Webinars

 

Join us for a free webinar!

For previously recorded webinars, scroll down or visit  

VFN is now offering FREE webinars as a convenient way for you to learn more about various topics. If you have a webinar topic or a speaker you would like to suggest, please call 1-800-800-4005 or email Info@vtfn.org to let us know. We try to schedule at least one webinar per month.

We save all of our webinar recordings right here on our website (see below, previously recorded). All of our webinars are uploaded to VFN’s YouTube channel, so you can click on the title below and it will re-direct you to our YouTube channel. If you do not have a personal computer, or internet access to view a webinar, you may request a FREE  personal DVD copy of any webinar recording. To do this, please contact Vermont Family Network at 1-800-800-4005.

Guide for Webinar Attendees: Click here to learn about how to use GoToWebinar software that we use for all of our webinars. If you still have questions, feel free to contact  Janice.Sabett@vtfn.org.

Upcoming Webinars:

Special Needs Planning for Your Peace of Mind. Wednesday, April 23, from 10am to 11am. Click here to register. Special needs planning is essential to protect and plan for your disabled child. Even though not having the right plans in place can be a detriment for loved ones with special needs, many families just don’t know where to begin. This workshop will include an overview of what parents and grandparents need to know about special needs planning, including: the protection of important government benefits (SSI, Medicaid); special needs trusts; how to avoid a “payback” to the state for Medicaid; the importance of writing a will; how your extended family members can help contribute to the lifelong needs of your child; and, documentation that you can do to provide guidance to future caregivers. There will time for your special needs planning questions during the webinar, however, questions may be sent in advance to make sure your concern is addressed as part of the presentation. Presenter: Claudia Inés Pringles is a Vermont attorney with a practice dedicated to special needs law. She assists clients with special needs planning, special education, and disability consultation services and is a frequent speaker on these topics. Claudia is also a busy disability advocate and a parent of a teenage daughter with autism. Visit her website here.

Flexible Pathways Initiative – Act 77. Wednesday, May 28, 10am-11am. Click here to register. In this general information session, Debi Price and John Spinney from the Vermont Agency of Education will be sharing an overview of the components of Act 77 including: Personalized Learning Plans, Dual Enrollment, Early College Program, Virtual/Blended Learning and High School Completion Program. Timelines for implementation and implications for students with IEPs will be discussed. Presenters: Debora Price, Education Project Manager, Vermont Agency of Education and John Spinney, Post-Secondary Transition Specialist, Vermont Agency of Education.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Previously Recorded Webinars:

  • Autism
  • Assistive Technology
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Health
  • Special Education

If you have any problems listening to a recording below or if you would like to request your own hard copy of a webinar for FREE, please email Info@vtfn.org

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Autism

Sharing Concerns with Families about Red Flags for Autism  (5/6/13) About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Why is early identification of ASD important? What are the “red flags” for ASD? What is the process for early identification? How can parents and practitioners have meaningful conversations and share concerns? As always, webinar participants are encouraged to ask questions. Presenters: Jennifer Johnson, Autism Specialist Supervisor at the HowardCenter and Winnie Looby, parent and intern at Vermont Family Network. Click here to view the powerpoint.

Using Social Communication Strategies to Address Behavior Challenges in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (4/17/13)  This presentation will describe the relationship between difficulty with social communication and common challenging behaviors in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Intellectual Disability (ID). The communication challenges of individuals with ASD/ID are described and several evidence-based social communication strategies are proposed to address challenging behaviors. Recommendations for practice are offered. Presenters: Tiffany Hutchins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders-UVM and Hope Morris, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Assistant Professor-UVM, Speech-Language Pathologist. Click here to view the powerpoint.  Click here for an article entitled “Using Communication to Reduce Challenging Behaviors in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders” by Tiffany L. Hutchins, Ph.D. and Patricia A. Prelock, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. 

Autism- What Does Play Have To Do With It? (4/28/11) Have you ever wondered how to play with your child? Or struggled to connect with him or her? Join us during your lunch break to learn strategies, techniques and games on how to play! We’ll spend time learning how play can develop communication, social-emotional and joint attention skills. We will explore developmental milestones as well as red flags for autism. Videos will help us demonstrate how to become an active participant when playing with your child for optimal engagement. Presenters: Jamie Rainville, Autism Program Coordinator, Vermont Family Network and Martha Frank, Family Support Consultant-Autism Specialist, Vermont Family Network.

