AHEAD 2014 Call for Proposals

AHEAD 2014: Access Always, in All Ways
The 37th Conference of the Association on Higher Education And Disability

July 14 - 19, 2014
The Sacramento Convention Center
Sacramento, California, USA

Call for Proposals
Submission Deadline: November 18, 2013

The Association on Higher Education And Disability is pleased to announce its thirty-seventh annual conference to be held in Sacramento, California, July 14 - 19, 2014. 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 2014 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.

Our conference theme reflects current developments and legal cases related to the accessibility of all types of instruction, face-to-face and online. DS staff are called upon to be resources, facilitators, experts and leaders in identifying barriers in the online environment and finding solutions. To that end, AHEAD seeks to increase the knowledge and skills of its members through the 2014 conference.
We encourage submissions in many formats (lecture, demonstrations, panels, roundtable discussions, etc.). Presentations from partnered projects where multiple partners will be present are highly encouraged to exemplify best practices in collaboration.

This year we are especially seeking exemplary proposals in these crucial areas:
Access to Instruction – Policies and strategic planning regarding the deployment of accessible technology and course content. Models of successful campus review of instructional and campus accessibility. Tools for assessing online course and institutional content.

Faculty Engagement – Effective practices in training and partnering with faculty to enable them to deliver accessible course and program content. Strategies, tools and innovations in curriculum and instruction.

Global Perspectives – Information-sharing about developments in the disability rights movement around the world. What are the trends in crucial needs, or imaginative practices and innovation? What have students learned from international exchange? Share news from your travels or collaborations with global partners.

New Directions for the Small DS Office – Innovative – and generally applicable - practices in campus leadership for the smaller DS office. Methods for finding support and professional development through consortial and other models. Maximizing limited budgets and resources while meeting mission and mandates. Unique issues in the private, liberal arts or religious colleges.

Upward Career Mobility – Campuses benefit when DS professionals bring their knowledge base into administrative positions. We seek proposals that help DS providers prepare to successfully move up the ladder. Ways to strategically develop your CV. For associate and assistant directors, coordinators, testing coordinators, and others, what are some successful ways to secure a director position? For directors, what are strategies to move into upper administration?

As always, proposals about ADHD, Assistive Technology, Career, Community Colleges, Diversity, Emerging Disabilities, Legal aspects, Research, Veterans/Wounded Warriors, and additional topics are more than welcome.

AHEAD Start and Out of the Box

Last year’s conference offered two distinct streams that represented coordinated and comprehensive professional development programs for new and seasoned professionals. AHEAD’s Standing Committee on Professional Development is coordinating these professional streams once again in 2014 through a general call proposal invite. The perspective that these tracks take should center on the notions of inclusion as a matter of social justice, good design to promote inclusion, disability as a vital aspect of diversity and the creation of equitable, usable and sustainable environments. The showcased questions are there for indication only and you should feel free to suggest a sub-theme of your own if you feel your content fits the parameters of a specific stream.

The first stream, AHEAD Start: Foundations for the new professional, is focused on those new to the field (within 3 years) and generally includes but is not limited to the following themes:

  • Disability Studies: How does this inform the practices of disability service provision?
  • Documentation & student interview: what are the impacts of every day procedures?
  • Design: Ubiquitous & Essential?
  • Campus outreach: how best engage in essential discussions with our target clientele?
  • The exploration of Power & Privilege in service provision: what is the subtext of our language and procedures?
  • Disability Law: what is essential and how essential is it to use it?
  • Refocusing Service Delivery: time to rethink our approach?

The second stream, Out of the Box: Provocative conversations to challenge professionals and push our thinking beyond the status quo, is focused on those in the field for 3+ years and generally includes but is not limited to the following themes:

  • Building positive Disability stereotypes: how can we go beyond the ‘help’ thematic?
  • Blending legal imperatives and social model practices: Letters of accommodation, etc.
  • Changing our language and procedures: how best eliminate power dynamics in service provision, once we are fully aware of them?
  • Student Mental Health: How can we bring an access perspective?
  • Students with Intellectual Disabilities: a distinct context?
  • Fostering innovative faculty relationships: whose responsibility is it?
  • DS Practices: Parasitic or Mutualistic?
  • What’s in a Name? Popular outreach vs. critical theory heritage.

We welcome proposals focused on these topical areas or ideas that offer new points of view with regard to attitudes and mindsets, service delivery or specific disability focus. Those interested in making a submission are encouraged to review the 2013 AHEAD Start/Out of the Box session descriptions (found on AHEAD’s Conference website) for further information and idea generation.
To begin the proposal submission process, click on Call for Proposals – Specifications
Questions? Please e-mail ahead2014@ahead.org