2020 Equity & Excellence Call For Proposals

Equity_and_Excellence_Logo.jpg2020 Call for Proposals
The 43d Annual Conference of the Association on Higher Education And Disability
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
Palm Desert, California
July 20 - 24, 2020


First review: September 15 \ Second review: October 1 / Final review: October 15, 2019

The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) is pleased to announce its 43rd international conference: Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education. This annual conference is the Association’s hallmark event, drawing approximately 1,300 participants from around the world for an unrivaled professional development experience. 

 AHEAD seeks diverse proposals that address equity of opportunity for individuals 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. In partnership with DeafTEC, AHEAD is also specifically interested in proposals that address best practices in serving deaf and hard of hearing students in STEM programs. Presentations from partnered colleagues from different campuses are highly encouraged. Proposals received early in the process may be favored. 

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. This year, we are especially interested in sessions that challenge seasoned professionals with advanced content.

Available Presentation Formats. Proposers will select their preferred format but may be offered a different format if selected.  

  • Concurrent Sessions. 60 and 90-minute single-topic presentations
  • Research Panel. Two to three research studies will be presented during a concurrent time frame, with each presenter having approximately 20-minutes to describe their research and share implications for practice.
  • Research Poster. Researchers will have the opportunity to share their work with approximately 500 conference attendees. The hallmark of this format is the opportunity to engage in on-to-one conversations while displaying research results in a poster.
  • Program/Resource Display (Non-research poster). An opportunity to present a resource or innovative program in a “poster” setting. Presenters will describe their resource/program and discuss it one-to-one with approximately 500 conference attendees.  
  • 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 hours), full-day (6.5 hours) and two-day (13 hours) in-depth presentations.  

Topical Areas

Proposers will choose ONE area to represent their presentation and assist the program committee in balancing the conference program.

  • Accessibility: Web accessibility, purchasing, accessible curricular materials, learning management systems, collaborations, 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.
  • Distance/Online Education. Best practice in fostering accessible distance learning opportunities.
  • Diversity/Social Justice. Strategies for creating office and campus environments that value and design for diversity and understand and appreciate intersectionality.
  • 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. Strategies and innovation in for working within a disability resource office to create a truly equitable student experience. 
  • Other. An open category to share innovative practice in any area, resources, strategies, policies, collaborations, etc. Please specify your primary topic. Proposals that address AHEAD's collaboration with DeafTEC should be included in this area and specify "DeafTEC" as an area of focus.

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 29, 2020.
  • 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
  • Research Poster and Program/Resource Display 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.