April 2023


Virtual Down Syndrome Symposium

This virtual event will be packed with great information for families who have a loved one with Down syndrome or Down syndrome and Autism.  

In her presentation, Your Journey Through an Eight Step Life Care Planning Program, Mary Anne Ehlert provides a passionate glimpse of her life with her sister, Marcia. The presentation will be uplifting and educational, as well as provide a good basic understanding of some important facts.  Participants will develop the foundation for their family’s own personal Eight Step Future Care Plan.

In her presentation, The Dual Diagnosis of Down Syndrome and Autism, Dr. Spinazzi will review existing literature on Down syndrome and autism, including associated medical conditions, presenting symptoms, expert recommendations for evaluation when autism is suspected in individuals with Down syndrome, and helpful interventions.


Applying Reflexivity to Higher Education Disability Services

Although the higher education disability services field requires considerable use of professional judgment to make accommodation-related decisions, there is a lack of guidance on how to carry this out in day-to-day interactions with students. When drawing on personal and professional experiences, disability services professionals are directly guided by their own positionality, which is their collective identities and experiences, and therefore - for better or for worse - their biases as they determine accommodations for students with disabilities. To better understand these influencing identities and the role of positionality in the disability services profession, this presentation will share themes that emerged from thirteen semi-structured interviews with disability services professionals that focused on their perceptions of the relationship between their positionality and their work. Further, we will invite attendees to examine their own positionalities through an interactive activity where they will pinpoint influential aspects of their identities. This presentation will conclude with a large group discussion focused on the implications for practitioners in regard to seeing our own positionalities and their role in our work. In addition to discussing implications for practice with attendees, the presenters will guide the conversation around reflexivity, or consciously examining when and where our positionalities may influence our choices and interactions as disability services professionals. 


Designing the Flexible Attendance Accommodation for Maximum Effectiveness

Students with chronic health or mental health conditions that may be unpredictable in nature and could impact the ability to attend classes sometimes request an accommodation generally referred to as “flexible attendance.” How can Disability Resource professionals determine whether this accommodation is appropriate and if so, how to implement it effectively? This webinar will address how facilitating this accommodation requires working toward concrete outcomes rather than relying on generic statements. Explore how this accommodation can be practically designed as a concept, worded in an accommodation letter, and put into practice in collaboration with faculty. Plenty of time for Q&A will be provided. 


2023 CUNY Neurodiversity Conference

As part of CUNY’s leading role in the movement to provide expanded access and services to neurodiverse students on the college campus, the Central Office of Student Affairs Disability Programs hosts the annual CUNY Neurodiversity Conference each spring. CUNY’s two signature neurodiversity initiatives, Project REACH and CUNY Unlimited, join with stakeholders to share best practices for supporting students while they’re in college and during transitions to and from campus.

The fifth CUNY Neurodiversity Conference will celebrate neurodivergent creative expression. A virtual conference day and art exhibit featuring neurodivergent artists from across CUNY and the wider community will take place on April 14th, 2023.


Living Well With ADHD Midwest Regional Conference

Stoney Creek Hotel & Convention Center5291 Stoney Creek CourtJohnstonIA50131

Join ADHD experts for a day long event!

This event is for parents, caregivers, educators, adults, professionals, or anyone interested in learning more about ADHD.

Presentation Topics:

  • ADHD in Women
  • Treatment Options
  • 504 Plans
  • Vocational Rehab Services for Young Adults
  • Workplace Issues and Employment Laws


NDSS Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference

(3 days) Hilton Crystal City at Reagan National Airport2399 Richmond HighwayArlingtonVA22202

The NDSS Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference is a three-day event that brings the community together to advocate for legislative priorities that impact the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families. It will be held at the Hilton Crystal City at Reagan National Airport. If you participated in the Buddy Walk on Washington® in the past, you won't want to miss this!  DSAIA is excited to partner with NDSS for this conference.


2023 TA Institute

(2 days) The Madison Hotel1177 15th St NWWashingtonDC20005

The TA Institute is an annual multi-day training and technical assistance event for UCEDD Directors and their designees to network and problem solve with peers. The TA Institute provides an opportunity for UCEDD leaders to network, meet with their federal project officers, and learn of new initiatives, national trends, and other information vital to the administration of the UCEDD programs. 


