Program Chair Featured Sessions

Program Chair Featured Sessions

Claudia Rinaldi and Cindy Perras, CEC 2018 Convention Program Chairs, have planned a rich and substantive invited program. Join experts in the field of special education and related disciplines to participate in dialogues on current and relevant topics to special and gifted education and early intervention.

WEDNESDAY, February 7

Challenges to Equity in Assessment, Placement, and Outcomes in Special Education
Leader: Wendy Cavendish, University of Miami, FL
Presenters: Beth Harry, University of Miami, FL

This session presents research findings from national-, district-, and community-level approaches to reducing overrepresentation of students of color in special education. We discuss national trends in disproportionality and highlight parent and teacher voices related to assessment and placement practices to examine the intent of equity-based policy versus implementation.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Discuss strengths and challenges identified in 3 research studies related to the implementation of policy to create more equitable outcomes for often marginalized students and families.

Intensive Interventions and the Future of Learning Disabilities
Leader: Sharon Vaughn, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk/UT, Austin

Presenter: Rebecca Zumeta Edmonds, American Institutes for Research, Washington, D.C.

A primary aim of special education is to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for students with disabilities. Yet many of these students currently receive inadequate treatments that do not support their full access to the general education setting or adequate learning opportunities for the future. This session provides specific guidance on improving academic and behavioral outcomes through the provision of intensive interventions for students with disabilities.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Understand how intensive intervention may be used to provide specially designed instruction to students with and at risk for disabilities, especially learning disabilities.

Self-Determination and Students With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Leader: Michael Wehmeyer, University of Kansas, Lawrence      
Presenter: Stelios Gragoudas, University of Massachusetts, Boston

This session will provide an overview of the ‘state of the art’ with regard to the importance of and the evidence-base for measuring and promoting the self-determination of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Information provided will be based upon research, practice, and personal experience with disability.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  1. Understand self-determination.
  2. Understand the importance of promoting self-determination from research and personal experience.
  3. Identify evidence-based practices to measure and promote self-determination.

THURSDAY, February 8

Integrating Mindfulness Into Education and Healthcare: The Science and Practice
Leader: Elli Weisbaum, University of Toronto, Canada/The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Explore the scientific perspective that is driving the current interest and popularity of mindfulness practice in education and healthcare settings. Participants will experience hands-on foundational mindfulness practices to gain practical understanding of the potential impacts that mindfulness can have on their personal and professional daily life.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Understand the connection between neuroscience and mindfulness-based interventions.
  2. Explore the connection between mindfulness practice, resiliency, and self-regulation.
  3. Identify practices to combat workplace burn-out and stress.
  4. Develop and experience foundational mindfulness tools that can be applied in personal and professional settings.

Getting to the STEM of Co-Teaching
Leader: Lisa Dieker, University of Central Florida, Orlando

Presenters: Claudia Rinaldi, Lasell College, Newton, MA; Matthew Taylor, University of Central Florida, Orlando

This session will focus on co-teaching in STEM content reflecting best practices with an emphasis on second language learners, students with intellectual disabilities, and students with a range of learning and behavioral challenges. Come enjoy this session filled with practical ideas.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Understand the unique challenges and ways teams are meeting the needs of students in STEM.
  2. Gather strategies for second language learners and a range of students with varying abilities.
  3. Create a plan to use at least 3 of the numerous practical ideas in your STEM co-teaching.

Voices From the Field: Educators With Disabilities
Leader: Jennifer Diliberto, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Presenters: Mary Ruth Coleman, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Susan Osborne, North Carolina State University, Raleigh; Marge Terhaar, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC; Kathryn Haselden, Francis Marion University, Florence, SC

The panel includes educators with disabilities. Session facilitators lead discussions surrounding strategies used to breakdown barriers related to their disabilities and how their disability supports their teaching. The facilitators will ask structured questions and take questions from the audience. We end by summarizing insights gained based on themes presented.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Generate ideas to support individuals with disabilities in overcoming the challenges they face in school and professional lives.
  2. Identify strategies to strengthen the capacity of their school, professional development, and/or program to support educators with disabilities.

Update From OSERS Assistant and Deputy Secretaries
Leader: Deborah Ziegler, Council for Exceptional Children, Arlington, VA
Presenters: Johnny Collett and Kimberly Richey, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Department of Education

OSERS Assistant Secretary will provide an update on the recent work of OSERS, and discuss a number recent and ongoing initiatives of the office and upcoming priorities. Topics include OSERS’ Q&A relating to the Endrew F. v. Douglas Country School District RE-1, the Secretary’s Supplemental Priorities, OSER’S new discretionary grant projects funded under Part D of IDEA, OSER’S work to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, OSERS’ ongoing efforts to implement Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” and review OSER’S regulations and non-regulatory guidance as a part of the Regulatory Review Task Force. Q&A time at end.

