2021 Equity & Excellence Call For Proposals

Equity_and_Excellence_Logo.jpg2021 Call for Proposals
The 44th Annual Conference of the Association on Higher Education And Disability

JW Marriott Austin; Austin, Texas

July 19 - 23, 2021


Extended to: December 11, 2020

AHEAD enthusiastically seeks proposals for its 44th annual international conference, Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education. While it is impossible to know how the pandemic will impact us next year, AHEAD is planning for an in-person, socially distanced event and will work individually with presenters should the conference need to transition to a virtual format. Proposals accepted at this time are for in-person presentation.

Format and Audience

The Program Committee is committed to providing conference content for a diversity of participants and highly interested in presenters from diverse, multi, including novice (new to the field), intermediate (some years of experience and skills), and highly experienced audiences. We are especially interested in innovative sessions that challenge seasoned professionals with advanced content. We hope to see an increase in the number of proposals submitted from presenters with diverse lived experiences and will offer mentor support to newer presenters. Presentations from partnered colleagues from different institutions are also highly encouraged.

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 with conference attendees during a 90-minute time frame.  
  • Preconference Institutes. Half-day (3hours), full-day (6.5 hours) and two-day (13 hours) in-depth presentations on Monday and Tuesday.
attendees at a previous AHEAD conference

Topical Areas

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

  • Accessibility:Accessibility: Web accessibility, purchasing, accessible curricular materials, learning management systems, collaborations, etc.
  • Assistive Technology (AT).Assistive Technology (AT). AT evaluation, training, and implementation; best practices, policies, and procedures for supporting students with AT; new and innovative AT developments; AT that addresses notetaking, text-to-speech, executive skills, etc.; free and low-cost AT solutions; etc.
  • Campus Collaboration/Outreach. 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. Distance/Online Education. Best practice in supporting 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. 

Presenter Information

Be sure to review the Proposal Resources before submitting your proposal. It includes useful strategies to support the acceptance of your proposal and a Word copy of the proposal form to assist you in completing the electronic form. 

Presenters expectations:

  • All presenters must register for the conference.
  • All handouts and presentation materials must be provided to AHEAD in accessible, electronic formats by July 5, 2021.
  • 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 conference rooms will be set to maintain recommended social distancing, and all people will be required to wear face coverings in conference spaces
  • 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 will be arranged in rows with a minimum of 6-feet between chairs, and with a head table and speaker podium.
  • Preconference rooms will be set with round tables (4 people per table) to observe social distancing and support collaboration.
  • 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.