Using Virtual Reality for Vocational Assessments

Heritage Christian Services (HCS) has partnered with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to develop Virtual Reality job assessments and training for people in supported employment. HCS is beginning to deploy the technology with a variety of groups. We will share the process for developing the relationship with the software developers and the progress of the pilot program so far. After this webinar, participants will learn how to develop similar partnerships with higher education institutions, why this could be of benefit to those with no or little work experience and learn the preliminary results of Virtual Reality training with the people we support.


2023 AFB Leadership Conference

(2 days) Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport2799 Richmond HighwayArlingtonVA22202

AFB is excited to announce the registration for the 2023 American Foundation for the Blind Leader Conference (AFBLC) is now open!

The AFBLC is an annual two-day leadership conference, designed to cover the most pressing and relevant topics in the field of blindness. It offers many opportunities to learn from the best and brightest minds in our field, make new connections, and reunite with old friends. The 2023 AFBLC will focus on Empowering Digital Inclusion.

AFBLC brings together blind and low-vision leaders by creating a space that provides an opportunity to expand their knowledge of best practices, refine leadership skills, identify inclusion practices that work, and share concerns and strategies. During this conference, you’ll be empowered with resources and action-driven knowledge to help you increase your leadership capacity. At the end of this conference, you will walk away with new innovative ideas to create more inclusivity for people who are blind and have low vision.


Planning and Practice: Work-Based Learning for Deaf Youth

Work Based Learning (WBL) provides students opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom to career settings, an important step for preparing them for life after high school. Benefits of WBL programs include improving communication skills, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence. These early hands-on work experiences also lead to improved postsecondary outcomes and sustained long-term employment. Outcomes of WBL programs also show that they can help youth experience greater job satisfaction, build a professional network and references, and lead to higher wages.

Join on April 20th at 1 pm CST to learn more from two seasoned professionals, Jennifer Weeks and Kristy Buffington, who will share tips and strategies for developing and sustaining WBL programs for deaf youth.


Seven Essential Functions of the ADA/504 Coordinator Role

Do you have the responsibility of ADA Coordinator as part of your job, but aren’t entirely sure what that entails? Or have you thought about transitioning to that position, but were unsure how it differs from other campus disability work? The role of the ADA/504 Coordinator has a broad scope, allowing each institution to shape the position in the way that works best based on its own needs and culture. At some schools this role is an independent position, and at others it is part of the Disability Resource Office—the presenters for this webinar represent one of each. Their discussion will introduce seven primary ADA Coordinator functions at any school: navigating through informal and formal grievances, upholding the interactive process for reasonable accommodations, embedding disability access into DEI efforts, coordinating physical/environmental accessibility, sustaining digital access, promoting access to campus events/programming, and ensuring effective institutional communication. Different institutional models for the work will be shared during this session along with how the work is informed by policies and procedures. 


From COVID 19 to Racial Unrest: Research-Based Best Practices in Responding to Experiences

The period between March 2020 and today is one marked by extraordinary societal disruption. Amidst a global pandemic, we experienced profound racial unrest and political discord. By simply living through this time, many, including the university students we work with daily, have experienced trauma symptomatology. Students with disabilities, students of color, and students identifying as LGBTQIA+ may have elevated experiences of trauma related to these larger contextual factors. Incorporating an intentional trauma-informed approach can be effective in reducing disruptive symptoms and fostering resilience. This presentation summarizes original and existing research on experiences of trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic, broader experiences of trauma for disabled students, students of color, and students identifying as LGBTQIA+ including specific, actionable, and research-based steps for disability professionals to incorporate a trauma-informed approach into daily work. Utilizing these strategies, attendees will develop a plan for the implementation of a trauma-informed approach into their specific positions.


CEC 2023 Virtual Convention

The virtual component of the 2023 CEC Convention & Expo will include more than 40 instructional hours of live and on-demand sessions. A selection of the most popular sessions from the in-person convention program will be offered to virtual convention attendees in April 2023 (following the in-person convention in Louisville). You'll have the option to attend virtual concurrent, live sessions and will have access to a curated library of on-demand sessions selected from the in-person convention program. 


The Positive Impacts of Using iView Learning and iView Apprentice

Join Tim Henstock from WBS, an assisted technology provider in the United Kingdom that has worked with students going to Universities with disabilities for years.  Learn more about their  iView Learning, an online “YouTube” style repository covering all aspects of Assisted Technology, from across the world, providing online learning, video tutorials, download pdf’s on technology, software and hardware.  iView Apprentice is a new option that combines the power of iView Learning, with additional assistive technology to support the learner during their transition into workplace and learning opportunities, using an iPad, Keyboard, Mouse, Case and including other software.