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May 2016 Town Hall Meeting

SDS Town Hall Meeting

Held on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 4:30-6pm Eastern Time
(3:30-5pm Central – 2:30-4pm Mountain – 1:30-3pm Pacific – 8:30-10pm Greenwich Mean Time – And many other times around the world as well)

Meeting Notes

Click notes to download the meeting notes Town Hall Meeting held on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

meeting invitation

The SDS Board of Directors invites you to join our Town Hall Meeting (virtually) on Wednesday, May 25, 4:30-6pm Eastern Time.

All interested participants--but especially SDS members (past and present)--are invited to join us in a discussion about the present and future of SDS. CART (captioning) will be provided.*

*The tech platform for this virtual meeting will be provided by The Ohio State University and the ADA Coordinator’s Office (Scott Lissner, OSU-ADA Coordinator and former AHEAD President).

More details on accessing the platform will follow in the week before the meeting AND be sent specifically to all who sign up.

attendance sign up

Please go here to SIGN UP if you will be attending this meeting. We need to know how many are attending (ahead of time) to best facilitate a number of technical, access and organizational matters for this meeting. Please sign up by no later than Friday May 19, mid-day (Noon your time). You must complete the sign up to join the meeting (the only way we can give you access to the platform).

preliminary meeting agenda and feedback

If you wish to add additional comments, questions, or thoughts to this preliminary outline please access this Google document and/or share your comments, questions, or thoughts with any of the current SDS Board Members (listed at the end of this message).

Current topics the SDS Board is prepared to outline and discuss further with you include these:
How did SDS get in the current situation that led to the cancellation of its 2016 conference in Phoenix?

  • What has the Board been doing since they first learned of the significant debt coming out of the Atlanta 2015 conference?
  • What is happening now regarding negotiations with the Atlanta Hyatt (2015 conference) hotel and the Phoenix Hyatt 2016 conference hotel on our settlement offers to them?
    What is a timeline for restructuring/rebuilding SDS coming out of this situation?
  • What has the Board been doing since it first learned of the significant debt coming out of the Atlanta 2015 conference?
    • Will there be a call for new SDS Board members?
    • Will there be an annual SDS membership meeting?
    • What are the plans for an Executive Office/r for SDS in the future?
    • What might our new membership with the Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO), where SDS is chartered, mean for the organization and its Board?
  • Will there be future SDS conferences? If so, when?
    • And what might be expected of these conferences?
  • How can SDS meet its budget AND ALSO grow its income and fundraising?
  • What does the exponential growth of our field (Disability Studies) and our conference (SDS) mean for all of us?
  • How can we shift our narratives and conversations regarding the “costs” of our annual conference?
  • What other questions or comments do any of you have? What would you like to talk about? Help your organization/field with? Know more about?

reference links

Sign up sheet for the SDS Town Hall Meeting is here:

Comments Thoughts Questions document is here:

The SDS Board of Directors (please feel free to also contact any of us – all together or individually):
Funmi Akinpelu
Brenda Brueggemann)
Mel Y. Chen
Ibby Grace
Helen Meekosha
Mallory Kay Nelson
Sami Schalk
Phil Smith
Joanne Woiak
Frank Wyman


The Society for Disability Studies Board of Directors would like to acknowledge The Ohio State University for their technical support of the May 2016 SDS Town Hall Meeting.
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