2019 Annual Meeting, Nov 23-26

The 2019 Annual Meeting will be in San Diego, CA, November 23-26. Register Now!

2020 Regional Meetings

Open Calls for Papers:

Rocky Mountains-Great Plains
Deadline: November 4, 2019

Pacific Northwest
Deadline: November 15, 2019

Undergraduate Deadline: December 15, 2019

Deadline: December 16, 2019

Upper Midwest
Deadline: December 31, 2019

Deadline: January 10, 2020

Eastern International
Deadline: February 1, 2020

Open Registration:




Status of People with Disabilities in the Profession Committee

Charge: The Status of People with Disabilities in the Profession Committee (PWD) works to assure the full access of people with disabilities within the Academy and to advance their status within the profession.

Composition: Up to seven members.

Terms of Service: Four years, non-renewable.

Meetings Schedule:

  • One in-person meeting at the Annual Meetings in November.
  • Winter virtual meeting via Zoom. Video option is not utilized for this meeting.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Members of the People with Disabilities in the Profession Committee are invited to participate in the following:

  • Two committee members conduct a site visit each year of the host location of the Annual Meetings, if the city hasn’t been a past meeting site since 2013. A site visit will be conducted if the Annual Meetings are held in a new city; or in a duplicate city if another property with space is added, or if there are significant renovations to existing venues.
  • Events at the Annual Meetings in November:

    • Committee meeting
    • 1-2 Special Topics Forums
    • Committee hosted workshop
    • Committee hosted luncheon
  • Mentoring Program: If there is a PWD mentee, one of the committee members who knows best about that disability will volunteer to be a mentor, or will recruit a colleague who does.

Publications or Other Items:

Member Position Term Start Term End
Monica Coleman 2015 2020
Darla Schumm Chair 2018 2020
Nicholas Shrubsole 2016 2019
Devan Stahl 2018 2021
Raedorah Stewart 2017 2020
Kirk VanGilder 2013 2019
Michael A. Walker 2019 2022

Staff Liaison Job Title Phone Number
Sandra Stevens

Strategic Plan:

  • Consult with AAR staff regarding best practices for accessibility related to the Employment Center, the website, the Program Book, and the Call for Papers
  • Address accessibility issues regarding Annual Meetings, through advance site visits and proactive efforts to ensure access for all members
  • Provide advisory assistance to Program Unit Chairs, including best practices for promoting the full inclusion of members with disabilities
  • Support students with disabilities seeking advanced degrees in Religious Studies and Theology, assist with mentorship and career planning, and encourage their full integration into the Academy
  • Address employment barriers faced by scholars with disabilities and facilitate scholars’ advancement within the profession
  • Assist employers with best practices for interviewing and hiring candidates with disabilities, including resources for addressing preconceptions, avoiding illegal questions, and providing reasonable accommodations during the interview process at the Annual Meeting as well as at home institutions
  • Promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the Academy and the profession, highlighting the importance of disability cultures and Deaf cultures, and emphasizing disability as an oft-overlooked diversity issue
  • Collaborate with the other AAR committees to ensure the full inclusion of all members of the Academy, and explore the intersection of disability and Deaf culture with other identities

Committee Activities:

2018 Integrating Religious and Disability Studies Workshop

2017 Teaching Religion and Disability Studies Workshop

2016 Teaching Religion and Disability Studies Workshop


Guidelines for Accessible Presentations

Accessibility Information for Annual Meetings