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Keynote Address, Workshop Abstracts & Presenter Bios


Morning Keynote Address: Inclusion and Belonging: Understanding and embracing people at their core in schools, community, and employment

Presented by Andy Arias, Advocacy Professional

Andy Arias is a diverse individual with several different identities that interplay constantly in his professional and personal life. Born into systemic poverty and a product of the foster system he had to adapt to many different environments. Many people had low expectations of what Andy could accomplish, which made it difficult for him to see beyond tomorrow. He was born with significant disabilities and identifies as LGBTQ which has made him in such a dynamic leader for his communities.

In his keynote, Andy will explore how we can achieve more when we look beyond inclusion through our own personal perspective. Key takeaways below. 

  • Always be willing to grow and learn
  • Purposefulness in our work
  • When we understand people at their core and respect their intersections as gifts of opportunity, we are able to change our perception
  • By stepping outside the box and out of our way we become greater agents of change

Andy Arias has been an advocacy professional for over seven years. He is a member of many boards and commissions related to creating greater visibility and advancement for diverse communities, especially the disability community. He has received several awards for his presentations on LGBTQ diversity and disability equality. Andy's experience and leadership gave him skills to develop and implement a youth program that served over 150 young adults in Southern California helping them reach their dreams for independence. Andy excels in teaching students that nothing can get in the way of their dreams, as long as they use their disabilities as an asset.

Andy advocates in the entertainment industry by creating visible pathways as an actor and stand-up comedian; he has worked with Tom Hanks, Mark Ruffalo, and Hilary Swank. He is often asked to consult with producers and directors to create greater media visibility of people with disabilities. He has also produced several small projects that have brought attention to persons with disabilities and the LGBTQ community. Andy's expertise extends to the Federal government and corporate levels. His goal is to marry his policy work with his work in the entertainment industry to create a systemic lasting change.


Remarks & Presentations

Spotlight Welcome Address: Kathy Ludwig, Superintendent, West Linn-Wilsonville School District, All Born (In) Platinum Sponsor

Closing Keynote: Steven Holland, President, NWDSA/ABI; Angela Jarvis-Holland, Executive Director, NWDSA/ABI. 

“We All Belong: End Segregation Now!” group presentation from ABI’s Social Justice Youth Program/Youth Track.


SESSION 1 WORKSHOPS

1a. Becoming More Effective Agents of Change and Building Capacity and Resilience; Looking beyond inclusion to all intersections of one’s identities

Building better capacity but then truly being inclusive. Bringing leaders up from diverse backgrounds including disability. Understanding is that leadership and effective service delivery does not have a “white perspective”. Working on some strategic ways and how to get out of our own pathways to create systemic change.

Key Takeaways:

• Disability is not white
• We need to look at all the pieces of someone’s identity
• Why we truly do our work
• Creating a system and change by stepping out of our own way
• We need to bring diverse leaders into our organizations in order to truly move the needle
• The difference between a functional program and a successful program

Presented by Andy Arias, Advocacy Professional

Andy Arias has been an advocacy professional for over seven years. He is a member of many boards and commissions related to creating greater visibility and advancement for diverse communities, especially the disability community. He has received several awards for his presentations on LGBTQ diversity and disability equality. Andy's experience and leadership gave him skills to develop and implement a youth program that served over 150 young adults in Southern California helping them reach their dreams for independence. Andy excels in teaching students that nothing can get in the way of their dreams, as long as they use their disabilities as an asset.

Andy advocates in the entertainment industry by creating visible pathways as an actor and stand-up comedian; he has worked with Tom Hanks, Mark Ruffalo, and Hilary Swank. He is often asked to consult with producers and directors to create greater media visibility of people with disabilities. He has also produced several small projects that have brought attention to persons with disabilities and the LGBTQ community. Andy's expertise extends to the Federal government and corporate levels. His goal is to marry his policy work with his work in the entertainment industry to create a systemic lasting change.

1b. Behavior as Communication in the Early Years

We all communicate through behavior. Children use behavior to send us a message that something is not right or that their needs are not being met. In this session, we will unpack young children’s behaviors and look at how we can both understand and interpret them in order to meet the needs of children in early learning environments.

Presented by Cindy Ryan, Associate Professor & EC Program Coordinator, Western Oregon University

Cindy Ryan is an Associate Professor and EC Program Coordinator at Western Oregon University. She has twenty years of experience as an early childhood/early childhood special educator in inclusive programs prior to moving into higher education. Cindy holds an EdD in Early Childhood.

1c. Building Inclusive Environments for ALL Students with Universal Design for Learning and More

Universal Design for Learning is the firm foundation for education all students. Proactive planning according to the principles and practices of
UDL lower barriers for many students with and without disabilities, but that doesn’t mean that UDL alone lowers the barriers for all students. Some students with more intensive support need also require individualized services based on their unique needs so that they can actively participate in and benefit from learning environments built and maintained according to the principles and practices of UDL. Join Joy for an important discussion about the complementary nature of UDL and individualized supports and services. Topics will include thoughts on accessible goals, materials, technologies and more.

Presented by Dr. Joy Zabala, Ed.D.

Dr. Joy Zabala has been a leader in the use of assistive technology (AT) to improve education and life for people with disabilities for more than three decades. As a technologist, special educator, teacher trainer, and conference speaker, she has earned international recognition for her work on Assistive and Accessible Technologies, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM). Dr. Zabala is the developer of the SETT Framework () and a co-founder of QIAT (http://qiat.org) For the past decade, Dr. Zabala has been the Director of Technical Assistance for CAST where she co-directed the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center) and currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the Center on Inclusive Technology in Education Systems (CITES).

1d. How to Use VR Funds; New Vocational Rehabilitation guidance for higher education

What happens when you go to Vocational Rehabilitation? How can the goals and dreams of your young adult be considered? Learn how to impact the process and talk to state agencies. What are VR best practices and how do we keep the process on person-centered employment outcomes? How do VR and college align?

Presented by Denise Rozell, Director of Policy Innovation, Association of University Centers on Disabilities; Heather Lindsey, Deputy Director, Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation, State of Oregon

Denise Rozell, JD, is the Director of Policy Innovation at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Denise works primarily on issues affecting youth in post-secondary education, employment and independent living including as the co-Director for the PROMISE Technical Assistance Center (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income). Denise’s policy work also includes a heavy focus on inclusive post-secondary education for students with intellectual disabilities in partnership with Think College and on employment and transition-age youth in partnership with the University of New Hampshire. Denise has twenty-five years of experience in disability policy at the federal and state level working on almost all issues and legislation affecting individuals with disabilities beginning with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Before joining AUCD, Denise spent 15 years as the Assistant Vice President for State Government Relations at Easter Seals. She served as the primary resource in building capacity for their 75 affiliates to increase awareness of and support for disability issues in state government. Denise also developed expertise on issues of state policy and systems change including autism, Medicaid managed care, ACA implementation, and health delivery system reform. Denise holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Occidental College in Los Angeles and a Juris Doctorate from the School of Law at the University of California in Berkeley.

