Schedule

7:45 – 8:30 Check in

8:30 – 8:45 Welcome message, spotlight welcome address from Premier Sponsor: Portland Public Schools

8:45 – 9:45 Morning Keynote with Elizabeth Stein

9:45 – 10:00 Break

10:00 – 11:10 Session 1

11:10 – 11:20 Break

11:20 – 12:30 Session 2

12:30 – 12:45 Pick up box lunch

12:45 – 1:30 Lunch Keynote & Special Policy Panel with Rebecca Cokley and Panel

1:30 – 1:40 Break

1:40 – 2:50 Session 3

2:50 – 3:00 Break

3:00 – 4:10 Session 4

4:15 – 5:30 Youth Presentation: “Our Education, Our Future; Inclusion is About Humanity.” Closing remarks with Angela Jarvis-Holland and Steve Holland. Evaluations and raffle. Music and entertainment.

Morning Keynote Address

How Universal Design for Learning is Like a Trip to the Beach with 30 Friends and Family

Presented by Elizabeth Stein: Educator, UDL Instructional Coach, Author

Elizabeth Stein’s career spans early intervention, grades K-12, and undergraduate and graduate level courses. She is a CAST cadre member and a contributing writer to Education Week. She is the author of the books Comprehension Lessons for RTI: Grades 3-5: Assessments, Intervention Lessons, and Management Tips to Help You Reach and Teach Tier 2 and Elevating Co-Teaching through UDL, and the popular blog Two Teachers in the Room. Elizabeth earned National Board Certification in Literacy and is a doctoral student at Molloy College Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities program.

Lunch Keynote & Special Policy Panel

Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize; Policy Process and Change, Values Driven Leadership, and Advocacy that Promotes Inclusion and Success for All Students

Presented by Rebecca Cokley: Executive Director, National Council on Disability

Rebecca Cokley’s work at NCD includes advising Congress and the White House on issues of national disability public policy. She served four years in the Obama Administration as Director of Priority Placement for Public Engagement in the Presidential Personnel Office. She served in policy roles at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Previously, Rebecca worked to empower and educate youth with disabilities and their adult allies at the Institute for Educational Leadership. In 2015 she was inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and received the Frank Harkin Memorial Award by the National Council on Independent Living. Rebecca has a B.A in Politics, and is a proud wife and mother.

Panelists: Stephanie Smith Lee: Senior Policy Advisor, National Down Syndrome Congress; Keith Jones: Community Leader and Advocate; Bob Joondeph: Executive Director, Disability Rights Oregon; Representative Sara Gelser

Keith Jones is an artist, father, and musician who experiences disability. He is the President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences, an organization aimed at bringing perspective to the issues of access, inclusion, and empowerment, which affect him as well as other people with disabilities. Mr. Jones is also extremely active in multi-cultural, cross-disability education and outreach, and conducts trainings with the purpose of strengthening efforts to provide services and information to people with disabilities.

Stephanie Smith Lee has over thirty-five years of experience in senior Congressional staff positions, as a foundation administrator, and as a nationally-recognized disability parent leader. Since her daughter was born with Down syndrome in 1982, Stephanie has led successful disability advocacy efforts at the local, state, and Federal levels. She played a key role in the successful re-authorization of IDEA. As Director of the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education, she directed the implementation of the Federal special education law.  As Senior Policy Advisor for NDSS, she trained an effective grassroots base, advocated with Congress, and directed a post-secondary education project. She chairs the Think College Accreditation Workgroup and the Committee to Promote Post-secondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

Bob Joondeph is an attorney who has worked on disability rights issues for over 30 years. He participated in litigation that resulted in closure of Fairview Training Center, creation of the brokerage system, and expansion of Employment First. Bob sits on the DD Council and represents DRO at the Oregon legislature.

Sara Gelser has served in the Oregon Legislature since 2005.  After serving in the Oregon House for nine years, she was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 2015. She is Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee and sits on the Human Service Budget Committee. She serves on the Senate Education Committee, Senate Workforce Committee, and the Senate Conduct Committee. She served as Chair of the House Education Committee for six years, and also spent nine years serving on the House Revenue Committee. She served on the Corvallis School Board from 2001 until August of 2006. Prior to her legislative service, Representative Gelser worked as the Children with Disabilities and Family Support Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Human Services and as a parent educator for Linn-Benton Community College and the Oregon Parent Training and and Information Center. Gelser is the founder of the FG Syndrome Family Alliance, a non-profit organization serving families and medical professionals around the world touched by this unusual syndrome.

