Schedule & Sessions

2017 Conference Schedule

Download our Power of Play App to access our full schedule.

March 29

1:30-4 Inclusion Summit

4:30-7:30 Power of Play Workshops

6:30-8:30 First Responders Training

March 30

8:00 AM- Doors Open

9:00 AM- The Power of Play Kickoff Session

10:15 AM- Breakout Session 1

12 PM- Lunch (on your own)

1 PM- Workout Session with Dr. Amanda Kloo

1:30 PM- Breakout Session 2

3:30 PM- National Inclusion Project Mentorship Program Introduction 

4:00 PM- Afternoon Break

6:30 PM- The Power of Play Fun Night

March 31

8:00 AM- Doors Open

8:30 AM- Fireside Chat

10:00 AM- Break

10:15 AM- Breakout Session 3

11:45 AM- Lunch (on your own)

12:30 PM- Breakout Session 4

2:00 PM- The Power of Play Launch Session

3:15 PM- Conference Ends

 Click here to register for the Power of Play Workshops

Wednesday, March 29- 4:30-7:30

Workshops

Changing Behavior “It’s Not Magic!”
Presenters: Kendra R. McDonald- Arc of Loudoun, Paxton Campus  

Kendra began her career in behavior analysis after her son’s diagnosis of autism in 2002. Following the successful implementation of his home program, she worked as an in-home ABA therapist for other families affected with autism. She completed her behavior analysis coursework at UMASS Lowell and she has a Master’s Degree in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and consults for children and adults on Paxton Campus in Leesburg, VA. Kendra is also the Clinical Director of The Paxton Advantage Behavior Clinic. She emphasizes the principles and teaching procedures of verbal behavior across all teaching opportunities including behavior challenges, communication, social skills, and academics. Her interests also include analysis of complex behavior such as remembering, teaching mediating behaviors, and other private events.

Session Description: 

Using Effective Behavioral Strategies to Improve Challenging Behavior.

Designing Inclusive Events and Activities: Tips, Tools, and Hands-on Practice
Presenters: Steve Slowinski- Partners for Youth with Disabilities 

Steve Slowinski has been working at PYD since early 2012. He has a B.A. from Gettysburg College in a self-created major focusing on youth with special needs, and he is currently pursuing a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership at Wheelock College. He has worked with youth with disabilities for the past 10+ years. In college, he spent a semester in Denmark studying their child care practices for children with disabilities. He has also interned with the child life team at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and has volunteered for many years as a camp counselor and mentor to youth with disabilities.

Session Description:

How do you design program events, games, crafts, and activities that are inclusive to youth of all abilities? This workshop will provide both practical tips and tools for designing inclusive activities, while also providing hands-on opportunities for learning. Participants will leave the session with an understanding of universal design principles, including how to modify or adapt existing activities and how to proactively design activities using inclusive strategies. Come play with us and try out inclusion first-hand!

Click here to Register for the 2017 Power of Play Conference

Thursday, March 30 – Friday, March 31

Conference Sessions

Changing Behavior “It’s Not Magic!”
Presenters: Lisa Drennan & Emmy Casagrande- South Shore YMCA 

Lisa joined the South Shore YMCA in March 2014 as the first-ever Association Director of Inclusion, coming from a 30 year career with New England Village in Pembroke. While there she served as the Director of the Sollar Wellness Center, offering aquatics, fitness, music, art, and education specifically designed to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities. Lisa graduated from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with a Psychology degree. She lives with her family in Pembroke and is an avid fitness enthusiast who enjoys outdoor adventure activities.

Emmy graduated with a BA in Spanish and Early Childhood Education from Regis College in 2001. She graduated with a Master of Education in Moderate Special Needs, grades PreK-8 from Lesley University. She is a Massachusetts certified teacher for students with moderate disabilities, PreK-8. Emmy has taught in both Brookline Public and Marshfield Public Schools. She has over 13 years of experience in Applied Behavior Analysis in school, home and community settings. Additionally, she has over 13 years of experience with Social Skills instruction. In her free time, Emmy enjoys hanging out with her family. She lives in Norwell, MA with her husband and two daughters.