Related Youtube Videos (Webinar will instruct when to view which clip)

Clip 1-Red Flags: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VA6Q3vTC_o&feature=related

Clip 2-Visual Supports (Core Play): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmqLuuwDwNs&NR=1

Clip 3-Visual Supports (Intermediate Play): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2efl3VDRSbU&feature=related

Greenspan video: http://www.youtube.com/dirfloortime (From the DIR/Floortime Academy)

Clip 3-Yucky Muffins!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il9qj1Fidkw

Clip 4-Sad Sebastian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkQdOd7UH9Q

Clip 5-Journey to Engagement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPRpY7GoSmo

Additional Resources   (Word document)

Autism Treatment under Act 127  (7/20/11) This webinar will focus on the implementation of Act 127,which will require private insurers (such as CIGNA, BCBS and MVP) to cover treatment for autism related services beginning this October. The presenters will discuss the background of AcT 127 and how its passage can help children on the autism spectrum get the evidence-based treatment they need. Presenter: Lisa Erwin-Davidson & Ron Marcellus, Co-Chairs of the Vermont  Coalition for Autsim Reform, and Claudia I. Pringles, Developmental Disabilities Specialist, Vermont Family Network.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Assistive Technology

Funding AT for Children (12/4/13) In this webinar, the presenters discuss the various funding streams for coverage of assistive technologies, focusing primarily on Special Education, Medicaid and private insurance. The presenters discuss each of these funding streams, including what may be covered under each, how to apply for coverage, and what to do if your request for coverage is denied. We also discuss strategies for considering when to choose which funding stream, how they compare, and how they are different. Presenters: Sam Abel-Palmer and Marilyn Mahusky, Disability Law Project Staff Attorneys, VT Legal Aid. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Assistive Technology and Disabilities  (4/19/12)  In this webinar you can learn about Assistive Technology (AT) including who is eligible for AT, how, when and where services occur, CDCI’s Tryout Center, and various funding sources. Also, learn about access to new and used, no cost, low cost AT, durable medical equipment and adaptive vehicles with www.getATstuff.com and www.Vermont.ATschoolswap.com. Presenters: Leslie Ermolovich, Director, AT Tryout and Access Center, Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, University of Vermont; Amber Fulcher, Program Director,Vermont Assistive Technology Program; Sharon Alderman, VT Assistive Technology Reuse Project Coordinator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Developmental Disabilities

Prepare Yourself for Emergencies  (7/11/12) Learn how to be better prepared as a community, and how to plan for disasters. Individuals with or without disabilities can decrease the impact of a disaster by taking steps to prepare before an event occurs. Presenter:  Betty Morse, Family Support Consultant, Vermont Family Network

How do you get developmental services in Vermont? Vermont Systems of Care Plan: Eligibility, Services, Process (6/13/12) The System of Care Plan for Developmental Services serves as the gateway for determining who gets services and how services are provided. Join this webinar to learn who makes these decisions and how they are made. Find out more about this process and how you can help so that your child with a developmental disability will be eligible for services as an adult. Presenter: Karen Schwartz, Director of the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council  Click here to view the powerpoint.

Legislative Advocacy (5/29/12) How do you move your ideas into legislative action?  This webinar provides an introduction to legislative advocacy from the perspective of a parent advocate and a Vermont State legislator. Learn how to work in a coaltion with others and get tips on how to move your ideas into legislative action! Presenters: Jason Lorber, Vermont State Representative for Chittenden District 3-3 and Claudia I. Pringles, Parent Advocate and Developmental Disabilities Specialist, Vermont Family Network.  Click here to view the powerpoint.

What’s Next? What Services are available when my teen transitions to adulthood? (5/24/12) Transitioning to adulthood can be challenging for many teens with disabilities and their families. Join today’s webinar to learn who is eligible for Adult Services, what kind of services are available, how you can help your young adult access those services, and who to contact for more information. Our trio of presenters are from three organizations who help young adults and their families with these important transitions. Presenters: Helen Johnke, Certified Work Incentives Counselor, Vermont Center for Independent Living; Cindy Marshall, Assistant Director, Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health; and Claudia I. Pringles, Developmental Disabilities Specialist, Vermont Family Network.  Click here to view the powerpoint.

