AHEAD 2015: Featured Presentations & Events

Opening Reception

Tuesday, July 14, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Join us for the official kickoff of the AHEAD 2015 Conference at the Welcome to Minnesota Reception! This is a perfect opportunity to meet up with colleages and friends from conferences past, and a great chance to meet new people! Featuring local food and beverages set to the backdrop of some fantastic live music, this reception is the perfect way to start the week.

Opening Plenary featuring Dr. Susan Burch

We come together at the beginning of our week to see colleagues and friends, meet AHEAD leadership, and to hear about the great work AHEAD is doing on behalf of our members and higher education around the globe.

We welcome Dr. Susan Burch, professor of American Studies and former director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College as our keynote speaker.

The 25th anniversary of the ADA invites us to reflect, collaborate, and imagine forward. In this interactive plenary session, Dr. Burch will center on coalition and practice in disability history. Key questions we’ll consider together include: What factors shape our relationships to disability and to disabled people? What other stories are possible, and how might these transform our work and lives? And what roles can disability resources play in this next chapter of history? Highlighting lessons drawn from the ADA’s history and legacy, Burch will offer new ways of approaching coalitional learning and work. This session encourages attendees to imagine forward spaces of opportunities for those engaged in disability resources, disability studies, and higher education inclusion work.

Dr. Burch’s research and teaching interests focus on deaf, disability, race, and gender and sexuality in late nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. history. Susan is the author of Signs of Resistance: American Deaf Cultural History, 1900 to World War II (2002) and coauthor with Hannah Joyner of Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson (2007). Her co-edited anthologies include Women and Deafness: Double Visions (2006), Deaf and Disability Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches (2010), and Disability Histories (2014). Susan also served as editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of American Disability History (2009). Her work has received various awards and honors, including a NEH grant, National Archives Regional Residency Fellowship, Mellon Foundation grant, and Fulbright Scholars award. Susan also is a cofounder and board member of the Disability History Association and has served on the Society for Disability Studies’ board of directors.

AHEAD Awards Luncheon

Friday, July 17, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The annual awards luncheon is one of AHEAD’s most popular events; we all gather over a lively meal to meet old friends and new colleagues. You’ll hear highlights of AHEAD’s year and future developments. We will honor those who excel in their contributions to disability services in higher education, and celebrate the work done in the 25 years since the passage of the ADA.

Closing Plenary featuring Kevin Kling

Saturday, July 18, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

We are excited to welcome Kevin Kling, charming storyteller and narrator of 2013’s The Real Thing, a documentary on disability in the media, to close the 2015 conference on an engaging and thought-provoking note.

Monologist and playwright Kevin Kling grew up in Osseo, Minnesota and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College. He has performed his plays in Sweden, Sydney and Perth, Australia, Edinburgh, Scotland and in the Czech Republic. His autobiographic piece Home and Away premiered at the Seattle Rep and moved to Second Stage Theater, off Broadway, under the direction of David Esbjornson, where it received a received a Drama Desk Award nomination.

His plays have been produced at The Goodman Theater, The Jungle Theater, the Denver Center Theater, Seattle Rep, the Cincinnati Playhouse, Interact, the Guthrie and regional theaters throughout the country. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation. He is a McDowell Fellow and has received the Whiting Award, the A.P. Anderson Award, the VSA Jeahny, and the Eric Peterson Award.

He appears often at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, is a commentator for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and has authored five books published by Borealis Books, The Dog Says How, Holiday Inn, Big Little Brother, Big Little Mother, and On Stage with Kevin Kling. His book, Come and Get It, was chosen as the 2012 Minnesota Center for Books Arts “Winter Book”. Kevin has produced six storytelling CDs. His website is: www.kevinkling.com