Our annual conference is on Wednesday April 3, 2019. There will be a Keynote Address and 10 workshops. Here is a list of the workshops that we’ve confirmed so far. Stay tuned for more information to come!

Keynote Presentation

Don’t DISmyABILITY: A Transformational Journey from Juvenile Delinquent to Juris Doctor

Hasan Davis will share his journey through the education, justice and social service systems. Systems that often failed to provide him the support he needed to be successful. Hasan was lucky to find that on his journey there were, within each system, outliers and resisters who found a way to engage, encourage and empower him. With their support, he transcended his mounting list of “failures” to become an strong self-advocate and eventually a champion for others facing difficulties. Hasan believes that each person in the community has the opportunity, and the responsibility, to influence and change the way youth encounter the education, justice and social service systems. Hasan will share the simple strategies his personal champions employed to help him complete the “JD shuffle” and go from Hasan Davis Juvenile Delinquent to Hasan Davis Juris Doctor. Presenter: Hasan Davis

This keynote is intended for all participants.

Session 1- 10:45 am – 12:00 noon

Workshop  – Finding Your Story 

Every person hopes to one day become the hero of their own story. For young people experiencing disabilities it is, sometimes, difficult to own our own experience and to feel empowered to determine how we navigate them to find personal success. In this workshop Hasan will lead participants through a creative, self-exploration exercise and then share his personal strategies for success beyond the daily challenges that we face when trying to write our own stories. Hasan has shared these strategies (Hasan’s Rules) which were instrumental in shaping his own journey with groups of youth and many settings. He is very excited to share them with you! Presenter: Hasan Davis

This workshop is intended for transition-age youth (ages 14-26) and those who support them.

Workshop  – Challenging Behaviors and School Success: Turning it Around with an FBA and BIP

Children with challenging behaviors often struggle with school success. These behaviors do not happen in a vacuum. Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is a process for identifying the underlying reasons for problem behaviors — the things that reliably predict them and keep them happening.  A Behavior Support Plan (BSP) turns the information gathered from the FBA into a concrete plan of action for supporting the struggling student. This workshop will provide an overview of how to conduct a simple FBA and use that information to guide a BSP. Participants will learn the skills they need to look at behaviors differently, to prevent or replace problematic behaviors, and to participate in FBA/BSP meetings at school. Workshop participants will also be given guidance on when to ask for a more complex FBA. Presenter: Tracy Harris, Coordinator for Behavioral Supports, Vermont Agency of Education

This workshop is intended for transition-age youth (ages 14-26) and those who support them.

Workshop – The Sibling Story (details coming soon)

Workshop – Anxiety in Children (details coming soon)

Workshop – Presenters from the Vermont Department of Health (details coming soon)

Session 2 – 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Workshop  – Including Families and Students as Partners in the IEP and Transition Planning

In this interactive session, filmmaker and parent advocate Dan Habib will discuss detailed tips and strategies for fostering collaboration between families and schools throughout the IEP process and transition planning. Habib will share how he and his wife have worked to support Samuel’s self-advocacy through student-led IEPs, person centered planning, open team communication and extensive family engagement in writing the IEP itself. Presenter: Dan Habib

This workshop is intended for parents of transition-age youth (ages 14-26) and those who support them.

Workshop – Calling all Youth! Hear the Inspiring Stories from Young Adults who Turned Their Dreams into Reality

What does it take to have a successful transition from high school to postsecondary or employment? A panel of young Vermonters will share their transition tips and stories, exploring the important topics ranging from IEP transition plans, postsecondary paths, the world of employment, independent living, and the agencies and resources that helped along the way. These successful young adults will share what helped, what didn’t, and what is really making a difference in their adult life. Come hear from peers who raised their aspirations, faced their challenges head on, and succeeded! Presenter: Martha Frank, Family Support Consultant, Vermont Family Network, and a panel of transition-age youth

This workshop is intended for transition-age youth (ages 14-26) and those who support them.

Workshop  – Talking with Your Son or Daughter About Sexuality (details coming soon)

Workshop  – Childhood Trauma (details coming soon)

Workshop  – Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts (details coming soon)

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