Heather Lindsey was named the Deputy Director for Vocational Rehabilitation in September 2019. Heather previously served as the secondary transition liaison for the Oregon Department of Education, providing statewide management in the area of special education transition services and supporting the Department as it addressed the Lane v. Brown settlement. Heather has more than 15 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation, as a vocational evaluator, VR Counselor, and specialist in the field. She has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from St. Louis-based Maryville University.

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

How to team to use inclusive goals that drive the IEP. Understand present levels of performance and align goals to an inclusive academic setting for students. How to write strong inclusive goals specific to your student.

Presented by Noelle Sisk, SPED Family & Community Coordinator, Portland Public School District

Noelle Sisk works with educators and parents of children with disabilities in ways that demonstrate respect for their differing roles while simultaneously bringing them together toward the same goal: the social/emotional wellbeing and academic success of children with disabilities.

1f. Interactive Session using Universal Design and Successful Technology Interventions; What are they and how do we use them in middle school and beyond?

In this session, participants will discover universal design and technology (UDT) principals to support diverse learners from middle school and beyond through multiple means of engagement, expression, and representation. By the end of the session, attendees will leave with numerous UDT strategies and technology tools (i.e., web 2.0 tools, apps, mobile devices), as well as traditional approaches to technology to diversify instruction and assessment in order to meet the needs of all learners. Bring your computer, tablet or mobile device and get ready for an interactive engaging session!

Presented by Lori Cooney, Project Coordinator & Universal Instructional Design Specialist, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMASS Boston

Lori directs grant activities for Future Quest Island, an online, universally designed and fully accessible college and career readiness adventure for all elementary and middle school students funded by the Federal Office of Special Education Programs. She has 20 years of extensive experience in designing and delivering professional development for educators on instructional resources, universal instructional design, inclusive educational practices, individualized learning plans, curriculum development, course redesign, technology integration, and assessment strategies for students from cradle to college. Lori also works across multiple projects on the Education & Transition Team at the Institute for Community Inclusion and is a local and national speaker on universal design with technology and college and career readiness for elementary & middle school students.

1g. LEAP Preschool Model and Pyramid Model; Strategies to support all young learners

In this session, gain an overview of the LEAP Preschool Model and the Pyramid Model. Explore evidence-based strategies that benefit all children, including social skills curriculum and the use of visuals. Identify strategies to enhance social communication and social interactions for all children in early childhood settings. The goal of this training is to increase your understanding of the LEAP Preschool Model and the Pyramid Model, and how both models support early childhood inclusion.

Learning Outcomes:

1. A deeper understanding of the LEAP Preschool Model and the Pyramid Model
2. Learn evidence-based strategies to support early child inclusion
3. Identify strategies to look for in high-quality early childhood settings

Presented by Dameri Wagner & Mary Anne Killpack, Early Childhood Positive Behavior Support Specialists and LEAP Coaches, Multnomah Early Childhood Program

1h. SESSION IN SPANISH: The Benefits of Assistive Technology; What is it and how can it support the success of your child/student?

In this session, you will learn about Assistive Technology. We will explore the multiple ways AT (Assistive Technology) can support your child/student inclusion, and review some guidelines to decide what AT would be appropriated to support your child’s academic success, communication, and independence.

Presented by Gloria Alonso, Special Education Teacher, Portland Public School District; Maria Rangel, Bilingual Outreach Coordinator, NWDSA/ABI

Gloria is a Learning Center Teacher at Portland Public Schools with an M.A.Ed. Special Education from PSU and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Maria Rangel has been providing advocacy, education and training support to families of individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) for over ten years through her work in different nonprofit organizations. Her passion for doing this work developed when she became a mother to her daughter who experiences Down syndrome. Maria started and currently manages the first Spanish-speaking program for Northwest Down Syndrome Association and All Born (in) community.

1i. YOUTH TRACK (16-25 ONLY): Movement Based Activity to Connect with Your Own Presence and Mindfulness in the World

In the workshop, we will primarily work with our bodies by engaging in movements and connecting with the breath. We will explore our own presence by deeply connecting with our bodies by engaging in yoga, dance, and breathwork.

Presented by Dr. Neera Malhotra, Instructor, Portland State University; Laura Li Fong Yee, Level One Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor

Dr. Malhotra teaches meditation and yoga in the Portland community at two studios (Unfold Yoga and Mandala). Her classes primarily focus on mindfulness, meditation, and Pranayama (focused breathing exercises) to connect with one’s presence. She merges Kriyas (yogic exercises) and mediations that primarily focus on self-healing and building resiliency. Additionally, as a scholar, Dr. Neera Malhotra is a teaching faculty within the University Studies program. Her current research focuses on developing trauma-informed practices within college classes using Interpersonal Neurobiology and Contemplative Pedagogy.

Laura Li Fong Yee offers sound healing and gong meditation from a place of gratitude, drawing from her practices in breath, sound current, yoga, prayer, and meditation. She values community, communication, connection, and inclusivity, and strives to create a class experience that will leave participants feeling connected, grounded and whole. Laura has been drawn to the healing arts for many years and has worked in the nursing profession since 2004. She became a Level 1 Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor as taught by Yogi Bhajan in 2016 and had the honor of learning gong techniques with Don Conreaux, one of the five original Kundalini Yoga Teachers designated by Yogi Bhajan. Laura also completed an immersion training in 2019 with crystal bowl sound healer, Shalom Mayberg.


SESSION 2 WORKSHOPS

2a. Collaborative Problem Solving and Restorative Practices for Students with Significant or Complex Needs; Addressing behavioral need and supporting belonging

As humans, we all have basic needs. With optimism, we wake up each day and strive to fulfill these needs as best we can. Along this journey, we shape our environments to provide us with what we need. Our environments, in turn, also place expectations back on us. When the environmental expectations outpace our ability to respond to them, unexpected behaviors often crop up. Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) can be an effective means of navigating expectations and our behavioral responses to them. CPS has shown to be effective with supporting children and adolescents with a wide range of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges across a variety of different settings, as it shifts the cognitive load from adults to students. Join us as we explore how CPS can support the journey of all humans, including those who benefit from alternative forms of communication (AAC).

Presented by Mark Lapides, Stephanie Clawson, & Zach Deets,  Student Services Instructional Coordinators, West Linn-Wilsonville School District

Mark Lapides--the man...the myth...the legend--has maintained his status as an up and coming drummer extraordinaire while simultaneously working as an Instructional Coordinator of humans (both big and small) at the primary level in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District for the past eight years. Mark’s illustrious background experiences include general education classroom teacher, special education classroom teacher, and fish fryer for a small but raucous traveling circus. When not directly making the world a better place for all, Mark enjoys knitting and tapping out his favorite tune on any available hard surface.