Addresses & Presentations

Spotlight Welcome Address from Premier Sponsor: Portland Public Schools

Youth Presentation: Our Education, Our Future; Inclusion is About Humanity

Closing Remarks with Steven Holland: President, NWDSA/ABI and Angela Jarvis-Holland: Executive Director: NWDSA/ABI

Sessions & Workshops

Session 1

1a. Expand Your Repertoire of Instructional Strategies; Tools and Techniques to Turn Differences into Assets in the Busy Classroom

Presented by Elizabeth Stein: Educator, UDL Instructional Coach, Author

Effective instruction always results in meaningful learning experiences. Those learning experiences must be designed through a proactive lens while remaining flexible in the moments to meet the needs of each learner through a strengths-based focus. Join this workshop to begin to see and feel instruction through the natural flow of UDL, and let your own action steps begin in your classrooms.

Participants of this workshop will:

  • connect current attitude, mindset, and practices to UDL Learning Guidelines.
  • expand their repertoire of strategies for co-creating a meaningful learning process in the classroom—every day, any class!
  • feel confident to design any lesson through a UDL lens and connect with each learner

Elizabeth Stein’s career spans early intervention, grades K-12, and undergraduate and graduate level courses. She is a CAST cadre member and a contributing writer to Education Week. She is the author of the books Comprehension Lessons for RTI: Grades 3-5: Assessments, Intervention Lessons, and Management Tips to Help You Reach and Teach Tier 2 and Elevating Co-Teaching through UDL, and the popular blog Two Teachers in the Room. Elizabeth earned National Board Certification in Literacy and is a doctoral student at Molloy College Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities program.

1b. Behavior in the Early Years; Ideas, Positive Strategies and Tools for Parents and Teachers

Presented by Zac A. Carr: Positive Behavioral Consultant, Behavior Is Communication

Difficult behavior often meets a need for children. Once we understand the “need” we can identify what skills to teach the child and what barriers to reduce so they can explore their world and practice these skills. One need that this workshop will focus on is stress relief. Participants will gain an understanding of the impact stress has on difficult behavior and related tools and resources to address these needs with a focus on long-term success.

Zac Carr has been working in the field in Oregon and Washington for over 20 years. He collaborated with parents and the state to set up the In-Home Crisis Intervention and Support programs. He contracts with schools and families to support children and adults with disabilities with challenging behaviors through his business, Behavior is Communication. Zac is very person-centered, and works with teams to understand that behavior is communication, and helps pave the way for more successful school, home, and community lives for individuals. Zac is also certified as a Structured Teaching instructor.

1c. ABLE ACT:  Investing for a Bright Future and Creating Financial Well-Being; the Future and Lessons Learned

Presented by David Bell: Outreach Director, Oregon 529 Savings Network; Steven Holland: President, NWDSA/ABI

This workshop will explore the intent of the ABLE Act and its possibilities. Particpants will discuss the progress of the ABLE Act on a national level and unpack the possibilities and potential on a state and local level, with the goal of helping families make the best choices with the options available to them to ensure future financial well-being.

David Bell helped develop and launch the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan as the Managing Director of the Oregon 529 Savings Network under the Oregon State Treasury. He is an adjunct professor at PSU in the School of Business Administration. Previously, David was the Director of Operations for the Global Youth Empowerment division of Operation HOPE. He is the chair of the Oregon Jump$tart Coalition and a founding board member of Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. David has lived and worked in Africa, Asia and Europe, but calls Oregon home.

Steven Holland lives in Portland with his wife Angela and their two sons, Quinn and Daniel. Steven is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in finance, and is currently Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis with The Campbell Group, LLC, and is a CFA. He has been with NWDSA/ABI since 2001, serving at different times as board member, treasurer, and president.

1d. Visual Supports that Work for the Inclusive Early Childhood Classroom

Presented by Dr. Natalie Danner: Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, Western Oregon University

During this workshop, presenters will share the theory behind using visual supports in early childhood settings. Participants will leave with strategies and ideas to take back and immediately use in their classrooms and Early Childhood environments.

Dr. Natalie Danner has over ten years of experience working with young children with and without disabilities, and their families. Her research focuses on how teachers can effectively include children with disabilities in Montessori multi-age classrooms.

1e. Everyone has a Voice; Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) & Assistive Technology (AT) to Promote Success in the Early Years

Presented by Ruth McKee: Assistive Technology Practitioner; Sam Sennott, Ph.D: Assistant Professor of Special Education, Portland State University; Deborah Lesher: MS, CCC-SLP\

Description of workshop coming soon.

Dr. Natalie Danner has over ten years of experience working with young children with and without disabilities, and their families. Her research focuses on how teachers can effectively include children with disabilities in Montessori multi-age classrooms.

1f. How to Use Goals in the IEP to Drive an Inclusive Placement

Presented by Noelle Sisk: SPED Family and Community Coordinator, Portland Public Schools

This workshop will instruct participants on how to write individualized goals specific to their student, and use those goals to drive the IEP. Participants will learn to understand the student’s present level of performance and how to align the IEP goals to an inclusive academic setting.

