Communication Webinars (Archived)

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Person-Centered Thinking for Families (5/9/18) This presentation will provide an overview of what the Person-Centered Thinking process is all about. When making decisions or plans that affect your child, the strategies described in Person Centered-Thinking provide ways to put your child at the forefront. The strategies also offer practical ways to guide how care routines are set up as well as how to choose medical treatments and make decisions around school. The presenter will share stories of families that have used the Person-Centered Thinking process and how they are being applied in Vermont and other parts of the country. Presenter: Roy Gerstenberger, Principal, First Person Services View PowerPoint.

Communication Styles (6/15/16) Are you an effective communicator? Do you get what you want while also considering the needs and wants of others? Presenters from the Vermont Center for Independent Learning will review communication styles (passive, aggressive, assertive) and the importance of tone. Presenters: Alaina Clements, Assistive Technology Specialist, Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) and Tyler Sweeten, Youth Transition Team Member, VCIL. View PowerPoint.

Trusting Family Partnerships in Inclusive Education: Lessons from the Field (5/13/15). Are you interested in learning about how inclusive schools have successfully fostered family-professional partnership? This webinar will address (a) why family-professional partnership is important and (b) how inclusive elementary and middle school personnel can work towards forming these partnerships with their families. We will explore current research on this topic and then delve more deeply into the findings of a multi-site qualitative study that examined successful inclusive schools’ strategies for developing strong family-professional partnerships. We will discuss numerous strategies used by these schools and discuss your strategies for strengthening family-professional partnership. Presenter: Shana Haines, PhD, Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of Vermont Department of Education. View PowerPoint.

Advocating for Your Child (1/14/15). Parents are their children’s best advocates. What is advocacy? How do I communicate more effectively? Why is validation and effective communication so important to successful advocacy? Whether you advocate for your child’s health care, education or overall development, join this webinar for an overview of practical suggestions and tips that other families have found to be helpful. Presenter: Janice Sabett, Family Support Consultant – Training Specialist, Vermont Family Network. View PowerPoint.

Resolving Disagreements between Parents and Schools  (10/22/14). Conflicts and disagreements between parents and schools are fairly common when the needs of students with disabilities are at stake. Issues related to evaluations, eligibility, IEP services, 504 plans, transportation, discipline and other issues often arise and need to be resolved. This webinar seeks to provide parents with common sense tools and approaches for conflict resolution in the educational setting. Presenter: Greg Van Buiten, private attorney admitted in Vermont and New Hampshire with a concentration in disability law. View 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 relationships within special education teams. Presenter: Colby Kervick, Senior Lecturer in UVM’s Special Education Department. View 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. View PowerPoint.

Legislative Advocacy: How do you move your ideas into legislative action? (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 coalition 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. View PowerPoint. 


Webinars may include the views or recommendations of third parties and do not necessarily reflect the views of VFN.

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