2017 Sessions

Sessions are still being added to the 2017 Institute. Please check this page frequently for updates.

Federal and National Professional Organizations Panel on Early Childhood Directions and Initiatives for Enhancing the Quality of Inclusive Services

Type: Plenary
Target Audience: All
Topic: Systems and Policies

Reflecting this year’s theme Trusting Partnerships in a Time of Change, leaders from Federal agencies  and three national early childhood professional organizations will share information on early childhood directions and initiatives related to inclusion and to supporting children with disabilities and their families. Participants will have opportunities to ask questions and share their perspectives with the panelists.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • All

Finding and Accessing High-Quality Inclusive Childcare: Voices from Families and Providers

Other Speakers:
Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: Practitioners, Families, State Administrators
Topic: Systems and Policies

Project Open House is looking for ways to improve families’ access to high-quality inclusive childcare for their young children with special needs.  At this session, participants will hear about what we have heard from families and providers as well as learn about how access to inclusive childcare differs from state to state.  We will also share information about how states’ QRIS systems support families’ access to high-quality, inclusive childcare and provide opportunities for participants to discuss  issues that they face at home in terms of accessing high-quality, inclusive childcare.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • Leadership
  • Family
  • Teaming and Collaboration

Foundations of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: All
Topic: Inclusive Practices

Responsive relationships with consistent primary caregivers help build secure attachments that support healthy social-emotional development. These relationships form the foundation of mental health for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. This session addresses a wide range of areas from the historical foundations of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, importance of attachment, building relationships, responsive caregiving as well as disorders that can disrupt these processes.  Participants will gain a better understanding of the mental health needs of infants, toddlers, and young children and their families and strategies for supporting them.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • Family
  • Instruction
  • Interaction

Helping Early Educators Un-Learn Implicit Biases through Professional Development Activities

Other Speakers:
Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: Professional Development Providers, Practitioners, Local Administrators, State Administrators
Topic: Inclusive Practices

In early childhood, we see stark racial disparities with instructional and program discipline practices, such as suspension and expulsion, particularly between young African American children and their White counterparts. Associated with this, implicit bias plays a key role in how we interact with and support young children of color. Implicit biases also can affect the inclusion of young children with disabilities, specifically related to how personnel interact with and work to ensure that children with differing abilities receive the supports and services needed to participate as a full member of the classroom. This session aims to support leaders, including practitioners and administrators, with understanding professional development strategies that support the implementation of culturally responsive practices within programs. This session will actively engage participants in learning self-reflection and de-biasing strategies, along with professional development strategies to improve culturally responsive practices. 

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • Instruction
  • Interaction

Implementation of Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education Services

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: Professional Development Providers, Local Administrators, State Administrators
Topic: Systems and Policies

The session will include an overview of a roll-out of the Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education Service Delivery Model (IECSE).  The session will include an overview of the itinerant model, the rationale for introducing the model in Rhode Island, initial steps of implementation, scaling up, RI’s current IECSE model (which includes both direct instruction and consultation with the general education teacher) and the infrastructure of supports for practitioners.  Time will be provided for participants to consider the benefits and challenges of implementing an itinerant model within their state or district as well as an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • Leadership
  • Environment
  • Instruction
  • Teaming and Collaboration

Implementation of Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education Services

Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: Professional Development Providers, Local Administrators, State Administrators
Topic: Systems and Policies

The session will include an overview of a roll-out of an Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education Service Delivery Model (IECSE).  The session will include an overview of the itinerant model, the rationale for introducing the model in Rhode Island, initial steps of implementation, scaling up, RI’s current IECSE model (which includes both direct instruction and consultation with the general education teacher) and the infrastructure of supports for practitioners.  Time will be provided for participants to consider the benefits and challenges of implementing an itinerant model within their state or district as well as an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • Leadership
  • Environment
  • Instruction
  • Teaming and Collaboration

Inclusion from the Start: Creating the Foundation for an Inclusive Life

Other Speakers:
Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: All
Topic: Inclusive Practices

This session will focus on the importance of inclusive practices beginning from the time a baby, toddler, or preschooler is identified as having a disability. We will look at the myths about inclusion and what the research, facts, & laws tell us. We will consider the important role attitudes and beliefs take in creating and maintaining a foundation of inclusion and in developing policy, guidance, and implementing practices and strategies. Participants will engage in an activity and small group discussion that examines personal attitudes and beliefs. Participants will leave with resources and tools.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • Environment
  • Family
  • Instruction
  • Interaction
  • Teaming and Collaboration

Innovative techniques: Helping Children Move up the Developmental Ladder

Other Speakers:
Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: All
Topic: Inclusive Practices

The high-quality inclusive classroom provides children multiple opportunities to make choices and harness their natural interests. The session will emphasize how to create back and forth interactions while following a child’s lead to establish foundational skills of shared attention, engagement, and problem solving in the inclusive preschool classroom. Further, the session will emphasize Universal Design for Learning principles of promoting multiple ways of presenting information, engaging children in learning activities, and allowing children to respond in multiple ways. Participants may share and discuss how they consider the cognitive, communication, and sensory needs of each child; the multiple guided practices implemented when teaching; consideration of the timing of each child’s response; and presentation of content in multiple formats.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • Environment
  • Instruction
  • Interaction

Inspiring Inclusion Using a Community of Practice Model

Other Speakers:
Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: All
Topic: Systems and Policies

Learn how to advance inclusion through a community of practice model.  We will provide an overview of how early childhood teachers in Tucson are studying and applying best classroom practices for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through 16 different communities of practice. After a brief overview of how this system operates, the majority of the session will focus on the successes and “lessons learned” from the Inclusion community of practice, Inspiring Inclusion.    This will be a highly interactive session, with ample time for questions and discussions, and attendees will receive a variety of handouts and materials to enable them to replicate a community of practice approach aligned with their own local needs.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • Leadership
  • Environment
  • Family
  • Instruction
  • Interaction

Integrating Evidence-Based Professional Development Resources to Support Children with Disabilities: Recommended Practices Modules (RPMs)

Other Speakers:
Type: Concurrent
Target Audience: Professional Development Providers, Local Administrators, State Administrators
Topic: Professional Development

Come explore a new series of free web-based modules for faculty and professional development providers to embed in their coursework or professional development opportunities. These modules build on existing high quality professional development resources such as CONNECT Modules and are aimed at helping learners implement the DEC Recommended Practices. In this session, you will learn how these modules complement CONNECT modules and can be embedded into your coursework and professional development opportunities.

DEC Recommended Practices:
  • All

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