AHEAD Conference 2017 Full Conference & Registration Information

The 40th Annual AHEAD Conference

AHEAD 2017 Conference logo

Hilton Orlando Hotel
Orlando, Florida
July 17 – 22, 2017

Welcome from the Program Chairs

AHEAD Equity and Excellence: Access in Higher Education

Please join us in lovely Orlando, Florida for the 40th Conference of the Association on Higher Education and Disability. Just as Orlando offers something for everyone at any age, so does the 40th anniversary of AHEAD, with its focus on equity and excellence.

Equity and Excellence: Access in Higher Education welcomes keynote speaker Kay Ulanday Barrett, on Wednesday morning. A PBS News Hour featured poet, Kay’s presentation focuses on social justice and intersectionality, using poetry, performance, and personal reflections.

Even before the conference begins on Wednesday, AHEAD offers eleven Preconference Institutes on Monday and Tuesday. An array of two-day, one-day, and half-day institutes covers a variety of topics, providing the opportunity to begin your conference and learning experience early.

Participants interested in focusing on specific topics will once again be able to follow conference strands. Look for the highlighted program stands with thought-provoking topics including: Focusing on Students in Health Science and Professional Schools (Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, etc.); Intentionally Leading a DS Office: It is YOUR Business; Focusing on Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Postsecondary Education; and sessions that highlight research and data-based practices.

In addition to over 100 concurrent sessions to choose from and two poster sessions with over 30 posters, this year’s conference includes two Feature Presentation sessions. Twice during the conference, we’ll highlight popular topics by offering them in a time block with only four competing presentations to enhance your opportunity to attend while minimizing scheduling conflicts. Featured Presentations are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

This year also bring the excitement of a new presentation format: “AHEAD Talks” Be informed and enjoy several short, dynamic Talks by different presenters in one block of time. Inspired by TED Talks, AHEAD Talks will be scheduled during several concurrent time blocks throughout the conference to give you the opportunity to be refreshed and challenged by innovative ideas from colleagues.

Orlando’s sun brings us our shining vendors. Reconnect with favorite vendors, meet new ones, and learn how the products offered through the attending vendors provide students with Equity and Excellence: Access in Higher Education.

While you’re learning and being reenergizing, don’t forget to take time to socialize and meet fabulous professional in the field. Socializing highlights include the President’s Reception on Wednesday evening and the Friday night banquet, awards presentation, and party.

Whether you’re a new professional or a seasoned veteran, the conference offers the “good” challenge of fitting all the exceptional offerings into your days. Attending this AHEAD 40th Anniversary conference is assured to enhance your knowledge and revitalize your passion for Equity and Excellence.

We look forward to you joining us in beautiful Orlando, Florida for our 40th Anniversary Conference.

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Sandi Patton, M.S., Director, Disability Resource Center, Nevada State College, AHEAD 2017 Program Co-Chair

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Kim Ochsenbein, ABD, Director, Academic Support Center, Maryville College, AHEAD 2017 Program Co-Chair

Welcome from Local Chairs

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way”

–Booker T. Washington

Welcome to AHEAD’s 40th Annual Conference! Equity and Excellence: Access in Higher Education, affords us the opportunity to reflect upon AHEAD’s progress as an organization promoting accessibility in all forms. How much more common is accessibility now for us and the students we serve than it was 40 years ago? Even more, the 40th anniversary Conference challenges us to explore and create new or “uncommon” approaches to equity and accessibility.

Orlando, host city to the AHEAD 2017 Equity and Excellence in Higher Education Conference, showcases accessible tourism. Orlando also has a rich history of exploration and uncommon approaches. For example, Lake Eola, the city’s largest lake is actually a giant sinkhole! And, in1978, an Orlando resident was the first adventurer to cross the Atlantic in a gas balloon (Visit cityoforlando.net/blog/40-fun-orlando-facts for more fun facts). Orlando is a mix of world-recognized tourist attractions, cutting edge aviation and aerospace technology, world renowned sports events, nearby beaches, and more than 500 years of fascinating regional history representing multiple cultures.

Our host hotel, The Hilton Orlando, showcases a commitment to accessibility and hospitality with some uncommon features. After a day of conference sessions, relax in the lazy river, try your skill at the 9-hole putting green ,or join new friends for a friendly game of bocce. If you brought your family, the Hilton offers children’s activities and family packages. For those missing others at home, try the video messaging service. Whether you explore the hotel’s many amenities, or sleep in for a morning of “self-care,” the Hilton Orlando is well equipped to turn a common hotel stay into an uncommonly fun experience!

As you explore the 2017 AHEAD Conference offerings, we encourage you to take an uncommon approach. Network with previously unknown colleagues; challenge yourself to attend an unusual session; share your ideas on how we can work together to make accessibility a common experience for everyone. Join us at the Opening Plenary Wednesday morning for two presentations: “Looking Forward: On the Cusp of the Next 40 Years” by Stephan Smith, AHEAD Executive Director; and “you are SO brave:” a performance + talk at the margins of disability, trans, & racial justice” by Kay Ulanday Barrett. We invite you to close the Conference with AHEAD’s Awards Dinner followed by the 40th anniversary celebration! Celebrate a week of learning, growth, partnerships, and advances in accessibility, common goals, and uncommon approaches.

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Deb Larew, Local Co-Chair and Director, Office for Students with Disabilities, Valencia College

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Deborah McCarthy, Local Co-Chair and Director, Disability Services, University of South Florida

AHEAD President's Welcome

Friends and Esteemed Colleagues,

I invite you to join us in Orlando for “Equity and Excellence-Access in Higher Education”! This will be the 40th year of AHEAD’s annual conference and we will celebrate by looking forward to the next 40 years of continued innovation in the field.

When you see us in Orlando we will have a reinvigorated conference format designed to bring you an even more engaging and informative experience than you have come to expect. “Equity and Excellence” is a time to learn from and with your colleagues, to engage in critical conversations and to recognize one another for the important work you are all undertaking on your campuses.

You are the core of our organization and we strive to provide each of you with a professional development experience which includes both the practical skills and knowledge you need and the foundational understanding of the work you are doing.

I can’t wait to see you in July!

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Jamie Axelrod, President, AHEAD