AAC Early Starts Conference Graphic.png

Call for Papers 

The AACcessible board invites you to be a part of first annual AAC Early Starts (AACES) Conference,  a collaboration with the global AAC community to offer practical, evidence-based, online learning opportunities for professionals and families supporting children ages birth through five years who have complex needs.   Professionals across disciplines and seasoned AAC users, parents, and partners are welcomed to submit proposals to present a live webinar for this two day event.  Contribute your knowledge and experiences to improve AAC-related service delivery in the early intervention setting and support the non-profit mission of AACcessible Foundation - empowering professionals, children, and families on their AAC journeys through awareness, advocacy, education, and action!  Learn more about our mission, vision, and values here.  

The AACES conference will take place entirely online, offering two full days of free, live webinars and keynote speakers on February 16th and 17th, 2022.  We are looking for speakers from a variety of perspectives, including professionals across disciplines (e.g., education, mental health, social work, SLP, OT, PT, Behavior, Vision, Hearing), AAC users, and caregivers  who have supported or are supporting a young child with complex communication needs.  

Within this Call for Papers document, you will find full proposal details and are encouraged to review all information before submitting a proposal.  If you have any questions, please email info@aaccessible.org.

Call for Papers Schedule

The AAC Early Starts (AACES) Conference Call for Papers opens on September 13, 2021 and closes on December 31, 2021.  Notifications of acceptance/non-acceptance will be sent to all contributors via email no later than January 10, 2022.  Upon acceptance, presenters will be contacted via email  to organize presentation timelines.  Presenters are welcomed to submit more than one proposal if interested in offering a series of presentations or more than one presentation topic.  Presentations will be scheduled between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM Pacific Time.  Presenters will be prompted to choose one or more days and times within the proposal application and all efforts will be made to honor requested presentation timelines when possible. 

 

OUR GIFT TO YOU

 

 We know how much time, talent, and effort goes into putting a quality presentation together!  We appreciate your dedication to the field and your willingness to give us the gift of your time and talents.  As a gesture of gratitude, all accepted presenters will be granted free on-demand access to the conference session recordings  and a code for one free course of their choosing on our AAC Academy platform.  THANK YOU AWESOME AAC VILLAGE!

Topic Areas

Educational programming at AACES covers a wide variety of topics relevant to supporting young children (birth through five years of age) with complex learning needs; augmentative and alternative communication, and assistive technology. Suggested topic areas for proposals include, but are not limited to:

  • Seating and positioning for AAC and learning access

  • Supporting early literacy skills for children with complex needs

  • Supporting engagement and communication skill development in children with Autism

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration and education in AAC and AT

  • Supporting children with visual impairment

  • Supporting communication partners

  • Integrating AAC strategies at home

  • Adapting play for children with significant physical, visual, sensory, and/or cognitive differences

  • Family support and counseling 

  • Child-centered, holistic early intervention practices

Proposal Submission Checklist

Step 1:   Review the Submission Overview & Guidelines
Step 2:   Complete the Submission Form

 

Submission Overview & Guidelines

Individuals interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to read the following proposal process and guidelines completely before starting the submission process.  All submissions must be complete to be considered.  Complete submissions include all required documents and information outlined in the following sections of this document.  The proposal process and guidelines section outlines the submission process, defines terms, and provides explanations of information required to submit a proposal.

Presenter Agreement & Disclosure Policy

Before submitting your proposal to the Call for Papers, it is extremely important that you read, understand, and agree to follow the principles, guidelines, and procedures outlined in the Presenter Agreement and Disclosure Policy.

Editorial Board & Peer Reviewers

All proposals will be reviewed by the AACcessible Editorial Board.  The Editorial Board is composed of the Professional Development Director,  two lead editors and at least two  peer reviewers.  This board invites presenters, reviews proposal submissions to the Call for Papers, and helps select the most informative and evidence-based content to include in the AACES Conference.  AACcessible’s acceptance of a proposal does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures.

Call for Peer Reviewers

AACcessible is currently seeking qualified and enthusiastic individuals to share responsibility for the development and management of the education program for the 2022 AACES Conference. 

You can read more about the Call for Reviewers here. 

