Search Past Institutes

The keynote will feature Micah Fialka-Feldman and his mother, Janice Fialka in Through the Same Doors:  Living a Fully Inclusive Life. Micah will share his first-hand story of inclusion. Following the keynote Micah and Janice will conduct two separate plenary sessions with Janice’s addressing The Dance of Partnership: Why Do My Feet Hurt?
Participation happens when a child successfully engages in a routine or activity with only the amount of adult support as needed by most children. Environmental practices impact child participation indirectly by modifying or adapting the structural environment rather than by directly targeting skill development as does instructional teaching practices. Learn about the foundations of environmental teaching practices, how they support participation and discover a practical tool designed to aid educators to promote the participation of all children in the full early childhood curriculum.
Come discover rich resources that can help leaders, staff, and families to support the successful participation of each young child. We'll explore high quality, no-cost resources including evidence-sources, videos, websites, and landing pads.  Handouts will include diverse examples that can be helpful in many settings and applications. This session will feature an engaging combination of presentation and demonstrations of media and websites.  
26 percent of children in the United States will witness or experience trauma before they turn four. These children are already being included in Head Start and child care programs, often with no diagnosis and no supports in place. Participants will learn the definition of trauma, the effects of trauma on learning and development, and the essential elements of trauma informed practice.
All groups cycle through four stages of life and work together: forming, storming, norming and performing. However, many groups get stuck in the “storms” that potentially impact the ability to “perform.” Conflict is natural, inevitable and essential to the relationships and work of any group. The conflict itself if not what harms us, however how we navigate through the conflict definitely can. Transforming Conflict into Healthy Performance provides practical insights and skills to navigate safely and effectively through conflict to gain greater clarity in the group’s purpose and achieve more... more
This session will provide a model for establishing trusting partnerships with families in promoting inclusive education.  Grounded in research, the new federal policy on family engagement, and DEC/Head Start family frameworks, Ann will  delineate 6 key principles of trusting partnerships—communication, professional competency in fostering child outcomes, respect, commitment, equality, and advocacy.  Then she will apply these principles to family-practitioner partnerships to overcome inclusion barriers and to expand inclusion resources.
How coaches provide intervention opportunities and experiences for parents is critical and determines the success of the interventions used. Is every conversation with a family a coaching conversation? What if parents do not want to be coached? What if I do not believe coaching works for children with multiple disabilities or who have serious medical conditions?” These and other commonly identified “uncoachable moments” will provide a chance for sharing multiple perspectives and generating solutions to these issues.
Today’s American families are more diverse than ever before and today’s professionals must address the many forms and backgrounds of these families. Central to partnering with families is the acknowledgement and respect for each family’s strengths, culture, language, and ability to make decisions that are “right” for that family, regardless of challenges they may face.  Participants in this workshop will explore the many aspects of diversity in themselves and in the population of families with whom they work.  Reflective practices will be applied to the identification and discussion of... more
Universal Design for Learning is an evidence-based practice that promotes inclusive early childhood education programs. UDL supports access through the removal of physical and structural barriers (UD) and the provision of multiple and varied formats for instruction and learning (UDL). Early childhood educators who employ UDL in the design of their learning environments and curricula are able to meet the needs of a broad range of young children, as well as the unique needs of individual children. Some children need additional specific assistive technologies (AT) incorporated into their... more