2018 AHEAD Conference 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.

Highlighted Concurrent Tracks and Presentations

image indicating Leadership and Influence highlighted track or presentation
Leadership and Influence: Increasing Effectiveness and Cultivating Change within Your Office and Beyond.

The need to mobilize others in our vision of a campus that is accessible and inclusive is at the heart of the good work we do as disability resource professionals. The sessions in this strand focus on gaining key leadership skills that will increase your effectiveness in building relationships, articulating your vision, and influencing change within your office and beyond, no matter your position or place in the hierarchy. 

immge indicating ADA Coordinators highlighted track or presentation

ADA Coordinators

AHEAD’s Special Interest Group for ADA Coordinators has developed a strand of sessions specifically targeted to those who carry this title and have responsibilities for campus-wide access and compliance.

image indicating Students on the Autism Spectrum highlighted track or presentation

Students on the Autism Spectrum

Given the increasing number of students on the spectrum entering higher education, AHEAD’s Special Interest Group on Autism/Asperger’s has developed a strand of sessions that focus on neurodiversity, serving students, and providing campus-resources.

image indicating Focusing on Students in Health Science and Professional Schools highlighted track or presentation

Focusing on Students in Health Science and Professional Schools (Medicine, Nursing, etc.)

In partnership with the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Sciences and Medical Education, AHEAD is pleased to offer a strand of conference sessions that explores the more nuances and  complicated issues inherent in health science programs at all levels (graduate through community college). Both seasoned and newer professionals will benefit from this series of sessions focused on understanding ways to work with programs and students, accommodations in the clinic, leading strategies, and promising practices. 

image indicating Natioanl Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) highlighted track or presentation

National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD)

Based within AHEAD, the National Center offers resources for college and graduate students with any type of disability, chronic health condition, or mental or emotional illness, as well as for families, higher education faculty and staff, and anyone working with college students.

image indicating Focusing on Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Postsecondary Education highlighted track or presentation

Focusing on Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Postsecondary Education

Several conference sessions were developed in partnership with Think College National Coordinating Center and the Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID). In addition to concurrent sessions, several TPSID projects will display information on their programs during the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and President’s Reception on Wednesday. Whether your institution currently has a program for students with intellectual disabilities or you’ve wondered how your office and campus might address this emerging population, we hope you’ll find the opportunity to engage with the presenters of these sessions.

image indicating Research and Data-Based Practices highlighted track or presentation

Research and Data-Based Practices

With a focus on the importance of evidence-based practice and the value of research to our field, sessions that highlight research and data are featured in both concurrent and poster presentations. Conference sessions marked with this icon are recommended by AHEAD Information Services as having research or data-based content.


Thursday, July 19, and Friday, July 20, 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, providing insights, inspiration, and an opportunity for reflection. This year’s Talks include:

  • Leverage Your Liability! Presented by Melanie Thornton, University of Arkansas CURRENTS
  • Love to Lead. Lead with Love. Presented by Adam Meyer, University of Central Florida
  • Philosophical v. Practical: How do you do business: Presented by Kristie Orr, Texas A&M
  • Embracing Helicopter Parents: Assets not adversaries. Presented by Amy Osborne, Thomas More College
  • The Gifts of Imperfection in Disability Services. Presented by Adam Crawford, The Ohio State University
  • Sexual Assault & Disability – It’s not just about Title IX

Featured Presentations

Wednesday, July 18, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm & Friday, July 21, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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; Mary Lou Mobley, Office of Civil Rights
  • Creative approaches to Disability Justice: Entry points on campus for awareness, access, and full participation; Susan Burch, Sue Kroeger, Melanie Thornton, Courtney Cioffredi, Joan Ostrove
  • Legal Year in Review; Paul Grossman & Jo Anne Simon
  • Being There: Attendance modifications & assignment deadlines; Jamie Axelrod
  • Cross-Cultural Competence as a Tool to Support Identity Development of Students with Disabilities; Autumn Wilke, Maure Smith-Benanti
  • Online & Distance Education; Kelly Hermann, University of Phoenix