Noelle Sisk works with educators and parents of children with disabilities in ways that demonstrates respect for their differing roles while simultaneously bringing them together toward the same goal: the social/emotional well-being and academic success of children with disabilities. Noelle brings many years of collaborative expertise in systems change, advocacy, and passion. She believes that creating a truly collaborative environment will only increase the successful outcomes for all students. Noelle has 3 children, the oldest of which experiences disability.

1g. How to be a Force for Positive Change; Parents and Youth Impacting Inclusive Education and College Options Around the Country

Presented by Stephanie Smith Lee: Senior Policy Advisor, National Down Syndrome Congress

This workshop will explore how you—as a parent, youth, or partner—can go from having no post-secondary education options in your state to inclusive college programs that support all learners. Participants will discover lessons learned along the path of making college dreams a reality.

Stephanie Smith Lee has over thirty-five years of experience in senior Congressional staff positions, as a foundation administrator, and as a nationally-recognized disability parent leader. Since her daughter was born with Down syndrome in 1982, Stephanie has led successful disability advocacy efforts at the local, state, and Federal levels. She played a key role in the successful re-authorization of IDEA. As Director of the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education, she directed the implementation of the Federal special education law.  As Senior Policy Advisor for NDSS, she trained an effective grassroots base, advocated with Congress, and directed a post-secondary education project. She chairs the Think College Accreditation Workgroup and the Committee to Promote Post-secondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

1h. Lead On! Youth Working Together to Create Positive Change

Presented by Rebecca Cokley: Executive Director, National Council on Disability

This interactive workshop for youths with and without disabilities will explore the idea that everyone has the power to lead and teach others. Participants will learn the value of their own voice and dreams— and the value of the voices of others— and how to combine their strengths and work together to build a better tomorrow for everyone. Strategies for using social media for social change will be explored, as well as other tools to generate conversation on important issues. Rebecca Cokley will share lessons learned from her years of civil rights and equity advocacy for young people with disabilities.

Rebecca Cokley’s work at NCD includes advising Congress and the White House on issues of national disability public policy. She served four years in the Obama Administration as Director of Priority Placement for Public Engagement in the Presidential Personnel Office. She served in policy roles at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Previously, Rebecca worked to empower and educate youth with disabilities and their adult allies at the Institute for Educational Leadership. In 2015 she was inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and received the Frank Harkin Memorial Award by the National Council on Independent Living. Rebecca has a B.A in Politics, and is a proud wife and mother.

Session 2

2a. Building Culturally Welcoming and Inclusive Schools and Communities; Why Do We Educate

Presented by Keith Jones: Community Leader and Advocate

This presentation will discuss the roles families, educators, and communities play in attaining and delivering equitable and high-quality education for all students, particularly for students with disabilities. Mr. Jones will discuss the importance of developing new policies and practices to address barriers to true inclusion of people with disabilities in the classroom and community.

Keith Jones is an artist, father, and musician who experiences disability. He is the President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences, an organization aimed at bringing perspective to the issues of access, inclusion, and empowerment, which affect him as well as other people with disabilities. Mr. Jones is also extremely active in multi-cultural, cross-disability education and outreach, and conducts trainings with the purpose of strengthening efforts to provide services and information to people with disabilities.

2b. Leveling the Playing Field with Adapted Play

Presented by Ruth McKee: Assistive Technology Practitioner

Participants at this workshop will discover new and exciting adaptive play strategies and techniques for students that experience a variety of disabilities, in preschool through high school. Explore creative ways to modify and adapt toys, games, and leisure activities as a stepping stone and motivator to learning. Participants will discuss possible toy and game adaptations and modifications to allow physical access, and learn ways to include students in activities with their peers.

Ruth McKee specializes in working with children with low-incident disabilities. Ruth has 27 years of hands-on experience in the area of Assistive Technology. She received her AA in Applied Science from Mount Hood Community College, as well as her COTA license in 1990, and received her ATP certificate in 2005.  Ruth enjoys presenting locally and nationally on Adapted Play and switch selection for children with complex needs.

2c. Kindergarten Inclusion; On Track for an Inclusive Life

Presented by Carrie Hutchinson: Coordinator, Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort; Molly Hulett: ESD Teacher, Clackamas & KIC graduate; Raelene Gilmore: Teacher, Gaffney Lane

This workshop delves into what parents can do to prepare their children and themselves for transition, and how teachers and schools can better prepare to embrace all learners. Drawing from NWDSA/ABI’s successful Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort, this presentation will look at the skills and community connections necessary for advocacy and partnership at the K transition and beyond.

Participants will gain an understanding of:

  • components of the Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort, including the web of community support that is necessary for its success
  • resources and strategies that teachers use to support all students
  • the importance of accessing inclusive classrooms from a young age, and how it can set a life-long trajectory for a richer life for all students
  • the need for change in education to make supported inclusive kindergarten placements universal

 

Carrie Hutchinson received her Master’s in Special Education from Concordia University. She is mother to six children, four of whom experience disability. Carrie used the tools and skills she learned in the Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort to achieve a fully-included placement for her son at his school. Carrie is now Coordinator of the Kindergarten Cohort where she shares her passion for family and education with other parents.

