Call for Proposals for Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, May 18-19, 2015

Disability studies have the potential to advance research that benefits the world. Likewise, disability studies scholars can lead or be essential stakeholders in global and localized discussions on the intersections between disability, race, class, religion, gender, and age.  Disability scholars have the potential to be ambassadors for social change, infusing their scholarly might into fields as diverse as public health, education and employment. Many of us are doing this work but what is our impact in the world?

For the 2015 Pacific Rim Conference, we ask the vital question: Are we making an impact?  This includes: Is Disability Studies measurable and sustainable? Can we sustain, or even multiply our impact, and, if so, in what ways?  How can we inform policy and legislative changes, service delivery and other aspects of socio-cultural change that can have a positive impact and outcome for persons with disabilities? How do we prove the impact is there, and what are we doing to share and publicize the impact? Our call for proposals has a deadline of January 30, 2015.

Examples of potential proposals include:

- How has disability studies addressed the prevalent isms: ableism, racism, ethnocentrism, and classism, and what might be done to go beyond and ameliorate these isms?
-  How does media, including social media, impact disability studies? How might disability studies impact all media to improve policy and social change? How do we know if it’s working (i.e. how do we measure whether the media is being impacted)?
-  How do disability studies programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, demonstrate an impact? What makes them successful or effective? Are these programs evaluating their impact on students, other programs and other disciplines? Is there an impact outside the educational setting? If so, how is it demonstrated?
-   In what ways are scholars and activists measuring the impact of disability studies? Do we need to look at disability studies in innovative ways to understand whether it is having a broader impact on society? If so, what are some examples of these new means of measurement?
-  With the advent of the Internet and the explosion of social media, we all have a chance to explain who we are and learn about others. With these opportunities, why can’t we all get to know one another and get along better? Does disability studies have a role to play in generating social cohesion?
- What is the intersection of disability, diversity, and ethics, including bio-ethics? Does disability studies play a role, or have a role to play in ethics discussions and in policy implementation?

If you have a proposal that may not fit in to the above targets, we will welcome them as part of our discussion. We welcome proposals in any presentation format. We also welcome presentations in innovative formats including readings, performance art, graphics and roundtables.

Please see presentation formats on our webpage at Please check the criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may submit proposals online at: or send your proposals via email to

For more information about this topic area, contact: Steve Brown,

For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at, (808) 956-7539.

For registration questions please contact the registration desk at

(808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437 or email

Center on Disability Studies
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96822-2313