You’ve Got a Friend: Helping Your Child with Special Needs to Develop Friendships  (5/2/12) In this webinar you can learn some ways that parents can support and strengthen their child’s ability to develop and maintain friendships. Presenter: Deborah Lisi-Baker, Associate Director of the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at UVM. Click here to view the powerpoint.

Guardianship (1/10/12) This workshop focuses on alternatives to guardianship, voluntary and involuntary guardianship, and the process of pursuing guardianship.  Presenter: Claudia I. Pringles, Developmental Disabilities Specialist.

Voc Rehab Transition Services for Students with Disabilities (12/8/11) Are you the parent or guardian of a student with disabilities who is getting ready to graduate from high school? Have you recently graduated and are wondering what to do next, need a job, or are having difficulty finding or keeping a job? Voc Rehab’s Youth Transition Counselors are there to help you! They can help you think about possible careers and further training after high school or help you find a job. Voc Rehab serves more than 8,000 Vermonters with significant disabilities each year, and achieves successful employment with two-thirds of their job seekers. Presenter: Eric Johnson, Voc Rehab Transition Counselor

Getting and Keeping the First Job (9/22/11) This webinar will explore curriculum created by the National Family Advocacy Support and Training (FAST) Project, a project of PACER Center, which was designed to help parents plan for preparing youth for employment. Presenter: Claudia I. Pringles, Developmental Disabilities Specialist, Vermont Family Network.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Early Childhood Development

Fun with Building Blocks for Literacy®:  (2/13/13) Learn play-based strategies that can be incorporated into everyday interactions with your preschool children. These research-based research-proven activities provide foundational skills to prepare young children for reading success upon entering kindergarten. Presenter: Brenda Buzzell, M.Ed., Coordinator of BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY® at the Stern Center for Language and Learning. She has been an educator for over 30 years working with children, early care and education providers, and parents. Click here to view the powerpoint. The powerpoint contains several links to helpful videos.

Moving on Up: Transition to Kindergarten for Children with Special Needs  (5/18/11) The focus of this webinar was on transition to kindergarten, and what parents can expect. We discussed what schools are required to do to help ensure a smooth transition into kindergarten for children with special needs, and the important roles that parents and teachers play in the process. Presenter: Kate Rogers, Department of Education.

Additional Resources on Transition to Kindergarten for Children with Special Needs:

  1. 10 Ways to Participate in your Child’s Education
  2. 80 Skills for the Transition to Kindergarten
  3. Children’s Books on Transition
  4. The Transition to Kindergarten
  5. First Steps: The Year Before Kindergarten
  6. The Importance of Reading to your Child
  7. What to Expect of a Kindergartner
  8. Before the First Day (for the Children)
  9. Helpful Hints from Kindergarten Teachers
  10. Before the First Day: Organizational Hints for Parents
  11. Getting to School Safely
  12. Final Preparation and drop-off
  13. Developmentally Appropriate Practices
  14. Parent, Child and Teacher Communication

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Health

Beyond Paralysis: How To Talk To Your Son or Daughter About Sexuality (10/9/13). Most people find it embarrassing to talk about sex with their parents, and many parents find it equally uncomfortable, not knowing how to have that conversation. But when people don’t get their questions answered, it feels like they are getting brushed aside. Youth need someone they feel comfortable with to talk to about sex but also about things like abuse. Parents of people with disabilities often struggle to understand their role in supporting their child’s expression of sexuality. This webinar is designed for parents who want to improve their capacity to support their son or daughter. Participants will examine barriers to talking about sexuality and acquire practical skills in communicating about sexuality. During this session we provide insights into myths about people with disabilities and sexuality and disprove them. This webinar will also give parents an opportunity to ask questions. Presenters: Karen Topper, State Coordinator, Green Mountain Self-Advocates (GMSA), and Max Barrows, Outreach Coordinator, Green Mountain Self-Advocates (GMSA). Click here to view the PowerPoint.