Session Description:

This session will provide participants a review of the multifaceted steps to ensure your camp (or other social recreational setting) provides the most effective strategies used to create an inclusive environment. These best practices such as consistent use of a visual schedule, daily review of expectation charts and self-regulation techniques are proven to be effective in creating successful experiences for ALL children. Special attention will be paid to organizational commitment, staff training, implementation, and camp-wide “buy in”. This session will offer a combination of presentation, peer sharing, demonstrations and hands on activities. At the conclusion of the session, participants should walk away with a comprehensive toolkit with step by step directions to immediately implement into their program. In addition, participants of all backgrounds and/or positions will feel confident, armed with concrete and simple information to present to leadership staff and decision makers.

Zoo for All: Providing Inclusion Resources for Early Childhood Educational Programs
Presenters: Jill Damato and Jon Meisenbach- Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo

Jill Damato, Manager of NatureStart Programs, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Jill’s conservation education career started with being a front-line play facilitator in a first-ever play-based zoo exhibit and progressed to managing a suite of programs that are focused around early childhood, and inclusion in zoos. These experiences have provided opportunities for her to share her enthusiasm for animals and nature with children and their families. Reflective of her personal and professional lives always being a blend of sorts is her focus on individuals with disabilities taking conservation actions for her Master’s Degree program, and planning zoo visits into her travels.

Jon Meisenbach, Camp, Overnights, & NatureStart Programs Supervisor, Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo Jon’s conservation education career was established during his 5 years as an educator with Disney’s Animal Kingdom after which he made a happy return home to Illinois, working at the Museum of Science and Industry and Lincoln Park Zoo before landing at Brookfield Zoo in 2016. His passion for getting kids excited about science, wildlife, and conservation lend themselves well to creating unique activities and experiences in his role overseeing all of the camp, sleepover, and Scout programs offered by Brookfield Zoo. In his free time, you’ll find Jon running obscene distances, watching the Twilight Zone, and tweeting about crocodiles.

Session Description: 

The Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo has been the source of several innovative programs when it comes to children, nature, and inclusion. Starting in 2001 with the opening of the Hamill Family Play Zoo-the first North American zoo exhibit dedicated towards nature play for children and their families, and then evolving with offerings like job training programs for young adults with disabilities. More recent growth is reflected through our partnering with local service providers to host programs for children with autism, and “Zoo Camp for All” which was the catalyst for our current organization-wide comprehensive “Zoo for All” initiative. The National Inclusion Project directly influenced the growth and direction of the Zoo Camp for All initiative, and continues to do so. Our staffing structure, year-round planning, and daily operations have all been modified based on what we have learned from and with the NIP. Most notable has been the creation of a dedicated Inclusion Specialist for our camp programs. The success of this position has been evidence enough to generate support for the creation of a similar position for the organization’s early childhood initiative. Both are again, innovation firsts of the Chicago Zoological Society as an accredited North American zoo. A description of where we started through where we look to go next, our program organization, and results of survey data will be included as well as time for discussion.

Building Capacity
Presenters: Aryn Barer and Esther Staum Katz- NJY Camps

Aryn graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University. Aryn has been bringing her high energy and enthusiasm to NJY Camps for 8 years and has been in camping both as a camper and staff member since she was a child. Prior to becoming the Director of Round Lake Camp, Aryn worked as a school social worker. As The Director of RLC, Aryn brings together her love of camp with her passion for helping others. She feels privileged to guide the innovative inclusion model RLC offers, as it provides a program unique to the camping world.

