2021 Proposals Submission Resources

Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education,
The 44th Conference of the Association on
Higher Education And Disability

JW Marriott Austin; Austin, Texas
July 19-23, 2021

All proposals must be submitted electronically through AHEAD’s new, simpler CFP form


Important Dates:

Proposal Submission Deadline: December 4, 2020

Anonymous Review of All proposals: December 1, 2020 - January 10, 2021

Notification of acceptance status: February 1-15, 2021


Submission Form Recommendations

  • Prepare your proposal in the Word document so that you can easily cut and paste the information into the form fields.
  • Click “Submit” only when you are satisfied with the proposal. You will not be able to edit your proposal online once it is submitted. If you make an error, please email:  carol@ahead.org
  • After you submit your proposal, you will receive an email confirmation that includes the proposal itself. Please keep this for your records.

    Proposal Recommendations

    1. Focus the bio information you include on your experience relative to the topic of your presentation. Reviewers are interested in your qualifications to present on the specific topic, not your general resume.  
    2. You are asked to identify just ONE topical area to assist the program committee in balancing the conference content. Reviewers will understand your more specific focus through the abstract and description.
    3. Draft an abstract that is clear, concise, and description of your presentation. The abstract will be available during conference registration and used by conference attendees to select their concurrent sessions. Abstracts may be edited for length, clarity, or grammar.
    4. Submit a program description that is clear, well-organized, and grammatically correct. It’s useful to include information on why your topic is important to disability resources in higher education. You are encouraged to review the selection criteria and ensure that you address each area of consideration.
    5. Keep your name and your institution’s name out of your abstract and program description. The review process is anonymous. If names have to be edited out of your proposal, it will compromise the overall flow of the proposal.
    6. Describe the learning goals for your presentation AND information how you plan to achieve them. Review the video (New Window) for guidance on drafting quality learning goals. 
    7. Cite resources that support your presentation. AHEAD is interested in promoting evidence-based content.
    8. Include information on how you will address AHEAD’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. In the past, proposals have been rejected because this AHEAD goal was not addressed in the proposal.

    NOTE: To ensure the AHEAD Conference includes diverse and representative perspectives, the conference committee will accept no more than two proposals from any individual presenter through the CRP process. Some content experts may be specifically invited to speak on topics crucial to the membership. Thus, some presenters may be highly represented in the final conference program.

    Instructional Video

    In this captioned video, Beth Harrison of the University of Dayton, explains how to complete the Learning Goals section of the 2021 AHEAD Conference Call for Proposals.

    Selection Criteria

    All proposals will be reviewed by volunteer AHEAD members. Reviewers will evaluate proposals on the following criteria. All proposals will be reviewed anonymously.

    1. Relevance: The proposal offers essential, high impact information, addresses current issues, and/or builds on concepts that are important to AHEAD members. The ideas conveyed through the proposal are important to enhancing equity in higher education.
    2. Innovation: The proposal offers creative, cutting-edge, innovative, or provocative ideas and/or a novel approach to a common issue. After attending this session, participants would have new inspiration, motivation, and/or tools to take back to their institutions.
    3. Values: The concepts presented in the proposal are consistent with AHEAD's values of diversity, equity, social justice, individual respect, and inclusion.
    4. Diversity: The proposed session enhances the diversity of perspectives offered at the conference by including content featuring or focused on underrepresented groups or institution types (e.g. traditionally marginalized people—LGBTQ, people of color, indigenous people—and/or institutions such as community colleges, HBCUs, or small private colleges) or issues of intersectionality.
    5. Engagement: The proposal provides evidence of an opportunity for participants to learn actively and/or engage with the material through participatory activities, discussion, and/or a question/answer period. 
    6. Presentation: The proposal is clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically sound. The authors demonstrate attention and care in the development of this proposal.

    Presenter Expectations

    All presenters are required to register for the conference. AHEAD cannot provide financial support for travel. Conference registration information will be available in March, 2021.

    Consistent with AHEAD’s commitment to accessibility and sustainability, all presenters must agree to the following: 

      1. PowerPoint slides and other presentation support materials must be electronically provided to AHEAD by July 5, 2021 in accessible formats. These materials will be posted on AHEAD’s website and in the conference app before the conference for participant download.
      2. Any videos shown during presentations must be captioned. Video captioning is the responsibility of the presenter.
      3. Presenters must verbally describe any visual aids used during a session.
      4. Presenters must agree to permit the Program Committee to edit the proposal.
      5. All presenters must register for the Conference.