Student Paper Competition

Winners of the annual CDSA-ACÉH Student Paper Competition are recognized for outstanding writing and engagement with the field/s of Disability Studies, Mad Studies, and/or Deaf Studies. First, second, and third place prizes may be awarded each year.


Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or diploma program at any Canadian college or university. Programs do not have to be Disability Studies-focused.


  • Students must be the sole author of the submission.
  • Students may only submit one entry.
  • Submissions must be original and unpublished.
  • Both essays and research papers are accepted.
  • Students who are already accepted to present at this year’s conference may submit to the Student Paper Competition with their accepted presentation or with different work.
  • Submissions should not exceed 7,000 words, including references.
  • Referencing should follow standard APA, MLA, or Chicago guidelines.


  • Papers will be anonymously peer-reviewed by a panel of undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Students should demonstrate how their work is situated within the discipline and existing literature.

Papers will be assessed on the following:

  • Writing and communication
    • Clarity of purpose
    • Argument development
    • Paper structure
    • Critical analysis
    • Writing style and flow
  • Relevance
    • Engagement with the field/s of Disability Studies, Mad Studies, and/or Deaf Studies
    • Evidence of a nuanced understanding of these disciplines and/or related politics
  • Contribution
    • Originality
    • Demonstrates importance of the topic explored
    • Contribution to questions, knowledge, and/or understandings related to Disability/Mad/Deaf studies and/or disability justice


First place

  • Monetary reward of $200
  • Reserved spot to present at the upcoming CDSA-ACÉH conference either in person or remotely. Please note:
    • This spot is only reserved for papers that have not already been accepted for presentation through the CDSA-ACÉH Call for Papers. If the student is already accepted to present at the conference, but submits a winning paper to the Student Paper Competition on a separate topic, they will still be eligible for a second reserved spot to present at the conference.
    • However, students are not required to attend or present at the conference.
  • Acknowledgement on the CDSA-ACÉH website.

Second and third place

Acknowledgement on the CDSA-ACÉH website and Facebook page.

Note: Should there be no suitable entries, prizes may not be awarded.

Submission Deadline

Deadline for Paper Submission: January 31, 2021

Please e-mail your submission with the subject line “Student Paper Competition” to 

Please direct any inquiries to the current CDSA-ACÉH Student Representative, Miggy Esteban, at