Special Education Conference Special Education Conference

Date: February 25-26, 2021
Location: Special Education Conference , Virtual, WI

Schedule Print Registration Information

This schedule is subject to change. Registrants will receive a conference program at conference check in.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Welcome and DPI UpdateGeneral Assembly

10:30 am - 11:25 am

1. Making E-Learning Content Accessible1

Presenter: Paula Walser (Technology Consultant)

Whether eLearning, virtual, hybrid, or in-person, this school year will require more independent learning, reading, and understanding. How will you ensure your students have the right tools to access their coursework and materials? This session will highlight the use of Snap & Read - a tool from Don Johnson, Inc. Resources will be provided for Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, PDFs, webpages, OverDrive, and Kindle Cloud Reader

Level: Beginner

2. Supporting Neurodiversity Introduction2

Presenter: Katie Berg MA Ed. (Supporting Neurodiverse Students Statewide Coordinator)

This session aims to serve as an intro for educators and families supporting children with disability-related needs in the area of social and emotional learning (SEL). The goal of this session is to give an intro to skill-based approaches to challenging behaviors that will improve social understanding and self-management of neurodiverse students. Learning opportunities with a focus on self-regulation, social communication, flexibility, resilience, sensory processing, and executive functioning wi

Level: Beginner

3. Challenges and supports through COVID: Teaching Students with Disabilities3

Presenters: Haley Daniels (Graduate Research Assistant); Karen Idso (Lecturer); Sharon Becker (Professor)

This session will discuss initial finding of a research study that explored the challenges and supports experienced during student teaching/internship in Special Education. This study seeks to explore how transitions in instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted teacher candidates, cooperating teachers, students with disabilities and their families. In addition, reflections on virtual observations through GoReact, an interactive cloud-based platform will be shared and discussed.

Level: Advanced

4. The Tragedy of Unrealized Potential4

Presenters: Eric Lindsay (Director of Student Recruitment); Scott Perkins (Director of Admissions)

In an effort to address the tragedy of unrealized potential, Shepherds College applies the philosophy of Appropriate Independence™ (Ai) to training young adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). Ai is defined as supported self-sufficiency aligned with individual strengths. Focusing on both attitude and action, Ai provides a framework to assist individuals and organizations in the pursuit of such a strategy.

Level: Beginner

Lani Lawson5

12:00 pm - 1:55 pm


1:00 pm - 1:55 pm

5. Feature Match: Assistive Technology Tools1

Presenter: Paula Walser (Technology Consultant)

Providing assistive technology to students with special needs is not new, however, new apps, extensions and tools are increasingly available. How do you choose the right tool for your student? Feature Match is a process that compares the strengths of the student to the tools needed to communicate, write, read, etc. This session will explore and provide sample feature match tools to use to text to speech, voice to text, word prediction, and electronic text.

Level: Beginner

6. Emotional Intelligence: Learn the science + secrets for managing stress2

Presenter: Abby Waters (Occupational Therapy, LPN, Coach-Speaker)

In this presentation, parents, educators, administrators, and other leaders, will be welcomed to learn the methodologies behind emotional intelligence. They will learn the secrets behind how to manage both personal and professional stress from day to day. We will highlight and discuss the five of areas of emotional intelligence. (Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Social-awareness, Social-regulation, and Motivation)
Participants will learn self-reflection and improved communication techniques.)

Level: Intermediate

7. Creating a School Where ALL Means ALL3

Presenter: Marci Waldron-Kuhn (Readiness Specialist)

In order to develop a culture where ALL means ALL, schools need to have courageous conversations about their core values and beliefs around student achievement. By looking at school academic and behavior systems, educators and administrators are able to identify if their core beliefs and practices include the ALL means ALL philosophy. Come take a look at their access and equity data and begin tackling programming barriers to ensure ALL means ALL.

Level: Beginner

8. EPICS: A Different Kind of Career Exploration4

Presenter: Karen AndersonFignon (Founder)

When you were choosing a career path for yourself, did you consider your six Holland Interest Themes? Did you discover your ideal environment, personality type, values, and skills before choosing your career? Do we afford students the opportunity to do those things during their WBL curriculum? With EPICS, experience first hand research-based career exploration that uses personal intuition, visual processing, and brain science. This assessment tool is ideal for all Special Populations.