Known in obscure circles as “The Dog Whisperer,” Stephanie Clawson first brought the enormity of her talents to WLWV four years ago. Since this time, she has directly supported the implementation of inclusive practices at both the building and district levels of WLWV. Stephanie is also a Student Services Instructional Coordinator at the primary level in WLWV. Stephanie’s background includes general education classroom teaching, special education classroom teaching, leaping over tall buildings in a single bound and placing train cars back on their tracks after derailment without the use of tools or machinery.

Slightly above average in height, Zach Deets has worked in WLWV since 2002. A licensed school psychologist and beard groomer, Zach migrated to Student Services Instructional Coordinator after a brief 14-year jaunt in primary school as a school psychologist/counselor. When not paying student loans, Zach enjoys exploring the great Northwest and encouraging loved ones to ask, “What were you thinking when you did that?”

2b. Cross-Agency Supports Working Together for Student Success

Come to this session ready to learn and participate in a collaborative conversation around the continuum of transitions services. We will provide tools and resources for connecting to your local agencies including Vocational Rehabilitation, Developmental Disability Services, and Education Supports. You will have the opportunity for some hands-on learning about Pre-Employment Transition Services and about all the components of the Transition Technical Assistance Network. We want to work with you to create a pathway together around the transition from schools to the community.

Presented by Erica Drake, Regional Employment Specialist for Office of Developmental Disabilities (ODDS); Heather Lindsey, Deputy Director for Vocational Rehabilitation; Kriss Rita, Transition Network Facilitator (TNF), Clackamas ESD; Sarah Statham, Transition Network Facilitator (TNF), Multnomah ESD; Toni DePeel, Pre-Employment Transition Service Coordinator, Portland Metro

Erica Drake is a Regional Employment Specialist for the Office of Developmental Disabilities (ODDS). Previously she served as a Regional Diversion Specialist and Services Coordinator for Deschutes County Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Program. Erica is also a previous Special Education teacher for Early Intervention Early Childhood Special Education (EI, ECSE).

Heather Lindsey was named the Deputy Director for Vocational Rehabilitation in September 2019. Heather previously served as the secondary transition liaison for the Oregon Department of Education, providing statewide management in the area of special education transition services and supporting the Department in the development of the Transition Technical Assistance Network. Heather has more than 15 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation, as a vocational evaluator, VR Counselor, and specialist in the field. She has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from St. Louis-based Maryville University.

Kriss Rita is a Transition Network Facilitator for Clackamas, Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, and Gilliam counties. Previously she served as a Learning Specialist and Transition Coordinator for the Centennial School District working with students ages 16-21. She is an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University teaching Interagency Collaboration and Person-Centered-Supports. Kriss also spent two years working at the Green School Bali developing and coordinating their secondary learning support program for international students.

Sarah Statham is part of the Transition Technical Assistance Network in Multnomah, Washington, Columbia & Clatsop counties. Her role as a Transition Network Facilitator (TNF) is to support interagency collaboration between schools and community partners to strengthen post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities. She holds a master's degree in Secondary Special Education and has taught both transition and high school levels. She was previously the Transition Coordinator at the Centennial Transition Center. She is an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University teaching Interagency Collaboration and Person-Centered-Supports. Sarah was part of the Seamless Transition Pilot Project with the state of Oregon. She was awarded the Outstanding Transition Teacher of the Year in 2016 by OSTC.

Toni works as a Pre-Employment Transition Service (Pre-ETS) Coordinator for the office of Vocational Rehabilitation. In this position, she focuses on youth age 14–21 by assisting local education agencies to provide and or arrange for the provision of Pre-ETS to students who experience disability. Person-Centered Planning, developing workshops on job readiness skills, and community networking are some of her favorite tasks. Toni is also a part of the Oregon Statewide Transition Technical Assistance Network that works to further improve Oregon's systems of designing and delivering employment services for students with disabilities.

2c. Foundational Skills that All Students Need for College and Career Success

High school special education teachers and transition specialists know that it takes more than academics to succeed in college. In order to be successful college students, all young adults with and without a disability need to master skills that support continued success in a diverse and ever-changing society. These skills include punctuality, communication, cultural know-how, demonstrating respect toward others, a commitment toward a goal, and the ability to balance multiple roles through engagement with others, as well as independence and self-direction. This includes identifying and communicating one’s needs through self-advocacy. These skills hold ramifications for the quality of one’s personal life, affecting the ability to make and keep friends, find enjoyable ways to spend leisure time and contribute to one’s community in meaningful ways. A resource that teachers can use to help guide their approach to supporting students in these areas is called the Foundational Skills for College and Career Achievement. The presenter will review this tool and discuss why it is imperative for high school teachers, transition specialists, students, and family members to incorporate the teaching of these foundational skills across the high school curriculum, at home and in the community in naturally occurring settings, the goal being an effective, student-driven process, yielding much more positive student outcomes as students leave high school to enter adult life opportunities.

Presented by Debra Hart, Director of Education, Think College National

Debra Hart is the Director of the Education and Transition Team for the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Debra 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 postsecondary education, and competitive integrated employment.

2d. Give Me Five: 5 key practices to prevent challenging behavior and promote friendship skills

Challenging behavior getting you down or driving you nuts? Join us to examine five key practices to support young children and promote positive behavior in the classroom and at home. Participants will learn how to problem-solve challenging behavior, reflect on interactions with children, and support children’s social skills. Participants will leave with a plan for the classroom or home!

Presented by Mackenzie Weintraub, Early Childhood Education Consultant; Meredith Villines, Early Childhood Coherent Strategies Specialist, Oregon Department of Education

Mackenzie Weintraub is an early childhood education consultant and Oregon Registry Master Trainer based in Portland, OR. She specializes in supporting teachers, home visitors, classrooms, and programs in implementing Pyramid Model or Early Childhood Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (EC PBIS) practices. Mackenzie began her work with Pyramid Model in Head Start classrooms implementing as a teacher in both San Francisco and Portland. Mackenzie later moved into program-wide implementation as a program administrator and chaired an EC PBIS county leadership team before transitioning to consulting. Mackenzie earned her MA of Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University. Mackenzie has provided training and coaching extensively with Head Start programs, Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education programs, childcare centers, and school districts. She has completed the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT) reliability training and is a proficient TPOT observer. Mackenzie has also presented at numerous conferences, including conferences hosted by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), NWPBIS Network, Oregon AEYC, Infant and Early Childhood Conference, and the Oregon Head Start Association.

