AHEAD 2018 Call for Proposal Instructions

Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education,
The 41th Conference of the Association on Higher Education And Disability

The Albuquerque Convention Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico
July 16-21, 2018

Proposal Submission Information

Please read carefully


SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS -- Deadline: October 23, 2017

  • All proposals must be submitted electronically through the submission portal
  • Prepare a copy of your proposal in the Word document. You can then cut and paste it into the submission form and maintain a copy for your records.
  • Go to the Proposal Submission page and create an account.
    • If you did not submit a proposal for the 2017 AHEAD conference you will need to create an account.
    • The proposal form does NOT use your AHEAD username and password. You must register to use the proposal submission system.
  • Click “Submit Your Proposal” 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
  • Verify that you receive a confirmation message with proposal number ID. If you do not, your proposal has not been received. Please contact carol@ahead.org to follow-up.
  • DEADLINE: October 23, 2017 (AHEAD may announce a second round of proposals to fill gaps in content following the first round.)
  • Presenter notification: AHEAD will notify all lead presenters of the status of their proposals by early February, 2018.


Speaker Information:

  • Enter your personal and biographical information as directed.
    • If you submitted a proposal for last year’s AHEAD conference, the person information you entered then will pre-populate the fields. Please check their accuracy and make changes as necessary.
    • As the First Presenter, all AHEAD communication will go to you to share with any co-presenters.
    • First-time presenters will be offered coaching.
  • Speaker bio
    • Provide a brief (1,500 character limit) summary of each presenter’s qualifications to present on this topic. Full resumes should NOT be entered in this field.
    • The field allows for approximately two paragraphs on each presenter. The conference committee will be looking for evidence of presenter experience with the topic and previous presentations.
  • Enter information for each of your co-presenters.

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

Proposal Information:

  1. Topical areas. Select appropriate options to guide reviewers and attendees.
  2. Program title. Title should be descriptive and compelling.
  3. Preferred session type and length. Indicate your preferred presentation format.
    • To fit the schedule and program you may be asked to present in a different time block, to join your presentation with colleagues presenting on a similar topic, to present as part of a panel discussion, or to offer your content as a poster presentation.
  4. Program abstract. Abstracts will be printed in registration materials and used by conference attendees to select concurrent sessions. They should provide a clear, concise description of your presentation.
  5. Program description. This information (along with the abstract and learning objectives) will be used by the reviewers to select the conference program. Presenters are encouraged to review the selection criteria and ensure that they address each area of consideration.
    1. Learning objectives. Clearly describe the knowledge, skills, or attitudes your audience will gain from of attending your presentation.
    2. Select the most appropriate option to describe the contribution your presentation will make to the conference.
      • This information will used to balance the program and will be shared with attendees.
    3. Audience level. Select one of the three levels of audience experience.
      • This is a single-option field. Over the years, AHEAD presenters have most commonly indicated that their presentations are appropriate for “all” audiences. However, conference participants are looking for content that is directed to their level of experience in the field. AHEAD is committed to balancing its program to address the professional development needs of all participants. Please use the following definitions as you select an audience level:
        • Novice: Presentations that assume no background in disability services and provide foundational information for people new to the field.
        •  Intermediate: Presentations that assume basic knowledge of disability services in higher education and intend to build-on that knowledge in specific areas. This is the default level for most AHEAD presentations.
        •  Seasoned: Presentations that anticipate considerable experience in disability services/higher education and bypass foundational information in order to explore application of concepts or address complex situations in more depth. Significant opportunity for participants to engage with each other may be indicated.
    4. Presented previously. Yes or no option.
    5. Research/data-based practices. Yes or no option.
      • AHEAD is committed to promoting evidence-based practices and encourages data sharing in all presentations.


    All presenters are required to register for the conference. AHEAD cannot provide financial support for travel. Conference registration information will be available in March, 2018.

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

    1. All handouts and presentation support materials, including PowerPoint presentations, must be electronically provided to AHEAD by July 2, 2018. These materials will be posted on AHEAD’s website and the conference app 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.

    Proposal Review and Selection Criteria

    All proposals will be reviewed by professional peers recruited from the AHEAD membership. Reviewers will be instructed to consider the following criteria in recommending proposals for presentation. All proposals will be reviewed anonymously.

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • VALUES: The concepts presented in the proposal are consistent with AHEAD's values of diversity, equity, social justice, individual respect, and inclusivity.
    • 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—or institutions such as community colleges, HBCs, or small private colleges).
    • 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. 
    • PRESENTATION: The proposal is clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically sound. The authors demonstrate attention and care in the development of this proposal. Reference are included, if necessary/important to the topic.