A native New Yorker, Esther studied at Brooklyn College, Michlala- Jerusalem College for Women and at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, receiving degrees in Education, Economics and Business Management. After 10 years abroad, working in advertising and education, Esther returned to the US and received her Master’s Degree in Education and Special Education. Prior to joining NJY’s staff full time, Esther worked as a classroom teacher, school curriculum coordinator and teacher mentor at a private school in Queens, NY. She then served as the principal of a school for children with special needs, in their middle school, high school and post high school vocational programs. She currently directs NJY’s Camp Shoshanim and the inclusion programs at all NJY Camps. Esther’s love for working with children and young adults of all abilities manifests itself in her 35+ years of formal classroom instruction and 20+ years at NJY Camps. She thrives on meeting people and helping them to discover their affinities and innate talents. Esther is the proud mother of 3 former NJY campers and the grandmother of 3 future campers. She loves and is passionate about who we are and what we do at NJY Camps.

Session Description: 

We are all here because we are firmly committed to inclusion, not just as a theory but in practice. It is important to us to acknowledge to ourselves who we are, who we are capable of serving, and the process it takes in order to get there… and to move farther ahead.

What is needed in order to meet the needs of more diverse populations, those we could not previously serve?

To what lengths do we go to change our program to create a more inclusive environment? (ie staffing, physical modifications, trainings, etc.)

What do we say when we feel that we are unable to meet needs? Are there times when inclusion is not in the best interest of the individual(s) with special needs?

Let’s ALL Play in WVU Lifetime Activities Programs: Findings and Future Goals
Presenters: Andrea Taliaferro, Ph.D. and Mary Wolk- West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences

Dr. Andrea Taliaferro joined Coaching and Teaching Studies faculty in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences in the fall of 2010. Taliaferro earned her Ph.D. (2010) and M.Ed. (2002) from the University of Virginia in the area of Adapted Physical Education. She holds an B.S. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Physical Education from James Madison University.Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., Dr. Taliaferro was as an Adapted Physical Education Specialist in three public school systems in Virginia for seven years. She also has experience as a general physical educator and coach. Dr. Taliaferro is a Certified Adapted Physical Educator through the National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities (NCPERID), and is also an American Red Cross Instructor Trainer in Water Safety and Lifeguarding. Dr. Taliaferro’s research interests involve the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in physical activity with an emphasis on physical education teacher preparation and self-efficacy toward teaching students with disabilities, adapted aquatics, motor skill assessment, and community based physical activity.

Session Description:

This session will present information about the partnership between the National Inclusion Project and the Lifetime Activities Program (LAP) at West Virginia University (WVU), a community-based physical activity program. The LAP program focused our efforts on the training, support and programming continuums of the Empowerment model to enhance inclusive physical activity opportunities.The resulting data from the first two years of our partnership indicate significant progress in promoting inclusion of participants of all ability levels in WVU LAP. The percentage of participants with disabilities in LAP has increased from less than one percent prior to our partnership to an average of 14.3% across all targeted programs, with 23 unique participants with disabilities in our 2016 programs. A description of our program organization, results of participant and parent survey data, lessons learned from the two years of our ongoing partnership, and future goals will be discussed.

 Building Momentum: Inclusive Fitness Training for Children with Unique Abilities
Presenter: Dr. Amanda Kloo- Belmont Abbey and Project Momentum 

Dr. Amanda Kloo, PhD is a tenured professor at Belmont Abbey College in the Department of Education.  She is committed to enhancing learning, life, and health outcomes of individuals with disabilities.  She is a veteran special education teacher and developmental specialist with experience working with a wide range of exceptional abilities.   Her personal & professional passions focus on marrying learning & behavioral theories with coaching & movement methodologies to positively impact cognitive, emotional, social, & physical wellness of children and adults with varying intellectual and fitness needs. Amanda is also a coach, trainer, & adaptive athlete with cerebral palsy whose health, work, & life have been transformed by functional fitness training.   To pay these blessings forward, she established Project Momentum Fitness a non-profit organization created to provide inclusive health and fitness supports to all athletes regardless of age, circumstance, ability, or disability.  Amanda believes that exercise, activity & play are not only possible for everyone– they are fundamental for everyone. She is a frequent presenter at conferences, a widely published author, and holds multiple consulting positions at the University of Pittsburgh, the American Institute for Research, the Pennsylvania Training & Technical Assistance Network, The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the US Department of Education, and the Crossroads Adaptive Athletic Alliance.  Amanda lives near Charlotte with her husband Rob & twin sons Isaac & Elliot who enjoy the many gifts life brings to their unique family.

