top of page


Saturday Sessions


8:15 - 9L30 am

Radically Visioning Our Future: Transforming Education Through Disability Justice

Presented by: Lydia X Z Brown

For students with disabilities and students of color - and particularly for negatively racialized disabled students ― school is not a safe place or an opportunity for learning. The education system in the United States came to its modern form as a means of preparing students to participate in an industrialized capitalist political economy. Because of endemic and pervasive white supremacist and ableist values in pedagogical design, curriculum development, and teacher education, students at the margins of the margins continue to be left out and left behind. Applying a framework and principles of disability justice - a radically intersectional practice ― to education enables us to re-envision and rebuild what schools might be like as sites for community engagement, accountability, multicultural responsiveness, and growing the seeds of social change.

Session 1

10:15 - 11:25 am

A Coordinated Approach to Regional Behavioral Health in Schools

Presented by Royce Tranum, LCSW & Brandi N. Durr, M.S.,Ed.S., NCSP

In a rural community that is both geographically and culturally diverse, we have utilized a coordinated approach to promote and support high quality behavioral health supports among the schools in our region. With an MTSS framework, networked collaborative communities, stakeholder groups and the use of technology we have supported the implementation of initiatives including Restorative Practices, Trauma Informed Care, Suicide Prevention and Affective Education. Come learn about our framework and hear from the schools who are seeing the positive impact for students!

Connecting the Dots: Diagnostic Profile to Lesson Plan

Presented by: Corey Pollard, M.S. 

This session discusses the critical aspects of the special education evaluation that must be considered when creating an intervention program designed to meet the individual needs of students with reading disabilities such as dyslexia. While we know what guides effective reading intervention, there are a number of key factors identified within the evaluation report that we must recognize in order to provide the most targeted intervention. This understanding will result in the most significant growth for our struggling readers.

Connecting the Dots Handout (PDF)

Creating Trauma-Sensitive School Wide Behavioral MTSS Approaches

Presented by Morgan Beidleman, M.Ed., MA

Attendees will explore the effects of trauma and toxic stress on development. With that knowledge, they will learn a comprehensive behavioral MTSS systems approach to better support all students at each tier. Participants will be able to tailor the essential components of a trauma-sensitive MTSS approach to meet the needs of their school.

Creating Trauma-Sensitive School Handout (PDF)

Developmentally Relevant Behavioral Intervention Planning  

Presented by Jessica Pfeifer

Creating BIPs that are developmentally relevant can feel overwhelming. This session will focus on a few neurobiological principles to keep in mind when creating a BIP. Participants will also get to practice using these concepts in a practical manner.

Optimizing Learning for Students with Down Syndrome, Etc

Presented by: T E Burnett, B Gaccetta, A Vanzant 

Ever heard, “He’s so affectionate”, “They’re too low to read”, “She’s so stubborn”? Get the truths surrounding students with Down Syndrome and other complex learners! Learn about potential physical and medical conditions that impact academic and behavioral functioning. Leave with tools to help optimize your instruction with complex learners.

Ready, Set, Now How do I Get Started?

Presented by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ADHD-CCSP & Carly Goldrich

Getting started – it’s often the hardest part for some kids, especially when they are challenged with ADHD /Executive Function Issues. Through understanding the process involved with task initiation, and addressing some potential obstacles, this workshop will provide tools for helping students begin their work and achieve greater success.

Ready, Set, Now Handout (PDF)

Self-Directed Professional Development as a 21st Century Special Educator

Presented by Jennifer Fox, Erin Bache &  Joshua Martin

This session will explore how teachers can leverage professional networks to increase their effectiveness as a teacher and leader in the field. Teachers will be given tools, resources and ideas to go outside of their classroom to access opportunities for professional growth that are personal to them. All participants will leave with an individualized professional trajectory tied to their longer term goals in the field.

Self-Directed Professional Development Handout (PDF)

Selfish is Selfless: Self-care for the caregiver

Presented by: Meredith Borden 

Although rewarding, providing care to students and children with exceptional needs can be demanding and exhausting. This workshop will allow participants to assess their self-care practices, engage in purposeful conversation to discuss barriers to self-care, and develop self-care plans that will restore their emotional bank accounts.

Selfish is Selfless Handout 1 (PDF)

Selfish is Selfless Handout 2 (PDF)

Selfish is Selfless Handout 3 (PDF)

Teachers and Paraprofessionals Working Together: Roles and Responsibilities

Presented by Ritu V. Chopra, PhD


Paraprofessionals support children with disabilities in a variety of settings. It is critical that teachers and paraeducators work well together to improve outcomes for students. This session highlights the importance of differentiation of roles and responsibilities, collaboration and administrative supports for team-building and effective utilization of paraprofessionals will be shared.

