2017 Conference Materials

Conference materials from our 2017 annual conference for families, individuals with special needs, and the service providers who support them. These are all of the materials we received from presenters for sharing.

Assistive Technology Considerations for Successful Transition After High School

In this interactive workshop we will explore the process of considering and integrating Assistive Technology devices and software to support students’ success after high school. Participants will explore the importance of knowing oneself as a life-long learner; creating strategies for self-advocacy; finding tools and methods to help a student reach their goals; and connecting with the right resources. We will include a method for self-assessment, a process for matching Assistive Technology to an individual, and information on the crucial differences between accommodations in high school, training, college, and employment. Presenters: Amber Fulcher, Program Director, Vermont Assistive Technology Program – SOV; Tracy Roux and Ben Wimett, Assistive Technology Access Specialists, UVM-CDCI  Vermont Assistive Technology Flyer

Disability Disclosure: What Youth Need to Know

How important is it to disclose a disability and how does it help you get the “reasonable accommodations” in the workplace and in school? Youth will be introduced to this topic using the framework of the guide, The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities. Attendees will learn the importance of better understanding how disclosing their disability could improve educational, employment, and social opportunities. Presenters: Pam Gowland and Eric Johnson, Transition Counselors, Vocational Rehabilitation Vermont   Additional Resources

Habits of Mind

Participants will be introduced to the Habits of Mind— 16 characteristic that help students, teachers, parents, and other professionals successfully navigate the various challenges and problems we encounter in the classroom, at work, and in everyday life. These 16 Habits align with current concepts and research of what constitutes intelligent behavior. The use of the Habits of Mind leads to productive decision making and actions. The Habits support teachers and other professionals in creating “thought-full” classrooms and learning environments. The Habits of Mind serve as an internal compass to help us thrive in a complex world. This workshop will include activities to learn how to engage with the Habits of Mind and practical ways to continue engaging with the Habits after the workshop. Presenter: Dana Lesperance, Associate Trainer, Institute for the Habits of Mind; Assistant Director of Corrections Education Habits of Mind Description  Habits of Mind Home Chart

Nurture Your Child’s Nature: Understanding Sensory Needs

Does your child have behaviors that you don’t quite understand? What sensory needs are common among children with special needs? What can you do to meet your child’s unique sensory needs? Presenters will demystify sensory processing; share their perspectives and approaches for accommodating sensory differences; explain how professionals and parents can work together to help children be comfortable in their environment; and share resources for families. This workshop is for anyone who wants to stomp out the stigma associated with sensory processing differences! Presenters: Kele Bourdeau, parent and MA; Melanie Pope, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, Kids’ RehabGYM

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave: Supporting Parents and Caregivers to Untangle the Many Strands of Care

Families know their child best and are by far their strongest advocate! But stitching together the interlocking components of your child’s care can feel overwhelming –  like you are stuck in a confusing, tangled mess! Come join this interactive presentation to discover:

  • What is effective care coordination and family centered care
  • How to get help navigating complex systems of care
  • Lessons learned from diverse family stories
  • Insights from recent focus group research on care coordination from the family perspective

Whether you are a family member or professional, join us for a rich discussion about improving family-professional partnerships for successful care coordination. Presenters: Elizabeth Gilman, BA, CIRS, Help Me Grow Child Development Specialist Vermont 2-1-1; Janet Kilburn, LICSW, Child Development Coordinator Vermont Department of Health; Cathleen Kelley, LICSW, Social Work Care Coordinator/Mental Health Consultant, Pediatric New American Clinic UVM Children’s Hospital Pediatric Primary Care

Rock Your IEP: Evaluation Results Matter!

Developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that meets your child’s unique needs is based on a comprehensive special education evaluation. This workshop will focus on how the IEP team, which includes parents, can use information gathered from the evaluation and assessment results to inform program planning and service decisions within the IEP. The IEP is a road map of the educational services and support your child will receive. Presenter: Jennifer Patenaude, Special Education Instruction and Evaluation Specialist, North Country Supervisory Union and Special Education Presenter, Vermont Higher Ed. Collaborative

Trauma is often thought of as a single event that results in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, research now demonstrates that chronic and long-lasting exposure to stress can disrupt normal childhood development across multiple areas of development. We will take a look at the impact of developmental trauma on the developing brain, particularly during the first few years of life, and how it affects children’s ability to develop relationships, attend to learning, and regulate their thoughts, emotions and behaviors. We will also review practical strategies to become “emotion co-regulators” for children in order to lessen the impact of developmental trauma on their functioning across environments. Presenter: Feyza Basoglu, MD, Howard Center, CSAC



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