What You Need to Know About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – Part Two (9/25/13) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems.” Join part two of this webinar (continued from 6/20/13) for overall information on the disability of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Topics to be reviewed include general information related to: diagnosis; intervention; and family, educational and community supports. Presenter: Susan Ryan, Executive Director and Professor, College of Education & Social Services, UVM Center on Disability and Community Inclusion. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

What You Need to Know About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – Part One (6/20/13) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems.” Join this webinar for overall information on the disability of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Topics to be reviewed include general information related to: diagnosis; intervention; and family, educational and community supports. Presenter: Susan Ryan, Executive Director and Professor, College of Education & Social Services, UVM Center on Disability and Community Inclusion. Click here to view the powerpoint. Face Sheet: Pregnancy & Alcohol in Vermont

Smelling the Smoke – Fighting the Fire: Supporting Students with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse & Mental Health Needs (5/23/13)  Drug and alcohol risks are prevalent in so many ways in the lives of Vermont’s young people. Whether a source of recreation, a coping strategy for stress or family conflict, or an indication of addiction, substance use complicates life’s existing challenges and creates new ones. For many, substance use is but a ‘symptom’ – or smoke – to greater underlying emotional, behavioral, social, or mental health concerns (the fire). With Smelling the Smoke – Fighting the Fire, parents, care givers, and other providers move beyond the one-liners and easy catch-phrases associated with substance abuse to consider ‘functional significance’: what does drug or alcohol use mean in the life of a young person – and what can we do to help. This presentation will offer a foundational perspective – and will provide practical and real-life skills that are proven effective in addressing issues related to substance use and co-existing challenges. Presenter: Mitchell Barron, LICSW LADC, Director, Centerpoint Adolescent Treatment Services

Vermont’s Pediatric Palliative Care Program (1/10/13) Each year many Vermont families learn their child has a serious life-limiting illness or condition. To better support these families, Vermont Medicaid has created a special program, The Pediatric Palliative Care Program (PPCP), for children and adolescents up to the age of 21. Palliative Care is often misunderstood by both families and medical providers, which creates a significant barrier to children and families getting the supportive services they need. In this webinar, we’ll explore what palliative care is, discuss details about the program, and address how this program will integrate into the services currently available to children through Children with Special Health Needs (CSHN). Presenters: Monica Ogelby, CPNP – Pediatric Palliative Care Program, Vermont Chronic Care Initiative, Department of Vermont Health Access and Rosalyn Lavallee, RN – Pediatric High Technology Program, Children with Special Health Needs, Department of Public Health, Click here to view the powerpoint.

Just Personality? Drawing the Line Between Traits and Illness (12/13/12) This presentation looks at the boundary between temperament or personality traits and psychiatric symptoms. A brief overview of child temperament is given followed by a summary of studies, both by the presenter and others, that have examined the role of temperament and personality traits in the development of psychiatric disorders. Presenter: David C. Rettew, MD. Dr. Rettew is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics; Director, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship; Director, Pediatric Psychiatry Clinic at the University of Vermont College of Medicine Check out Dr. Rettew’s Child Mental Health Blog: http://blog.uvm.edu/drettew/ Click here to view the powerpoint.

Update on Children’s Health and Support Services (CHASS) (8/8/12) Learn more about the implementation of changes to Children’s Personal Care Services, including how to budget services as dollars, and some of the changes at ARIS Solutions that might affect you and your employee(s). Presenters: Steve Brooks, Children with Special Health Needs Director, Maryann Wilson, MSW, ARIS Solutions Intermediary Services Organization Coordinator, and Jennifer Garabedian, Children’s Personal Care Services Administrator. Click here to view the powerpoint.

Understanding the New Children’s Health and Support Services (CHASS) (2/15/12) Learn about CHASS’s place within the Integrated Family Services initiative and how improvements will provide a more thoroughly coordinated and integrated serivce package for children with developmental and/or chronic healthcare needs. Presenters: Steve Brooks, Children’s Health and Support Services Director, and Jennifer Garabedian, Children’s Personal Care Services Administrator. FAQ’s on CHASS.