 

 

Presenter Agreement

By submitting a proposal to contribute a live webinar for the 2022 AAC Early Starts (AACES) Conference, you explicitly agree:

  • If accepted, to adhere to the deadlines as detailed in the acceptance notification regarding additional information that is required, such as webinar materials, media, etc.

  • To provide appropriate evidence to support any claims related to efficacy, validity, or reliability of approaches to assessment, treatment, coaching, or instruction.

  • To offer evidence-based content in a manner that does not ridicule, defame or demoralize individuals or groups.

  • To complete, by the stated deadline, the required disclosures that identify any financial or nonfinancial relationship that may create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, as defined in AACcessible’s guidelines concerning transparency and disclosure.

  • To update your disclosure information and inform AACcessible if you develop or acquire a financial or nonfinancial interest related to the content of your presentation at any time before the “air” date of your webinar.

  • That any research in which you participated and may be discussing in this presentation is in compliance with mandated national and institutional policies and procedures pertaining to animal and/or human subjects research.

  • To comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, to ensure the privacy of patients/clients/students/families by refraining from using names, photographs, or other patient/client identifiers in your webinar(s) without the patient's/client's/student’s/family’s knowledge and written authorization.

  • To follow the guidelines for crediting authorship for research presentations as outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA).

  • That no part of the Webinar or Materials (e.g. Powerpoint, handouts) infringes upon any copyright or other intellectual property right of any third party.

  • If any part of my Webinar or Materials involve the performance or reproduction of any pre-existing work, that I am the owner of the copyright, or have obtained permission.

  • That the Webinar and Materials will contain nothing libelous, injurious or untrue; AACcessible may host the webinar(s) and any related materials, solely in connection with  the AACES Conference, THe AAC Academy by AACcessible, and AACcessible and its promotion.

  • I grant to AACcessible and The AAC Academy by AACcessible a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive royalty free license for AACcessible AAC Academy to use and host the Webinar(s) and Materials, solely in relation with The AAC Academy by AACcessible and the AACES Conference.

  • That I have full power and authority, free of any rights of any nature whatsoever by any person, to enter into this Agreement and to grant the license to AACcessible in this Agreement.

  • That I shall indemnify and hold harmless AACcessible and its agents, board members, employees, affiliates, successors, assignees and licensees from and against any claim, damage, liability, expense or loss, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs associated therewith, or with the enforcement of this indemnity, arising from any claim asserted against AACcessible by any person or entity, arising from my actual or alleged breach of any of their representations and warranties in this Agreement or arising from the Webinar or Materials.

Please note that your presenter agreement outlines that all live webinars will be recorded for on-demand distribution within The AAC Academy by AACcessible for the timelines outlined in your agreement.  Likewise, all pre-recorded webinars will be retained and used for on-demand distribution within The AAC Academy by AACcessible for the timelines outlined in your agreement.

Disclosure Policy

All presenters submitting a proposal for a webinar or webinar series are required to complete a disclosure form indicating any financial or nonfinancial relationship related to the content of the proposed webinar. This disclosure form is provided in the last section of the Call for Papers Submission form.   The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)  requires full disclosure of financial and non-financial relationships for professionals seeking certification maintenance through ASHA continuing education units (CEU’s).  Full disclosure details and requirements are outlined below, adapted directly from ASHA.  

Completion of the disclosure form is necessary for all ASHA continuing education providers to meet the ASHA Continuing Education Board’s Requirement 3: Transparency in Course Planning, Delivery, and Marketing. This requirement promotes transparency in the design, development, and presentation of courses offered for ASHA CEUs, and aligns ASHA practices with current practices among other professions, particularly in the continuing medical education arena.

ASHA's Continuing Education Board defines a conflict of interest as any financial or nonfinancial consideration or relationship relevant to course content that compromises or has the potential to compromise professional judgment. Providers of events offered for ASHA CEUs must identify and disclose to participants any such interest on the part of any speaker or instructor. 

Examples of relevant and disclosable financial relationships may include:

  • Being an employee of, or a paid consultant to, an organization whose product or service you discuss in your presentation

  • Receiving grant funds for a research project you discuss in your presentation

  • Receiving royalties from the sale of a book whose content you discuss in your presentation

  • Patent holder

  • Ownership interest (stocks, stock options, or other ownership interests)

Examples of relevant and disclosable nonfinancial relationships may include:

  • Serving as a formal advisor to a review panel

  • Sitting on the board of an organization whose product or service you discuss in your presentation

  • Receiving an award or honor from an organization whose product or service you discuss in your presentation

Please note that having a disclosable financial or nonfinancial relationship does not prevent you from contributing. Disclosing such relationships is intended to give webinar attendees a more complete context in which to consider the information you provide. As a general guideline, err on the side of disclosure.

