Saturday, November 3, 2012

Call for proposals for Society for Disability Studies 2013 conference in Orlando

2013 SDS Call for Proposals

Call for proposals
26th annual meeting
Society for Disability Studies
Wednesday, June 26th – Saturday, June 29th, 2013
Double-by-Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Studios
Orlando, Florida 

(Re)creating Our Lived Realities
Submission system will open October 1, 2012

Deadline for submissions: November 21, 2012

In honor of its 26th annual meeting convening in Orlando, Florida – the land of make-believe, the home of Disney World and Universal Studios – the program committee of the Society for Disability Studies would like to encourage you to think about the ways in which we create and re-create our lived realities. We would like you to think not only about disabled people as complexly embodied historical actors, but also about the many social, economic, physiological, and political forces that shape, and often constrain, our lived realities. As people situated at the intersection of local and global histories, systems, and structures, we are constantly shaping and molding our social, cultural, and built environment(s). And they in turn affect us in innumerable ways. Nothing we do or say, or have done, can be divorced from its social and historical context, nor can it be isolated from the many human relations through which it emerges. While all proposals that explore these themes are welcome, the program committee especially seeks to solicit work that explores the interesting interactions among larger systems or structures, such as global capitalism, neoliberalism, militarism, and our immediate corporeal experiences – pleasure, pain, sex, illness, debility, a ride at Disney World or a walk through Epcot Center.

We offer the following broad questions to foster interdisciplinary perspectives and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration:
  • What are the many ways in which disabled people have conceptualized and enacted changes to the built environment and to the many things with which we interact on a daily basis? What barriers do people who experience disability face? How have these things changed over time?
  • What happens when local understandings, strategies, and ways of being meet up with more globalizing ones?
  • What new possibilities for change do such intersections produce, and, alternatively, where do we find disconnects that thwart cooperation?
  • How have various technologies–and access to them–shaped the formation of disabled identities and cultures, as well as interpersonal and group relationships?
  • In what ways are the realities we create bounded or shaped by geographic location, institutional formation, identity politics, and other factors?
  • What do collisions between the local and the global reveal about our experiences? What do they obscure?
  • How have disability politics and activism shaped not only the built environment, but human relations as well?
  • How does enduring poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and the persistence of the medical and charity model shape / limit access to the many realities we create in our lives? How do these factors also open possibilities? How have these factors enhanced disability rights?
  • How have the various disciplines within disability studies explored and analyzed the built environment? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches?
  • How have/might the various disciplines and fields within disability studies work across disciplinary boundaries to enhance the quality of our lives?
  • How have/might disability studies reach out to local and national organizations and institutions to influence families, religious communities, service providers, political institutions, employers, etc.?
  • How does a focus on Lived Realities influence research methods, theory, and the underpinnings of disability scholarship and practice?
  • How have prevailing (contemporary) paradigms (or narratives) succeeded or failed in capturing “our lived realities”?
We welcome proposals in all areas of disability studies, especially those submissions premised on this year’s theme.

This year’s program committee is continuing the idea of specific “strands” that relate to the larger more general theme of the SDS conference. Each strand may have 3 or 4 related events (e.g. panels, workshops), organized to occur throughout the conference and in a way that will eliminate any overlap of sessions in an effort to facilitate a more sustained discussion of specific issues that have arisen as areas of interest within the organization.

Our planned strands this year are as follows. Others may emerge from member proposals:
  • Florida / Southern movement history: The DRM has a rich history of disability activism in the South that offers tremendous opportunity for exploration.
  • Communities / Identities and disability studies: Members would like to continue these areas of discussion from our conference last year in Denver. Explore challenges and possibilities that shape collaboration, culture, and community for people who experience disability.
  • Power and privilege: Ongoing discussions among SDS board members, members of SDS caucuses, and others led to this strand, intended to look both at the workings of power and privilege broadly and within SDS itself.
  • Professional development: This strand addresses a need identified by many of our members for professional development, including matters such as locating funding, pursuing academic and non-academic jobs, surviving the tenure track, etc.
  • Translational research in disability studies and health sciences: Using translational research here to refer to research that translates between disciplines, and from basic research to applied research and to practice, the goals of this NIH-related conference strand are: (1) to demonstrate how disability studies theory contributes to the conception of health sciences research and practice; (2) to provide best practice examples of disability studies translational research and practice; and (3) to mentor a new generation of federally funded disability studies researchers and practitioners. We particularly welcome submissions from disabled clinicians/clinical researchers interested in cutting edge disability studies perspectives.
If you would like your proposal to be considered as part of one of these thematic strands, mark this in your submission.


