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


The UDL Park - Engagement & Interaction

Starting at 11:30 on Day 1 of the conference (Mar 13th), we open the UDL Park. Think of it as a place where you can engage with colleagues in a more relaxed, informal setting. You’ll get to talk about stuff that matters with other professionals in the Conversation Corner, parttake in engaging games in the playground, take some quiet time to reflect on the Park Bench, learn about UDL projects and practices in the Marketplace (open Day 1 16:00-17:30), and have some more relaxed chat with colleagues and a bit of music too when the picnic area and bandstand open for a reception at the close of Day 1. 

There’ll be music, chat, food, drinks and a good few surprises to keep you on your toes. 

 The Conversation Corner - scheduled throughout

The Conversation Corner is part of the UDL Park and will run parallel to the main sessions going on throughout the 2 days. In the conversation corner, you have the opportunity to host a small scale (max 6 people) conservation that matters to you. Maybe there’s something UDL related that you feel isn’t covered by the programme? Maybe you have a brilliant idea you wish to thrash out with colleagues who have similar thoughts? Maybe you have a problem and you need inspiration from your colleagues to solve it? The floor is yours…

Here’s how it works. You must submit your idea for a conversation you would like to host by 12:00 noon GMT next Tuesday, Feb 27th by completing this online form (takes 2 minutes). All you have to give us is a title and a max 40-word description of the conversation and a max 10 word description of who might get something from it in the format of ‘this might be for you if….XYZ’. The selected conversations will then be open to other participants to join up from next Wednesday until the conference.

The ‘host’ of the conversation has the responsibility of facilitating the conversation and submitting a short 500-word template report to us after the conference to be shared to be shared with participants detailing the key points and ideas discussed.

Here is an example of a conversation i’d like to host:

Title: Is an International Library of Accessible Books Possible & How Can It Be Achieved?

Description: With the 2013 Marrakesh Treaty now ratified by 25 countries and with many more to follow in the coming years, is an international library of accessible books a possibility? What challenges might it’s formation face and what steps could move it forward?

This might be for you if you are interested in digital accessibility or copyright law.

So you see, it can be about anything at all, as long as it relates to UDL/Inclusive Education and that others at the conference are likely to also want to chat about it!


If you want to host a conversation, complete this short online form now!

 The Playground - Open from 11:30 on Day 1 till the close of Day 2

If you fancy taking a break from the main sessions of the conference and giving your brain some light relief, then grab a partner, head to the UDL Park and visit the Playground where you can partake in a series of interactive games and reflective excercises. As well as being, fun by taking part and winning games you can win tickets to a draw which will take place on Day 2 of the conference for 2 tickets to Conference 2018 and a nice personal gift.

 The Park Bench - Reflection Area - Open from 11:30 on Day 1 till the close of Day 2

Take a quiet moment away from hum drum of the conference to reflect and take in the voices of real student struggles and dreams by sitting on the park bench and experiencing the Connected Voices in Learning exhibition created for last year’s AHEAD Conference. Pop on the headphones and listen to the powerful group poem created by students about their higher education experience. View the accompanying student art and if you feel like it, draw your own experience of working in higher education with the markers provided and put it up on the wall. 

 The Marketplace - Open Day 1 from 16:00 - 17:30

Professionals interested in UDL have set their ‘stall’ out to showcase their innovative projects and practices including app demonstrations, elearning modules and more. Can they ‘sell’ you their ideas and contributions to the UDL campus? What ideas can you bring away with you to incorporate into your practice? The Marketplace opens at the same time as the Picnic Area and Bandstand so you can relax in an informal atmosphere and chat with professionals about the projects they are exhibiting. 

Marketplace Exhibitors

Creating a powerful learning environment for every student: Walking the talk in the search for UDL ambassadors
Elke Emmers (University College Odisee & KU Leuven)
PREP4DIT – Supporting Mature Access Students as they transition into College
Trevor Boland, Nevan Bermingham (Dublin Institute of Technology)
An inclusive education model for adults with I.D. and ASD
Kevin Delany, Emma Barrett, Kate Crotty, Moureen Kelly (Brothers of Charity Services Clare)
Leveling the Playing Field
Roisin Kelly, Elaine Kelly, Aoife Walsh (Disability & Learning Support Service, Athlone Institute of Technology)
UDL and Intersectionality: Exploring the wide benefits of UDL in addressing learner diversity
Frederic Fovet (University of Prince Edward Island)
AHEAD Learning Zone - How we use the power of ‘online’ to support staff in further and higher education
Seònaid Ó Murchadha, Lorraine Gallagher (AHEAD)
Sharon’s Shortcuts – IT Training without the Mouse
Sharon Lyons
Online Psychological Support for adults with dyslexia and other neuro-diverse conditions
Nicola James, Abigail    Howard (Lexxic Ltd.)
Towards developing a UDL approach to inclusion - Steps on the journey for the University of Worcester
Dr. Sean Bracken, Patrick Clark (University of Worcester)

 Bandstand & Picnic Area - Open Day 1 from 16:00 - 17:30

Towards the end of Day 1, we are hosting a reception in the UDL Park and the Picnic Area and Bandstand will open.

Grab a refreshment and some good ol’ fish and chips and go chat with your fellow Park visitors in the picnic area about what you’ve seen and heard at the conference. What’s inspired you? What ideas will you take in to your work going forward? Share your thoughts with your colleagues and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts on twitter using the hashtag #udlAHEAD.

Every good park has a bandstand, and ours is no different. Check out some quality ambient blues music from one of Dublin’s most talented street musicians, Niall Lawlor.

Book your place now>>

Go back to the conference homepage>> 

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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

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