If your proposal is accepted, your disclosure(s) will be included with the author information related to each webinar listed on AACcessible AAC Academy online marketing materials. Note that for financial relationships, dollar amounts are not disclosed.

In addition, you will be expected to disclose relevant relationships at the time of your webinar, verbally and visually.  AACcessible will provide additional guidelines for “live” disclosures after acceptance.

Proposal Guidelines

The following guidelines walk you through each section of the Submission Form and discuss the supporting documents that must be submitted with your form. 

Session Format

You must request one of the following session formats:

  • 1-Hour Live Webinar with On-Demand Access to Follow

  • 2-Hour Live Webinar with On-Demand Access to Follow

Please note that your presenter agreement outlines that all live webinars will be recorded for on-demand distribution within The AAC Academy by AACcessible for the timelines outlined in your agreement.  Likewise, all pre-recorded webinars will be retained and used for on-demand distribution within The AAC Academy by AACcessible for the timelines outlined in your agreement.

The Editorial Board will review all submissions and consider all format requests. There is no guarantee, however, that your submission will be accepted in the format you request.

Title

Enter the title of your proposal, not to exceed 15 words, using title case. Do not use all caps or unnecessary punctuation, such as quotation marks around the title or a period at the end.

Audience

Outline the intended audience(s) for your webinar, such as speech-language pathologists, communication partners, occupational therapists, special educators etc.  You may check all that apply in the submission form and add any that have been missed under “Other”.

  • Students

  • Public/Consumers

  • Researchers

  • Related Professionals (e.g., TVI, BCBA, RBT)

  • Assistants   (SLPA's, paraeducators, COTA's, etc...)

  • Early Career Professionals (under 5 years experience)

  • Speech-language pathologists (SLP’s)

  • Occupational therapists (OT’s)

  • Families/Caregivers

  • Special educators

Instructional Level

For webinars geared to a professional audience, indicate whether the instructional level of your proposed webinar is introductory, intermediate, or advanced.

Introductory Level:

Instruction at the Introductory Level is generally intended for students or professionals with novice experience in the content area. This type of content presents a basic overview of fundamental concepts or skills in the topic area and may be suggested to precede other courses at more advanced levels.  The pace of an introductory course lends itself to the learning needs of an individual with little to no familiarity on the topic.

  

Intermediate Level: 

Instruction at the Intermediate Level assumes some familiarity with the basic literature as well as some experience in professional practice within the area covered and targets more experienced professionals. The pace may be more complex and the topic content presented goes deeper into the topic area to build on a foundational skill set.  

Advanced Level:

 Instruction at the Advanced Level assumes the participant already has established experience, knowledge, and skill within the area covered. Content presented at this level will be more intensive in density and pace with higher levels of clinical application and reasoning required.  

Abstract 

You must include an abstract relevant to your target audience. Abstracts should not exceed 1,000 words and will be used by the Editorial Board, along with your learner outcomes,  to review your proposal for candidacy.   Choose from the following based on your main target audience:  

 

Professional Education

Professional Education proposals should present innovative approaches to service delivery, new and emerging clinical methodology or techniques, and/or programming or discussion and debate regarding professional issues related to a Topic Area. They may present data or provide new evidence relevant to topics/issues previously presented in textbooks, research literature, professional conferences, or other dissemination outlets. They are submitted for originality, relevant contemporary impact, or continued appeal to a significant number of attendees. The quantity of information presented is appropriate to the proposed length of the session.

Professional Education proposals are evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Strength of theoretical/scientific or professional rationale supporting the proposal

  • Originality of proposal

  • Relevance to contemporary issues in the profession

  • Suitability of the amount of information to be presented to the proposed session length

  • Clarity of goals

  • Overall clarity of proposal

  • Balance of theoretical and practical components to allow attendees to walk away with a firm skill set. 