Molly Hulett lives in Oregon city and is the parent to Lilly who is five and Parker who is seven and in second grade. Parker also experiences Down syndrome. Molly is a former graduate of the Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort.

2d. Disability History; Overview and Social Justice

Presented by Michael Bailey: Chair, Disability Rights Oregon

This presentation will explore the history surrounding the treatment of persons with disabilities and the legislative and civil movements related to disability awareness. Participants will examine empowerment and impactful change for self-directed lives, and moving towards a vision of disability as diversity.

Michael Bailey is father to two young adult women, one of whom is a person with Down Syndrome. An active member of ADAPT, he has participated in ‘actions’ and delivered trainings at dozens of national and international conferences. His life and work is dedicated to promoting civil rights of people with disabilities. Michael is the Author of Here to Stay: Americans with Intellectual with Developmental Disabilities and Special Education: A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Success.

2e. Transition in Education; Helping Parents and Teachers Understand and Contribute to Post-Secondary Goals and Success

Presented by Sally Simich: Education Specialist, Oregon Department of Education; Heather Lindsey: Secondary Transition Liaison, Oregon Department of Education; Lizzy Juaniza-Saso: Transition Network Facilitator, Multnomah Education Service District

This workshop will provide participants with tools and resources to prepare for transition from school to employment or post-secondary education. Participants will support a vision of an individual, understand the roles and responsibilities of family, students, community members, school members, and agency members in regards to transition planning. Participants will learn more about student involvement in the IEP and how the post-secondary goals drive the high school transition plan.

Sally Simich provides support and technical assistance for school districts, staff, and community agencies for post school employment, education, and independent living. Sally has worked in special education for over 40 years, and has been on leadership teams covering kindergarten through 21 years. She has been a part of the Youth Transition Program for more than 20 years. Sally is a member of the Oregon Statewide Transition Conference executive board, on the State Rehabilitation Council, and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board for OHSU.

Heather Lindsey provides technical assistance to school districts, parent organizations, and participating agencies to support a solid understanding of secondary special education, transition regulations, and implementation of evidence-based transition services. Before joining the Department of Education, Mrs. Lindsey was a Counselor Specialist for Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation, where she assisted transition-aged students in developing vocational goals, and in the successful transition from secondary education to post-secondary training and employment.

Elizabeth Juaniza-Saso’s role as a Transition Network Facilitator (TNF) with MESD is to support schools and community agencies in strengthening transition services for youth with disabilities. She holds her teaching license in Secondary Special Education and has taught in an 18-21 year program as well as high school.

2f. Decoding the Individualized Education Plan (IEP); Understanding Rights, Law, Testing, and Evaluation

Presented by Chris Shank: Special Education Attorney, Disability Rights Oregon

Understanding special education law and the rights of parents and students is critical in advocating for inclusive placements. This workshop is an introduction to the nuts and bolts of special education law—from eligibility through developing a child’s IEP.

Chris Shank received her Law Degree from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. She has been practicing law, specializing in special education law, for more than 15 years. Chris has provided training on special education law and rights for parents and advocates around the state, and has assisted in developing Disability Rights Oregon’s Special Education Guide for Parents and Advocates.

2g. Partnering with Families from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds to Improve Inclusive Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

Presented by Dr. Sheldon Loman: Diverse Special Educator (DISE), Portland State University; Gloria Alonso: Special Education Teacher, Portland Public Schools

This workshop will present work from a federal grant (Diverse Special Educators; DISE) at Portland State University focused on recruiting and preparing individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to become future special educators. In their work, the DISE teacher candidates have partnered to empower bilingual/bicultural families of student with disabilities to advocate for better outcomes for their children. The culturally relevant, person-centered planning process used within the first year of this work will be presented.  Additionally, a parent and educator from the partnering school will present the outcomes from the first year of the DISE process.

Sheldon Loman’s areas of instruction and research include inclusive practices for students with severe disabilities, positive behavior supports, and educational systems change. He has helped establish inclusive processes with school districts in diverse urban settings.

2h. Inclusive Classrooms: Collaborative Teams of General Ed and SPED Teachers Share What is Working in WLWV Schools

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Spencer-Iiams, Ed.D: Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, West Linn-Wilsonville School District; Panel of  General Education and Special Education Teacher Teams from three Schools in WLWV

West Linn-Wilsonville School District is committed to every child being educated in their own neighborhood school, being an important part of their learning community, being academically engaged, and learning the social and independence skills to be positive contributors to the world.

The amazing teachers from WLWV have continued to stretch themselves, challenging old assumptions, constructing new roles, and developing new expertise. In this workshop, general education and special education teacher teams from 3 WLWV schools will share what they are learning, how their beliefs have changed, some of their methods of collaboration, and strategies for engagement.