Session Description:

This session explores strategies, resources, & networks for improving child & family wellness through inclusive movement & play.  Presenters will discuss ways to provide fitness and exercise training to children with exceptional needs that improve health, behavioral, social, & learning outcomes. Content will be research driven & evidence based.  Information will be practical, & relevant to caregivers, parents, educators, coaches, & practitioners.  Participants will engage in discussion, debate, and active demonstrations.  Come ready to move and play with us!

An Educational Model for Inclusive Leisure Services
Presenter: John Dattilo-PennState University

Dr. Dattilo is a Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management at Penn State University where he teaches about inclusive leisure services and leisure education from an applied, philosophical, and ethical perspective. He received his Ph.D. in Leisure Studies from the University of Illinois. Dr. Dattilo is author of several editions of Inclusive Leisure Services and Leisure Education Program Planning and co-author of Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation with Alexis McKenney and Application of Behavior Analysis in Leisure Contexts with Kari Kensinger. Over the past 30 years he has collaborated with international and domestic interdisciplinary teams to conduct research resulting in 13 books, 24 book chapters, over 140 articles, 25 funded projects, and over 180 presentations at professional meetings, workshops, and agencies addressing needs of a variety of people who encounter social-psychological barriers to their leisure. Throughout his career Dr. Dattilo has tried to create opportunities to respectfully understand perceptions of diverse individuals to provide a forum to share their voices and gain insight into ways to assist them in addressing barriers to their leisure so that they are empowered to experience enjoyment and meaning in their lives.

Session Description:

Presentation of an educational model designed to promote positive attitudes and increase understanding of ways to reduce leisure barriers and provide leisure services for all people.

Including Parents- We Don’t Always Make it Easy
Presenter: Kerrie Powell- TEAM DECLAN

Kerrie is the proud mother of two sons, Declan and Kieran. Declan was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two and a half. Like other families taking on autism, the Powell family has worked to develop a strategy that works best for Declan to help him reach his full potential. Declan has shown continued progress over the years with the help of family, friends, therapists, teachers and doctors. While searching for the right school for Declan, the family realized that Declan did not have the option to be in an inclusive classroom and surrounded by typically developing peers. The family took on this challenge and Declan is in his seventh year in a traditional school. He is a happy sixth grader, who has made friends and progressed to the point that he no longer carries the “severe” label in his diagnosis. The family formed TEAM DECLAN ten years ago to raise awareness for autism and later to build a platform to speak about inclusion. Kerrie, her husband Tommy, Declan (13) and Kieran (12) live in Durham, North Carolina. Kerrie is the Executive Director of Animal Health for a drug discovery and development company, Avista Pharma and in her free time works to raise awareness for autism and inclusion.

Session Description:

Declan Powell was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two. His story is shared by many families with a child that lost their ability to communicate and connect with those around them– including those they love the most. The Powell family set out to find an inclusive classroom for Declan and his typically developing brother. This was a difficult search, but they found a school and built a program that has been successful for seven years! Declan is now a sixth grader and participates in academic, athletic and social activities with his peers.

Objectives- participants will:

  • Hear techniques used by the family to interact successfully with school administrators, teachers, parents and friends
  • Hear tips for communicating with parents
  • Have the opportunity to ask a parent the questions you have always wanted to ask This session will include a presentation and question time.

At the conclusion of the session, participants will have an opportunity to look through the eyes of a parent and consider new ways to effectively communicate. Participants will be able share questions and have open dialogue without fear of offending a parent.