Partner Education

Partner Education proposals are aimed at an audience of caregivers and communication partners.  These proposals  should present practical, family-centered approaches to service delivery. They may present data to support these approaches and may build on partner topics previously presented.   They are submitted for originality, relevant contemporary impact, or continued appeal to a significant number of attendees. The quantity of information presented is appropriate to the proposed length of the session.

Partner Education proposals are evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Strength of theoretical/scientific or professional rationale supporting the proposal

  • Originality of proposal

  • Relevance to contemporary issues in the profession

  • Suitability of the amount of information to be presented to the proposed session length

  • Clarity of goals

  • Overall clarity of proposal

  • Balance of theoretical and practical components to allow attendees to walk away with a firm skill set.  

  • Appropriateness of presentation content and style to a practical, family-centered focus.

Learner Outcomes

Learner outcomes are mandatory for all proposals and are an important piece of the review process. If the proposal is accepted for presentation, these objectives are published on course and marketing materials.   Learner outcomes describe what participants will be able to do as a result of attending the webinar and must be stated as observable behaviors that complete the sentence "Participants will be able to...".

Examples of observable and measurable learner outcomes include:

  • Participants will be able to identify three strategies to assess the current communication skills of non-speaking individuals.

  • Participants will be able to describe five essential areas to assess in AAC assessment.  

  • Participants will be able to identify at least two resources to assist in treatment planning for preschool children learning communication skills through AAC.  

Learner outcomes that indicate that an attendee will learn, understand, or know something are not measurable and will need revision to be accepted.  You will be asked to submit three learner outcomes for each webinar.  If you submit a proposal for a webinar series, you will need at least three learner outcomes for each webinar in the series.  

 

Session Description

This brief description of your proposal, in 120 words or fewer, will be published (if accepted) on course marketing materials. It should provide information about your webinar or series and be enticing and engaging to encourage attendees to join.  

References

You are required to provide at least three reference citations that support the evidence-based nature of your proposal.   The Editorial Board will consider your references as part of the proposal review. References are not published on marketing materials.  You may include additional references in your session materials.  

Bio & Photo

Include a short biography and photograph of yourself (or desired representation) to be used for marketing on our website and social media pages should your proposal be accepted. 

Following Submission

After your submission, you will receive a copy of your form responses at the email you provided.  You will be contacted by an AACcessible representative via email by the deadline outlined in the Call for Papers Schedule above.  Inquiries should be directed to info@aaccessible.org

 
 
 
 
 

Proposal Submission Form

Once you have read all of the guidelines, you can submit your proposal at the link below: You will be redirected to a Google Form in a separate window.  You must complete this form in one sitting  and will not be able to save and return later.  You will receive a copy of your responses after submitting the form.  

 

Call for Reviewers

The AACcessible Editorial Board  is in need of volunteers to serve as peer reviewers for proposals submitted during the 2022 AAC Early Starts Conference Call for Papers.  Each proposal submitted to the Call for Papers will be reviewed by one Lead Editor and two Peer Reviewers.  The overall purpose of proposal review is to ensure the provision of evidence-based, quality learning content at the AACES Conference.  The details of the Peer Reviewer position are outlined below. 

Peer Reviewer Term & Responsibilities

  • Join a reviewer “pool” where you will be asked to participate in proposal reviews as you are able.  

  • Work with Lead Editors to review proposals, up to 5 during the review period (September 13th through December 31).

  • Complete the review document for each proposal reviewed and submit completed document to the  Lead Editor by the deadline provided.   

Skills or Traits for This Role

  • Professional with education, training, and scope of competence in the field represented in the proposals (e.g., SLP, education, AT, AAC, OT, PT, Vision, Behavior).

  • Caregiver, partner, or AAC user with experience in the topic being reviewed.

  • Positive attitude with a desire to work with others to benefit the AAC community.

  • Administrative, time management, and organizational skills, detail-oriented

  • Reliable access to email and Google Drive.

Application & Selection Process

  • Interested applicants should complete the Peer Review Interest Form.

  • The AACcessible Editorial Board will meet to discuss all interested reviewers and selected candidates will be notified via email with an invitation to join the board.

Reimbursement for Service

AACcessible and The AAC Academy are a non-profit entity that thrives on charitable donations and volunteers.  Selected candidates who review at least 3 proposals will be considered volunteers for the organization and will receive complimentary, on-demand access for the 2022 AAC Early Starts Conference.