Michigan State University

About the 2018 Accessible Learning Conference 

Accessibility isn’t about policies, quotas, or software integrations. Accessibility is about human rights and social justice. Respect and access in all aspects of our society, including political, recreational, economic, civil, and educational.

As educators and practitioners in the educational sphere, we must think about accessibility as an issue of access and inclusion, and about creating equitable experiences for all learners. This year, the Accessible Learning Conference (ALC) explores accessibility (a11y) as a social justice issue.

Proposal Submission

As you submit your Call For Proposal (CFP), you’ll be guided through a series of questions. We welcome sessions that address, exemplify, and challenge a wide variety of accessibility-related topics. Our goal is to provide participants with a broad range of material, innovative ideas, and interesting perspectives to help them design universally accessible courses, websites, and content.

Upon acceptance of your submission, you may be contacted by the ALC planning committee for information to create an A11y Action Card to be distributed as part of your session. These cards present instructions for implementing ideas and practices related to your work, and are designed to be a guide from theoretical thinking to applied practice. These A11y Action Cards will be a resource you can use and share.

This year’s conference will be divided into two day-long experiences. Thursday, December 6th, is designed for all audiences interested in pedagogy, accessibility, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and more. It will focus on practical implementation conversations and techniques. Friday, December 7th, will focus on deeper conversations and discussions about accessible scholarship and pedagogies.

Presentation/Panel Format 

This year, we’re welcoming presentation formats that are designed to accommodate various levels of audience engagement and comfort. Also, a particular type of presentation style may fit you as a presenter or your session material better than others. Do you imagine participants engaging in excited discussion or group work throughout your session? Perhaps you’d prefer to lead a session where participants primarily listen, with a question and answer session at the end. Choose the presentation format and length of time that works best for you.  

To accommodate the different learning styles of attendees, we’ll be sharing the presentation format of each session in the conference program, so they’ll be able to make informed decisions about which topics they are interested in and also which types of presentations they’re most comfortable with.

Presentation Formats

Conventional Presentation – Examples include lecture, panel presentation, demonstration, or walkthrough. Session attendees will mainly listen or observe during the session. This can include a short interactive question and answer period following the presentation for attendees to engage with presenters. 

Light Engagement – Examples include interactive lecture and small- or large-group discussions. Attendees will both listen/observe and engage/discuss throughout the session. 

High Engagement – Examples include group discussions, workshops, hands-on activities, and exercises. Attendees will be expected to collaborate and discuss, share, etc. with each other throughout the duration of the session. 

Poster – Posters allow presenters to showcase an idea, project, or research project during the ALC Engagement Fair without a formal presentation. Attendees are invited to speak with presenters at their own discretion. Some may choose to engage in discussion while others may wish to simply read and listen.  

Time (this includes your Q&A portion bit)

As part of the inclusive approach to this conference, presenters are able to choose the length of time that works best for their presentation type. Perhaps you only want 15 minutes to deliver a Conventional Presentation, or you’d like 45 minutes to facilitate a Light Engagement session. It’s up to you!

  • 15 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 45 minutes

Please note: depending on the number and thematic qualities of submissions we receive, the planning committee may combine multiple presentations into a single session, or may ask you for an alternative format and/or timeframe upon acceptance.


Slide Decks and Poster Files

Accessible Learning Conference materials must be submitted as accessible Google Docs by November 24, 2018, to Jessica Knott (JLKnott@msu.edu). This includes slide decks for presentations and poster files. A11y Action Cards will be created for you in an accessible format, based on information supplied in your submission.

Call For Proposal (CFP) Schedule and Deadlines

  • Proposal review October 15, 2018 – October 22, 2018
  • Accepted speakers notified October 25, 2018
  • Accepted speakers must register by November 19, 2018
  • Accessible presentation files due November 24, 2018
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