Inclusion Beyond the Basics: Best practices for sustaining inclusion at all levels of your organization
Presenters: Karyn L Martin, PhD- Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts 

Karyn’s passion for creating inclusive environments is reflected throughout her career. At Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEM), Karyn partners with GSUSA in the Include All Girls Initiative, documenting and sharing best practices in inclusion. The Include All Girls initiative led to a Master Site Planning Process that put inclusion best practices at the forefront with the input of The Institute for Human Centered Design. Karyn has led workshops in inclusion for Global Explorers, which in turn supported the first universally inclusive Girl Scout destination trip; and for the Camp Business Fall Conference on the inclusion-based master site planning process. Her article “Ropes Courses for All” published in Camping Magazine began her involvement in creating universally accessible spaces and outdoor opportunities for children and adults, and in 2004 she designed and constructed a universal ropes course for GSEM. Since 2009 Karyn has volunteered with Over the Edge, USA, using her technical expertise to support rappellers of all abilities as they rappel off buildings to raise money for organizations like Kids Included Together. She can be reached at kmartin@gsema.org.

Session Description:

Ten years into our Include All Girls initiative, we have effectively changed the culture around inclusion throughout our organization. Girls, families, volunteers, coworkers, and the board are comfortable with inclusion at all levels of the organization – but we are still learning and developing best practices at all levels. This session will address new (and often unexpected) situations that arise from our inclusive programs and workplaces and compel us to continue our commitment to inclusion.

The Role of Inclusion Coordinator within the Camp Community
Presenters: Mark Spolidoro- Director Camp Shriver and Danna Bille- Inclusion Coordinator Camp Shriver UMass Boston 

Mark Spolidoro has been an adapted physical education teacher for 25 years in the Boston Public School system, where he has been the driving force in implementing inclusion in the physical education program district wide. Mark further strengthens the Boston Public Schools’ commitment to inclusion in his role as the BPS coordinator for Special Olympics Massachusetts Unified Sports for the past 16 years. Additionally, for the past decade, Mark has been implementing inclusive recreational programs as a staff member at the Center for Social Development and Education where he serves as the Director of Camp Shriver at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Co-Director of Saturday Camp at the Edgerley Family South Boston Boys & Girls Club. Mark graduated with a bachelor of science in physical education and health from the University of Rhode Island and continued his education at UMass Boston, receiving his teacher’s certification in moderate special needs education. Mark was an all-state athlete in baseball in Rhode Island and played baseball at the University of Rhode Island. He is still involved in sports as a high school basketball coach and remains physically active by participating in adult basketball and softball leagues while enjoying playing golf with family and friends.

Danna Bille has been an inclusion teacher in the Brockton Public Schools for almost 20 years. Prior to coming to Brockton she was the program coordinator and instructor at an intensive English program, at Bentley University, for young adults coming from all over the world to learn English. She received her Bachelor of Arts in education and psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, then went on to receive a master’s degree in special education from Framingham University. While working in Brockton, Danna over saw the 21st Century Grant at her school, which specialized in teaching children and their families how make out of school time enriching. In 2006, as a result of her involvement in piloting Promoting Social Success in her classroom, she was asked to join Camp Shriver at UMass Boston. Her role there has changed many times, but most recently she has been the inclusion specialist working directly with the campers and counselors to ensure social success for all campers. Outside of work she enjoys baking and decorating cakes for her custom cake business and spending time outside with her two young boys.

Session Description:

The session will provide participants an overview of the ways an inclusion coordinator can benefit a camp or program from staffing to participants and their families.

Gaks and Doughs that Tickle the Nose- Sensory Fun for All
Presenter: Shelly L. Beaver, MS, CTRS- Old Dominion University and Kim Parker- Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8/Sense-ational Endeavors Summer Camp Program

Shelly L. Beaver, MS, CTRS is a Lecturer in the Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism Studies at Old Dominion University where she teaches courses in therapeutic recreation and recreation programming. She earned her B.S. in Kinesiology and M.S. in Leisure Studies from Penn State University and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Ms. Beaver has over ten years of clinical experience in long term care, mental health, and physical rehabilitation settings, and she has over seven years of teaching experience in higher education. Recognizing the need for recreational opportunities for children with disabilities in the central Pennsylvania area, Ms. Beaver conceptualized and developed Sense-ational Endeavors, a sensory-based summer camp program for children with autism spectrum disorder. The program’s success inspired Ms. Beaver to share her knowledge of sensory processing disorder and sensory-based interventions with families and professionals impacted by this condition. Because of her competence in this subject, Ms. Beaver has been invited to speak at nearly twenty local, state, and national conferences and seminars focused on serving the needs of people with disabilities. She welcomes all opportunities to advocate for the inclusion of all individuals with disabilities so they may play, learn, and live without barriers.