Teachers and Paraprofessionals Handout (PDF)


The TGAP: Developing Meaningful Aligned Annual Goals

Presented by Lori Y Peterson & Jessica Stauffer


Simplify the process of developing compliant and meaningful transition IEPs. The Transition Gap Analysis Process (TGAP) walks you through the creation of annual goals that authentically relate to the skills, knowledge and behaviors needed to close performance gaps. Hear experiences and tips from a practitioners who use the TGAP.

Using Facilitative Skills to Improve Outcomes within the IEP Process

Presented by Mary Ann Fleury, Jill Pidcock

This session provides tools to maintain collaborative relationships in the IEP process, ensuring parent engagement. Participants will learn about 1 and receive tools that can be implemented immediately to support positive outcomes in the development of the IEP. The tools will support moving a team towards success, even when conflict is already present. Attend and receive your tool kit to bring back to your teams!

Using Facilitative Skills Handout (PDF) 

Session 2

1:30 - 2:40 PM

The Transformation of Educational Practices

Presented by Jessica Pfeiffer

This session will focus on 4 elements for a Tier I MTSS lens and how to embed developmentally relevant and neurobiologically sensitive principles in to the services we provide for all students. Participants will get the chance to explore their own educational settings and audit areas of strength and possible areas of growth.

Understanding and Challenging Abelism in Disability Advocacy

Presented by: Lydia X. Z. Brown

Why are the world's largest disability organizations led almost entirely by non-disabled people? How do stereotypes of disabled people actively contribute to staggering rates of school pushout, unemployment, sexual abuse, and mass incarceration? What does it mean to advocate for disability as opposed to advocating with disabled people? In this workshop, we will explore how ableism (disability discrimination) affects both individual disabled people and public discourse and policies that affect us more broadly. We will break down what ableism means and how we can examine our own perceptions of disability in working to build a more supportive, empowering, and equitable future for autistic and other disabled people.

Creating Neurologically Sound Classrooms

Presented by Emily Scott


In a world filled with sensory stimuli coming at our students all the time, it is important to build learning environments where students can filter stimuli, make meaningful sense of sensory information and ultimately learn how they learn best. This is done through thoughtful, flexible and purposeful design of classroom spaces.

Creating Neurologically Sound Classrooms Handout (PDF)

From Oh My Gosh to WOW!

Presented by Robin Brewer & Diane Carroll


Come Jump on the Train with us as a panel of education professionals highlights their individual journey toward inclusive services for their students with Significant Support Needs (SSN). Participants will hear the stories of how individuals used the Quality Indicators for creating action plans and improving evidence-based services

From Oh My Gosh to Wow! Handout 1 (PDF)

From Oh My Gosh to Wow! Handout 2 (PDF)

Legal Update: What's Happening Now?

Presented by Dr. Jacque Phillips, Esq.


An annual analysis of Colorado special education cases will be presented.This includes cases from CDE and OCR and from our office (maintaining confidentiality, of course). True stories will be told that will hold your interest. There will be a Q and A but specific cases from the audience will not be addressed.

Meeting IEP needs or Differential Education Using Google Classroom 

Presented by Carol J. Torrez


In the course of this session you will learn how to use Google Classroom to assign different assignments, tests or quizzes to students as well as learn how to adjust assignments to meet the unique needs of the students. We will also explore add ons to Google Chrome that provide accommodations to students with different learning needs.

Meeting IEP Needs Handout (PDF)

Postsecondary Preparation: The Skills That Matter

Presented by Cathi Allen 


Engagement and academic success in high school are vital to ensure diverse learners complete school and have the skills for postsecondary education and career training. This session shares strategies from the Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program proven to improve focus, learning, and study skills leading to higher student engagement and success.

Re-imagining Day Treatment

Presented by: Rebecca Durbahn, PhD, LCSW

Day Treatment programs in Colorado aim to provide a therapeutic educational environment for children who have not been successful in traditional schools. However, due to numerous factors, these youth continue to display externalizing behaviors and symptoms that interfere with learning even after completion of day treatment. This session aims to highlight alternative approaches to day treatment through a pilot study from a Denver area based Day Treatment Program.

Secondary Special Education Mathematics: Moving Beyond Facts and Fluency

Presented by Juliana Tapper

Providing support for teachers to grow their confidence of secondary mathematics as well as strategies to teach mathematics in engaging ways to struggling math learners is imperative. We will dive deep into a secondary math content progression and experience collaborative activity structures that provide differentiation and engagement for ALL students.

