Live Professional Development

Art Experiences Integrated with Academic and Functional Outcomes for Learners with Significant Needs

June 22, 2022 | 11:00 AM CDT | 60 minutes

Design and implement a variety of enriching art activities –visual art, music, movement, roleplay and drama– for students with complex cognitive, communication and motor disabilities. Gain skills in linking the adapted art activities with academic content while increasing student’s engagement with people and objects in their environment and enhance their knowledge of the world.

Cost: Free
Presenter: Padmaja Sarathy, MA, Author & Educational Consultant
Level: Beginner



AAC & Transition: Life Starts at twenty-one!

August 3, 2022 | 2:00 PM CDT | 60 minutes

The transition to adulthood can be a time of peril. Teams do their best to consider transition goals in the IEP. However, not all issues receive focused attention. Some research shows that AAC users may only have 55% of the concepts needed in adulthood represented in their vocabulary set. This session will give a brief overview of the history of disability rights and access in the United States, with a focus on deinstitutionalization. We will cover topics such as vocabulary for sexuality and safety, vocabulary for reporting abuse, data privacy and potential environments for adult AAC users. This session will provide teachers, therapists, and caregiver some food for thought when it comes to considering the transition to adulthood.

Cost: Free
Presenter: Kathryn Helland, MS, CCC-SLP
Level: Beginner


Build Capacity in AAC Implementation Across Environments by Shifting Mindsets

September 22, 2022 | 1:00 PM CDT | 60 minutes

The need to build capacity while supporting students with complex communication needs is critical. SLP’s and AAC teams need to deepen and expand their knowledge base in AAC implementation. Having the knowledge in the hands of one “expert” is not a sustainable model of support for AAC. To ensure a larger impact, we must move to a model that builds capacity. What tools and strategies can we use to shift the current “expert” mindset? Examples of how multiple district level teams embraced a capacity building model supported by a county level AAC team will be shared. Participants will be encouraged to consider their current state and determine what shifts can be made toward a capacity building model.


Cost: Free
Presenter: Marlene Cummings, AAC Consultant @MRC Communications
Level: Beginner


Bolstering Family Involvement with Tools and Techniques to Advance Learners with Significant Disabilities

October 19th, 2022 | 11:00 AM CDT | 60 minutes

This session will illustrate how to create an activity toolkit with adapted tools to share with families for follow-up reinforcement and practice at home besides aiding classroom instruction. Students with severe and multiple disabilities require multiple opportunities to practice academic, behavioral, and functional life skills and to generalize learning in a variety of contexts. Paired with techniques and tips, the activity toolkit will empower educators to guide families to continue with practicing the skills at home with their child to make sustained progress and retain the skills.


Cost: Free
Presenter: Padmaja Sarathy, MA, Author & Educational Consultant
Level: Beginner