Crips Present Symposium Call for Proposals

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Crips Present: A Symposium on Disabled Access & Allyship

Saturday, October 24, 2020 – Online from Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA

Proposal and Workshop Guidelines (download here) Proposals Due August 1, 2020

  1. Language: Although the Symposium organizers prefer Identity First Language (i.e., Disabled Person rather than Person with Disability), we respect each person’s right to use language that they prefer when referring to themselves. Please include your reasons for language choice in your proposal and workshop presentation.
  1. Identity: In order to present at the Crips Present Symposium, all presenters must identify as disabled. You do not need a formal diagnosis. You will be asked to provide a brief description of when you first learned that you were disabled in your workshop proposal. It is not necessary to include this in your presentation.
  1. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color: It is our goal to promote your voices in the Symposium. Please submit your proposal idea(s) to us even if they fall outside our guidelines, as we are certain we have not thought of everything that will be important to hear. All presenters will be paid a $250 stipend for their presentation after the symposium is over.
  1. Content: Your personal experience is valuable; however, your workshop should convey more than personal experience. Please include experiences of others, your research, and best practices as well. Preference will be given to proposals that focus on supporting disabled strengths, culture, and identity, rather than attempting to fix disabled individuals towards becoming more like typically developing peers or “overcoming” disability. 

Note: You may use support persons to prepare and present the workshop, however, your presentation must be your own original work. Support persons should take care to allow the thoughts and ideas of the presenter to be the only ones contained in the workshop. Citations of others’ work is acceptable, of course, and often necessary.

  1. Dates & Delivery: We will contact you by September 1 if you are chosen to present, and then you will need to record and send us your presentation with captions by October 1. We will provide a Dropbox for this. We can provide you support with this! Please let us know your needs and your current capabilities around recording and captioning videos, and we will work with you. Depending on your support needs, we may need up to one month or more lead time, so you would need to be ready to work with us by mid-September if you are chosen to present.

Please fill out all six sections below completely, and return to with a subject line of “Crips Present Proposal”. Proposal deadline is August 1, 2020.

For proposal questions or help filling out the proposal, please email or Marisa Hackett at

Instructions: Please respond to the six sections below, with no more than 100 words per section. Fewer words are quite acceptable! 

Section 1. Disabled Identity: Please briefly describe when and how you first received your diagnosis, or, if you are self-identified, when and how you came to identify as disabled. If you do not identify as disabled, or as a person with a disability, please do not submit a symposium proposal. No more than 100 words. Fewer words are quite acceptable!

Section 2. Language Use: Please explain whether you prefer to use Identity First or Person First language, or a combination, and why. Please feel free to link to yours or others’ writing that describes your viewpoint as a substitute for writing an answer here.

Section 3. Track

Workshops will generally run for 30 minutes. If you have a longer or shorter proposal, please let us know the length of time you think you will need.

Please choose ONE track – your workshop must fit into one of these categories. If you would like to propose a workshop for more than one track, please submit a separate proposal for each workshop. See Tracks and descriptions below:

  • Track I: Disability Justice – Now and in the Future

Workshops in this track will explore issues of the current pandemic, white supremacy, police brutality, civil rights, the political climate, and the intersections of all of these with disabled folks. Questions to consider in this track might include: What is the experience of disabled, chronically ill and immunocompromised folks during this time and how does this impact our activism? What strategies are we using now that we have already developed for connecting online? What strategies and organizing principles are we offering the abled world who are not used to staying at home and working online? Who will be left out when abled folks return to work and how do we combat this? Please include other questions and thoughts as well!  All attendees will benefit from this track.

  • Track II: Being an Ally – What it Does and Doesn’t Mean

Workshops in this track will focus on ways that families, friends, educators, and other professionals can be an ally for disabled folks at home, work, in the community, and at school. Questions to think about might include: How do you dismantle ableism within yourself and in the spaces you are in? What are the qualities of a “good” ally? What masquerades as allyship? Who gets to decide who is and isn’t an ally? Be sure to include more than your personal experience.  All attendees will benefit from this track.

  • Track III: Intersectional Identities

Workshops in this track will examine our multiple identities and how they interrelate within our family,  friends, and work spaces. Questions to consider in this track might include: How to combat the whiteness of mainstream disability rights? How do we carry out the tenets of Disability Justice while working in institutions or organizations steeped in white supremacy and ableism? How do our many identities inform our disabled lives? Again, more  than personal experience should be shared. All attendees will benefit from this track.

Section 4. Title & Content: What title would you like to use for your workshop? Describe your workshop. This description may be used in part for the symposium agenda. Include information that you think will be interesting to symposium attendees. We may edit for length or content. No more than 100 words. Fewer words are quite acceptable!

Section 5. Further Information about your Workshop: Please answer each of the following questions:

For this section, please use no more than 100 words per question. Fewer words are acceptable!

  1. What do you want workshop attendees to know after they’ve attended your workshop?
  2. What attitudinal changes, outlook, or other feelings do you hope workshop attendees will experience by attending your workshop?
  3. What do you want workshop attendees to be able to do with the information you’ve presented in your workshop?

Section 6. About You: Please tell us more about the experiences that make you a good workshop presenter. Tell us about things such as past presentations, including classroom presentations, and your passion for helping others understand disability, intersectionality, and disability justice. No more than 100 words. Fewer words are quite acceptable!

That’s it! Six sections total, and one is just checking a box! You can use this page to write your answers, or start another document, either is fine. When you are finished, please email it to us at with the subject line “Crips Present Proposal”Proposal deadline is August 1, 2020.

If you have questions about writing the proposal, or need access support, please contact Bellevue College’s Neurodiversity Navigators Program Director Sara Gardner at or Disability Resource Center Director Marisa Hackett at

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I’m not disabled, I am the parent of a disabled person, or I work with disabled people and I want to present. Can I? This symposium will feature only presenters who identify or are diagnosed as disabled (or people with disabilities.) Most disability conferences feature non-disabled presenters, and we want to create a space that allows the voices of disabled people to be heard as the experts that they are, and as the prominent voice. This does not mean that we don’t value other perspectives. This conference is a time to listen to the voices of disabled people.

I’m disabled, and need a non-disabled person to support me with my presentation. Is this okay? Yes, it’s fine! As long as you are the creator of the materials, and the primary presenter, you are welcome to use supports, including a support person, as needed, for communication or other needs.

I want to present, but don’t have the ability to make a video, or caption a video. We can help with this! Just let us know that you will need some help with this; it’s not a problem.

It’s past the August 1 deadline for workshop proposals! Can I still present? It never hurts to ask! Please inquire as to whether or not we are still accepting proposals. We want to include as many people as possible.

When will I hear if my workshop proposal has been accepted? If you submitted it by the August 1 deadline, we will let you know by September 1. If you submitted it after the deadline, we promise to review it as quickly as possible!

How long will the workshops be? Workshops will generally be 30 minutes long. You are welcome to submit a shorter or longer proposal, of course!

Last Updated June 25, 2020