The Teen Brain: impulsive, sensitive, and wonderfully impressionable

Presented by Neeli Clute


The age-old idea that brains change little after childhood is dead wrong, according to neuroscientists. This session explores the mystery of the adolescent mind surrounding peer pressure, the delicacy of self-esteem, impulsivity, hot emotion, and most importantly the gift of this stage for learning and habit formation.


Twice Exceptional: A focus on gifts and talents

Presented by: Lisa Weiss

We will examine the importance of focusing on the unique gifts and the sense of self within our students who are twice exceptional who can be easily misperceived by peers, teachers, and community members. This frequently results in low self-esteem, poor self-worth and mental health concerns. It is critical to help our students feel empowered to focus on their unique gifts and strengths, in addition to strategies for managing their emotions and environments.

Session 3 

3:00 - 4:10 PM

Empowering Self-Advocates Through Entrepreneurship Education

Presented by: Brent and Jenny Anderson

Led by siblings Brent and Jenny Anderson, this session offers practical strategies for improving confidence, independence, and self-advocacy. Attendees will receive tools to teach goal setting, problem solving, employment skills, and more. This session is recommended for secondary and transition educators, service providers, and families of teens/young adults.

Executive Function 101

Presented by: Seth Perler

Learn how to help struggling students overcome resistance and procrastination while building the right systems, mindsets and habits necessary for school and live success.


It Takes a Village: Growing Inclusive Communities

Presented by Adrea Bogle, Liz Mora, Tara Kiene & Martha Mason


The Executive Directors of four organizations in rural Southwest Colorado that support people with disabilities at all ages and stages of life have come together with the common goal of growing inclusive communities that go beyond the classroom. We are in our 3rd year of collaboration and look forward to sharing our strategy, successes and challenges.


Managing Powerful Emotions: Preschool Social & Emotional Skills Groups

Presented by Jeanine Coleman


The content of this workshop includes healthy social emotional development, self-regulation, and concrete skills (i.e., controlling emotions, interacting and relating to others). We will emphasize strategies for supporting positive social and emotional skills through a series of Preschool Social and Emotional Skills Groups. Topics include: identifying facial expressions, expressing emotions, calming your body, giving compliments, and solving a problem.

Managing Powerful Emotions Handout (PDF)

Motivational Strategies Pre K-12

Presented by: Heather L. Perrie 

Participants develop an understanding of temperament psychology and how this knowledge can effectively minimize classroom disruptions, create a positive learning environment, and get results that last. Heather feels deeply compelled to share this knowledge with other professionals; maximizing the number of students experiencing success and reaching their greatest potential!

Motivational Strategies Handout  - Adult Temp.  Key (PDF)

Motivational Strategies Handout - Child Temp. Key (PDF)

Movement Method to Support Ideal Emotional and Physical Wellness

Presented by: Cade Lang

The ideal human and physical environment will present a learning environment that is inclusive, and promotes physical and emotional health. A sharp increase in depression and anxiety in any classroom pushes educators to look for new approaches. Movement Method is a quick training, easy to implement, and highly effective in any learning setting.

Secondary Traumatic Stress: Perspectives from the Field

Presented by Kristin Duncan


The study explores the unique experiences of special education teachers and school psychologists (K-5) in how they deal with secondary traumatic stress (STS). Secondary traumatic stress is defined as negative symptoms, including arousal, intrusive thoughts, and/or avoidance of triggering events/material, that occurs as the result of indirect exposure to the trauma of another.

Three Legal Battles That Impact Our Daily Work

Presented by Philippe Ernewein

If we, as practitioners, parents, and advocates for our students, do not know the story of special education in America, then the narrative of the struggles and progress for equity and justice will be told by others. This session will highlight three legal battles that have played a critical role in forming the current landscape of special education, as well as create a framework for understanding and telling the story.

Three Legal Battles Handout (PDF)

Trauma and Teachers: Building Provider Resilience

Presented by: Dorothy Shapland, Dr. Elmer Harris

In this interactive session, participants will examine the impact of stress and trauma on practitioners and their ability to develop relationships and provide protective factors for children and families. We will share foundational definitions of trauma and resilience, as well as strategies for resilience building in individuals and teams.

UDL in Preschool: Teaching ALL Learners

Presented by Marla J. Lohmann


This presentation focuses on how using a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework can enhance learning for all children in early childhood classrooms. A brief overview of UDL and specific strategies for implementation are highlighted. Participants will work together to create lesson plans that utilize the UDL framework.

What to Expect From a Facility School

Presented by Ashley Zigante & Kelli Perez


This informational session will describe the different types of facilities schools, admission criteria, expected timelines, anticipated areas of growth and progress, as well as transition planning and needs for students. Additionally, it will focus on the collaboration between facility schools and public schools with an emphasis on supporting returning students.



bottom of page