Currently at the Oregon Department of Education, in the Office of Enhancing Student Opportunities, Meredith Villines has worked in Early Childhood Care and Education for 20+ years. Her primary roles have been a classroom teacher in inclusive childcare and preschools, Lead teacher in an Early Childhood Special education classroom, Itinerant Special Early Childhood Education Teacher and Home Visitor, behavior specialist, trainer, and part-time faculty at PCC. Meredith has a passion for supporting early educators to learn and apply knowledge about high-quality inclusive practices. She is a parent and an advocate for the rights of children, especially those who are overlooked, underserved and underrepresented in today’s educational landscape.

2e. Simple Universal Design for Learning Strategies to Support Language, Literacy, Writing, and Sharing Knowledge

Designing lesson plans to meet the needs of all learners upfront makes sense. What does that look like in the classroom? This session expands teacher and parent knowledge of universal supports for all learners. We will share Universal Design for Learning strategies, which may be integrated across all grade levels and all content areas. The goal is to guide attendees to understand the relevance of each strategy and to help demystify UDL.

Presented by Debra Fitzgibbons, Coordinator, Oregon Technology Access Program & Regional and Statewide Services for Students with Orthopedic Impairment

Debra Fitzgibbons’ passion for assistive technology began more than twenty years ago at Lewis and Clark Community College, where she supported learners with developmental disabilities. Deb earned a Master’s in Liberal Studies, with a focus on assistive technology. Deb currently serves as Coordinator for Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP), Regional and Statewide Services for Students with Orthopedic Impairments (RSOI), and statewide grants through the Oregon Department of Education. As a member of the Oregon Dyslexia Advisory Council, she was recently influential in bringing Universal Design language to legislative report.

2f. Still Separate, Still Unequal; How can we achieve access to general education and what does it mean for our communities?

We have 30 years of data that shows we need to end disability segregation and we know students who are included go on to live inclusive lives in their communities. What can we do and what does it look like when things are going well, all students are included, engaged, and learning? Explore useful tools and strategies that you can use to support all learners in the general education classroom. 

Presented by Barbara Buswell, M. A., Executive Director, PEAK Parent Center

Barbara Buswell is PEAK Parent Center’s Executive Director as well as being one of PEAK Parent Center’s founders! When Barbara’s middle son was born in 1979 with significant physical challenges, she and her family struggled to find positive information, support, and connections to other families who had children with disabilities. This clear gap in services and supports available to families of children with disabilities lead to Barbara co-founding PEAK in 1986 and triggered her commitment to supporting families across Colorado, and the nation, to develop advocacy skills that enable inclusive and successful lives for people with disabilities. Barbara has extensive experience in parent training and leadership, serving on state and national advisory groups, and assisting other Parent Centers to be successful nonprofits. Barbara holds a graduate degree in Inclusive Education Reform and has 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience.

2g. Student Success Act and Funding (Panel); What does it take to support every student?

What an incredible opportunity to address equity with the Student Investment Account. What questions do we need to ask to ensure we support the success of all students? How can we inform the funding policies and raise the voice of our disability community in intersection with other marginalized groups?

Presented by Angela Jarvis-Holland, Executive Director, NWDSA/ABI; Dr. Candace Pelt, Assistant Superintendent, Oregon Department of Education; Jennifer Spencer-Iiams, Assistant Superintendent, West Linn-Wilsonville School District; Shelia Warren, President and Founder, Portland Parent Union

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.

Dr. Candace Pelt’s previous experience includes positions as the Director for Special Programs and Elementary Education. She obtained her doctorate at George Fox University.

Jennifer Spencer-Iiams studied at the University of Oregon, earning degrees in general education, special education, administration, and educational leadership. She worked for Woodburn, David Douglas, and Springfield School Districts before coming to West Linn-WilsonvilleSchools to lead their Special Education Department 8 years ago.

Sheila Warren is the founder and director of the Portland Parent Union. Sheila is a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, community volunteer, and activist who works to organize parents for better outcomes.

2h. SESSION IN SPANISH: How to Prepare for the IEP!

This presentation is focused on giving parents the information they need to be prepared for an IEP meeting. It includes a detailed IEP checklist, samples, and templates of forms and letters that parents may need before, during and after the IEP.

Presented by Lucia Benavides, Community Educator, Padres en Acción

Lucía Benavides is a proud South American, from Perú. Before moving to the United States, Lucía was a Science teacher with a major in Chemistry for 10 years.
Lucia is the proud mother of two wonderful boys. When Lucía found out that, her son had autism, she focused her attention on child development and navigating special education law. She did what all moms with non-neurotypical children do and became her children’s number one advocate. Lucía became not only an advocate for her children but one for all the children by sharing her knowledge and experience with parents navigating the very complex world of Special Education.

2i. YOUTH TRACK (16-25 ONLY): What About What I Want?!?; Healthy relationships & sexual self-determination

Everyone who experiences developmental diversity deserves to have their voices heard and to make decisions for themselves about their bodies, relationships, and sexuality. Unfortunately, many care providers, parents, and teachers make decisions about a person’s sexual development and access to opportunities for relationships and sexual exploration without ever discussing it with the person they support. It’s high time we listen to people about what they want and support sexual self-determination.

• Identifying the stigma regarding developmental disabilities and sexuality
• Learn about different types of relationships and healthy behaviors in each one
• Build a framework for sexual self-determination and advocacy utilizing dignity of risk and supported decision-making

Presented by Shanya Luther, M.Div., Founder and Director of Among Friends

Shanya Luther is a social-sexual ecologist and professional trainer in the field of human sexuality, with nearly 20 years’ experience. Shanya utilizes an ecological framework and her work is guided by discoveries in neurobiology, developments in attachment theory, and trauma-informed care. She writes, speaks, presents, and consults about all facets of healthy relationships and healthy sexual development.


SESSION 3 WORKSHOPS

3a. Blending Transition & Higher Education to Create Successful College Options

Explore the triumphs and pitfalls of developing a culturally and fiscally sustainable program. Learn how campus and community partnerships have formed and evolved to both financially support the program and champion the movement within higher education. Explore strategies for continued growth and success of ACHIEVE at Highline Community College.

Presented by Julie Pollard, Director & Communication Specialist, ACHIEVE

Julie Pollard is the director of ACHIEVE at Highline College. She has a master’s degree in education – learning and technology from Western Governor’s University. She has worked with individuals who experience disability for over 20 years. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

3b. Decoding the Individualized Education Program (IEP); Understanding rights, law, testing and evaluation

An introduction to special education law from eligibility through developing a child’s IEP and determining placement.

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

Chris has been practicing law, with a focus on special education law and children’s rights, for 20 years. She received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and her law degree from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. She moved to the Pacific Northwest as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a year-long volunteer program focused on social justice. Chris has provided training on special education law and parental rights for parents and advocates around the state and has assisted in developing DRO’s Special Education Guide for Parents and Advocates. She authored DRO’s “Restraint and Seclusion: When Behavior Interferes with Learning” and “Keep School Safe for Everyone-a report on the restraint and seclusion of children with disabilities.”

