2019 AHEAD Talks

Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13, 8:00 am - 8:45 am

Start your day with three dynamic Talks inspired by the famous TED Talks and enjoy a morning coffee or tea with colleagues. AHEAD Talks are personal story-like presentations designed to have impact the audience on a personal level and to provide insights, inspiration, and an opportunity for reflection.

Get excited for this year’s Talks by revisiting the 2018 AHEAD Talks.

2019 Talks include:


Stewards of the Profession: Educating the Future Leaders of Campus Accessibility and Inclusion
Spencer Scruggs, M.S., Florida State University

Each of us have been called to the disability services profession in higher education through a passion for creating accessible and inclusive learning environments for all college students. But whether we like it or not, we aren't on this Earth forever. We have a responsibility to educate and train the future leaders of campus accessibility and inclusion. But where do we start? In this talk, we'll look at curriculum, interventions, and strategies for developing emerging higher education professionals dedicated to accessibility as much we are.

Our Goal is Not Compliance - and Why Yours Shouldn't be Either
Melissa Kane, M.Ed., Brown University
James Foley, M.S., Brown University

Many higher education institutions struggle to ensure compliance with digital accessibility.  We argue that compliance isn't enough, and we offer a supplemental solution centered on excellence across all of our academic technology systems.  Grounded in UDL principles, this talk provides Instructional Designers' systematic approach digital accessibility that cultivates a culture of inclusion and fosters partnerships among staff and faculty.

Can You Really Understand Me?
Michelle Mitchell, M.Ed., Lehigh Carbon Community College
Everett Deibler, M.A., Lehigh Carbon Community College

How much is it really necessary to "understand" a student with a disability in providing service? Is it more important to be a "possibility thinker" in connecting with your students? You will learn to "understand", as a disability service provider, you do not need to be the one with the answers; a freeing experience for both you and the student.

Pursuing Discomfort: Experiencing Growth and Peace by Finding and Embracing the Uncomfortable
Adam Meyer, Ph.D., University of Central Florida

We live in a culture that values comfort as a desirable and seemingly necessary outcome in life. However, some of life’s greatest moments and opportunities for growth come from the times when we experience significant discomfort. When we are stretched beyond our capacity through the choices we make or from what life throws our way, we can benefit immeasurably. This session explores the value of embracing the discomfort.