Self Advocacy and Evaluating the Culture of a School in terms of Openness for people with disabilities

This presentation covers about how to advocate for yourself, how to evaluate a schools disability policies and culture, and how to lead your own IEP meeting. Today, too many schools are using outdated policies. Learn about disability etiquette, person first language, and how policies such as improper use of paraprofessionals and poor accessibility can lead to persons with special needs being excluded from the school experience and strategies to fix them. You will explore strategies to make your school culture more welcoming for those with special needs.  

Length: 1 to 2 hours

Suggested Audience:  Teachers, Students, Principals, Administrators


Autism and Foster Care

Learn about what challenges people with autism face in the foster care system. Persons with autism may react in very unique ways when Child Protective Services (CPS) takes one away from their parents.  Social workers from child protective services must learn new policies in dealing with people with autism. Youths with autism face many unique needs and encounter many dilemmas when they are sent to foster care. This presentation address some strategies for social workers and foster parents to use in assisting and supporting a foster youth who has autism through school and home life.   Learn about creative ways to meet the academic, social, emotional, physical, and other needs of children with autism inside the foster home.  

Length:  1.5 to 2 hours

Suggested Audience:  Current and Perspective Foster Parents / Adopters, Child Protective Services Workers, Social Workers, Family Court Staff.

   Life After High School: Preparing for college, independent living, career paths, and adult life.

Learn how to plan for people with special needs lives when they exit high school. This includes preparations for going to college, support at college, dorm life, jobs, independent living, adult social life, and more. When children reach the end of high school, it can be a complex experience for parents and students with special needs to navigate the adult service system, university system, find employment, and to plan for a quality adult life.  

Statistics show that more than 73 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed, according to TASH in 2009.   More than half do not get high school diplomas that are worth the paper they are written on, as many special education "certificates of attendance" do not count for college admission or job placement. Many of the programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and others have eligibility criteria that favor working for poverty class wages. In my presentation, you will hear strategies for bucking this trend and how to open the door to a good quality of life for people with special needs.


Length:  This presentation can be customized from 1 to 2 hours

Suggested Audience: High School Teachers, College Teachers, School to Career Staff, Job Training Staff, and Students of Transition Age (14-25)


K-12 Inclusion from a Student's side

This presentation covers strategies to navigate and include people with special needs in the academic side of school.    Such strategies include things like teaching, curriculum accommodations and modifications, good policies for implementing the least restrictive environment, and ways to support K-12 students of all grade levels in an inclusive setting.   

Today, there are still many children who are in segregated classes, and many children who do not get the proper supports they need to succeed in school.   Many school systems around the country are still using outdated policies for special education students.   In my talk you will learn about how to replace these outdated policies with better ones that achieve maximum outcome potential for those with disabilities.


Length:This length of this presentation can be adjusted to fit a 45 minute to 2 hour time block.

Suggested Audience: Teachers, Educators, and Parents


The Hidden Curriculum of School.

The hidden curriculum presentation covers strategies for teachers and parents to help people with autism and other special needs face social challenges. Learn strategies and tips for teaching the skills needed for children and students which aren't taught in school, like how to be involved in school spirit activities, lunchtime fun activities, after school activities, visual and performing arts, the games played at recess, school dances, making friends, etiquette, and more.

Persons who have autism and other disabilities may experience many challenges in this realm just knowing what the correct thing to do in these settings and how to participate and engage in them.  

Length: The presentation length for this topic can be adjusted from 1 hour to over 2 hours.

Suggested Audience: Teachers and Parents of all Grade Levels, and Children Who May Have Social Skills Challenges.