3c. Importance of Community, Housing, & Family-Fueled Change

This session will address the importance of natural supports, real relationships, and reciprocity. Thinking about systems dependency and the risks of an unstable system and what that potentially does to families as it builds a lifetime of lack and false security. Think about what 'home' means to us ALL and the need for families to innovate and make what they want to happen for themselves, their families and families like theirs.

Presented by Alicia Delashmutt, Founding Neighbor at Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative; Angela Hult, President, Kuni Foundation; Nickole Cheron, ADA Title II & Disability Equity Manager, City of Portland

Alicia is the proud mother of an awesome young adult daughter whose diverse interests include baseball, Fritos and opera. Her daughter experiences Mowat-Wilson, a rare genetic syndrome whose effects are widespread and significant. Alicia has a professional background in landscape and commercial interior design and is the Founder and President of Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative, a non-profit whose mission is to promote, support and develop inclusive, diverse communities. She is currently working with her team to develop a mutually supportive, inclusive community in the Cathedral Park neighborhood of Portland, OR. Alicia is a 2007 graduate of Oregon Partners in Policy Making, a member of the Oregon Developmental Disabilities Coalition, and a 2017 graduate of the Oregon Health Sciences University LEND program. She currently acts as an advisor, mentor and presenter to LEND and the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Program. Alicia has served as the Program Coordinator for the Northwest Down Syndrome Association Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort, member and advisor to the Portland Public Schools Special Education PTA, and has made numerous local and national presentations as a strong advocate for inclusive community, housing, education, and life. Alicia is an active advocate and parent mentor who believes that the inclusion of ALL, regardless of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or gender identity is necessary for a vibrant and healthy community.

Angela serves as president of The Kuni Foundation, which has two strategic focus areas: cancer research and housing for individuals who experience intellectual challenges. In addition to its grantmaking, the foundation also embraces advocacy as an important tool for system change and the creation of more inclusive and affordable housing opportunities for individuals who experience intellectual challenges. Angela is actively engaged in Affordable Housing for I /DD community Discovery Phase Findings Recent projects that have received grant or loan A support including Our Home - Cathedral Park; Next Step Village in Clackamas County, and Albertina Kerr's affordable inclusive housing effort in Gresham. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Angela has served in a variety of strategic communications, media relations and philanthropic roles with companies such as Cambia Health Solutions, PacifiCorp and Columbia Sportswear. An active volunteer, she has served on the boards of Albertina Kerr, The Center for Women's Leadership, Children First for Oregon, All Hands Raised, Regional Arts and Culture Council and the Beaverton Arts Foundation.

Nickole Cheron has been working in government for 20years. She holds two Master's degrees in Public Administration and Conflict Resolution. She is The ADA Title II & Disability Equity Manager for the City of Portland. She is an experienced trainer and has created and facilitated numerous workshops and trainings around understanding oppression, cultural competency, disability, and emergency management and preparedness. She has been actively involved with the Portland community serving several organizations including Ride Connection Board, Oregon Office on Disability and Health steering committee, United Way Diversity Council, Access Recreation, The Portland Art Museum, The Cascade AIDS Project, Portland State University, Resolutions North West, The Regional ADA Dibtac, and Uniting to Understand Racism.

3d. Incorporating Evidence-Based Practices to Improve Outcomes; Going beyond compliance to quality in transition!

This session will provide strategies and interventions to improve the post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities. The focus of the session is to expand school and district efforts to promote quality transition services and experience that lead to improved post-school outcomes of integrated employment, post-secondary education, and adult roles and responsibilities. Current evidence-based practices targeting student-level skills will be shared; as well as program-level improvements to ensure that the evidence-based predictors of transition outcomes are developed.

Presented by Mary Morningstar, Professor & Co-Director, Career and Community Studies, Portland State University

Dr. Mary E. Morningstar is faculty in Special Education at Portland State University and Co-Director of the Career and Community Studies program, a fully inclusive postsecondary education program for youth with intellectual disability. She is Director of the Transition Coalition, a national center offering online, hybrid and in-person professional development and resources for secondary special educators and transition practitioners. Dr. Morningstar’s research encompasses three inter-related areas: (a) college and career readiness for youth with disabilities, (b) teacher education and professional development, and (c) secondary inclusive school reform. She has recently authored a practitioner-friendly book, Your Complete Guide to Transition Planning and Services (2017), and has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. Her digital and web-based professional development has extended for almost 15 years, through the Transition Coalition, www.transitioncoalition.org.

3e. Intersection of Race and Disability; Someone is listening

Understanding everyone’s roles and value in the classroom. How do we embrace all the identities we carry with us and create a welcoming successful learning environment for all.

Presented by Hadiyah Miller, Early Childhood Consultant, Child Care Resource and Referral, Multnomah County

Hadiyah Miller's 25-year career in the field of Early Childhood Education has been spent providing educational experiences for college-level students, community providers, parents and children in a variety of Early Learning settings. The focus of this work, as well as her volunteer experience, has been dedicated to advocating for anti-bias practice, equity, and access to quality early childhood education for all children and their families.

3f. Sex Ed for K-Transition; Attitudes, advocacy, and accessibility

Human sexuality is a birth to death experience, regardless of the activities someone is, or is not, engaging in. Understanding a child’s healthy sexual development is critical to supporting them, as well as knowing the signs of concern. And we need to approach teaching children about their bodies, consent, relationships, and sexuality in more creative and adaptive ways in order to support their full human experience and their quality of life.

Learning Objectives:
• Learn about healthy sexual development and curiosity in children • Recognize the warning signs of possible sexually maladaptive behaviors
• Know the laws in Oregon mandating comprehensive sexuality education and childhood sexual abuse prevention
• Understand the limitations of traditional curriculum
• Explore some ideas for teaching sexual health using Universal Design for Learning

Presented by Shanya Luther, M.Div., Founder and Director of Among Friends

Shanya Luther is a social-sexual ecologist and professional trainer in the field of human sexuality, with nearly 20 years’ experience. Shanya utilizes an ecological framework and her work is guided by discoveries in neurobiology, developments in attachment theory, and trauma-informed care. She writes, speaks, presents, and consults about all facets of healthy relationships and healthy sexual development.

3g. The Right to Accessible Music

Working with Portland Community College, Daniel Rolnik, and Portland Art & Learning Studios, Quinn and a team of recent graduates used open-source hardware and “creative coding” to build adapted digital instruments to be played by artists at PALS who experience ID/DD. The result was an ensemble of low-cost digital instruments tuned to the same key, allowing for a wide variety of gestures and movements to be transmuted into music, and making harmony and “jamming” more immediate. Just as open-source tech and creative coding can empower people outside the traditional lines of “engineers” to create new devices, emerging music technologies are allowing more non-musicians to interact with the vast world of digital music.