Kim Parker, is a Special Education Teacher with Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08 in Altoona, PA where she teaches Multiple Disabilities Support in the high school setting.  She earned her B.S. in Special Education from the Pennsylvania State University and completed requirements in Pennsylvania for additional certification in English as a Second Language (ESL), and she has over 14 years of experience in teaching students with varying disabilities.  Kim has taught the past 10 years specifically with students that have severe cognitive and physical disabilities and believes that any student can learn regardless of their disability.  She has also used her classroom knowledge and strategies, to develop and grow the Sense-sational Endeavors program, a sensory-based summer camp program, for children on the autism spectrum disorder for the past 6 years. She is very excited to share her experiences in both the classroom and camp settings.  Kim is happily married to her best friend, Todd, and they have 3 wonderful children, Austin, Marcella, and Mitchell.

Session Description:

Tantalize your 7 senses (yes, 7!) in this interactive, hands-on session designed to provide practical knowledge for professionals interested in developing sensory-based programs. Learn what sensory processing is and how it happens in the brain. Understand the benefits of sensory-based activities for the individuals with and without disabilities in your programs. And walk away with a multitude of cost-effective, sensory-based activity ideas designed to engage the senses of children of all ages. Be forewarned, things may get messy! (*Learners interested in topics related to Autism Spectrum Disorder are encouraged to attend.)

It’s Not Magic! Effective Strategies for Challenging Behavior
Presenters: Kendra McDonald and Tine Favreaux- Arc of Loudoun, Paxton Campus

Kendra began her career in behavior analysis after her son was diagnosed with autism in 2002. Following the successful implementation of his home program, she worked as an in-home ABA therapist for other families affected with autism. She completed her behavior analysis coursework at UMASS Lowell and she has a Master’s Degree in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Kendra emphasizes the principles and teaching procedures of verbal behavior across all teaching opportunities including communication, social skills, and academics. Her interests also include analysis of complex behavior such as remembering, teaching mediating behaviors, and other private events.

Session Description: 

This workshop focuses on evidence-based strategies that can be used to change challenging behavior such as tantrumming, crying, aggressive behavior, self-injury, etc. We will give the audience (parents, educators, and caregivers) the tools to teach students at their school/center/group who have special needs, who may pose behavior challenges, and those who may be developmentally different. Special focus is given to determining the function of the behavior (escape, attention, access to something, or automatic/self-stimulatory behavior). Scenarios, role play, and videos are used to help audience members determine the function. Following the determination of the function of the behavior, we give the audience appropriate consequences for addressing challenging behavior (remove attention, following through with task demands, time out from access to items, etc.). Scenarios, role play, and videos are used to help audience members determine the best consequence for changing challenging behavior, and how to do just that! Special focus is also given to antecedent manipulations and positive reinforcement to deter problem behavior. De-escalation strategies are also discussed for when the problem behavior has occurred. The presenters are also able to answer questions for specific scenarios that audience members may pose, helping them to problem solve specific situations using the principles taught in the presentation. Both presenters have had extensive experience with challenging behavior ranging from mildly intensive to severe, and have had success in changing challenging behavior with students and individuals with special needs.

