AHEAD Conference 2016 Full Conference & Registration Information

The 39th Annual AHEAD Conference in Conjunction with the pepnet2 Postsecondary Training Institute

AHEAD 2016 Conference logo

July 11-16, 2016 J.W. Marriott Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Welcome from the Conference Program Co-Chairs


To illuminate. To shine, to cast or shed light upon.

Please join us in Indianapolis for the 39th Conference of the Association on Higher Education and Disability, being held in conjunction with the pepnet2 Postsecondary Training Institute, as we welcome an outstanding slate of presenters, vendors, and our featured speakers, Greg Fehribach, J.D., and Dr. Nancy Evans.

This year AHEAD draws inspiration from its host state, Indiana—a dynamic pathway for the United States, and home to one of the world’s first cities glowing with electric lights—as well as Indianapolis itself. Like the city, AHEAD serves as a hub, connecting disability professionals, advocates, researchers, faculty, and students.

Our theme, Toward Equity and Access: Illuminating the Pathways AHEAD, has steered our efforts to offer attendees the best and most purposeful experience possible. Cognizant of a need to not only allow for—but encourage—a variety of topics and voices to come to the forefront, the review and selection of proposals was done anonymously, without identifying information. We believe this will enhance the AHEAD conference experience, elevating the quality of accepted submissions to an even higher level and providing the opportunity for us to hear a wide variety of new and unique perspectives.

As you review and select sessions, you will see many labeled with specific content areas and themes. For instance, our newer participants may be drawn to AHEAD Start, which targets those relatively new in the field of disability support; Technology will appeal to those seeking guidance on the various aspects of assistive and accessible technologic options for your consideration; and Legal Aspects will enhance your understanding with regard to compliance issues through recent findings, legislation, and practices. This year we are also excited to highlight issues of Intersectionality of disability and diverse populations, Research, and Disability Studies.

We invite you to what promises to be an exciting mix of learning, policy development, and face-to-face networking.

We challenge you to become part of that process—to illuminate fellow conference-goers with your insights and experiences, collaborations and undertakings, theoretical knowledge and research findings to further our collective work in meeting the creating accessible higher education communities. We encourage you to take this opportunity to explore the offerings and develop your own course and goals, to seek help with charting directions, and maybe to find new or interesting routes and destinations through the assistance and guidance of those you meet along the way.

Thank you for joining us in Indianapolis. Together, we will strive to Illuminate the Pathways AHEAD Toward Equity and Access.

Jill Sieben-Schneider image

Jill Sieben-Schneider Assistant Director Disability Services University of Colorado Boulder AHEAD 2016 Program Co-Chair

Chris Stone image

Chris Stone Interim Director Disability Resource Center University of North Carolina Wilmington AHEAD 2016 Program Co-Chair

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Welcome from pepnet 2

Welcome to the 2016 AHEAD Conference and pepnet 2 Postsecondary Training Institute (PTI)!

This is the fourth time that our organizations have combined forces to connect disability professionals, advocates, researchers, faculty, and students. As we consider the theme – Toward Equity & Access: Illuminating the Pathways AHEAD – we recognize that the pathways are lit with a series of lights that provide information, resources, strategies, and dialogue among colleagues that disability services providers can use to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. Pepnet 2 is very pleased to help light the way, especially as it pertains to enhancing services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Through the Postsecondary Training Institute, we are offering a variety of concurrent sessions and posters that address a range of needs -- whether you’re new to working with deaf or hard of hearing students or if that’s your main responsibility. Are you interested in tools and resources that can be used when conducting faculty in-service training? Would you like to learn more about technology applications, such as using assistive listening devices, providing speech-to-text services, or ensuring that online courses are accessible? These topics – and more – will be featured in the sessions offered through the pepnet 2 PTI.

More than anything, we hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to share your ideas and experiences with colleagues, take in what others have to offer, and go home with a renewed sense of commitment to providing a learning environment that is welcoming to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Along with you, we share the goal of improving postsecondary outcomes. Together, we’ll illuminate the pathways toward equity and access.

Marcia Kolvitz image

Marcia Kolvitz pepnet 2

Kathy Schwabeland image

Kathy Schwabeland pepnet 2

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Welcome from the Local Committee Chair

Welcome to AHEAD 2016!

The City of Indianapolis is pleased to serve as your host for the 39th Annual International AHEAD Conference in conjunction with the pepnet 2 Postsecondary Training Institute. As the state capital, and the largest city in the state, Indianapolis is often referred to as “Indy”, the “Circle City” (after the original design of the city), the “Crossroads of America”, or the “Racing Capital of the World” (for playing host to the Indianapolis 500). Whatever you know us as, please know that Indy welcomes all, and we look forward to having you as our guest.

Your conference planners have been hard at work to assure a great experience for all. In keeping with the conference theme of Toward Equity & Access: Illuminating the Pathways AHEAD, a wide variety of pre-conference, plenary, and concurrent sessions are certain to prove interesting and informative.

And what would a conference be without networking and social opportunities? This year we’ve planned a number of events beginning with the welcome reception on Tuesday evening. Come enjoy lively music, good food, and numerous opportunities to network. This will also be a great time for mentors and mentees to meet one another! The annual President’s Reception is scheduled for Wednesday evening, which also coincides with the Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall.

Your host city is well served by the Indianapolis International Airport, which has been named the “Top Airport in North America” for three years running by the Airports Council International. The JW Marriott will serve as host for all conference activities this year. Located downtown, the JW features a stunning design with a multi-million dollar public art plaza, on-site restaurants and lounges, fitness center, indoor pool, access to sky walks, and the list goes on.

Within easy walking distance or short ride from the hotel, you will find numerous restaurants, clubs, galleries, museums, sports venues, cultural and entertainment options including the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District, and White River State Park.

Thursday and Friday evening are open, which allows attendees to enjoy and explore all Indianapolis has to offer. The Convention and Visitors Bureau has compiled a spectacular array of fun and adventurous options for your entertainment beyond the conference. Start planning now by visiting www.visitindy.com, or be sure to check out the Local Information Table near the Registration area. You are certain to find something exciting!

We are thrilled to invite you to our wonderful city, and hope you will enjoy your time in Indianapolis!

Robert L. Plienis image

Robert L. Plienis Local Committee Conference Chair

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