AHEAD Strategic Plan 2023

AHEAD's Mission, Vision and Core Values


Disability equity in postsecondary education.



AHEAD promotes professional practice that operationalizes an expanded concept of access grounded in civil rights, disability equity, and social justice.


Core Values:

  • Diversity: Promote educational communities to foster the exchange of ideas and perspectives, offer opportunities for individual growth, and honor disability experiences.
  • Equity:  Develop resources and foster attitudes that enable the full participation of disabled people in the postsecondary experience.
  • Respect: Provide opportunities to express individual thoughts, feelings, ideas, and opinions; listen to and honor the individual’s right to be heard, even in disagreement.
  • Inclusivity:  Ensure everyone is a welcomed, valued, and respected member of our community.

Areas of strategy:  Professional Development, Membership, Knowledge Translation & Research, and Advocacy

Professional Development

Goal:  Be the premier provider of professional development to those committed to equity for disabled people in postsecondary education.

Key Actions

  •          Provide holistic and accessible resources to professionals to advocate effectively for access and equity.
  •          Provide relevant, forward thinking learning opportunities for postsecondary education professionals.
  •          Provide professional development offerings designed to support professionals in all stages of their careers.
  •          Provide a career pipeline for individuals to enter and advance in the disability resources profession.
  •          Engage diverse identities to create, contribute, and present content.


Goal:  Magnify AHEAD’s prominence and diversity through overall membership growth.

Key Actions

  •         Increase AHEAD’s membership by at least 3% per year.
  •          Increase the number of AHEAD members who represent Minority Serving Institutions by 10% by the end of 2026.
  •          Strengthen and solidify the relationship between AHEAD and our Affiliate organizations.
  •          Maximize the viability, visibility, and impact of AHEAD’s Knowledge and Practice Communities.
  •          Promote and encourage diverse representation within the AHEAD staff and Board that is reflective of the membership growth.

Knowledge Translation & Research

Goal: Serve as the hub of research excellence and knowledge translation regarding disability in postsecondary education.

Key Actions

  • \Offer publications, resources, knowledge, and best practices grounded in civil rights and social justice principles
  • Conduct relevant research about disability in postsecondary education and the professionals who work in that arena.
  • Provide member reports and practice briefs advancing original and relevant research initiating from the field.
  • Promote scholarship around postsecondary disability topics through the publication of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED).
  • Conduct voluntary data-collection to understand and support evolving AHEAD member demographics.


Goal: Position AHEAD as the public thought leader on disability in postsecondary education.

Key Actions

  •          Effectively influence institutional commitment to disabled students, employees, applicants, and visitors.
  •          Transform postsecondary education to be inclusive and equitable for its disabled community members.
  •         Interface with peer organizations to heighten the profile of disability inclusion.
  •         Work effectively with members and advocates to affect legislation, regulation, and funding impacting postsecondary education and disability.