Centers for Excellence

Educator Conference

Effective Practice for Students with Down Syndrome:
Tools for Today’s Classroom

Join the National Down Syndrome Congress and world-renowned speakers for a special workshop for educators working to enhance outcomes for their students with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities, as well as autism.

This workshop will engage participants in identifying and implementing strategies applicable to classrooms from kindergarten through 8th grades. Discussions will include ways to further include students in the general education classroom through effective literacy interventions, differentiated curriculum, technology, and behavioral practices.

Practical in nature, the workshop will equip participants with ideas, solutions, and tools to implement in the classroom.

Date: Friday, July 13, 2018
Time: 8:00 am – 4:15 pm
Location: Sheraton Dallas Hotel and Conference Center

Fee: $100 (includes CEU credits)

Educator Conference Registration has reached capacity and is now closed.

2018 Presentation Schedule

8:00am – 8:15am Check-in
8:30am – 10:00am Teach Literacy
10:10am – 10:30am Ed-Med Minute
10:45am – 12:15pm Technology Innovation
12:15pm – 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm – 2:30pm Behavior Management
2:45pm – 4:15pm Differentiated Instruction

Session Information

Teach Literacy

Building Strong Readers

Dana Halle, JD

This session will provide participants with evidence-based strategies, resources and activities for effective literacy instruction for students with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. Topics will include sight word acquisition, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and assessment. Activities will be illustrated with pictures and video examples from students in Down Syndrome Foundation’s The Learning Program™ and After School Academy™. Participants will receive a classroom guide to activities and access to an instructional video library. There will also be opportunities for continued engagement through LP Online™ and The Empowered Educator Program, both part of NDSC’s Center for Educational Excellence.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will understand what research and practice suggest about teaching literacy to students with DS.

2. Participants will learn strategies for effective literacy instruction for students with DS.

3. Participants will walk away with student activities to teach and reinforce skill development in each of the topic areas discussed.

About the Presenter:

Dana Halle is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County. She also developed and continues to expand The Learning Program and LP Online, educational platforms which improve academic outcomes for learners with Down syndrome. She currently trains and supports twenty Down syndrome organizations for delivery of their local Learning Programs, and she works with 180 parents through LP Online. Dana also provides weekly direct instruction on literacy, math and social skills to thirty students (ages nine through twenty-one) in DSF’s Learning Center in Irvine, California. Dana attended Pomona College, where she earned a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis & Psychology and the University of California, Hastings School of Law, where she earned her J.D. Dana practiced law as a business litigator for ten years before taking time off to parent her three children, the youngest of whom, Nick, has Down syndrome. Soon after Nick’s birth in 1998, Dana began advocating on behalf of children with Down syndrome and their families.

Teach Literacy Session pdf

Technology Innovation

It’s Not Just Technology, It’s Philosophy = Solutions For All

Sean Smith, PhD and Kate Dougherty

This session focuses on how technology tools and solutions can be utilized to enhance the inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome in the general education classroom. A focus on the identification of potential barriers interfering with student development and overall access to the inclusionary setting will be addressed. A focus on current and future technologies that open BOTH the academic and employment world will be addressed. Finally, APPS, APPS, and MORE!

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will be able to identify popular myth and misconception interfering in the learning process as they apply to technology for learners and those both with and without disabilities.

2. Participants will understand ways to integrate and create ideas and ways no tech and a variety of different technologies can be utilized at home, school and in the real world.

3. Participants will begin to apply practical ways to utilize tools and tech solutions to increase content accessibility in the general education classroom and further develop skills that promote independence across the lifespan.

About the Presenters:

Sean Smith, PhD, is working as a faculty member at the University of Kansas, Sean has concentrated his efforts on technology innovations that can further the development and independence of struggling learners and those with disabilities. Recently, this has included work in the area of online/personalized learning, virtual reality, and Universal Design for Learning. The parent of four school-age children, Sean’s oldest son with Down syndrome has been a significant influence on his work.

Kate Dougherty is a proud wife and M-O-M of 4 children (2 biologically original, 1 which ROCKS his extra chromosome, and 2 biologically shared). Kate has a background in the brokerage/marketing industry, holds a B.A. in History/Political Science and a Lifetime teaching certificate for grades 9-12 in Social Science, Communication Arts and Speech/Theater.

Technology Innovation Session pdf

Behavior Management

Classroom Behavior: Prevent, Treat and Repeat…

Stacy Taylor, MA, BCBA

Educators are tasked with teaching and when problem behaviors get in the way, it can be beyond frustrating for everyone involved. This presentation will discuss ways to set children up for success in the classroom and if problem behaviors occur, ways to prevent and treat these behaviors to get students back to learning. When educators are given the tools they need to support all the learners in their class, the results are more learning, better classroom behavior and a happier classroom family.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will learn key factors for student success in the classroom.

2. Participants will understand how asking the right questions can help understand and improve student behavior.

3. Participants will learn essential preventative, teaching and consequence based strategies to improve student outcomes.

About the Presenter:

Stacy Taylor received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rollins College and completed her Masters degree in Education at the University of Central Florida. For over 18 years, she has worked as an early interventionist, educator and behavior analyst providing services to people with developmental disabilities and learning/behavioral challenges. She has served as director for 3 clinical programs and currently owns and operates an Applied Behavior Analysis program, Advance Behavior & Learning, and a fully inclusive 21st century private school, Advance Learning Academy in Central Florida. Mrs. Taylor has worked in a variety of settings including clinics, schools, and homes. In addition to providing 1:1 treatment to children, she has also provided training and consultation to parents, teachers, therapists and agencies. She has spoken at numerous conferences across the country on early intervention, education and behavioral treatment and served on the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. She also enjoys teaching college level courses that help students learn more about inclusion, learning and behavior and provides an internship site to give students a start in the field and gain real-world experience.

Classroom Behavior Session pdf

Differentiated Instruction

Creating Successful Inclusion for All: Accommodations and Modifications that Work!

Christi Kasa, PhD

This interactive session for educators and families will explore how the use of accommodations and modifications can be a key to meaningful participation in the general education classroom for students with disabilities.

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn the roles of accommodations and modifications and the difference between them.

2. Understand the various accommodations and modification strategies and tools that can assist teachers and parents.

3. Learn how Universal Design for learning can be a foundation for designing curriculum that is meaningful and accessible.

About the Presenter:

Christi Kasa, PhD is an Associate Professor for the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at the University of Colorado. Her teaching, research, and consulting are guided by her passion to create successful inclusive schools for all students. Christi teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes focusing on differentiated instruction, best practice for inclusive schooling, and communication strategies for people with autism. Christi began her career teaching in the public schools of California as a general education teacher and special education teacher. Christi also is the Director of the Office of Inclusive Services that provides support to students with intellectual disabilities who attend the University of Colorado.

Differentiated Instruction Session pdf

Conference Flier and Session pdfs