Pitt SDA

The Disability Experience:
State of the Arts, Scholarship and Research

A Call for Papers

Set aside the dates and submit an abstract! The Students for Disability Advocacy, a newly formed student group at the University of Pittsburgh whose mission is to advocate for students with disabilities, will be holding a conference  October 31st and November 1st, 2013 at the University of Pittsburgh William Pitt Union entitled The Disability Experience:  State of the Arts in Research, Scholarship and the Arts. The purpose of the conference is to highlight the arts, scholarship and research concerning the disability experience.  The conference will focus on panel presentations by students with faculty respondents.  A variety of submissions will be accepted from students with and without disabilities at the University of Pittsburgh and around the country. Panel presentations will draw from a variety of disciplines including: Assistive Technology across disability, Health & Wellness (disparities), Employment, Policy and Law, the Arts, Education, History, Philosophy, and English. A faculty-student round-table discussion is the final event of the conference with discourse concerning relationships between faculty and students with disabilities. Limited scholarships for travel may be available and food will be available free at the conference.

Purpose and objectives of the conference:

The aim of this first ever disability studies conference at the University of Pittsburgh is to bring together a wide spectrum of faculty, students, and other individuals – especially those from the University and its communities – whose interests capture the experience of disability and who wish to advance disability-related fields and further their integration into the curricula and in community life.  The conference will:

  • Invite students to present their field-specific disability-related work from across the curricula of science, the arts and the humanities to an interdisciplinary audience
  • Promote discourse across disability-related fields in order to integrate disability studies into the curricula
  • Provide networking opportunities by encouraging and enabling attendees to establish connections with individuals of varying fields
  • Create dialogue between students and faculty about issues and experiences students with disabilities have and to identify mechanisms for resolution of problems.


Abstract submissions should be no more than 500 words and up to three keywords for the paper.  Submissions must include 1) your name, contact information and discipline  2)  title of your presentation and 3) the panel (e.g. Assistive Technology, Health & Wellness, Employment, Policy and Law, Education, History, Philosophy, or English and the Arts) in which you would like to be included.  There will be three accepted abstracts for each panel.  Papers will be shared with other panelists in mid-September and power points will be due two weeks before the conference.    The authors will be asked to make a 15 minute presentation with 5 minutes for Q and A. If you want to display art or show a film, provide a description as well as space and other requirements.

Please submit abstracts by July 1st to Jonathan Duvall at sorc+disability@pitt.edu. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by August 15, 2013. Direct any questions or inquiries to Jonathan Duvall at sorc+disability@pitt.edu.  Please feel free to share this announcement with anyone who might be interested in participating. 

This conference is supported by University of Pittsburgh, Students for Disability Advocacy and other organizations.