April 29, 2017

Dyslexia: Strategies and Beyond

Description: Keynote speaker will be Liam Haller, Eye to Eye Diplomat, Northwestern University. From being unsure to igniting hope, Eye to Eye Diplomats are living proof that for a young person with LD/ADHD, first finding your voice and then giving it bold expression creates a chain of confidence that changes the world. When you can believe in yourself as a Different Thinker, as these Diplomats encourage others to do, you can see yourself as an equal...to anyone.

As a kid, Liam struggled with reading—and his grade school standardized tests quickly singled him out as a "different thinker." For the years that followed, his hard work and sheer tenacity helped him to get through school. Once he got to high school, though, his challenges caught up with him, and he found an ally in his Freshman English teacher. Since then—equipped with the diagnosis of dyslexia and dysgraphia—Liam has excelled as a student and an Eye to Eye leader. An avid linguist, Liam is a two-time silver medalist in the International Latin Exam and a recipient of the New York State Youth in Philanthropy Award. In his free time, he enjoys competitive Olympic weightlifting and hanging out with friends.

Guest speaker will be Dr. John Almarode. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education at James Madison University. He is also the Co-Director of James Madison University's Center for STEM Education and Outreach and co-editor of the Teacher Educator's Journal. At James Madison University, John works with pre-service teachers in elementary science methods and actively pursues research interests in the science of learning, the design and measurement of classroom environments that promote student engagement and learning, and the interest and engagement in STEM disciplines, specialized STEM high schools, and college and university laboratory schools. The work of John and his colleagues has been presented to the United States Congress, Virginia Senate, United States Department of Education, and Office of Science and Technology Policy at The White House. John has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on the application of the science of learning to the classroom, school, and home environments. He has worked with hundreds of school districts and thousands of teachers in countries as far away as Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and South Korea. John has authored multiple articles, reports, book chapters, and two books, including Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6–12 (Corwin Press, 2013). He is currently working on the K–5 version of the same book as well as a book on teacher clarity.

Location: James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Registration: Registration will be $100.00 with lunch included and opens March 1, 2017. Watch the website va.dyslexiaida.org for the announcement and registration link.


May 3–5, 2017

The 41st Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference

Description: This conference provides a unique focus on practical solutions and interventions to improve brain injury rehabilitation practice.

Location: Williamsburg Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Williamsburg, Virginia

Intended Audience: Rehabilitation professionals, including psychologists, counselors, social workers, case managers, CBIS, OT, PT, SLP, and physicians

Sponsored By: Brain Injury Services

Registration: Visit http://braininjurysvcs.org/williamsburg-tbi-conference/register-now.html to register.


May 4, 2017

Alternate Access: From Switches to Eye Gaze

Morning Session – Switch Accessibility, the iPad, and Computer Access: The Basics and Beyond

Description:  When we look at making the iPad or computer technology accessible for students with significant disabilities, we may find motoric challenges impact potential success. In order to overcome this barrier, we often turn to switches as tools to support access. However, in order for our kids to be successful with an iPad, we need to understand a few foundational concepts related to Apple’s switch control settings, scanning options, as well as the different types of switches and interface devices, iPad cases, and mounting options. This workshop will cover such topics as, switch selection and placement, switch control settings, switch interface devices, mounting options, and tips for configuring switch-enabled apps and programs. Finally, we will explore apps/programs for communication, literacy, math, and the content areas and look at meaningful ways these apps/programs can be used to engage and motivate our students to access instruction.

Afternoon Session – Beyond the Switch: Affordable Eye Gaze for Instructional Access and Communication

Description:  For many years, switch access has been the only option for many of our students with motoric challenges. Even once eye gaze technology became available, it was either too unreliable, challenging, or cost-prohibitive for school districts or our students’ families.

Recently, new and more affordable technology has emerged that is more accurate, forgiving, and customizable in terms of providing access to computer-based activities and communication opportunities.

During our time together, participants will get an in-depth view of the technology, be able to identify potential candidates, explore eye gaze training software providing opportunities for individuals to develop the skills necessary to control a mouse cursor with their eyes, and how to collect and capture student data. Ideas for maximizing user success and opportunities to review third party software designed to support communication access will also be shared.              