Presented by Quinn Jarvis-Holland, Adaptive Music Project, PCC

Quinn is a gender-nonconforming musician and interaction designer who has received an AAS and the “Creative Coding and Immersive Technology” Certificate from Portland Community College. They work closely with emerging technologies, electronics, and code to facilitate artistic expression.

3h. Working Together We Can and Do Make a Difference; Building equitable and inclusive classrooms and communities

Come national policy experts who will help us keep our eye on the prize; what policies and advocacy practices are vital for inclusive education and integrated communities. Drawing upon their wide range of experiences, our panel will discuss how we can all engage, advocate and collaborate to have our voices heard.

Presented by Barbara Buswell, M. A., Executive Director, PEAK Parent Center; Denise Rozell, Director of Policy Innovation, Association of University Centers on Disabilities; Dr. Candace Pelt, Assistant Superintendent, Oregon Department of Education; Sharon Lewis, Disability Policy Expert; Stephanie Smith Lee, National Down Syndrome Congress Senior Policy Advisor and Chair & Think College Accreditation Workgroup

Barbara Buswell is PEAK Parent Center’s Executive Director as well as being one of PEAK Parent Center’s founders! When Barbara’s middle son was born in 1979 with significant physical challenges, she and her family struggled to find positive information, support, and connections to other families who had children with disabilities. This clear gap in services and supports available to families of children with disabilities lead to Barbara co-founding PEAK in 1986 and triggered her commitment to supporting families across Colorado, and the nation, to develop advocacy skills that enable inclusive and successful lives for people with disabilities. Barbara has extensive experience in parent training and leadership, serving on state and national advisory groups, and assisting other Parent Centers to be successful nonprofits. Barbara holds a graduate degree in Inclusive Education Reform and has 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience.

Denise Rozell, JD, is the Director of Policy Innovation at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Denise works primarily on issues affecting youth in post-secondary education, employment and independent living including as the co-Director for the PROMISE Technical Assistance Center (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income). Denise’s policy work also includes a heavy focus on inclusive post-secondary education for students with intellectual disabilities in partnership with Think College and on employment and transition-age youth in partnership with the University of New Hampshire. Denise has twenty-five years of experience in disability policy at the federal and state level working on almost all issues and legislation affecting individuals with disabilities beginning with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Before joining AUCD, Denise spent 15 years as the Assistant Vice President for State Government Relations at Easter Seals. She served as the primary resource in building capacity for their 75 affiliates to increase awareness of and support for disability issues in state government. Denise also developed expertise on issues of state policy and systems change including autism, Medicaid managed care, ACA implementation, and health delivery system reform. Denise holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Occidental College in Los Angeles and a Juris Doctorate from the School of Law at the University of California in Berkeley.

Dr. Candace Pelt’s previous experience includes positions as the Director for Special Programs and Elementary Education. She obtained her doctorate at George Fox University.

Sharon Lewis is an accomplished disability policy expert who served in several Presidentially-appointed leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2010-2016. Her experience includes a wide range of policy and program issues at the local, state and federal level including healthcare, education, employment, independent living supports, and person-centered systems. Currently, she works as a consultant with states, providers, and advocates to advance opportunities for people with disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of community, across the lifespan. As a parent to three wonderful daughters, including one who experiences IDD, and as a grandparent to a joyful toddler, she hopes to help build accepting, diverse and inclusive communities for all.

Stephanie Smith Lee is the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) Senior Policy Advisor and has over thirty-five years of public policy experience including serving in senior staff positions in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Since her daughter, Laura, was born with Down syndrome in 1982, she has led many successful disability advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. As the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the US Department of Education, Ms. Lee directed the policy development, program planning, monitoring, evaluation, research and implementation of IDEA, the Federal special education law. As Senior Policy Advisor for the National Down Syndrome Society, she developed and trained an effective grassroots organization, advocated with Congress, and directed a postsecondary project that developed inclusive postsecondary programs in various states. She led the successful effort to amend the Higher Education Act (HEA) to obtain federal financial aid and model programs for students with intellectual disability (ID). She continues that leadership role as Co-chair of the Inclusive Higher Education Committee on behalf of NDSC. Ms. Lee also chairs the National Coordinating Center Accreditation Workgroup that is developing model accreditation standards for these programs.

3i. SESSION IN SPANISH: No Spanish Track this session (Please choose from above listings)

3j. YOUTH TRACK (16-25 ONLY): Thinking Together of What Makes You Unique; Practice, pride and advocacy for all the parts of your identity without apology

You have to be the leader in your own life. People will have low expectations of you and you have to tune them out and listen to the people who expect more and encourage you. It doesn’t matter what you have gone through, what matters is your reaction to your circumstances.

Key Takeaways:

• It doesn't matter where you came from in order to get where you want to be
• Leaders of our own ship!
• Turning no's into yes
• Mistakes can be the greatest gift
• Listening to the voices that encourage us and motivate us

Presented by Andy Arias, Advocacy Professional

Andy Arias has been an advocacy professional for over seven years. He is a member of many boards and commissions related to creating greater visibility and advancement for diverse communities, especially the disability community. He has received several awards for his presentations on LGBTQ diversity and disability equality. Andy's experience and leadership gave him skills to develop and implement a youth program that served over 150 young adults in Southern California helping them reach their dreams for independence. Andy excels in teaching students that nothing can get in the way of their dreams, as long as they use their disabilities as an asset.

Andy advocates in the entertainment industry by creating visible pathways as an actor and stand-up comedian; he has worked with Tom Hanks, Mark Ruffalo, and Hilary Swank. He is often asked to consult with producers and directors to create greater media visibility of people with disabilities. He has also produced several small projects that have brought attention to persons with disabilities and the LGBTQ community. Andy's expertise extends to the Federal government and corporate levels. His goal is to marry his policy work with his work in the entertainment industry to create a systemic lasting change.


SESSION 4 WORKSHOPS

4a. Belonging and Community Membership

Oregon has been at the forefront of the disability movement and disability-related services for nearly a half-century. The People First self-advocacy movement started here. We were among the first states to create community-based waiver services, the first to stop all reliance on institutional care for people with IDD, and we now offer some of the most expansive support services in the country. The architects of all that progressive change? Most often, people with disabilities and their families. And now the next generation continues to push the evolution of supports towards the vision of equity, inclusion, and belonging.
If you have an intellectual or developmental disability and live at home with family or on your own in Oregon, you may receive in-home services funded by Medicaid. But what are these medically-based, tax-funded supports really doing for you or your loved one? Do you know what you can – and should – expect from these services? We all seek community membership, opportunities to develop social capital, and ways to contribute; humans thrive when our circles of support are robust, and we experience true belonging. Services should focus on more than basic health and safety — today’s progressive supports can facilitate and expand opportunities for the most essential, affirming aspects of the human experience. Approach is everything. In this presentation, we’ll explore the limits (both expanded and contracted) of paid home and community-based supports and illuminate the importance of interdependence. To paraphrase the late Tom Nerney: “It’s not just about the technical service of helping someone get out of bed in the morning. It’s about making sure they have a reason to.” Through that lens, let’s look at what services often are and consider what they can be.

