Call for Proposals

Currently closed. We hope to see you at the conference on April 25-27, 2023.

Disability Summit presenter, white woman speaking at podium with powerpoint presentation in background. Presentation is white text on black background, describing UMD President's Commission on Disability Issues. ASL interpreter standing next to presenter.

All submissions to the Including Disability Global Summit are peer-reviewed. The acceptance rate for any year will depend on the number of submissions. Once decisions on submissions have been made, the acceptance rate will be posted to the conference site. The acceptance rate for 2021 was 38%. 

Submissions are judged by a committee of students, faculty, and staff who represent a range of areas of expertise and experience with disability issues.

The 2023 Call for Proposals window is now closed. We hope to see you at the conference on April 25-27, 2023.

HopePunk: Persevering, Building Community, Chasing Hope

The theme for the 2023 Summit is a call for agitation: 

What can we do now so that the future is far better than the present for disabled people? 

What is HopePunk? HopePunk is a type of speculative fiction that stands in contrast to the imagined dystopias of tomorrow – and the real dystopian trends of today. HopePunk centers fighting for positive change, kindness as a radical act, and finding strength in the community to overcome challenges. The term was coined via a Tumblr post in 2017 by fantasy author Alexandra Rowland. It upends narratives of apathy, cynicism, and hopelessness by imagining worlds where collective rebellion and resistance lead to liberation.

The present sucks and the future is not going to fix itself. Pandemic, accelerating climate change, widespread economic uncertainty, supply disruptions, inflation, school and work moving back and forth between online and in-person, a land war in Europe. The last few years have been hard for everyone, but many of these problems have hit disabled people especially hard. We have to work to persevere, but we need to want more than to just persist. We need to figure out what we need, how to convey those needs, and how to achieve them in society, politics, education, employment, health care, and everywhere else.

We encourage submissions discussing:

  • Disability activism and justice (past, present, and future)
  • Assistive technologies
  • Accessible labor practices
  • Identity politics
  • Disability as a community and identity
  • Current policy challenges
  • Healthcare 
  • Crisis management 
  • Role of disability in Veteran identity
  • Race, gender, class, and other intersectional approaches
  • The role of allyship in the community
  • Collective Grief 
  • Parenting 
  • Mutual Aid Networks 
  • Care Webs
  • Teaching and Learning (Education) 

And anything else you imagine that can help us contribute to building a more accessible future together. 

We are accepting proposals for:

  • Lecture-style presentation (15 minutes with 10min Q&A) – Lecture-style presentations can range from in-depth scientific research to academic scholarly practices.
  • Workshop (30 – 60 minutes) – Session focused on skill building or formal professional workforce training.
  • Panel presentation (60 minutes) – Three or more topic area presenters offer their perspectives on a proposed disability studies topic. Each panel member will have the opportunity to provide an overview of their work followed by moderated questions and questions from the audience. 
  • Lightning talk (3 – 7 minutes with 5 min Q&A) –  A brief and engaging presentation that highlights key themes and ideas about a specific topic that can spur discussion. Examples are TED Talks, 3 Minute-Thesis “3MT” or the Pecha Kucha (chit-chat). Lightning Talks may be combined to create a panel if the talks overlap in theme or focus. 
  • Pre-recorded performances (no limit) – Pre-recorded presentations can be shared with the summit attendees in an asynchronous manner. While these will not be part of the formal three-day program, they will be highlighted in the program, shared directly with presenters, and given the opportunity to become a part of the Accessibility Studies archive at the University of Maryland.

Each submission should include a 250-word (maximum) abstract.

Alternative formats: We will also accept word documents or accessible PDFs for those who use screen readers emailed directly to The submission should include the names, pronouns, and contact information of the presenters. The primary presenter should be identified (please also indicate if the primary presenter is a current student, veteran, or has a disclosed disability). Indicate the type of proposal being submitted (lecture, workshop, panel, lightning talks, pre-recorded presentation, virtual poster). Limit abstracts to 250 words. Submit each proposal in separate emails. Should that not fulfill your access needs, feel free to contact us directly and we will come up with a modified approach to ensure that your submission is considered for the 2023 Summit. 

Questions? Please contact us at

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