Laying the Foundation: Building a Medical Home for your Child (10/26/11) Learn about the new buzz word “medical home” and how your family fits into this way of delivering health care. Learn what the benefits are, how to know if your child has special health care needs, how to organize medical paperwork, and much more! Every child deserves a medical home- does your child have one? Presenter: Betty Morse, Family Support Consultant, Vermont Family Network

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Special Education

Practical Functional Behavioral Analysis  - Part Two (4/9/14). Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) has been established as a systematic, evidence-based process for assessing the relationship between a behavior and the context in which that behavior occurs. The primary goal of FBA is to guide in the development of an effective positive Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP). Interventions based on an FBA have been shown to result in significant changes in student behavior. Presenters suggest that you listen to FBA Part 1 before participating in this webinar. Presenters: Tracy Harris, Coordinator for the Prevention and Intervention of Challenging Behaviors in Schools, Vermont Agency of Education, and Ken Kramberg, a member of the BEST Team and one of a few internationally recognized Master Trainers in Life Space Crisis Intervention. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Transition Assessments: What are they, how are they used and how are they individualized? (3/5/14). Transition assessments are an ongoing process of collecting data on a student’s needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational and community living environments. Assessment data serve as the common thread in the IEP transition process and form the basis for writing the transition plan in the IEP. This webinar will explore different student case studies that represent a wide variation in disability, and the assessments used for each of those students. Presenters: John Spinney, Post-Secondary Transiton Specialist, SPDG Secondary Transition Project Coordinator, VT AOE. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Statewide Assessment and Students with Disabilities (2/19/14). With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Vermont, many parents of students with disabilities are concerned about the state wide assessment of these standards and how their children will meaningfully participate. Join us for an overview of both the Smarter Balanced and Dynamic Learning Maps Assessments that will be administered in Vermont, next school year, to all children in grades 3-8 and 11. Time will be allowed for questions at the conclusion of the webinar. Presenter(s): Michael Hock, Director of Educational Assessment, Vermont Agency of Education; and Cindy Moran, Alternate Assessment Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Practical Functional Behavioral Assessment - Part One (2/5/14). Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) has been established as a systematic, evidence-based process for assessing the relationship between a behavior and the context in which that behavior occurs. The primary goal of FBA is to guide in the development of an effective positive Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP). Interventions based on an FBA have been shown to result in significant changes in student behavior for students with mild to moderate problem behaviors. This webinar is designed for a variety of individuals (parents, parent advocates, related service providers, etc.) with the training that is advisable for ALL members of a school faculty to have in terms of defining and understanding behavior from a functional point of view. This training will allow participants to come to the table and to participate fully and from an informed point of view in the development of an FBA. A follow-up webinar will be held to provide training in the development of BIPs. Presenters: Tracy Harris, Coordinator for the Prevention and Intervention of Challenging Behaviors in Schools, Vermont Agency of Education, and Ken Kramberg, a member of the BEST Team. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Legal Protections for Vermont’s Homeless Students (1/22/14). In 2012, Vermont experienced a 30% increase in identified homeless public school students. To ensure proper identification, enrollment, and support, it is vital that parents, schools, and advocates understand the rights of homeless students. This presentation will review the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the many types of students covered by the Act, and the situations where conflict or misunderstanding may arise. Presenter: Jay Diaz, Vermont Poverty Law Fellow / Staff Attorney, Poverty Law Project, Vermont Legal Aid. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

*Please note that due to poor sound quality, we will re-record this webinar at a later date.