Presented by Larry Deal, Executive Director, Independence Northwest Brokerage; Sharon Lewis, Disability Policy Expert

Larry Deal has been serving the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) community for twenty-five years, with experience spanning Arizona, Washington, and Oregon. Since 2001, he has been working in Oregon's progressive community-led Brokerage Services system and is the Executive Director and a co-founder of Independence Northwest, a Portland-area non-profit serving 500 Oregonians with I/DD. Larry is dedicated to illuminating self-determination on the individual, community, and systemic levels. He serves as the Communications Director of the association of Oregon community brokerages.

Sharon Lewis is an accomplished disability policy expert who served in several Presidentially appointed leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2010-2016. Her experience includes a wide range of policy and program issues at the local, state and federal level including healthcare, education, employment, independent living supports, and person-centered systems. Currently, she works as a consultant with states, providers, and advocates to advance opportunities for people with disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of community, across the lifespan. As a parent to three wonderful daughters, including one who experiences IDD, and as a grandparent to a joyful toddler, she hopes to help build accepting, diverse and inclusive communities for all.

4b. College and Community Studies Program at Portland State University; Building an inclusive college experience

Learn about how Portland State University is building capacity to offer an inclusive four-year college experience for students with intellectual disabilities. Students will share about their experiences attending college classes, working while in school, managing individualized supports, and learning to advocate for themselves while exploring the campus community. Project staff will share advice on how to develop and support a fully inclusive postsecondary ed program and current plans for the sustainability of the CCS at PSU.

Presented by Debra Hart, Director of Education, Think College National; Mary Morningstar, Professor & Co-Director, Career and Community Studies, Portland State University; Sue Bert, Co-Director, Career and Community Studies, Portland State University

Debra Hart is the Director of the Education and Transition Team for the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Debra 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 postsecondary education, and competitive integrated employment.

Dr. Mary E. Morningstar is faculty in Special Education at Portland State University and Co-Director of the Career and Community Studies program, a fully inclusive postsecondary education program for youth with intellectual disability. She is Director of the Transition Coalition, a national center offering online, hybrid and in-person professional development and resources for secondary special educators and transition practitioners. Dr. Morningstar’s research encompasses three inter-related areas: (a) college and career readiness for youth with disabilities, (b) teacher education and professional development, and (c) secondary inclusive school reform. She has recently authored a practitioner-friendly book, Your Complete Guide to Transition Planning and Services (2017), and has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. Her digital and web-based professional development has extended for almost 15 years, through the Transition Coalition, www.transitioncoalition.org.

Sue Bert is the co-director of PSU’s Career & Community Studies, Think College Inclusion Oregon. She has over 20 years of experience preparing teachers at Portland State University and specializes in the areas of secondary transition, person-centered planning, self-determination, partnerships with families, as well as collaboration and consultation in secondary schools. In addition to her Think College work, Sue co-leads the Secondary Dual Educator Program, a teacher preparation program for inclusive educators at the secondary level at PSU’s Graduate School of Education.

4c. Get SETT, Ready Go!; A planning tool for students successful use of technology

For more than a quarter of a century, the SETT Framework has been a go-to concern identification and solution-seeking model that has been used in many places across the USA and in other parts of the world. While there have been many opportunities to learn about the SETT Framework and its use, this one is new! It is devoted to an essential part of the SETT Framework that is often misunderstood in the field – the collaborative conversation that serves as the primary way for collaborative decision-makers (individuals with disabilities, families, educators and service providers) to build shared knowledge about what they know and what they still need to know to make effective decisions about assistive technology tools, needed supports and services and for many other purposes. Come explore “The Conversation” and the important role of families, as we look at when it takes place, who participates, how to prepare, what is shared, the importance of tone, what happens next and more.

Presented by Dr. Joy Zabala, Ed.D.

Dr. Joy Zabala has been a leader in the use of assistive technology (AT) to improve education and life for people with disabilities for more than three decades. As a technologist, special educator, teacher trainer, and conference speaker, she has earned international recognition for her work on Assistive and Accessible Technologies, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM). Dr. Zabala is the developer of the SETT Framework () and a co-founder of QIAT (http://qiat.org) For the past decade, Dr. Zabala has been the Director of Technical Assistance for CAST where she co-directed the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center) and currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the Center on Inclusive Technology in Education Systems (CITES).

4d. How to Create Inclusive School Districts that Welcome All Learners in General Education; What happens to your outcomes when you do? How does this reflect Oregon Department of Education priorities?

Inclusion is the intent of the law, and best practices, but often there are barriers and resistance to moving this work forward. It is crucial that all district leaders recognize the importance of inclusion and share the vision. In this workshop, strategies for developing this shared vision and commitment to the “WHY” will be recognized. As West Linn-Wilsonville moved to all students being at their home school and primarily in the general education classroom, they quickly learned that this vision had to be shared by the entire Teaching and Learning Team, the Business Office, the Maintenance Team, Transportation, and of course our School Board. Learn from some of our successes and stumbles on this important journey. Candice Pelt at ODE will share her team's vision and thought about moving from Free Appropriate Public Education to Free Inclusive Public Education and how we can get there.

Presented by Dr. Candace Pelt, Assistant Superintendent, Oregon Department of Education; Jennifer Spencer-Iiams, Assistant Superintendent, West Linn-Wilsonville School District

Dr. Candace Pelt’s previous experience includes positions as the Director for Special Programs and Elementary Education. She obtained her doctorate at George Fox University.

Jennifer Spencer-Iiams studied at the University of Oregon, earning degrees in general education, special education, administration, and educational leadership. She worked for Woodburn, David Douglas, and Springfield School Districts before coming to West Linn-Wilsonville Schools to lead their Special Education Department 8 years ago.

4e. Kindergarten Inclusion on Track for an Inclusive Life; Resources and strategies for success

This session will delve 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 session will look at what skills and community connections are necessary for advocacy and partnership at the Kindergarten transition and beyond.

Learning Objectives: 

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

Presented by Jamie Burch, Projects & Community Coordinator, NWDSA/ABI; Molly Hulett, Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort Graduate & Teacher, Clackamas ESD; Raelene Gilmore, Teacher, Gaffney Lane

Jamie Burch has a BA in Social Sciences with a minor in Sociology, Psychology, and Women’s Studies and has tailored her education around disability studies. She is the Project and Community Coordinator for the NWDSA/ABI. Jamie is a disability rights advocate and activist, with fifteen years of experience supporting and collaborating with individuals with disabilities, their families, and other professionals in the field.

