AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


The AHEAD annual international conference will run from Wednesday March 22nd to Thursday March 23rd 2023. We are pleased to invite submissions for sessions, talks and posters to be presented at the conference in-person and online.

Conference Title: Unity: How Staff and Learner Communities Drive Inclusion in Tertiary Education 

Conference Dates: Wednesday March 22nd to Thursday March 23rd 2023, will be held in-person, online and hybrid.

Submission Deadline: Deadline extended to November 9th.

Completed submission forms must be returned to events@ahead.ie by the end of the day November 9th. Download the submission guide and form.

Submissions will be reviewed by the review panel in early November and submission outcomes will be communicated in mid to late November.

All questions or queries should be directed to events@ahead.ie.

 Conference Sub-themes

  1. Inclusion is Everyone’s Business – Exploring whole college/centre approaches to Universal Design and UDL 

  2. Collaborative Action on Accessibility and Inclusion – Showcasing successful collaborations or communities of practice formed between departments, institutions and services supporting inclusion (e.g., faculties and libraries, teaching and disability support, or regional HEI institutions and ETBs etc.) 

  3. Inclusion in Student Engagement – removing barriers to learners with disabilities being included in student representation and student engagement activities 

  4. Crossing the digital divide together – exploring the pros and cons of hybrid learning for inclusion and models of good practice within it 

  5. ‘Working’ together - addressing barriers to employment for students and graduates with disabilities through partnerships with business 

  6. Widening the Community – showcasing good practice in the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in tertiary education 

  7. Community Exchange – share your individual practice tips on UDL implementation, inclusive assessment, disability support, hybrid learning and more to support others in the community 

 Conference Information & Context

“The good society was, a diverse yet harmonious, growing yet unified whole - a fully participatory democracy in which the powers and capacities of the individuals that comprised it were harmonized by their cooperative activities into a community that permitted the full and free expression of individuality.” – John Dewey 

The community of professionals working to support equity and inclusion of people with disabilities in further and higher education, and to promote the wider concepts of universal design and UDL, is growing at a rapid pace. Equally, the welcome trend towards increased student partnership in tertiary education is providing more opportunities for learners to contribute meaningfully to this community, and the dialogue about policy and practice within it. 

But what does all of that mean for the state of play regarding inclusion in tertiary education and the consistency of learner support? Is this growing community meaningfully and positively impacting on policy, practice and ultimately, student success? If so, how can we more closely align our communities, raise the voices of diverse staff and learners with them, and maximise their collective impact? 

As Ireland moves towards a more unified tertiary education system, and more unified communities of policy makers, professional staff, educators and learners within these sectors, this conference will explore individual, institutional, national and international views on how we can leverage the power of community to drive equity and inclusion in the tertiary education system.  

We look forward to receiving your submissions. Download the submission guide and form. Completed submission forms must be returned to events@ahead.ie by the end of the day November 9th. All questions or queries should be directed to events@ahead.ie.

 Conference Fees

In-person Non-Members €300.
Online Non-Members €200.
Selected contributors will receive a 10% discount on conference fees.


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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182