique issues and perspectives that pertain to the community college or two-year campus environment. The Community College Strand will seek to address experiences and best practices designed for the community college disability service professional and provide a support network within the larger AHEAD organization. Some possible areas of proposal consideration include: open enrollment and service issues; assessment of programs to include success and retention themes; social pragmatics on the two-year campus; building relationships with local K-12 and community partners; and working with parents. Participants will be invited to attend one or all of the breakout sessions with the goal of improving services at their campuses, networking with colleagues in similar work environments, and recognizing the important work that community college providers contribute to the profession.

AHEAD’s commitment to universal access and environmental responsibility

In lieu of receiving paper handouts onsite at the conference, attendees at AHEAD 2013 will access handout and presentation support literature in advance, via Internet download beginning no later than two weeks in prior to the conference. This will afford each attendee the opportunity to access as many different sets of information as they like, in the output format of their choice, well in advance of the conference.

While providing the benefit of universal access for each attendee, this approach will greatly reduce the burden on presenters and the environment created by providing handout materials for each attendee in each session – many of which end up going un-used.

To facilitate this process, all presentation applicants are required to agree that, if accepted, they will provide their complete presentation support materials in Microsoft Word format to AHEAD via electronic transfer no later than a month before the conference. Accepted presenters will be provided with complete instructions for completing this requirement in advance.

In continuation of the organization’s standards of excellence, AHEAD will provide all presenters with support audiovisual equipment including amplification, LCD projectors, power cables and screens. All participants will be provided with options for CART, Sign Language Interpreters, assistive listening systems, and orientation tours at their discretion.

To begin the proposal submission process, click on Call for Proposals – Specifications
Questions? Please e-mail

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