These teams are on a learning journey, and are the first to say there is much more learning to do. In this workshop, they will share with participants what they have learned, what is working in terms of inclusive classrooms, and what still needs to be learned.

Dr. Jennifer Spencer-Iiams has led the Special Education Department of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District for the past five years. Prior to that, she worked in a similar position with the Woodburn School District. She has taught in both general and special education settings in several school districts. Jennifer currently teaches classes at Lewis & Clark College at the graduate level in Special Education Curriculum and Instruction as well as in Disability Laws and Procedures. Jennifer is also a parent of a child who was served through special education.

Session 3

3a. Think College at Portland State University; Our Journey to Build an Inclusive College Experience

Presented by Debra Hart: Director of Education and Transition, Institute for Community Inclusion at University of Massachusetts; Sue Bert: Portland State Graduate School of Education; Nick Bender: TCIO; Megan McFarland: Admissions and Academic Advising Coordinator, Portland State University; Rachel Esteve: New Parent Outreach Assistant, NWDSA/ABI, Self-advocate, and PSU student; Angela Jarvis-Holland: Executive Director, NWDSA/ABI; Stephanie Smith Lee: Senior Policy Advisor, National Down Syndrome Congress

Participants of this workshop will learn about the national Think College movement and the grant-funded project to build PSU’s capacity to offer an inclusive, 4-year college experience to students with intellectual disability. Strategies to support more college options across Oregon will be explored. A panel of students and staff will share their experiences with the program that started last fall.

 

Debra Hart has over 30 years of experience working with youth and adults with disabilities, their families, faculty, and professionals that support youth in becoming contributing valued members of their community via participation in inclusive secondary and post-secondary education, and competitive employment.

Sue Bert is the co-director of Think College Inclusion Oregon at PSU. She has over 20 years of experience preparing teachers at Portland State University and is a specialist in transition and person-centered planning, self-determination, partnerships with families, as well as collaboration and consultation in secondary schools. She currently leads a dual-licensure program which trains special and general educators at the secondary level at PSU.

Nick Bender has worked as an educator and project manager in schools, vocational rehabilitation, and the private sector. He got his start on the East Coast where he graduated from Columbia University and was a New York City Teaching Fellow.

Megan McFarland earned her BA in English Composition from Humboldt State University and her Masters of Education in Special Education from Portland State University, along with a dual secondary teaching license in English and Special Education. Before joining TCIO, she worked as an English Learning Specialist for Vancouver Public Schools and has experience in a variety of inclusive classroom settings.

Rachel Esteve is 24 years old and experiences Down syndrome. She works as New Parent Outreach Assistant at NWDSA/ABI, which gives her the opportunity to meet new families, help organize play groups, and support families with young children. Rachel is a paid community support provider, helping individuals with disabilities. Rachel is one of the first students with ID to attend Portland State University as part of the Think College Inclusion Oregon program.

Angela Jarvis-Holland, B.A. Hon. and YCWS, is the parent of two boys and is the Executive Director of the NWDSA/ABI. She has been a professional educational advocate and community organizer for over 20 years. Angela develops programs that empower parents and bring together partners to create success in education and promote wellness.

Stephanie Smith Lee has over thirty-five years of experience in senior Congressional staff positions, as a foundation administrator, and as a nationally-recognized disability parent leader. Since her daughter was born with Down syndrome in 1982, Stephanie has led successful disability advocacy efforts at the local, state, and Federal levels. She played a key role in the successful reauthorization of IDEA. As Director of the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education, she directed the implementation of the Federal special education law.  As Senior Policy Advisor for NDSS, she trained an effective grassroots base, advocated with Congress, and directed a postsecondary education project. She chairs the Think College Accreditation Workgroup and the Committee to Promote Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

3b. An Overview of Program-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PW-PBIS)

Presented by Renée K. Van Norman, Ph.D: EI/ECSE Education Specialist, Oregon Department of Education

Success in life depends on the development of useful social and emotional skills. Skills such as interpersonal communication, perseverance, and emotional competence among others can be supported through intentional teaching. PW-PBIS is a framework where all members of a school/community are cared for and included. This introductory session is for anyone interested in supporting children’s social and emotional skills through PW-PBIS practices. The focus of the presentation will be the first tier of this multi-tiered system. Some attention will be given to the top tiers to support children who engage in behaviors that are often challenging to others.

Renée Van Norman is an Education Specialist focusing on Early Childhood Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. For six years, she has served as Director of Pearl Buck Preschool in Eugene. Her previous experience includes Assistant Professor in Special Education at the University of Oregon and the University of Nevada. She was trained as a Special Educator and Behavior Analyst at “The” Ohio State University. During her graduate work, she created and directed an Applied Behavior Analysis clinic in a school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

3c. We are All Born In; Collaborating to Support Inclusion and Equity

Presented by Rebecca Cokley: Executive Director, National Council on Disability

This workshop will examine how together we can build and support inclusive schools and communities. Participants will learn about the values that support and promote belonging and inclusion, and discuss what works and why.