Presenter: Cindy Richardson is an AT Practitioner with over 30 years of experience and is the Business Development Manager with Ablenet, Inc.

Location: Virginia Tech T/TAC AT Lab, Blacksburg, VA

Intended Audience: Parents and professionals who support a student or students with complex needs

Time: 8:30am–3:00pm (lunch provided)

Registration: Visit https://form.jotform.com/61683602021951.


June 19–21, 2017  

12th Annual Speech & Language Pathologist (SLP) Institute 2017

Location: Best Western Hotel and Conference Center, Waynesboro, Virginia

Sponsored By: Region 5 Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) and Virginia Department of Education

Registration: Registration will open April 20, 2017.

Additional Information: For more information, visit www.ttaconline.org and www.ttacjmu.org.  


June 28–29, 2017  

2017 CoLA Summer Institute – Leaders Networking for Success

Description: D.J. Svoboda was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 3. Today, he is a dynamic motivational speaker, artist, and author. Hearing D.J. tell his story of how he uses his art as a vehicle to spread the message of hope, inspiration, and awareness is sure to encourage you!

Young adults who have gained employment after participation in Project SEARCH will present information about their transition from high school to employment. Topics will include the impact of Project SEARCH on social skills, communication, self-determination, and independence. Additionally, these successful youth will share lessons learned in the transition from school to work. 

Location: Doubletree by Hilton, 1021 Koger Center Boulevard, Midlothian, Virginia

Sponsored By: Virginia Department of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University's Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE), and T/TAC at VCU. 

Registration: Please visit http://www.vcuautismcenter.org/registration/conference/.

Additional Information: Registration includes breakfast, lunch, and all conference materials. Early bird registration is $70.00 from April 19th to June 2nd. Late registration is $90.00 from June 3–16. Hotel costs are included for registrants traveling more than 50 miles one way from work location to event. For more information, click here.


June 29–30, 2017  

Opening Doors – Unlocking Potential 2017!

Description: This is the 11th annual state-wide professional development institute for teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing and all who work directly with students who are deaf and hard of hearing. ODUP is now known as Virginia's Go-To event for teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing (TODHH) and other educators who work directly with students who are d/hh to increase their knowledge and skills specifically for the unique needs of this population. This year's two-day ODUP Institute will focus on effective strategies, assessments and more to positively impact outcomes for students who are d/hh and have additional concerns (i.e., D/HH Plus). This includes an exciting "short course" on behavior strategies for students with complex needs.  Opening Doors To Life Beyond High School (OD2LBHS), the valuable pre-session will be on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.  See the OD2LBHS page for specifics on the only state-wide event designed for rising 8th-rising 12th grade students and Class of 2017 graduates who are deaf/hard of hearing and their parents/guardians and professionals who work with transition age students.

Location: Double Tree by Hilton in Richmond-Midlothian, Virginia

Intended Audience: Teachers of students who are deaf/hard of hearing, SLPs and educators who work directly with students who are deaf/hard of hearing.

Sponsored By: Virginia Department of Education and Technical Assistance Center for Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing at the Partnership for People with Disabilities, VCU

Time: Thursday, June 29 (9:00am–5:00pm) and Friday, June 30 (7:30am–1:00pm)

Registration: Visit http://www.cvent.com/d/f5qncd to register.

Additional Information: For registration assistance, please contact Kristen Stahr at khstahr@vcu.edu or call 804-828-9920. For ODUP content information, please contact Ann Hughes at awhughes@vcu.edu or call 804-828-1342.


July 19–21, 2017

Creating Connections to Shining Stars

Description: Virginia’s collaborative early childhood birth-through-five summer conference educating our infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities as well as advocating for them and supporting their families. An evidence-based professional development for practitioners in early intervention and early childhood, administrators, related service providers and family members.    

Location: Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, Roanoke, Virginia

Intended Audience: Administrators, early interventionists, guidance counselors, OTs, paraprofessionals, parents/families/PT, SLPs, teachers, transition coordinators 

Sponsored By: Partnership for People with Disabilities, Infant & Toddler Connections of Virginia, Integrated Training Collaborative, Virginia Cross-Sector Professional Development (VCPD): Coordination Across Earlty Childhood Systems

Time: Coming Soon

Registration: Click here to register.

Additional Information: Coming soon