Common Core Standards: What Parents Need to Know (11/14/13) During this webinar we will discuss the impact of Common Core Standards on students and families. We will describe the changes in classroom instruction for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Additionally, we will offer helpful tips and resources to support families in this transition. Presenters: Laura Baker, Vermont Agency of Education; Lori Dolezal, Elementary Literacy Assessment Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education; Cindy Moran, Alternate Assessment Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education; Tracy Watterson, Elementary Mathematics Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Rule 4500: The Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Vermont Schools (10/1/13) Based on federal guidance, the Vermont State Board of Education added this rule to their manual of rules and practices. The rule went into effect on August 15, 2011, with the purposes of maintaining positive and safe learning environments, promoting positive behavioral interventions and supports, and ensuring that students are not subjected to inappropriate use of restraint or seclusion. Join this webinar to learn more about what is permissible and what is prohibited in accordance to this rule, as well as details in the law regarding reporting requirements, debriefing, etc. If time allows, some general information will be provided that summarizes data collected by the Agency of Education over the two years since this rule has been implemented. Presenter: Tracy Harris, Coordinator for the Prevention and Intervention of Challenging Behaviors in Schools, Vermont Agency of Education. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Bullying and Harassment in Schools: What do I need to know and what can I do to address these behaviors? (9/18/13). Children who are bullied and harassed experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development as well as their school performance. Statistics show that students with disabilities are much more likely to be bullied than their peers without disabilities. This webinar will review the legal differences between bullying and harassment, the most recent changes to the state laws regarding requirements for schools in responding to bullying and harassment, a review of action steps for parents and advocates if a student with disabilities is experiencing bullying or harassment, and if time permits, a look at some effective intervention and proactive prevention strategies for parents and educators. Presenter: Tracey Tsugawa , Vermont Civil Rights Investigator, Vermont Human Rights Commission. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Every Body Moves: Adapted Physical Education in Vermont Schools (8/28/13) All students in Vermont schools are to be provided physical education for development of academic, physical, social and emotional competencies. During this webinar, speakers will outline legal requirements and best practices for adapted physical education. Attendees will hear about the roles and responsibilities of various school staff, parents and community partners. Finally, we will share resources and professional development supports to enhance adapted physical education. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and to hear from others. Presenters: Laura Baker, Educational Consultant, Vermont Agency of Education, and Lindsay Simpson, Physical Education Consultant, Vermont Agency of Education. Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Using PBiS at Home to Improve Family Life (6/12/13) Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS) is a research-based, school-wide system of discipline. Thousands of schools in the U.S. successfully use PBiS including 33% of K-12 schools in Vermont. PBiS is not just for schools! Many parents are using the same ideas to create a better environment for the entire family. If you use positive parenting techniques and want to share your success stories, or want to learn how to get started, please join this webinar to connect with other parents. Presenters from the Vermont Family Network: Janice Sabett, Family Support Consultant and Laurel Sanborn, Family Resource Coordinator. Click here to view the powerpoint.

Constructing a Seat at the Table: VT Parents’ Strategies to Enhance Collaboration with Schools (5/30/13) Colby Kervick is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Vermont and recently completed a research study exploring the perspectives of VT parents on their experiences collaborating with school professionals. She will share selected results of this research study and offer insights about how families can form effective collaborative relationships with schools. She will explore the different roles parents of children with disabilities assume in the process of raising their children, the key strategies that parents shared as being effective, and advice parents wish to convey to other parents of children with disabilities including suggestions on how to foster collaborative relationiships within special education teams. Presenter: Colby Kervick, Senior Lecturer in UVM’s Special Education Department. Click here to view the powerpoint.

Communication and Collaboration within the IEP Process (3/13/13) Are you a parent of a child or youth with special needs? Do you find communicating at IEP meetings to be a challenge? Please join us for this webinar with Katie Shepherd to discuss this very important topic. Katie Shepherd and Susan Hasazi, faculty members in the University of Vermont’s College of Education and Social Services, and Paula Goldberg of the PACER Center in Minneapolis developed the U.S. Department of Education-funded program Parents as Collaborative Leaders, earning national notice. “Parents bring passion, commitment, and in-depth personal knowledge of their child’s disability to the table that immeasurably enhance the work of professionals.  When parents feel like, ‘Oh I can do this, I’m smart, I have skills, I can talk with these school people,’ then suddenly they feel empowered, and when they know that they can also do it in a collaborative way and actually get better results, that’s just a good feeling and a win-win.” -Katie Shepherd.   Katie will share strategies to help families get to that win-win. Please join us!  Presenter: Katharine Shepherd, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont  Click here to view the powerpoint.

Post Secondary Transition for Students with Disabilities in Vermont (2/21/13)  In this webinar we will review the transition process for students with disabilities in Vermont and explore the available resources that are linked through the online Vermont Transition Learning Community. We will discuss how parents can work collaboratively with IEP teams on transition issues. We will also take a look at what transition services may look like for students with mild, moderate and severe disabilities. Presenter: John Spinney, Special Education Consultant, Post-Secondary Transition Specialist, VT Agency of Education Click here to view the powerpoint.

What does the IDEA say about the “Least Restrictive Environment?” (1/23/13)  Placement is one of the most foundational (and potentially contentious) aspects of educating a student with a disability. The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) requires that students with disabilities be educated in the “least restrictive environment” (LRE). But what does that really mean? This webinar will review the basics of LRE and discuss its implications for students, families, and educators. Presenter: Michael F. Giangreco, PhD, Professor; Department of Education and the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at the University of Vermont Click here to view the powerpoint.

