Pac Rim 2024

Pre-Conference Events

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Conversations on Disability Studies: An International Forum

Monday, February 26, 2024
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM (HST)

Virtual via Zoom

How do we create and advance belonging? This is the question we will explore this year through the lens of Disability Studies, one of the newest disciplines in the academy. As we work towards creating equitable, just, and inclusive spaces, Disability Studies invites us to question our most basic assumptions about disability and to consider the host of factors (including cultural, environmental, and historical) that impact the experience of belonging. 

Join us on Monday, February 26th for this free, virtual event. Come help kick off the 39th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity with this exciting exploration together through the annual Disability Studies Director Summit, Disability Studies Student Panel, Facilitated Conversation on Community Partnerships to Advance the Field, and a hands on workshop on plain language. 

At the end of this event, participant sites will be able to:

  1. To identify innovation in the field of Disability Studies.
  2. To increase understanding of the impact of Disability Studies from the perspective of the student experience.
  3. To become knowledgeable on how to create plain language for complex academic content.
QE Pre Header

Promoting Quality Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities: Building and Implementing Culturally Responsive Vocational Rehabilitation Programs

Sunday, February 25, 2024
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM HST

Monday, February 26, 2024
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM HST


The Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE;, funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA; H264K200003), works closely with state vocational rehabilitation agencies (SVRA) to build capacity for improved collaboration, VR service delivery, and quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Through this workshop, participants sites (i.e., SVRAs) will collaborate on addressing employment challenges and barriers unique to states and territories in the Pacific Rim using culturally responsive strategies. With support from course facilitators, each site will identify key issues, develop an action plan, short-term and long-term goals, and leave with meaningful tools to promote quality employment outcomes within their program (i.e., policy development, accompanying procedural elements including training, forms, etc.). Ongoing implementation supports will be available for participating SVRAs beyond the event.

At the end of this event, participant sites will be able to:

  1. Define ‘quality employment’ and identify key policies and evidence-based practices that promote quality employment outcomes in vocational rehabilitation.
  2. Describe the administrative and programmatic supports needed to implement policy and practice focused on improving quality employment outcomes.
  3. Introduce this concept and practice into local and state VR service delivery.
  4. Develop a repository of resources, goals, and action plan for implementation of quality employment within their own agency.
Symposium STEM

Symposium on Postsecondary Transition of Neurodivergent Students Having Potential in STEM

Monday, February 26, 2024
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM HST

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Campus Center Conference Room

Students with disabilities have been underrepresented in postsecondary STEM programs and the workforce, and their potential in STEM has been under-identified. To build a culture of belonging for neurodivergent students and provide effective support at school and transition to the workplace, this symposium is for educators, researchers, and practitioners. Attendees will learn important concepts and effective strategies through interactive lectures and hands-on activities.

At the end of this event, participant sites will be able to:

  1. Understand twice-exceptionality: how giftedness and neurodiversity intersect
  2. Understand the characteristics and needs of neurodivergent students having potential in STEM
  3. Learn strategies to support neurodivergent students’ learning in the classroom and during transition to postsecondary education and worksites
  4. Develop a plan to support neurodivergent students’ postsecondary transition

SUPERFEST Disability Film Festival

Monday, February 26, 2024
6:00 PM HST

Hawaiʻi Convention Center, Liliʻu Theatre
1801 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

SUPERFEST is the world’s oldest Disability Film Festival. This community wide event will take place at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center as a pre-conference event on February 26th, immediately before the conference begins.

SUPERFEST lets disabled audiences join to enjoy films accurately reflecting and Disability while also bringing to light stories marginalized inside disability community. It is one of the few festivals worldwide that is accessible to disabled filmgoers of all kinds. In addition, it educates audiences (non-disabled and disabled) to challenge stereotypes of disability (historical and current).