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Call for Proposals

12th Annual Second City International Conference on Disability Studies in Education
Friday 25th - Sunday 27th May, 2012
Hunter College, City University of New York

Co-Sponsored/Coordinated by
Disability Studies in Education-Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association; School of Professional Studies, CUNY; City College, CUNY;
College of Staten Island, CUNY; Graduate Center, CUNY; Long Island University, Brooklyn; The Gateway School, New York


Over the past eleven conferences, Disability Studies in Education (DSE) has emerged to grapple with important issues that include: its dissatisfaction with the self-imposed limitations within the field of special education research and practice; the need to articulate our standpoint as a discipline that provides a reframing of disability from an individual deficit to one primarily viewed as the result of inflexible social systems; its relevance in terms of practical application to the lives of teachers and children; disability and law; a focus on individual and family experiences and perspectives; the need to cultivate academic and political alliances, and, the perpetual challenges of increasing access to all aspects of society for people with disabilities. While engaged in this work to date we have, perhaps rightly so, largely focused on K-12 education in schools and teacher education programs.

The purpose of our 12th international conference is to focus upon the growth of disability studies in education (DSE) in K-12 classrooms and beyond. By adding the focus of "life after school," we seek to extend and build upon our focus of K-12 classrooms while also contemplating how DSE is pertinent to, and can be used throughout life of individuals with disabilities.

We encourage submissions related to theory, research, pedagogy, policy, and practice that may include, but are not limited to inquiry into:

  • K-12 classroom settings
  • Teacher education
  • Schools as organizations
  • Continuing education college programs for students with disabilities
  • Issues of accessibility in college
  • Community services including independent and assisted living
  • Issues of accessibility in the workplace
  • Social and recreational services/opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Self-advocacy groups
  • Self-governance
  • Professionals who work with people with disabilities
  • Rehabilitation
  • Veterans' issues
  • Legislation and litigation around disability
  • Representations of disability throughout the media

General Note to Potential Submitters:

 Disabilities Studies in Education (DSE) is an interdisciplinary field of scholarship that engages in research, policy, and action that

  • contextualize disability within political and social spheres
  • privilege the interest, agendas, and voices of people labeled with disability/disabled people
  • promote social justice, equitable and inclusive educational opportunities, and full and meaningful access to all aspects of society for people labeled with disability/disabled people
  • assume competence and reject deficit models of disability

DSE welcomes intradisciplinary approaches to understanding the phenomenon of disability, e.g. with educational foundations, special education, etc. DSE also cultivates interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the phenomenon of disability, e.g. interfacing with multicultural education, the humanities, social sciences, philosophy, cultural studies, etc. 

(Retrieved from American Education Research Association, Special Interest Group/Disability Studies in Education,

We welcome conference proposals organized around our central theme of disability across the lifespan. The conference is open to professors, researchers, teachers, administrators, students presenting individually or in groups, and members of the general public who are interested. We will give consideration to theoretical papers, research papers, practical application papers, and encourage interpretive and critical inquiry. Presentation format is open: we encourage interactive and non-traditional presentation designs.

The DSE conference will continue to have some traditional features such as the Senior and Junior Scholar Awards. All presenters will be expected to pay the conference registration fee.


Proposal Guidelines

Your submission should include the following information:

1. A proposal cover sheet including your name(s), institution affiliation(s), address(es), paper title, phone number(s), email address(es), fax(es), and your preferred format:

  • paper session (to be assigned a panel)
  • paper session (to be assigned a round table)
  • community panel (submission of complete panel)
  • poster session

Please indicate if, should your paper not be accepted for a panel presentation, you would be willing to present your work in either a roundtable or poster session format.

2. A 2 page double-spaced proposal summarizing your presentation and stating how the paper relates to the conference theme of Contemplating Dis/ability Studies in Education Throughout Life: In School and Beyond. Please include a description of alternative formats that you will provide (large print, close-captioning, electronic copy of presentation on CD, etc.)*

3. A brief description (100-150 words) of your presentation for the conference program.

Proposals may be submitted electronically as a WORD attachment (.doc) to Dr. Chris Hale at

Your proposal must be sent by February 15th, 2012. All applicants will be notified by March 15th, 2012. If you have any questions regarding proposals, please e-mail Chris Hale.

*Accessible formats: Any presenter using handouts must bring alternative formats. We recommend 10-15 hardcopies in 12-point font for sighted participants. Also bring 2-3 large print copies in 16-point font and at least one disk copy with the document saved in Microsoft word format. Presenters using visuals (e.g., overheads, powerpoints, etc.) must be prepared to describe the visuals to accommodate visually impaired or blind participants. If a sign language interpreter is used, presenters must be prepared to speak slowly enough for the interpreter to accurately interpret what is being said.

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