Presenter Info

Types of Sessions

Sessions except the poster session are 60 minutes in length. Because the conference brings together people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to share their knowledge, presenters are asked to target their presentations at a general audience and avoid highly specialized jargon.

Breakout Sessions

These traditional presentations highlight new or emerging research findings, promising new programs or policies, or explore a topic from a multi-disciplinary perspective.


Roundtables are moderated, semi-structured sessions that avoid lengthy formal presentations and focus on moderated discussion and debate.

Interactive Workshops

Interactive Workshops are hands-on learning opportunities focused on a particular topical area. Presenters are responsible for providing any training materials they wish to distribute.

Poster Session

On Wednesday October 11th there will be a one and a half hour poster session during the gala conference reception. Poster sessions present highlights of innovative programs, research projects, or services by presenting graphics, charts, photographs and text. Each poster board will have approximately 4’ X 8’ of usable space for display.

Audio Visual Equipment

Each breakout session room will have the following audio/visual equipment: a sound system with microphone; a laptop with LCD projector and screen; and an easel, pad and markers. If you need additional equipment, we will try to provide it but cannot guarantee requests can be filled. Please contact Conference Coordinator regarding additional equipment needs no later than September 15th, 2017.

Audio/visual technical assistance will be available during the conference, including during breaks before sessions. Please stop by the registration desk if you would like assistance.

Registration and Set-Up Information

If you are the lead presenter, you are the key contact for your presentation and are responsible for communicating all information to your co-presenters (if any) including insuring that they have registered for the conference.

All presenters and presenters are required to register for the conference by September 5th, 2017. Sessions at which one or more presenters have not registered and paid the appropriate conference fee by this date are subject to removal from the conference program. Presenters who register past this date will be subject to registration rates in effect at the time they register, and we cannot guarantee that they will be listed in the conference program.

Accessibility Information

The Southwest Conference on Disability strives to ensure that all presentations are fully accessible to participants. Presenters should bring to the conference:

  • USB Drive or CD ROM copies of all handouts in word format, Power Point presentations and/or overheads;
  • Regular print copies of all handouts, Power Point presentations and/or overheads, including large-print versions; and
  • Closed captioning of videos is required.

Presenters should consider a wide variety of learning styles when planning and conducting their presentations. For blind or visually impaired attendees please be sure to fully explain what you are reviewing on the screen if you have not provided Braille or Large Print copies of your materials, or if you deviate from any handouts that you have provided.

Braille and Large-print formats: Please contact the Conference Coordinator if you need contact information for firms that provide translation into Braille.

Sign Language Interpreters: interpreters may be at your session based on requests made by conference attendees when they register. If an interpreter is at your session, please confer with them before the session begins to make sure they have ample room at the front of the room or a location they specify.

Loop and FM systems: some sessions will take place in rooms that have either loop and/or FM systems. Please ensure that all speakers use the microphone provided at all times. Even though one or more speakers may have a voice that carries to the back of the room, attendees who use these systems rely on the speakers using the microphone.

Tips to Make Your Session A Success

  • The goal of the annual Southwest Conference on Disability is to explore what we have in common, not what divides us. The conference is attended by a wide range of individuals including researchers in academic and government agencies; service providers; family members; disability advocates and staff of federal, state and local government agencies. Many attendees are people with physical, mental health, sensory and cognitive disabilities. Please shape your presentations to a general audience. For example, research-based presentations should not be targeted exclusively at other researchers, but at an audience with a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Please arrange your session so there is plenty of time for questions from the audience, discussion and survey completion. In traditional breakout sessions with formal presentations, moderators have been asked to signal speakers when they have about five minutes left and again when they have one minute left.

The specific role of the moderator will vary depending on the type of session (traditional breakout, roundtable or interactive workshop). In general, however, the moderator should:

  • Make sure that the session starts on time and introduce panelists to the audience. Review the biostatements provided by each participant in the Contact and Abstract book and use these (shortened if necessary) for introductions;
  • Speak with presenters before the session about whether they prefer to take questions after each speaker has finished or after all speakers have finished;
  • Make sure that panelists and the audience know the session ground rules (e.g., questions taken after each speaker or after all speakers have finished);
  • Make sure that speakers do not go over their allotted time and that plenty of time is left for questions;
  • Ensure that no one monopolizes the conversation during question-and-answer sessions; and
  • Make sure that the session ends on time and thank panelists and the audience for attending.

It is important that sessions end on time so speakers from the next session have time to prepare. As the end time of the session begins to get close, it is often useful to remind everyone that "we have about fifteen minutes left, so we should begin to think about wrapping up" or a similar statement. At the end of the session, make sure that you thank the panelists (often inviting the audience to give a round of applause). Finally, be sure and thank the audience for attending as well!