Minneapolis 2014 CFP

Call for proposals: Disability (and) Sustainability

27th annual meeting June 11-14, 2014
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Minneapolis, MN

Call for Proposals is NOW CLOSED!

The program committee of the 27th annual meeting of the Society for Disability Studies invites you to consider the multiple and significant possibilities at the intersection of sustainability and disability. We offer the term sustainability to explore both its traditional meaning--the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed—and to engage the more recent deployment of sustainability as an environmental, ecological, agricultural, and economic concept that advances the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.

As you plan your proposal for participation in the 2014 conference, we offer these broad intersectional and interdisciplinary questions that emerge from a critical engagement with disability (and) sustainability:

  • What does it mean to sustain disability? How do/might/should/will we sustain disability?
  • How does/doesn’t your own academic or professional field engage with disability and sustainability?
  • What local, regional, national, continental, transnational, global practices and policies are available—or need to be developed—in the intersection between disability and sustainability?
  • What practices, processes, policies, and products of the sustainability movement most impact, intersect, overlap, inform, or resonate with disability practices, processes, policies, and products?
  • How can/do people with disabilities best carry out—or critique—the sustainability movement?
  • Where and how do identities based on class, race, gender, geography, politics, or sexuality further inform, influence, and interact with disability (and) sustainability?
  • In what ways do interactions with and practices of Native communities affect or shape disability (and) sustainability?
  • How can access be imagined as an element of sustainability?
  • Where do current theoretical models—such as impairment/disability; social/medical; (in)dependence/interdependence--coincide or collide with disability (and) sustainability?
  • How do disability (and) sustainability fold into or against our understanding of transnational, international, global, and geopolitical “work”?
  • What can conversations about disability (and) sustainability offer to global, national, regional, and local healthcare policies and debates?
  • When disability (and) sustainability enter into global, national, regional, and local policies and practices around employment, what difference(s) can/does this make?
  • How do/can disability (and) sustainability contribute to notions/systems of sustainable food, farming, and land development?

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 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:

  • Minnesota disability/sustainability movement histories: How can we think both locally and globally about disability and sustainability in Minnesota or the upper Midwest?
  • Communities / Identities: Explores challenges and possibilities that shape collaboration, culture, and community for people who experience disability.
  • ADA Legacy: Multiple session formats exploring the legacy of the ADA since its passage in 1990 in preparation for the 25th anniversary celebration in 2015. Proposals may include: history, policy, global impact, preservation, celebration, education for the next generation, etc.
  • Critical Design & Technology Studies: May include proposals related to: object studies, technology studies, architecture, sustainability, design in professional contexts, military tech, material culture, etc.
  • Power and privilege: Explores the workings of power and privilege broadly, in this case within the disability (and) sustainability movement(s), and within SDS itself.
  • Professional development: Pertains to matters such as locating funding, pursuing academic and non-academic jobs, surviving the tenure track, etc. Special consideration will be given to proposals that make an explicit link between sustainability and professional development.
  • 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 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.

SESSION FORMATS: 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:

  1. Individual Presentation: Individual presentations will be placed alongside two or 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 more 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).
  2. Note on Virtual Presentations: We will again 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. Spots are limited in order to ensure quality and prepare for more remote and virtual options in the future.
    • Individuals may submit to present remote individual presentations via video or audio file.
    • 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, 2014) 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 Minneapolis, 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.
  3. 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 require a 300-word abstract, complete contact information for anyone involved in the project who will attend SDS, and a designated lead contact person. Each year, SDS proudly awards the Tanis Doe Award for the best poster.
  4. 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 credentials for the discussant, if one is planned.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 anticipated 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.
  7. Performance 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 SDSCONF2014@GMAIL.COM 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 2014 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.
    • H. Films: Ideally, film submissions do not exceed 60 minutes in length in order to allow for commentary and discussion. All film entries accepted for presentation at the 2014 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 film’s sponsor should be prepared to provide audio description as needed. As SDS cannot pay distribution rights for film screenings, the film’s sponsor is fully responsible for securing any necessary permissions from trade and copyright holders for public screening. 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. Films and film clips may also be submitted as part of format categories A-F as described above and are subject to the same accessibility requirements as full-length film proposals.
  8. 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 13, 2013 by using the proposal submission form. After December 13, space will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. No meetings can be planned through SDS after the early-bird deadline of May 1, 2014. 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 to request catering or any other special arrangements.


  • All participants must register and pay for the conference through the SDS website (http://disstudies.org/) by the early bird deadline: May 1, 2014, 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 (2011, 2012, 2013) is welcome to participate in the New Book/Work Reception. At least one person must register and be in attendance to host the 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.
  • 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 31, 2014.
  • Any cancellations and requests for refunds after April 18, 2014 (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 follow the SDS Guidelines for accessible presentations found here: http://www.disstudies.org/conferences/accessible-presentations
AUDIO / VISUAL INFORMATION: Presentation rooms* for the SDS 2014 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.

SUBMISSION AGREEMENT: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. YOU ARE AGREEING TO ALL OF THESE CLAUSES. By submitting to SDS 2014 in Minneapolis, 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 2014 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 2014 program committee at SDSCONF2014@GMAIL.COM