All submissions in formats A to F below are peer reviewed.

All session formats are 90 minutes in length, including all introductions, presentations, discussion, and closure.

Proposals may be submitted for presentations in any of the following formats:
    • Individuals may submit to present remote individual presentations in one of the following formats: video file, audio file, or audio Skype.
    • Remote presentations must be made accessible according to our presentation accessibility guidelines (forthcoming) and must be submitted to the program committee one month in advance (before May 19, 2013) or they will be removed from the program.
    • Presenters are responsible for the technology needed for creating accessible presentations and responding live (via audio Skype and/or Instant Message) during their scheduled presentation time.
    • Proposals for remote presentations should be for individual presentations only, not panels.
    • Access to these remote presentation slots will be highly competitive and will be reserved for presenters who are unable to present in person but whose presentation offers the richest, most unique and most innovative material related to the theme. If you have the resources and ability to travel and attend the conference in Orlando, we ask that you do not apply to present remotely.
    • We will not consider a presentation for both face-to-face and remote presentation formats. Only those individuals who cannot attend in person should apply to present remotely.
    • Please note, because remote presenters will enjoy professional exposure and opportunity for exchange and because presentations require infrastructure that is quite costly, remote presenters must register and pay a $100 registration fee. 

  • A. Individual Presentation: Individual presentations will be placed alongside three other panelists with a similar topic and a moderator chosen by the Program Committee. In general, we assume 15-20-minute presentations (if you are requesting a longer time, please specify and explain why). Presenters are required to submit 300-word abstracts for individual papers/presentations. List all co-authors, if any, and designate the presenting author(s).

    A Note on Virtual Presentations: As a trial run for the 2013 conference, we will offer a small number of remote presentations slots during the face-to-face meetings. SDS is experimenting with ways to make our conference accessible to those who cannot travel while ensuring feasibility, reliability and accessibility for those present at the face-to-face meeting. Because this is a trial year, the spots are very limited in order to ensure quality and prepare for more remote and virtual options in 2014.

    B. Poster: Individuals or small teams will be provided a common space and time with an easel (and/or table if requested) to present a display of a research, training, service, or advocacy project, or other work. Presenters should be in attendance at the poster session. Submissions for the poster session requires a 300-word abstract, complete contact information for anyone involved in the project who will attend SDS, and a designated lead contact person. We encourage people to submit proposals specifically for the poster session. Each year, SDS proudly awards the Tanis Doe Award for the best poster.

    C. Panels: Groups of 3-4 presenters (each with 15-20 minutes), a designated organizer / contact person and moderator (need not be the same person), plus an optional discussant, are encouraged to submit proposals around a central topic, theme, or approach. Panel proposals require BOTH a 300-word proposal describing the panel AND a 300-word abstract for each paper/presentation. List all paper/presentation co-authors, identify the presenting author(s), and provide biographical information for the discussant, if one is planned.

    D. Discussion: A topical discussion with a designated organizer / contact person and moderator (need not be the same person), but with only short (5-7 min.) presentations to start discussion, if any. Submit a 500-word proposal, including a description of how the time will be used, complete contact information for the designated organizer and each participant in the discussion, and a description of their roles.

    E. Workshop: Engaged application of a specific program or exercise involving a minimum of 4 planners / presenters. Proposals should include a 500-word proposal that addresses methodology and learning outcomes. Proposals must describe the format of the workshop. How will you use the time? Please describe the credentials and role of each workshop participant, designate a contact person/moderator, and provide complete contact information for each planner / presenter.