Parents as Partners in the Inclusion Process
Presenter: Dr. Marquis C. Grant- Special Education Teacher/Mom of children with Autism 

Dr. Marquis C. Grant has been an educator for the past 10 years, six of those years spent as a special education teacher. Dr. Grant earned a master’s degree in curriculum & instruction from the University of West Florida and a doctorate from Argosy University. As the parent of two boys with autism spectrum disorder, she has worked to bring awareness to children with ASD in school and in the community by presenting at conferences and writing for publication about issues ranging from school advocacy and using Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) to the perceived stress and coping of mothers of children with autism. Publications: How to Advocate for Your Child’s Free Appropriate Public Education (Autism Spectrum Quarterly); Family Ties: Fostering Sibling Relationships with Children on the Spectrum (Autism Spectrum Quarterly); Are All Readers Created Equal (Reading Today); The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Advocating for Children with Autism in School (NASET);The New Segregation: An Analysis of Current Contexts of Inclusive Education (ED546449); Empowering Parents in the Special Education Process (NASET). Presentations A Tale of Two Teachers, NC Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference (January 20, 2017) Spotlight on Autism: Home, School & Community, North Carolina A & T State University, May, 2016). Using Culturally Responsive Practices to Reduce Disproportionality in Special Education, NC Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference (January 28, 2016) Empowering Parents in the Special Education Process, North Carolina Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference (January 2014) Using Positive Behavior Intervention Support for Children with Autism, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Exceptional Children Conference (November 2014).

Session Description:

Parents are an important part of their children’s progress. This Q & A session will explore ways in which parents can be instrumental in connecting their children to the inclusion process through home-based activities.

Ready, Set, Summer
Presenters: Anna Luther, MSW and Kathryn King, MSRA- Kids Included Together 

As Kids Included Together trainers, Anna Luther and Kathryn King provide staff coaching, mentoring and training to support positive behavior and inclusive best practices in out of school time programs throughout the US and beyond. Anna and Kathryn are thrilled to return this year for another memorable NIP Conference!

Session Description:

This powerful inclusion training is designed to provide program leadership with resources to train front line staff on the basic skills necessary for a successful summer experience for everyone. Presented in a “top tips for inclusion” format, workshop topics include accommodations for day camp settings, confidentiality, working with families, positive behavior supports and strategies for supporting friendships.

From the Outside In
Presenter: Danielle Liebl- National Inclusion Project Board Member 

Founded DIFFERbilities Experience, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities to high school and college students to promote inclusion of people with and without disabilities. Danielle is a graduate of the College of Saint Benedict, where she received a dual-degree in Theology and Peace Studies. Currently, Danielle is a J.D. candidate at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Impassioned by her personal experience growing up with Cerebral Palsy, Danielle has become an ambassador for people with intellectual disabilities. She has served on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Minnesota and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Minnesota, spoke at several national education conferences, as well as the White House, and founded her own 501(c)3 organization. Danielle aims to reduce the stigma associated with disabilities by connecting people with and without disabilities. Through her work, she has helped build friendships and develop understanding among students of different backgrounds. Danielle has designed a powerful model of partnering students with and without disabilities in a controlled environment.

Session Description:

Having a disability is one that very few get the privilege to experience. Step into the world of inclusion from a different lens. In this session, we will hear anecdotes from a person with a disability who draws on their own experience of exclusion. Participants will also be engaged in activities that challenge them to be an “outsider” who is not fully included in the larger group. Through discussion, we will reflect on your experience as an “outsider” and develop your own techniques of how to implement inclusion.

Social Media for Everyone!
Presenter: Dawn Crawford- BC/DC Ideas 

The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

These days Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Things that make her happy: Chai tea in the morning or a glass of champagne at quittin’ time, Basecamp, living in the South, her daughter’s giggle and a well-formatted spreadsheet.

Session Description:

You’ve rocked your nonprofit’s social media accounts for years. You’ve grown your following, got some serious “likes” and reactions, and even converted some of those folks to donors. But what is next? In this session, get a low-down on how to most effectively use the channels you are currently using. Learn handy tips for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Meet a few new friends – what can your organization do with Snapchat, Periscope, Peach and more? And learn how you can make it work all together – get tips on how to cross-post for complete social media domination.