Educators Conference - June 25, 2020

Join the National Down Syndrome Congress for a one-day conference designed for educators working to enhance outcomes for their students with Down syndrome, autism, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Practical in nature, this conference will engage participants in identifying and implementing strategies applicable to K-12 classrooms. Discussions will provide strategies for educators to enhance instruction through effective reading interventions, differentiated and universally designed curriculum, technology, and behavioral practices. Attendees will leave equipped with ideas, tips, strategies, tools, and solutions that they can implement in the classroom. View and download our brochure, so you can share it with educators who might want to attend!

Thursday, June 25, 2020
Hyatt Regency New Orleans
601 Loyola Avenue

8:15 AM to 4:00 PM (check-in begins at 7:45 AM)
$129 – includes conference, materials, lunch and 6 CEU credits

Register Now

Session Descriptions

SESSION 1 – BUILDING STRONG READERS

This session will provide participants with evidence-based strategies, resources, and activities for effective reading instruction for students with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Topics will include decoding, sentence building, 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™. Attendees will receive electronic access to instructional guides, access to an extensive video library, and opportunities for continued engagement and support.

  • Participants will understand what research and practice suggest about teaching reading to students with Down syndrome.
  • Participants will learn strategies for effective reading instruction for students with Down syndrome.
  • Participants will walk away with student activities to teach and reinforce skill development in each of the topic areas discussed.

SESSION 2 – TECH TOOLS TO PROMOTE ACCESS TO LEARNING

This session will focus on the use of technology tools and solutions to utilize and 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. Attendees will learn about apps, web-based resources, similar tech tools, and solutions that are available for application in the classroom and home.

  • Participants will be able to identify popular myths and misconceptions interfering in the learning process as they apply to technology for learners with and without disabilities.
  • Participants will understand ways to integrate technology and create ideas using a variety of technologies that can be utilized at home, school, and in the real world.
  • 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.

SESSION 3 – CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR: PREVENT, TREAT, AND REPEAT…

This session will focus on addressing classroom management when behavioral problems interfere with educating all students in their classrooms. Problem behavior can be beyond frustrating for not only the educator but students as well. This session will discuss ways to prevent problem behavior; how to set children up for success in the classroom, should problem behaviors occur; and ways to address these behaviors to get students back to learning. This session will also equip attendees with the tools needed to support all learners in their class, resulting in more learning, better classroom behavior, and a happier classroom family.

  • Participants will learn key factors for student success in the classroom.
  • Participants will understand how asking the right questions can help them understand and improve student behavior.
  • Participants will learn essential preventative, teaching and consequence-based strategies to improve student outcomes.

SESSION 4 – PLANNING AND INSTRUCTION FOR ACCESSING THE GENERAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM

This session will focus on effective interventions that seek to increase time, the instructional effectiveness, and the overall engagement of ALL students, particularly those with Down syndrome. With the goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing resources educators use to support students with Intellectual Disability, the session will focus on ways we can support the movement of students from less inclusive to more inclusive environments. Structured around effective practices, participants will learn how to plan for and implement strategies that work to further include students with Down syndrome.

  • Participants will learn ways to meaningfully plan for the variability of all students while identifying barriers that often challenge instructional, behavioral, and social-emotional efforts in today’s classroom.
  • Participants will learn ten essential tips/practices to foster a more inclusive classroom for learners with Down syndrome and similar at-risk peers.
  • Participants will leave with specific effective interventions to apply across grade and content areas for today’s inclusive classroom.

Presenter Biographies

DANA HALLE, J.D.

Dana is the developer of The Learning Program and LP Online, educational platforms that focus on improving academic outcomes for learners with Down syndrome in the areas of literacy and math. She currently trains and supports hundreds of teachers, parents, and students with Down syndrome across the nation and around the world. Dana also provides weekly direct instruction on literacy and math to students through DSF’s Learning Center in Irvine, California. For more information, please visit www.dsfoc.org.

Dana attended Pomona College, where she earned a B.A.in Public Policy Analysis and Psychology. She also attended 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 directing her energies towards developing programs to improve education for learners with Down syndrome through direct service to parents, teachers, and students.

SEAN SMITH, PH.D.

Sean is a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas where his focus is technology innovations to support and foster learning for ALL students, particularly those with disabilities. Working with educators, families, and other stakeholders, Sean focuses on the framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to facilitate understanding and application. Sean has authored over 100 books and articles, regularly presents across the country, and serves as the Principal Investigator on a number of federally funded projects. His most recent focus has been on virtual reality for social-emotional learning. Sean’s work has been significantly influenced by his four children, one who has Down syndrome.

STACY TAYLOR, MA, B.C.B.A.

Stacy received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rollins College and her Master’s degree in Education from 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. Stacy 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. Stacy 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. Stacy has spoken at numerous conferences across the country on early intervention, education, and behavioral treatment. She has 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 where they gain real-world experience.

MARTHA THURLOW, PH.D.

Martha is Director of the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) and serves in an advisory role for TIES Center. As NCEO Director, she addresses the implications of contemporary U.S. policy and practice for students with disabilities and English Learners, including national and statewide assessment policies and practices, standards-setting efforts, and graduation requirements. Her areas of focus include the development and implementation of policies and practices that include all students, including students with significant cognitive disabilities. As advisor to TIES Center, she contributes to all aspects of the project, including its knowledge development efforts and its technical assistance work with states.