Calling Colorado Parents: Inclusive Education Conference Coming Your Way!

Child learning in classroom


Colorado parents and professionals, this one is for you! The PEAK Parent Center out of Colorado Springs is holding their annual conference on inclusive education February  7-8, 2013. The conference tagline, “Same fish, Different Sea” says it all about the mission: reforming classrooms and schools for children with speech therapy needs, behavioral needs, disabilities such as Autism, dyslexia, LD, ADHD and incorporating technology for ALL students.
What is PEAK? The mission of PEAK is “to provide training, information and technical assistance to equip families of children birth through twenty-six including all disability conditions with strategies to advocate successfully for their children.” The center not only operates parent and educator friendly events but trains, provides hotlines, and advocacy resources. This organization is a phenomenal resource for reaching out to collaborate with state government and the education, rehabilitation, advocacy, and medical communities.

Inclusive Education Conference
Two days of thoughtful and insightful speakers help provide insight for parents and educators. You can register online for one or two days. The conference offers keynote lectures, breakout sessions, and workshops covering some of the most pressing issues in special education for different learners.  Topics include:
• Common Core Standards
• Inclusive Practices
• Behavior Strategies
• Reading, Literacy, and Vocabulary
• Accommodations & Modifications
• Universal Design for Learning
• Accessing General Education Curriculum
• Learning Disabilities
• Progress Monitoring
• Technology
• Differentiated Instruction
• Self-Advocacy
• Juvenile Justice
• Legal Topics
• Significant Support Needs


When we think of language disorders we must also thing of the connection between spoken and written language. Literacy is a complicated part of language that can really challenge our kids with special needs and make or break their education. This conference tackles that well with particular attention to literacy and reading comprehension given in sessions titled “75 reading strategies in 75 minutes” and “A Picture of Success: Imagery Improves Childhood Reading and Comprehension Skills.” Special education can be a complex process with inclusion sometimes being even more complicated.



Important terms to know about inclusion:
from the Wisconsin Education Council


Selective placement of special education students in one or more “regular” education classes. Proponents of mainstreaming generally assume that a student must “earn” his or her opportunity to be placed in regular classes by demonstrating an ability to “keep up” with the work assigned by the regular classroom teacher. This concept is closely linked to traditional forms of special education service delivery.

Inclusion is a term which expresses commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend. It involves bringing the support services to the child (rather than moving the child to the services) and requires only that the child will benefit from being in the class (rather than having to keep up with the other students). Proponents of inclusion generally favor newer forms of education service delivery.

Full Inclusion 
Full inclusion means that all students, regardless of handicapping condition or severity, will be in a regular classroom/program full time. All services must be taken to the child in that setting.

Parents can learn ways to increase family and school collaboration, and strategies your children’s teachers will be using in the classroom so you can support participation at home, in school, and in the community! According to PEAK, past participants have said it “helped me look at everyone’s strength’s” and “made my classroom rich.” This is also a great opportunity to network with other parents who have gone through the inclusion process and can share knowledge and resources. If you would like more information about PEAK contact PEAK Parents. 
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