Rebecca Cokley’s work at NCD includes advising Congress and the White House on issues of national disability public policy. She served four years in the Obama Administration as Director of Priority Placement for Public Engagement in the Presidential Personnel Office. She served in policy roles at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Previously, Rebecca worked to empower and educate youth with disabilities and their adult allies at the Institute for Educational Leadership. In 2015 she was inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and received the Frank Harkin Memorial Award by the National Council on Independent Living. Rebecca has a B.A in Politics, and is a proud wife and mother.

3d. Each Voice Matters; Elevating Student Narrative

Presented by Elizabeth Stein: Educator, UDL Instructional Coach, Author

Ever wonder why some teachers engage learners with ease? What’s their secret to making their class the highlight of their students’ day? Yes, it’s about the strategic instructional decisions by the teacher, and the students’ willingness and desire to learn—but what makes the learning really happen? Come find out! Participants of this workshop will be immersed in the power of narratives, the power of instructional decisions, and the necessity of empowering students to share their voices as learning is examined through the UDL lens.

Participants will:

  • gain a deeper appreciation for learner variability
  • explore the value of each student’s voice in any classroom
  • expand their repertoire of strategies for engaging learners
  • feel more confident about designing instruction that keeps each student’s voice at the center of engagement
  • learn to create meaningful learning experiences

Elizabeth Stein’s career spans early intervention, grades K-12, and undergraduate and graduate level courses. She is a CAST cadre member and a contributing writer to Education Week. She is the author of the books Comprehension Lessons for RTI: Grades 3-5: Assessments, Intervention Lessons, and Management Tips to Help You Reach and Teach Tier 2 and Elevating Co-Teaching through UDL, and the popular blog Two Teachers in the Room. Elizabeth earned National Board Certification in Literacy and is a doctoral student at Molloy College Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities program.

3e. Listen to Me! Workshop for Youth to Use Your Voice and Build Your Power

Presented by Keith Jones: Community Leader and Advocate

This presentation for youths with and without disabilities will discuss the importance of positive self-esteem and self-respect in discovering and using your voice. Participants will learn how to use their voice towards self-determining their life course and independence, as well as understanding their rights. The discussion will also explore how finding your voice can impact race and disability awareness and inclusion into the community.

Keith Jones is an artist, father, and musician who experiences disability. He is the President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences, an organization aimed at bringing perspective to the issues of access, inclusion, and empowerment, which affect him as well as other people with disabilities. Mr. Jones is also extremely active in multi-cultural, cross-disability education and outreach, and conducts trainings with the purpose of strengthening efforts to provide services and information to people with disabilities.

3f. Collaborative Teaching: A Partnership of General Education and Special Education

Presented by Danielle Johnson: Coordinator of Student Services; Debbie Alvarado: Special Education Teacher, Hillsboro School District

This presentation will share collaborative teaching methods and ideas that can be implemented into different building and inclusion models. Participants will examine successful models from within the district as well as classroom ideas and differentiation strategies that can be immediately implemented in existing classes and models. Participants will take away different co-teaching models, collaborative strategies, and differentiation ideas.

Danielle Johnson and Debbie Alvarado have been special education teachers in the Hillsboro School District for many years and are leaders in the district for collaborative teaching. Both have attended seminars in Boston and have presented at multiple venues about collaborative teaching.

3g. Supporting Children and All Their Diverse Needs in Fast-Moving General Ed Classrooms

Presented by Ann Donaca-Sullivan; Professor, Concordia University and Parent; Shelley Simonson: Kindergarten Teacher, Portland Public Schools; Susana Walker: Teacher, Chief Joseph Elementary

This workshop focuses on examples, tools and inspiration from teachers and parent experts. Participants will explore low-tech strategies as well as examples of modified curriculum for success without a migraine.

 

Ann Donaca-Sullivan is Lead Placement Coordinator and professor at Concordia University. She is Wellness Director at NWDSA and founder and director of Bike First!, a program which teaches people who experience disabilities to ride traditional bicycles. Ann lives in Portland, Oregon with her two children and husband. Their son Cody experiences Down syndrome. Teaching and inclusion are her passions.

Shelley Simonson teaches kindergarten at Portland Public Schools. As a leader in education for 24 years, Shelley has collaborated with parents, colleagues and practicum teachers to advance the learning of all students. She currently serves on the Concordia University Portland Teacher Education Consortium Board and frequently serves as a mentor teacher. She is also an advocate for the rights of students and teachers by serving as a school site union representative.