ESSA and IDEA: Working Together to Improve Outcomes for All Students
Leader: Deborah Ziegler, Council for Exceptional Children, Arlington, VA
Presenters: Ruth Ryder, Acting Director, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education

School systems across the nation are working to prepare diverse learners for success both in the classroom and after graduation. Leveraging resources and coordinating support across programs at the state, district, and school levels is a key strategy to effectively improve outcomes to meet the needs of all students. For those implementing the ESSA and the IDEA, passage of ESSA creates new opportunities to implement such coordinated efforts between the two laws. During this session, you will hear about collaborative work in the U.S. Department of Education to review ESSA state plans and the 1% alternate assessment participation waivers.

Highlights From the National Center for Special Education Research: Recent Findings and New Research on Teachers and MTSS
Leader: Deborah Ziegler, Council for Exceptional Children, Arlington, VA
Presenters: Joan McLaughlin, National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Dept of Education

The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) funds research on infants, toddlers, children, and youth with and at risk for disabilities to advance the understanding of and practices for teaching, learning, and organizing education systems. In 2018, NCSER plans to fund a network of researchers focused on integrated academic and behavioral Multi-tiered Systems of Support. These new areas of research funding will be discussed in addition to highlights from prior projects and available resources from the Institute of Education Sciences.

Understanding Attention and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Problems in the Classroom: Strategies for Success
Leader: Sue Ball, York Region District School Board, Ontario, Canada

This presentation will document the impact of attention and hyperactivity/impulsivity on learning for all students and particularly for students with learning disabilities. We will highlight practical strategies for supporting students across the tiers as well as showcase a student profile with student voice and advocacy card. Learn about the significant implications impacting on understanding of lifelong learning, student resilience and well-being.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

1. Recognize the impact of attention, hyperactivity/impulsivity problems on learning.
2. Learn the value and importance of student voice and self-advocacy.
3. Learn the importance of strategies to support learning, achievement and well-being for all students, particularly for students with Learning Disabilities.

Addressing the Elephant in the Room: Strategies for Maltreatment Prevention and Intervention
Introductions: Cindy Perras, Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, Canada 
Leaders: Catherine Corr, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; David Cihak, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 
Presenters: Debra Lively, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI; Kelly Carrero, Texas A&M University, Commerce 

The Interdivisional Caucus of the Council for Exceptional Children (IDC) is a caucus of the 17 discipline and specialty areas of CEC. In 2014, the IDC established the Maltreatment Workgroup. This Workgroup has identified “bright spots” to prevent, intervene, and support individuals with disabilities who have experienced maltreatment. This interactive session begins with a panel presentation, which will highlight divisional work focused on practical interventions and prevention strategies across the lifespan. Following the panel presentation, solutions-oriented roundtable discussions will convene to seek input from session participants on standards, policy, position papers, and practices.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  1. Recognize how maltreatment impacts individuals with disabilities and their families (e.g., educational outcomes and performance, family functioning, etc.).
  2. Know practical strategies across the lifespan to prevent, intervene, and support individuals with disabilities who have experienced maltreatment.

FRIDAY, February 9

Exceptional Lives, Exceptional Stories
Leader: Jennifer Diliberto, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Presenters: Mary Ruth Coleman, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Marge Terhaar, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC; Kathryn Haselden, Francis Marion University, Florence, SC

The panel includes YIC Award recipients and their families. Session facilitators lead discussions surrounding life with a disability. The facilitators will ask structured questions as well as take questions from the audience. In closing, we will summarize insights gained from discussions and reserve time for informal conversations with the panelists.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Understand the ways a disability affects an individual’s daily life.
  2. Identify strategies for working with parents of individuals with disabilities.

Making Educationally Appropriate and Legally Sound Placement Decisions
Leaders: Mitchell Yell, University of South Carolina, Columbia

Presenters: Antonis Katsiyannis, Clemson University, SC; Mickey Losinski, Kansas State University, Manhattan

A foundational principle of the IDEA is that students with disabilities receive a FAPE in the LRE. Unfortunately, placement issues can be difficult for IEP teams to navigate.  We will offer guidance and suggestions to ensure that IEP teams make educationally appropriate and legally sound placement decisions.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Understand the three most important decision points in making student placements.
  2. Understand legal requirements in placement determination.

