2020 Program Highlights

As you look through the wide variety of concurrent and poster presentations offered this year, you’ll see distinctive icons flagging sessions that focus on highlighted conference topics. We encourage you use this information to enhance your conference experience and to focus your attendance if you are looking for a specific emphasis in your professional development.

Anti-Ableism Caucusing

Tuesday,  July 21, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm 

Jen Dugger, M.A., Portland State University
liz thompson, University of Illinois at Chicago 
Melanie Thornton, M.A., University of Arkansas

We are all affected by institutional ableism and we must work together to dismantle it. The majority of this session will be split into two: one group for DS providers who identify as disabled, having disabilities, or having a lack of privilege navigating systems and barriers; the other for DS providers who identify as non-disabled or who have non-disabled privilege. This division of DS providers into separate groups provides an environment and intention to critically engage in dialogue about how disability-related power and privilege (or the lack thereof) impact each of us, and how that impact is then felt by the students and colleagues with whom we work. Both groups will discuss strategies for liberation and change.

There is no extra fee to participate, but facilitators ask that you sign up in advance using this sign up form.

Space is limited.

Speakers Bureau Photo Voice: Using Photos to Tell Their Powerful Stories

Molli Goggin, University of Georgia
Amanda Hales, University of Georgia

We are proud to present this exhibit of Speakers Bureau students who have engaged with the University of Georgia's Disability Resource Center as they use PhotoVoice to tell their powerful stories. Using disability education and advocacy as a framework, Speakers Bureau members foster civic responsibility, community building, and self-advocacy as they share their stories, experiences, and knowledge of their disability with others.


Thursday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24, 8:00 am - 8:45 am

Start your day with four 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, providing insights, inspiration, and an opportunity for reflection. 

Featured Presentations

Wednesday, July 22 11:00-12:30 (A) and 3:30-5:30 (B)

Twice during the conference, we’ll highlight popular presentations on important and emerging issues. The following sessions will be offered with minimal competition and in large venues to allow for large audiences:

  • OCR Year in Review
  • Everyday Ableism - Exploring Disability Bias and Microaggressions
  • Implementing Campus-Wide Digital Accessibility: One Community College’s Journey
  • BIT, SOC, CARE Team, Title IX and Students with Autism Online Access & Accommodations: We've Been There, Done That
  • Legal Year in Review
  • Leadership Up, Down and All Around
  • Dissecting Decisions in the Health Sciences: A Review of Three Case Studies
  • What Do We Do Now? Using Accessibility Data and Lessons Learned to Improve Online Courses

Society for Disability Studies: Town Hall Business Meeting

Over lunch on Friday, July 24, 2020 12:45 pm -1:45 pm join leaders from the Society for Disability Studies for a Town Hall Meeting.

Joanne Woiak, University of Washington; Society for Disability Studies
Suzanne Stoltz, University of California, San Diego

The Society for Disability Studies started in 1982 and now has 500 members and an additional 500 regular contacts. SDS co-conferences at Ohio State University in April, and with several other groups throughout the year. Come meet the Society for Disability Studies President and Directors and find out about the Society and our new programs. Help us be increasingly relevant to your work.

Sensory Room Sponsored by the Autism/Aspergers SIG

As the population of students with Autism, sensory sensitivities and anxiety in college students continues to increase on our campuses, a sensory room or meditation room is a way to give students a place to calm. Sensory rooms or meditation rooms are useful in residence halls, student centers, academic buildings and are often used by students, staff, and faculty alike. People can use the rooms to calm when they are stressed or overstimulated. On one campus, a reduction in conduct code violations was cited when the sensory room opened in a residence hall. Another campus is developing sensory rooms in all residence halls in partnership with student groups with each group cost equaling less than $700. The space does not need to be very large and expensive furnishings are not required. Quiet is required in the room and any music must be listened to through headphones or earbuds. This is one example of what you can do, please talk with a member of the Autism/Asperger’s SIG for more information and alternatives.

DeafTEC Partners with AHEAD

The DeafTEC Resource Center is pleased to partner with AHEAD to provide a unique professional development opportunity for Disability Services personnel and STEM faculty on fostering equitable postsecondary experiences for students with disabilities. Teams from 20 community colleges will join the conference this year to learn more about promoting an accessible learning environment in STEM programs. The DeafTEC Resource Center is located at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, one of the nine colleges of the Rochester Institute of Technology, and is supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. 1902474.