Susanna Walker is a general education fourth grade teacher in Portland Public Schools. She has a master’s degree in education and an endorsement in special education. After a life-changing experience as a practicum student in a life skills classroom, she became an advocate for inclusion for students with significant disabilities. She works closely with parents of students with disabilities and acts as a liaison with the special education team during the IEP process.

3h. Mindfulness and Sexuality; Yoga, Meditation and Pranayam (Focused Breathing)

Presented by Dr. Neera Malhota: Professor, Portland State University with a focus on Critical Theory, Gender and Sexuality, and Critical Pedagogy

This workshop is designed with a focus on young women with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the understanding and celebration of one’s sexuality through the foundation of self-compassion. Participants will learn how to connect with themselves with self-love and self-compassion by diving deep within the mind, body, and spirit with the help of three short meditations and few yogic exercises based on Kundalini Yoga tradition. The workshop will begin and end with a short writing activity focusing on mindfulness and sexuality. All the meditations and Kriyas (yogic exercises) can be adapted based on unique needs. Dr. Neera Malhota will help participants listen to their bodies and honor their beings, and support participants’ journeys during the session.

Dr. Neera Malhotra teaches Kundalini Yoga at Mt. Scott Community Center and Mandala Yoga Center. Her classes focus on mindfulness, meditation, and Pranayama (focused breathing exercises) to connect with one’s own sexuality and gender. She merges Kriyas (yogic exercises) and meditations focusing on self-healing, pleasure, sexuality, and relationships. Dr. Malhotra teaches Human/Nature at PSU. With an underpinning philosophy of disabilities studies, this course unfolds Human Identities such Sexuality, Dis/abilities, Gender to make meaning of the quintessential question “Who am I?”

Session 4

4a. How Schools and Community Best Support a Child When Behavior Gets Challenging; Supporting Confidence, Competence and Well-Being

Presented by Zac A. Carr: Positive Behavioral Consultant, Behavior Is Communication

This workshop will examine ways that we can help the person served to achieve a sense of well-being, confidence, and competence when behavior gets challenging. Participants will examine strategies for supporting individuals who experience disabilities, as well as the needs of the persons’ supporters.

Zac Carr has been working in the field in Oregon and Washington for over 20 years. He collaborated with parents and the state to set up the In-Home Crisis Intervention and Support programs. He contracts with schools and families to support children and adults with disabilities with challenging behaviors through his business, Behavior is Communication. Zac is very person-centered, and works with teams to understand that behavior is communication, and helps pave the way for more successful school, home, and community lives for individuals. Zac is also certified as a Structured Teaching instructor.

4b. Beyond Paid Services; the Importance of Natural Supports and Community Building in a Changing Landscape

Presented by Larry Deal: Executive Director, Independence Northwest Brokerage; Melissa Thompson: Parent, Advocate, and Personal Agent, Independence Northwest Brokerage

Today, children and adult Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities have more options for home- and community-based care than ever before. With the Community First Choice Option (K Plan) and Oregon’s waiver programs, many families and individuals currently have access to services they need to maintain and increase personal independence. However, we are living in a time of great change and adjustments to services and funding are inevitable in the months and years to come. How do we ensure a full life for ourselves or our loved ones when funding models and options shift? While paid services certainly help people advance in their autonomy, paid services can’t be the only approach. In this presentation, we define and explore the concept of natural supports and a multi-faceted approach to helping people to create rich lives, simultaneously building and enhancing the community at large.

 

Larry Deal has been serving the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities community for over twenty years, with experience spanning Arizona, Washington, and Oregon. Since 2001, he has been working in Oregon’s progressive support services brokerage system and is one of the co-founders of Independence Northwest, a Portland area non-profit serving 500 adults with I/DD. He is a firm believer in communities, services, and systems deeply rooted in the principles of self-determination. Larry is the President of the Oregon Support Services Association.

Melissa Thompson has been working with individuals experiencing disabilities in various settings for over 15 years, supporting people with disabilities in their homes, schools, and community. Melissa holds a Masters of Business Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management. She is committed to expanding her knowledge and skill set and collaborating with others to develop natural supports.

4c. Real Lives, Real Dreams; the Value of Being Part of a Team

Presented by Darla Helt: Parent, Clark County Parent Coalition; Jessie Banaszek: Self-Advocate; Ryan Moor: Job Coach; TJ Stepper: Co-worker

Jesse was born with significant disabilities. Now age 27, Jesse is involved in his community, has friends, and works five days a week as part of a team. Participants to this workshop will learn the value of employment and belonging in building a full and meaning full life through the perspectives of employees, coaches, and co-workers.

Presenter bios coming soon.

4d. iPad Applications and Chromebooks Fundamentals that Support Inclusion

Presented by Sam Sennott, Ph.D: Assistant Professor of Special Education, Portland State University

iPads, Chromebooks, and iPhones offer versatile and accessible solutions for students with special needs. Applications can assist with challenges such as communication, following a schedule, reading, or participating in group activities. This workshop explores at some of the apps that support, teach, and offer new ways of learning to facilitate access to participation in classroom instruction and beyond. Participants will take away an understanding of apps that can facilitate student learning, gain skills to research and select appropriate apps for their child, and receive a comprehensive assortment of resources for the iPad.

