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This session will include a parent panel reflecting on their child's experiences in inclusive education.  Parents will share lessons learned from first hand experiences with IEPs, special and regular education, and from their children's preparation and transition to post-secondary education and employment.  Parents will discuss their children's early intervention, elementary, and secondary experiences focusing on the successes and challenges in transitioning the young adult with disabilities toward a self sufficient and rewarding inclusive adulthood. 
The assistive technologies of today represent a diverse range of products, people and potentials never before seen in the field. This presentation will discuss a variety of timely technology trends that are shaking up the assistive technology field and creating newfound possibilities for children with any disability. Trends discussed may include: wearable technology, 3D printing, the internet of things, telepresence and robotics, and the crowdfunding and do-it-yourself movements.
Practitioners play a critical role in children’s use of the technologies. This highly interactive session will inform the design of a set of Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services for young children intended to allow practitioners and programs to assess their current practices and plan for improvement. Objectives: Introduce the  the school-age Quality Indicators of Assistive Technology (QIAT), what they are, how they are used and their utility for the birth - five population; Share examples of what assistive technology for young children looks like in the 21st century;and... more
The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) and the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Councils (ECAC) emphasize the importance of strong, quality, cross sector early childhood systems of professional development (PD) at the local, regional and state level. This session will share strategies used in one state to develop such a system and provide participants an opportunity to share what is happening in their states. Tools developed by the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) through their work with 8 states to support cross sector PD system development... more
In this plenary session, Janelle Rethwisch will share her powerful story on the inclusion of her daughter, Lydia Rose, and will address key themes related to inclusive practices for children with special needs from the perspective of a parent and former Special Educator. Videos, personal anecdotes, and the DEC Recommended Practices will illustrate the following themes: Children and families must be recognized for their uniqueness, not by their diagnosis; Parents must be honored as experts and decision-makers for their children; “Collaboration” must be supported by specific practices; In early... more
Have you heard about trauma/trauma informed care? Not really sure what that really means, especially for your work in ECSE? Join us for a session dedicated to 1) understanding trauma in early childhood,  2) defining “trauma informed care strategies”, and 3) learn ways to apply trauma informed strategies in your ECSE work. We will share practical resources for building your trauma informed toolbox in ECSE. To make the session useful for participants, we have designated several “Pause. Digest. Reflect.” points during the session for participants to ask questions, reflect, discuss, and interact... more
Every student has strengths but these may get overlooked as we focus on needs and difficulties.  Learn how to systematically and intentionally observe students as “at potential” vs. “at risk”!!  Use the TOPS (Teachers Observation of Potential in Students) to see and document student’s strengths to plan strength-based instructional experiences.  Reflect with your colleagues on how a strength-based approach to children and learning impacts classroom practices!
In this session we will discuss potential challenges and solutions with early language and literacy assessment with young children who are dual language learners (DLLs).  Participants will receive resources for assessing and developing early oral and written language in young DLLs, and learn about different and effective classroom models that can best use these resources.
This entertaining and interactive session will feature aRPy, the spokesperson for the ECTA Center’s tools on the DEC Recommended Practices.  He will take you on a tour of the suite of resources that the ECTA Center has developed to promote the understanding and use of the DEC Recommended Practices: Performance Checklists, Practice Guides for Practitioners and Parents, Guidance for Practitioners, Strategies for Professional Development and Program Improvement, and online modules.  We will emphasize practices that promote inclusion. 
Participants in this interactive session will engage with products developed by the ECTA Center to promote the use of the DEC Recommended Practices by practitioners, families, and professional development providers. They will experience how the ECTA center products were developed, apply the products to challenges in real practice, generate practice challenges of their own for future training, and test drive training activities. A key feature of this session will be reacting to aRPy Ambassadors’ work in state improvement efforts and creating “game plans” for their own programs.