2019 Equity & Excellence

Equity_and_Excellence_Logo.jpg2019 Call for Proposals
The 42th Annual Conference of the Association on Higher Education And Disability
Westin Boston Waterfront
Boston, Massachusetts
July 9 - 13, 2019

Submission Deadlines: September 30; October 15; October 31, 2018


The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
is pleased to announce its 42nd  international conference: Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education. This annual conference is the Association’s hallmark event, drawing approximately 1,500 participants from around the world for an unrivaled professional development experience. 

 AHEAD enthusiastically seeks proposals that address the full inclusion of students with disabilities in all aspects of higher education. While all proposals will be seriously considered, proposals that view access barriers as resulting from environmental and system design and propose systemic solutions will be favored. Presentations from partnered colleagues from different campuses are highly encouraged.  

Format and Audience

The Program Committee is committed to providing conference content for a diversity of participants, including novice (new to the field), intermediate (some years of experience and skills), and highly experienced audiences.

Several presentation formats are available to fit a variety of topics: 

  • Concurrent Sessions. 60 and 90-minute single-topic presentations
  • Research-to-Practice Panels. Two to three research studies will be presented in a 90-minute session. Presenters will have 15-20 minutes to share their research and will then participate in a facilitated discussion on implications for higher education disability services.
  • Poster Sessions. 90-minute poster presentations in which presenters can interact with approximately 500 conference participants.
  • AHEAD Talks. Like TED Talks, 15-20 minute provocative, wide-ranging talks intended to enliven and inspire. Coaches are available.
  • Preconference Institutes. Half-day (3.25 hours), full-day (6.5 hours) and two-day (13 hours) in-depth presentations.  
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Content Areas

  • Accommodation Coordination. Best practice and innovation in determining, designing, and delivering accommodations: testing, note-taking, document conversion, captioning, interpreting, attendance flexibility, ESAs, housing, course/program modifications, deadline extensions, etc.
  • Assistive Technology (AT). AT evaluation, training, and implementation; best practices, policies, and procedures for supporting students with AT; AT for specific populations (mental health, LD, physical disabilities); new and innovative assistive technology developments; AT that addresses notetaking, text-to-speech, computer access; free and low-cost AT solutions; AT to support universal design for learning, etc.
  • Campus Collaboration/Outreach. Innovative strategies for partnering and consulting with campus stakeholders: faculty, administrators, student affairs offices (vets, study abroad, career services, housing and dining services, learning and teaching center, etc.), facilities personnel, etc.
  • Diversity/Social Justice. Best practices strategies for creating office and campus environments that value and design for diversity and understand and appreciate intersectionality.
  • Electronic & Information Technology (EIT). Web accessibility, purchasing, accessible curricular materials, distance/online education, learning management systems, collaborations, etc.
  • Leadership & Influence. Strategies for gaining leadership skills to increase effectiveness in building relationships, articulating a vision, mobilizing others, and influencing change within the office, across campus, and beyond the work environment.
  • Legal/Policy. Foundational and emerging guidance based on legal principles, case law, settlement agreements, Dear Colleague Letters, etc. and guidelines for developing and promoting best practice policies.
  • Promising Practices. An open category to share innovative practice in any area, resources, strategies, policies, collaborations, etc.

Presenter Information

Presenters expectations:

  • All presenters must register for the conference.
  • All handouts and presentation materials must be provided to AHEAD in accessible, electronic formats by June 2, 2019.
  • All videos used at the conference must be captioned. Video captioning is the responsibility of the presenter.
  • All visual material used during a presentation must be verbally described.
  • Proposal abstracts, session length, and format may be edited by program planners.

 Room Set-Up and Audio Visual Equipment

  • All presenters are responsible for bringing their own laptop or tablet to support their presentation and appropriate cables to connect to a VGA projector
  • Concurrent session rooms are arranged in theater style (rows of chairs), with a head table and speaker podium
  • Preconference rooms are set with round tables (6 people per table) to support discussion.
  • AHEAD will equip each presentation room with:
    • one (1) LCD projector with VGA connection, power supply, and presentation cart;
    • one (1) projection screen appropriate to the room
    • two (2) microphones and supporting equipment to facilitate appropriate amplification for the venue and assistive listening devices
    • one (1) flipchart/markers, upon request only
  • Poster presenters will be provided with one 4’ x 6’ bulletin board, a table for materials, and two chairs. Presenters may use their own battery-powered laptops, tablets, or netbooks as part of their presentations; however, electrical power and audiovisual equipment are not available.

Conference Volunteer Opportunities


If you are interested in helping to program the conference, please complete this survey  to get involved.

Opportunities include: 
  • Reviewing proposals anonymously.  Review up to 10 proposals with identifying information removed. Each review should take between 20 minutes and one hour. Proposals may be sent individually and turnaround time will vary from 2 weeks to one month.
  • Mentoring a newer presenter. Proposers will be asked if they'd like to work with a seasoned presenter in preparing their presentation. We will match those requests with volunteer mentors. Time commitment is expected to be no more than 10 hours in throughout the spring.
  • Coaching AHEAD Talks speakers. AHEAD Talks are similar to TED Talks. Coaches assist these speakers to streamline and polish these 15-20 minute talks. Time commitment will be up to 10 hours between March and July. 
  • CORE program planning team. Support the overall development of the program: reviewing proposals and reviewer feedback; participate in conference calls to select proposals; reach out to proposers to offer feedback; identify and assist in filling content gaps. REQUIRES ABILITY TO GIVE 5-10 HOURS/WEEK BETWEEN OCTOBER AND JANUARY.