Molly is an Oregon City resident, parent to Lilly and Parker, and a teacher at Clackamas ESD.  Molly was a graduate of the Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort the year before Parker, who experiences Down syndrome, transitioned to kindergarten. 

Raelene has been a Kindergarten teacher for 13 years, married for 19 years, and has three amazing children. Simon is 14 and has autism and is musical, Sydney is 12 and inquisitive and kind, and McKenzie is 9 and spunky and dramatic (and one of Parker's good friends). She recently finished her master's degree in Inclusion. Raelene values all learners and what they have to offer. Her newest challenge is to empower other teachers to embrace diversity and be willing to think out of the box to reach all learners where they are.

4f. Supporting Student Success with Universally Designed Technology Tools; Keeping everyone “App-y”

Dive into a handful of universally designed technology tools that you can jump right into and use in class next week! A link to a selected list of "top 10” universally designed technology tools support the diverse needs of all students will be available for teachers and families during this interactive workshop.

Presented by Lori Cooney, Project Coordinator & Universal Instructional Design Specialist Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts (Boston)

Lori directs grant activities for Future Quest Island, an online, universally designed and fully accessible college and career readiness adventure for all elementary and middle school students funded by the Federal Office of Special Education Programs. She has 20 years of extensive experience in designing and delivering professional development for educators on instructional resources, universal instructional design, inclusive educational practices, individualized learning plans, curriculum development, course redesign, technology integration, and assessment strategies for students from cradle to college. Lori also works across multiple projects on the Education & Transition Team at the Institute for Community Inclusion and is a local and national speaker on universal design with technology and college and career readiness for elementary & middle school students.

4g. The Routines-Based Model; Supporting the success of children ages birth to five and their families

The more we understand the importance of children’s learning during their everyday routines, the more we realize methods of delivering early intervention and early childhood special education must change. The Routines-Based Model has emerged as a viable structure for the delivery of family-centered, functional early intervention/special education. It is described briefly, followed by the specific needs of young children with disabilities as addressed through this model. The model includes methods to get to know the child and family, including their needs, planning interventions, and service delivery. Practices involved in the Routines-Based Model include developing ecomaps, conducting Routines-Based Interviews, writing participation-based goals, and providing collaborative consultation to families and teachers. Two primary tenets of the model are that all the intervention occurs between visits and children learn through distributed trials.
The workshop will include Collaborative Consultation to Children’s Classrooms (CC2CC), working with children and their families, and teachers of children with delays in their classrooms. We will talk about collaboration across disciplines using a primary-service-provider-model and working with children and their teachers in classrooms with a routine-based collaborative approach. We will also learn about the Routines-Based Model and its implications for the local early intervention/special education program, Multnomah Early Childhood Program and its services.

Presented by Cami Stevenson, Assistant Administrator, Multnomah Early Childhood Program, & Associate Director of the Routines-Based Model Enterprise, Evidence-Based International EI Office Team Member (EIEIO), University of Alabama

Cami Stevenson is an administrator in the Multnomah Early Childhood Program, an early intervention program for children birth to five years of age, in Portland, Oregon, USA. She is the associate director of the Routines-Based Model (RBM) Enterprise, which runs various training, material-development, and consultation activities to promote children’s engagement and family empowerment. She works in partnership with Robin McWilliam to advance the RBM, with specific responsibility for logistics and management of the many materials associated with the model. Ms. Stevenson has a master’s degree in early childhood special education from the University of Oregon and an educational-administration certificate from Portland State University. She has been an adjunct assistant professor at Portland State University.

4h. Top 10 Ways to Advocate for Student Inclusion in the Individualized Education Program; Put the “I” back in the IEP!

Research confirms benefits to students who are active in the decisions that impact them. Learn how to increase the focus on the student’s needs and wishes in the IEP. You will leave the session with practical tips, tools, and resources to help you and your student.

Presented by Kriss Rita, Transition Network Facilitator (TNF), Clackamas ESD; Sarah Statham, Transition Network Facilitator (TNF), Multnomah ESD

Kriss Rita is a Transition Network Facilitator (TNF) for Clackamas, Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, and Gilliam counties. Previously she served as a Learning Specialist and Transition Coordinator for the Centennial School District working with students ages 16-21. She is an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University teaching Interagency Collaboration and Person-Centered-Supports. Kriss also spent two years working at the Green School Bali developing and coordinating their secondary learning support program for international students.

Sarah Statham is part of the Transition Technical Assistance Network in Multnomah, Washington, Columbia & Clatsop counties. Her role as a Transition Network Facilitator (TNF) is to support interagency collaboration between schools and community partners to strengthen post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities. She holds her master’s degree in Secondary Special Education and has taught both transition and high school levels. She was previously the Transition Coordinator at the Centennial Transition Center. She is an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University teaching Interagency Collaboration and Person-Centered-Supports. Sarah was part of the Seamless Transition Pilot Project with the state of Oregon. She was awarded the Outstanding Transition Teacher of the Year in 2016 by OSTC.

4i. SESSION IN SPANISH: Everyone Has a Little Magic Inside Themselves; The importance of having a vision and high expectations

Letting go of the concept that your child may be broken. The expectations that we set for our youth are the ones that they will live up to you. Never assume ability, let your youth know you know who they are. What you say matters when speaking about or to our youth. There is life after YOU!  Know what’s going on with your child when it comes to school districts and systems and make sure that your communications and documents are in Spanish.

Key Takeaways:

• How does faith play into the way we look at disability?
• Youth will rise to the level that we expect of them
• How can we help our youth to become the leaders they want to be?

Presented by Andy Arias, Advocacy Professional

Andy Arias has been an advocacy professional for over seven years. He is a member of many boards and commissions related to creating greater visibility and advancement for diverse communities, especially the disability community. He has received several awards for his presentations on LGBTQ diversity and disability equality. Andy's experience and leadership gave him skills to develop and implement a youth program that served over 150 young adults in Southern California helping them reach their dreams for independence. Andy excels in teaching students that nothing can get in the way of their dreams, as long as they use their disabilities as an asset.

Andy advocates in the entertainment industry by creating visible pathways as an actor and stand-up comedian; he has worked with Tom Hanks, Mark Ruffalo, and Hilary Swank. He is often asked to consult with producers and directors to create greater media visibility of people with disabilities. He has also produced several small projects that have brought attention to persons with disabilities and the LGBTQ community. Andy's expertise extends to the Federal government and corporate levels. His goal is to marry his policy work with his work in the entertainment industry to create a systemic lasting change.

4j. YOUTH TRACK (16-25 ONLY): Youth Track Work Session

In this session, the youth group will work on their closing keynote presentation "We All Belong: End Segregation Now!"


 

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