Research to Practice: Tips and Tools for Beginning Special Educators
Leader: Timothy Landrum, University of Louisville, KY

Presenters: Chris Sweigart, University of Louisville, KY; Lauren Collins and Bryan Cook, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu; Timothy Lewis, University of Missouri, Columbia; Jennifer Freeman and Michael Coyne, University of Connecticut, Storrs; Diane Myers, Texas Woman’s University, Denton; Tom Scruggs and Margo Mastropieri, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA; Sharon Vaughn, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk/UT, Austin; Angelique Aitken, Arizona State University, Tempe; Ashley Barkel, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University, Tempe; David Allsopp, University of South Florida, Tampa

Authors from a 2017 special issue of Teaching Exceptional Children offer specific guidance for beginning special educators in classroom management, intensive reading interventions, writing, mathematics, and co-teaching.  Each panelist describes (a) two empirically supported practices, (b) three reliable resources, and (c) one final thought for the beginning special education teacher.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Learn about key, empirically validated and recommended practices from expert scholars in reading, mathematics, classroom behavior, writing, and co-teaching.
  2. Learn about key resources for evidence-based practices across these areas.
  3. Take away final thoughts from these scholars on how beginning special educators in particular, can be successful in their early years of teaching.

Implementing Job-Embedded Professional Development to Meet the Instructional Needs of English Learners/English Learners With Disabilities
Leaders: Leticia Grimaldo, Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at UT, Austin; Linda Cavazos, American Institutes for Research, Austin, TX; Julie Esparza Brown, Portland State University, OR

Presenter: Grace Zamora Duran, OSEP, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

Educators struggle with effectively serving English learners (ELs), with and without disabilities. Effective job-embedded professional development (JEPD) is crucial in ensuring that ELs receive high-quality instruction from special education and general education teachers. This panel will discuss ‘how tos’ of JEPD provided to teachers in their OSEP-funded model demonstration projects.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Understand the ‘how tos’ for implementing effective job-embedded professional development, coaching, and recursive follow-up for teachers in order to prepare them to adequately serve ELs/ELSWDs.

What’s Happening in Washington – Session I: Updates from OSEP
Leader: Deborah Ziegler, Council for Exceptional Children, Arlington, VA
Presenters: Ruth Ryder, Acting Director, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Acting Director Ruth Ryder will discuss current OSEP initiatives including Results Driven Accountability and the Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Case Q&A document. She will also discuss recent investments to support children with disabilities, including critical work to expand high-quality early learning programs. Finally, Ms. Ryder will provide updates on the Department’s work to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

SATURDAY, February 10

UDL, Design Thinking, and Makerspaces: An Innovative Approach to Curriculum Design
Leader: Elizabeth Hartmann, Lasell College, Newton, MA
Presenter: Jose Blackorby, CAST, Inc., Wakefield, MA

In this interactive session, participants will be introduced to two important approaches to improving inclusive education through thoughtful curriculum design: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and design thinking.

After attending this session, you will be able to: 

  1. Understand how UDL and design thinking can be used to move beyond curriculum access to provide all learners with engagement in the general education curriculum.
  2. Create a simple circuit in the context of a makerspace activity to apply UDL and design thinking to the process of developing curriculum for all learners.

Program Chair Featured: Solution Oriented Roundtables on Culturally Linguistically Diverse Students With Disabilities
Moderator: Claudia Rinaldi, Lasell College, Newton, MA 
Presenters: Sylvia Linan-Thompson, University of Oregon, Eugene; Edward Schultz, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX; Diana Morales, Florida Diagnostic Learning & Resource Systems-South Associate Center, South Miami; Jennifer Lesh, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL; Jacqueline Rodriguez, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Gliset Colon, Buffalo State College, NY; Gabriela Bobadilla, Understood en Español, New York, NY; Silvana Watson, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA; Todd Fletcher, University of Arizona, Tucson; Maria de Lourdes Serpa, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; John Hoover, University of Colorado, Boulder; Sara Nino, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Malden, MA 

The Solutions Oriented Bilingual English Learners with Disabilities Roundtable will bring eleven experts in the field of bilingual special education to address general education, special education instruction and intervention, English language development in special education, assessment and progress monitoring of ELs, and culturally relevant- IEPs. The goal is for participants to take back solution oriented evidenced-based practices that can be applied to close the research to practice divide. Come, join the expert that best fits your greatest need and engage in discussion about the relevant topic to you all in one room.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss solution-oriented evidenced-based practices that can be applied to close the research to practice divide.