    F. Performance, Film, or Art Event/Exhibit: We encourage submissions of a creative/artistic event in any media by individuals and/or groups. All proposals should clearly list at least one person who will register for and attend the conference as the event presenter/host. Submissions must include a 500-word proposal, and sample of the proposed work (up to 2,500 words of text, ten images of artistic work, demo CD, YouTube or other Internet link, DVD, or other appropriate format). Send via email at or postal mail to the SDS Executive Office at 107 Commerce Centre Drive, Suite 204, Huntersville NC 28078 USA. Samples must reach the SDS Executive Office by the submission deadline. Please describe the background and role of each artist/participant and designate a contact person / moderator.

    Performers should be aware that SDS does not have the ability to provide theatrical and or stage settings in the 2013 venue. While every effort will be made to provide appropriate performance spaces, proposing performers are advised that special lighting, audiovisual equipment, and staging requests cannot be accommodated. All film entries accepted for presentation at the 2013 Conference must be provided to the SDS Executive Office on DVD not less than 30 days prior to the start of the Conference in open-captioned format, and the presenter should be prepared to provide audio description as needed. As SDS cannot pay distribution rights for film screenings, the provider of the film is fully responsible for securing any necessary permissions from trade and copyright holders for public showing. Sponsors of accepted films must register for and attend the conference, host the screening, bring documentation of rights clearance to the Conference and make it available during the film screening. SDS may request the right to schedule more than one screening at the conference. SDS program committee may request more samples and cannot return materials that are submitted for consideration.

    G. Student and Other Interest Groups/Caucus/Other Meetings (non peer-reviewed): Various ad hoc and organized SDS or other non-profit groups may wish to have business, organizational, or informational meetings or some other kind of non-peer reviewed event or exhibit space at the meetings. Anyone hoping to host any such event should request space by December 1, 2012 by using the proposal submission form. After December 1st, space will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. No meetings can be planned through SDS after the early-bird deadline of April 15, 2013. All presenters at such events must register for the conference. Requests from groups not affiliated with SDS may be assessed a share of cost for space and access arrangements. Please provide the name of group, a description of the group and/or meeting purpose and format (in 300 words), and contact information for at least one organizer and a designated moderator. SDS will provide ASL/CART as needed. Organizers should contact SDS if they want catering or any other special arrangements.

    A Note on Films / Film Shorts: Films and film clips may be submitted as part of any of the format categories described above. Follow the category appropriate instructions above. Participants proposing films within any of the proposal formats must be registered for and attend the conference. Ideally, film length should not exceed 60 minutes under any category, to allow time for introduction and / or comments. All film entries must be captioned and the presenter should be prepared to provide audio description as needed. SDS cannot pay distribution rights for film screenings.