Level: Intermediate

Lani Lawson5

2:15 pm - 3:10 pm

9. Read and Write for Google Chrome (REPEAT)1

Presenter: Paula Walser (Technology Consultant)

This session will demonstrate the features of Read and Write for Google. Boost reading and writing confidence across all types of content and devices, in class, at work, and at home. Read&Write for Google Chrome™ with it's Literacy bar provides personalised support, making documents, web pages and Google Drive files (including PDFs & ePub) more accessible through Text to Speech, picture dictionary, translation, speech to text, work prediction and much more.

Level: Beginner

10. Parent Perceptions of Important Teacher Relationships and Why It Matters...2

Presenters: Dan Hyson (Assistant Professor, Psychology Department); Leslie Rogers (Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies)

Parent perceptions are important and impacted by the complex relational work that occurs between teachers and students and teachers and parents. How can educators seek out feedback from parents of students with disabilities? Why is doing so important and is this especially true for parents of color, since, in predominantly White schools, parents of color often feel less connected? In this session, presenters will summarize research and discuss educational implications.

Level: Intermediate

11. Supported Residential College Programs for Individuals with IDD3

Presenters: Drew Burless (Assistant Director); Elizabeth Potter (Outreach Development Specialist); Eric Lindsay (Director of Student Recruitment); Kira Collins (Admissions Director); Marissa Blackmore (Interim Program Director )

Over the last 10 years, an increasing amount of students with IDD are attending post-secondary education. This session will focus on the impact of attending a residential college program and provide an overview of the various supports that make living on campus a reality. Attendees will hear from multiple college representatives from the Midwest that provide residential living options. Each program will share examples of student success and how living on campus has impacted them.

Level: Beginner

12. Teachers as First Responders - The START-Starting Process4

Presenter: Katherine O'Keeffe (Founder and President of The MENTOR System)

Teachers are called into action every day as first responders. This presentation presents a new paradigm of acknowledgement of the teaching role, introduces a method of self-empowerment that brings a fresh set of personal resources to the constantly changing circumstances of a school environment.
START-Starting is the path to increased learning outcomes for students and sustainable career satisfaction for our teachers!

Level: Intermediate

Lani Lawson5

3:35 pm - 4:35 pm

LeRoy Butler - Making the Leap!

Friday, February 26, 2021

9:15 am - 10:30 am

Dr. Ross GreeneGeneral Assembly

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Dr. Ross Greene WorkshopGeneral Assembly

12:00 pm - 1:55 pm


1:05 pm - 2:00 pm

13. Good Kids Bad Apps1

Presenter: Paula Walser (Technology Consultant)

Not everything online is evil nor is every app bad, however sex traffickers are now using social networking and apps to get Face to Face with our students. Students are spending significantly more time online since the Pandemic and it is our responsibility to try to keep them safe. Participants will be provided with updated list of Bad Apps and also resources for educating your students about staying safe online.

Level: Beginner

14. My Special Education Experience-The Life of Jeremiah Swisher2

Presenter: Jeremiah Swisher (Self Advocate )

In the personal life of Jeremiah Swisher, he will share you his personal experiences with the Special Education System in what worked and what didn't. He has been through over 10 different schools which offered diverse experiences. It is the goal to learn from history so that parents and educators can continue to help out students with disabilities. Each person learns differently as it's important to embrace diversity.


15. Support for Differentiated Instruction for Special Education Teachers3

Presenter: Alison Ortony (Doctoral Candidate)

Findings from a qualitative exploratory case study suggest administrators may be unaware of how to support special education teachers struggling to differentiate instruction to meet student needs. Special education teachers may need different types of supports than general education teachers to increase differentiation and improve student outcomes. Administrators may have an unclear view of what supports are needed and how supports are provided are received. How to improve efficacy of administra

Level: Intermediate

16. Identifying Stressors of Special Education Teachers and Coping Mechanisms4

Presenter: Clarissa McNally (Principal)

Teaching is a profound profession as it impacts the lives of future generations yet remains a profession which induces a great deal of stress. Many educators are ill-equipped to cope with the stressors of the job. The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study is to understand the perceived causes of the stress of special education teachers and identify supports to reduce stress levels. Special education teachers, administrators, and policymakers will learn causes and coping mechanisms.

Level: Beginner

Lani Lawson5