Avoiding the School to Prison Pipeline: Children with Disabilities and Juvenile Justice in Vermont: (12/6/12) Many children with behavioral disabilities find themselves in trouble with the law. We will discuss how the juvenile justice system addresses disability-related behaviors, and investigate strategies and responses when children encounter the system. Presenter: Sam Abel-Palmer, Attorney with Vermont Legal Aid, Disability Law Project

Changes to Early Intervention – An Update for Families   (10/11/12) Do you have a child currently receiving Early Intervention services or do you know someone who does? If so, please be sure to join us for this important, informational webinar. This webinar will provide families with the highlights of the recent changes to Part C of IDEA. These changes will effect families currently receiving Children’s Integrated Services – Early Intervention services so if you are a family member please join us and take advantage of this great opportunity to ask questions and ensure that you understand the changes to this important program. Presenter: Terri Edgerton, State Coordinator for the CIS Early Intervention Program Click here to view the powerpoint.

Changes to Early Intervention – An Update for Providers (10/11/12)  This webinar is for early intervention providers and highlights the changes in the regulations that will impact their practices in the field as well as clarifying the language and definitions. Please join us and learn more about this important topic! Presenter: Terri Edgerton, State Coordinator for the CIS Early Intervention Program Click here  to view the powerpoint.

Building a Better IEP  (9/26/12) Do you have a school-age child with special needs? Does your child have an Individualized Education Program (IEP)? Do you sometimes feel uncertain or overwhelmed as you try to “navigate” the IEP process? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, please join this webinar to learn more about: special education evaluations (and re-evaluations), qualifying for an IEP, developing a strong IEP…it’s a process, not a single event!, parents as equal partners, and where to get more information and help. Presenter: Karen Price, Family Support Consultant, Vermont Family Network.

Response to Intervention, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and Differentiated Instruction (3/13/12) In this webinar you will learn about several different instructional methods that can help children achieve academic and social success in school. Response to Intervention (Rti), Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS), and Differentiated Instruction. In Vermont, the PBiS model is the one most often adopted by schools. To learn what’s happening in your school district, contact your child’s teacher, the school principal, or the Vermont Family Network. For more information, please review the Response to Intervention (Rti): Guide for Parents and the Positive Behavior Supports (VTPBis): Guide for Parents.  Presenter: Martha Frank, Family Support Consultant, Vermont Family Network

Coordinated Services Planning for Children with Complex Needs and Their Families  (2/14/12) Coordinated services planning is part of the Vermont System of Care for children with complex needs and their families. Find out about eligibility, and the benefits. Presenters: Kathy Holsopple, Executive Director from VT Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, and Cindy Marshall, Assistant Director from VT Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.FAQ’s on Coordinated Services Planning

Special Education in Mai-Mai (1/13/12) This Webinar covered the special education process including; Evaluation, Individual Education Plan (IEP), Discipline Process for students with IEP’s, Parent’s Rights and how to disagree. The webinar is interpreted in Mai-Mai, the spoken language of Somali Bantu.

Advocating for Your Child  (11/30/11) This webinar is for parents of school-age children with special needs, who would like to learn more about the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process. Throughout this webinar our presenter reviews the  rights of parents, and tips for communicating more effectively with your child’s team. Presenter: Ellen Vaut, Family Support Consultant, Vermont Family Network

Navigating Special Education (7/13/11) This Webinar covered the special education process including; Evaluation, Individual Education Plan (IEP), Discipline Process for students with IEP’s, Parent’s Rights and how to disagree. Presenter: Christine Kilpatrick, Director Family Support, Vermont Family Network.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS) (2/16/11) Positive Behavior Supports (VTPBiS) is a school-wide approach to creating a positive and safe climate in which students can learn and grow. Vermont’s VTPBiS State Leadership Team has been working to bring VTPBiS to Vermont schools. Currently over 50 schools, pre-K through high school, are adopting VTPBiS. This webinar discusses PBiS and how parents can be involved in their child’s PBiS school program. Presenter: Richard Boltax, VT Department of Education Consultant.

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