The AHEAD annual international conference will run from Wednesday March 22nd to Thursday March 23rd 2023

Conference Title: Unity: How Staff and Learner Communities Drive Inclusion in Tertiary Education 

Conference Dates: Wednesday March 22nd to Thursday March 23rd 2023, will be held in-person, online and hybrid. In-person elements will take place in Croke Park Conference Centre.

All questions or queries should be directed to

 Conference Subthemes

  1. Inclusion is Everyone’s Business – Exploring whole college/centre approaches to Universal Design and UDL 

  2. Collaborative Action on Accessibility and Inclusion – Showcasing successful collaborations or communities of practice formed between departments, institutions and services supporting inclusion (e.g., faculties and libraries, teaching and disability support, or regional HEI institutions and ETBs etc.) 

  3. Inclusion in Student Engagement – removing barriers to learners with disabilities being included in student representation and student engagement activities 

  4. Crossing the digital divide together – exploring the pros and cons of hybrid learning for inclusion and models of good practice within it 

  5. ‘Working’ together - addressing barriers to employment for students and graduates with disabilities through partnerships with business 

  6. Widening the Community – showcasing good practice in the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in tertiary education 

  7. Community Exchange – share your individual practice tips on UDL implementation, inclusive assessment, disability support, hybrid learning and more to support others in the community 

 Conference Information & Context

“The good society was, a diverse yet harmonious, growing yet unified whole - a fully participatory democracy in which the powers and capacities of the individuals that comprised it were harmonized by their cooperative activities into a community that permitted the full and free expression of individuality.” – John Dewey 

The community of professionals working to support equity and inclusion of people with disabilities in further and higher education, and to promote the wider concepts of universal design and UDL, is growing at a rapid pace. Equally, the welcome trend towards increased student partnership in tertiary education is providing more opportunities for learners to contribute meaningfully to this community, and the dialogue about policy and practice within it. 

But what does all of that mean for the state of play regarding inclusion in tertiary education and the consistency of learner support? Is this growing community meaningfully and positively impacting on policy, practice and ultimately, student success? If so, how can we more closely align our communities, raise the voices of diverse staff and learners with them, and maximise their collective impact? 

As Ireland moves towards a more unified tertiary education system, and more unified communities of policy makers, professional staff, educators and learners within these sectors, this conference will explore individual, institutional, national and international views on how we can leverage the power of community to drive equity and inclusion in the tertiary education system.  

 Conference Fees

In-person Members €150. Check if your organisation is a member here.

In-person Non-Members €300.


Online Members €100. Check if your organisation is a member here.

Online Non-Members €200.


Selected contributors will receive a 10% discount on conference fees.

 Change of Attendance & Cancellation Policy

Cancellations/refund requests - All refund requests must be made in writing and received by 5:00pm March 15th with the exception of illness related absences. After 5:00pm March 15th the registrant will be liable for the entirety of the registration fee, regardless of attendance from the scheduled event.  In the case of illness, written messages sent to the AHEAD conference committee will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Change of attendance type - Attendees are welcome to change their attendance type from online to in-person or vice versa. However, changing attendance type will incur an administrative charge of €10 and additionally those changing from an online ticket to an in-person ticket will be required to pay the difference between the ticket types (€50 for members, €100 for non-members). 

 Covid-19 Policy

In keeping with our duty of care and our responsibility as the host of an in-person event, AHEAD is guided by recommendations from the both the Health Services Executive (HSE) and WHO (World Health Organisation) and will abide by the legal mandates at the time of the AHEAD Conference 2023. 

In line with HSE guidance updates, AHEAD will no longer require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests in order to attend the conference. 

However, all participants are strongly encouraged to (1) stay “up to date” with their COVID-19 vaccinations including any boosters and (2) not attend the conference if they are experiencing and COVID-19 symptoms. 

By attending the AHEAD Conference 2023, participants agree to act responsibly with regards their own health and the health of others attending by: 

AHEAD reserves the right to update this safety policy should the COVID-19 warning levels change. We ask that all attendees respect participants’ personal choices with respect to wearing a mask even if others do not wear one. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. 

AHEAD will continue to monitor and update safety precautions for the AHEAD Conference 2023 and coordinate with trusted national resources, state and local public health agencies, and venues. AHEAD reserves the right to modify these policies and procedures at any time. 

ahead conference supported by solas & the hea

With thanks to SOLAS and the Higher Education Authority who provide core funding for AHEAD's activities promoting inclusion in the tertiary education:

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This article appeared in the AHEAD website. Visit for more information