  • All participants must register and pay for the conference through the SDS website ( by the early bird deadline: April 15, 2013, or they will be removed from the program. Please note: low income/student/international member presenters are eligible for modest financial aid for meeting costs. Applications for financial assistance will be available via the SDS listserv in the coming months.
  • Participants MAY NOT appear in more than TWO peer-reviewed conference events, A-F above (excluding evening performances, non-presenting organizer, non-presenting moderator, New Book/Work Reception). Individuals with multiple submissions will be asked to rank order their preferences for participation. The program committee will prioritize spreading program slots across the membership before offering multiple slots to any one participant.
  • Any participant with a book or other materials (e.g., DVD, CD) finished within the last three years (2010, 2011, 2012) is welcome to participate in the New Book/Work Reception. At least one person must register and be in attendance to host your reception display. You will be provided a table for display and the opportunity to interact with conference participants. The fee for representation in the New Book/Work Reception is $40.00. You will have the opportunity to register as an author attending the New Book Reception when you register for the conference.
  • Any participant is welcome to request meeting space on behalf of a group. Requests for meeting space should be made by the December 1st submission date. Requests will be accommodated thereafter on a first-come, first-served basis and must be received by the SDS Executive Office in writing as in G above to no later than April 15, 2013.
  • Please indicate on the submission form whether you are willing to serve as moderator for a session.
  • If you intend to participate in multiple events, please complete the submission process for each event.
  • Participants will be notified of the status of their proposal by January 14, 2013.
  • Any cancellations and requests for refunds after April 15, 2013 (the early bird deadline) may incur a cancellation fee. Any participant unable to attend must notify SDS in a timely fashion.
  • Accessibility: In keeping with the philosophy of SDS we ask that presenters attend carefully to the accessibility of their presentations. As a prospective presenter, you agree to:
    • Provide hard copy and large print hard copies (17 point font or larger) of all handouts used during the presentation.
    • Provide an e-text version of papers, outlines and/or presentation materials such as PowerPoint slides and a summary of one’s presentation with a list of proper names, terminology and jargon in advance of their delivery (for open captioning, distribution to attendees who experience barriers to print, and to assist ASL interpreters with preparation). SDS will also use this material to create an on-line forum of all work submitted by June 10th in the hopes of facilitating a more inclusive and richer discussion on-site. After June 1, 2013 work cannot be added to the forum. Participation in this forum is optional, but strongly encouraged.This forum will be password-protected and available only to those participants who have registered for the conference. The sole purpose of this forum is to further enhance intellectual access and participation for attendees at this year’s conference by allowing attendees advance access to the content of your presentation. All participants in the on-line forum must abide by the strictest conventions regarding the intellectual property rights of authors:
      • Do not cite or another author’s work anywhere or in any way without the expressed, prior, written consent of individual author(s).
      • Do not share work posted in the forum with someone who does not have protected access to the forum (someone who has not registered for the conference).
    • Make allowances for a “Plan B”: consider bringing your presentation on a jump drive and projecting the text of your paper to enhance captioning.
    • Provide audio-description of visual images, charts and video/DVDs, and/or open or closed captioning of films and video clips.
    • Contribute to improving intellectual access at the conference: consider your presentation as an opportunity to engage your audience.
      • Avoid reading your paper.
      • Plan your presentation to accommodate captioning and ASL interpretation. Avoid using jargon, and slow the pace of your presentation to allow time for eye contact and spelling proper names and terminology.


Presentation rooms* for the SDS 2013 Conference will be equipped with:
  • 2 (two) microphones for use by presenters;
  • 1 (one) LCD projector, screen, power source, and cables;
  • Head table suitable to comfortably accommodate 4 (four) people;
  • Both table top and podium presentation spaces; and
  • Non-dedicated, WIFI Internet access (i.e. not functional for audio/video download reliably)
  • SDS does not provide computers, overhead projectors, or other audio/visual equipment as a matter of course. Presenters are responsible for ensuring that presentation structure and planning works well within these audio/visual parameters.
*This information may not be applicable to film showings and some other events.


The Tanis Doe Award for best poster will be judged and awarded at the poster session of the SDS conference. The Tanis Doe Award includes a cash award, a certificate of recognition, and the posting of authors names on the SDS website. The Tanis Doe Award is open to everyone at all levels of education and experience. Additionally, this year, we will award “Honorable Mentions” for posters with student first-authors at each level of education: community college, four-year college/university, and graduate school as a way of encouraging student participation in the poster session.

SDS also honors the recipients of the Senior Scholar Award, and the Irving K. Zola Award for emerging scholars at the annual conference. Please see the Call for Nominations via the SDS listserv and website. Decisions regarding these awards are made prior to the conference. Award winners will be invited to present during the program and receive recognition at the SDS business meeting. The Zola Award also includes publication in a future issue of Disability Studies Quarterly. Other awards may also be presented at the SDS business meeting.


By submitting to SDS 2013 in Orlando, you give SDS full permission to publish your abstracts, photograph you, publish such photographs on the SDS web site or other publications, audio or video record your presentation, transcribe the presentation for access needs, and transmit or post and archive such recordings and transcriptions via live-streaming, podcast form, or any other electronic means. If submitting on behalf of multiple presenters and authors, you certify that each presenter and author has granted his/her permission to Society for Disability Studies for purposes described in this paragraph. By giving this permission, you understand that you retain full rights to your work but give SDS the right to use your presentation in the context of the 2013 conference, including (but not limited to) charging attendees and others for access to derivative audio or video products, recordings or podcasts.

For further information contact the Program Committee of the SDS 2013 program committee at