Samuel Sennott’s work focuses on augmentative and alternative communication, universal design for learning, and assistive technologies. He co-created the original Proloquo2Go for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

4e. Empowerment and Advocacy for Parents – Session in Spanish

Presented by Maria Rangel: Multicultural Outreach Coordinator, Clark County Parent Coalition; Panel of FOLA Graduates

A panel of parent leaders from the Clark County Parent Coalition’s Foundations of Leadership and Advocacy Spanish-language cohort will lead a discussion on rights, responsibilities, and parent empowerment. Panelists will share highlights of their own journeys of empowerment as parents of children with developmental disabilities. There will be a question/answer period at the end of the session.

Maria Rangel provides support, advocacy, education, and training to families of individuals experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities, through such organizations as Arc of Washington state, Arc of SW Washington, Innovative services NW, NWDSA/ABI, and Parent to Parent. Maria created the first Spanish-speaking program for Parent Coalition in WA State, and the first Spanish-speaking support group for parents. Maria facilitates Women’s Justice Circles and Foundations of Leadership and Advocacy (FOLA). She is the mother of three children, one of whom experiences Down syndrome.

4f. Promoting a Sense of Belonging; Research and Promising Practices

Presented by Dr. Shannon Davidson: Senior Researcher, Education Northwest

A strong sense of belonging (feeling accepted and valued by others) has been linked to many aspects of student success in school and in life, including physical health, mental health, and academic success. Belonging is important for all students, but there is evidence to suggest that it may be particularly critical for underrepresented or historically stigmatized groups. This presentation begins with a brief overview of the research linking belonging to various positive outcomes, followed by an introduction to several practices that promote belonging in education settings.

Participants will:

  • gain familiarity with research on the importance of belonging for positive outcomes
  • learn actionable practices to promote belonging in education settings
  • collaborate in groups to generate ideas for implementing belonging strategies in their own unique settings

Maria Rangel provides support, advocacy, education, and training to families of individuals experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities, through such organizations as Arc of Washington state, Arc of SW Washington, Innovative services NW, NWDSA/ABI, and Parent to Parent. Maria created the first Spanish-speaking program for Parent Coalition in WA State, and the first Spanish-speaking support group for parents. Maria facilitates Women’s Justice Circles and Foundations of Leadership and Advocacy (FOLA). She is the mother of three children, one of whom experiences Down syndrome.

4g. Bodies and Minds in Motion; Setting Oneself Up to Succeed

Presented by Mary K. Williams: Occupational Therapist, Portland Public Schools & Owner, Celebrate the Senses

Our bodies are made to move but work, home, and school settings often promote sedentary positions. Our minds are made to learn and yet… are we presenting materials in the most optimal fashion? Come together in this interactive session and learn strategies/techniques and create spaces that optimize “ready to learn” opportunities at the same time allowing for movement and sensory experiences as well as independence to empower every individual.

Without a doubt, sensory-motor experiences are vital for one’s physical, mental and emotional well-being and development and needs to be naturally incorporated into the work, home and school setting. Having a plan promotes success!

Participants will:

  • experience and create a toolbox of ideas/strategies that can be immediately integrated into their lives and help school teams to better design supports for all students in the classroom (to include: Zones of Regulation/Yoga/S’cool Moves/Brain gym/Vacation Stations)
  • learn the Concept of S.T.O.P and read the room and the Get Ready/Do/Done model to promote planning
  • leave renewed and excited to immediately make positive changes that promote success in all environments

Mary K. Williams has been an occupational therapist for over 30 years. In addition to her work at Portland Public Schools, she runs a home-based private practice Celebrate the Senses: Therapy, Fun & Fitness for Children & Adults. Mary is an advocate for inclusion for all students and believes in incorporating therapy into a family’s daily routine. She teaches yoga to individuals of all ages and abilities; does Hippotherapy, and is certified in Qigong Sensory massage in addition to teaching, research, and public speaking.

4h. Having High Expectations; Transition and Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability

Presented by Debra Hart: Director of Education and Transition, Institute for Community Inclusion at University of Massachusetts

Learn about the national movement to create inclusive college options for students with intellectual disability (ID). Learn about the requirements in the Higher Education Opportunities Act (2008) to become an approved Comprehensive Transition Program so that students with ID are eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid. Hear from college presidents, faculty, parents, and students about their experiences in supporting students with ID in going to college.

Debra Hart has over 30 years of experience working with youth and adults with disabilities, their families, faculty, and professionals that support youth in becoming contributing valued members of their community via participation in inclusive secondary and post-secondary education, and competitive employment.