Friday,
Nov. 3

5:30-6:00 pm
Registration opens
 

6:00 pm
Opening Speaker - Karla Evans
 

7:00-8:00 pm
Breakout Session

 

  1. IEP Binder (Understood.org) Your child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be tricky to keep in order. Join Understood as we talk about IEPs, your rights and how to help get both parents involved in advocating for your children. We will provide a new binder with inserts and additional information, along with support and the opportunity to ask any questions. (F)
  2. "Marriage Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs"- (Falesa Ivory-Horton, MA, LMHC) The odds are that if you are a parent raising a child with special needs, you probably devote an enormous amount of your time and energy to his or her care.  Add to that the responsibility of other children who might also need you.  Not much time left after that.  But, there’s one other person you should not forget: your spouse or partner.  This seminar will examine ways to work on your relationship.  When your marriage is healthy, it makes not only your life easier but your child’s life also. (F)

NOTE: Breakouts are labeled by focus area:
(M)= Ministry (V)= Volunteer (F)= Family  


Saturday,
Nov. 4

7:30-8:30 am - Registration opens

Exhibitor Hall Opens

Continental Breakfast
 

9:00 am - Keynote Speaker - Emily Colson, Author

10:00 am - Transition & Exhibitor Hall Open

10:30-11:30 am - Breakout Session A

  1. “Speak Out: The Volunteer Perspective” – (Volunteer Panel) The panel will explore the joys and challenges of serving individuals with special needs within the ministry setting. Volunteers will share their own experiences to empower you to lead well. (V, M)
  2. The Role of Pastors in Disability Ministry — Pastors’ Panel Discussion” facilitated by Pastors Karen Roberts and Wendie Benton: Joni & Friends. Panelists: Pastor Mike Householder, Lutheran Church of Hope; Father Ray McHenry, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church; Pastor Quintin Steiff, Valley Church (M)
  3. Developing Independence: One Step at a Time – (Ruth Stieff, mother, blogger, and owner of OnePiece) One of the first questions a person asks after a child receives a diagnosis is, “Will he always live with me?” Then more questions form in your mind. "Will she be able to be in a regular education class at school?" "Will he be able to play sports?" "Will she go to prom?" "Will he be able to go to college?" "Will she have a job that will support herself?" During this session, we'll explore the steps it takes to get from here to there: becoming as independent as possible.  (F)
  4. Men’s Parenting Round-table (F) (facilitated by Dr. Daniel Earle, PsyD) Men and Women process information in different ways. Join this round-table discussion on what parenting a child with special considerations is like from the perspective of a father/caregiver. (F)
  5. Women’s Parenting Round-table (F) Women and men process information in different ways. Join this roundtable discussion on what parenting a child with special considerations is like from the perspective of a mother/caregiver. (F)

11:30 am - Lunch & Exhibitor Hall Open

1:00-2:00 pm - Breakout Session B

  1. “Preventive Behavioral Strategies for a Successful Learning Environment” Part 1 – (Katie Hoover, Special Ed Teacher & Laura Rogers, MS, CCC-SLP) If you are looking for effective prevention strategies for your classroom, come to this session! You will leave knowing how to effectively use evidence-based strategies for a successful positive behavioral environment. (M,V)
  2. “Start with Hello” (Gail Oberkircher: Joni & Friends) How to introduce your church to special needs ministry. Families with special needs often share that they desire two things in their church: accessibility and acceptance. In this workshop you’ll learn the five steps to becoming an accessible and accepting church. (M)
  3.  “Accessible Worship” – (Pastor Karen Roberts: Joni & Friends) Do you long to be a part of a church community where people of all abilities gather to worship; a church where the sounds of worship include a wheelchair rolling down the aisle, the tap of a cane, and the sound of people with differing intellectual abilities lifting their voices together in praise? If so, this workshop will give you a biblical understanding of worship and practical strategies to engage your whole church in accessible worship. (M)
  4. “Parental Advocacy: Your Role in Church, School and Community” – (Dawn Schneider) How to get what’s best for your child at church, school and in the community and do it in such a way that your light shines to God’s glory. As part of the visionary team that has developed children and student programing through Lutheran Church of Hope’s One Body Ministry, Dawn has ensured that both her sons, Kellen and Cory, are able to succeed in church, school and the community. (F)
  5. Parents As Mentors (Paula Connolly- ASK Resource Center) Parents helping parents – a concept that works!  ASK Resource Center is building a volunteer network of parents across the state available to share your “lived” experience with another parent. This workshop will explain this initiative and help you get involved.  Professionals working with families are welcome and needed at this workshop, too! You can help us make connections. (F)
  6. "Marriage Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs" (Falesa Ivory-Horton, MA. LMHC) The odds are that if you are a parent raising a child with special needs, you probably devote an enormous amount of your time and energy to his or her care.  Add to that the responsibility of other children who might also need you.  Not much time left after that.  But, there’s one other person you should not forget: your spouse or partner.  This seminar will examine ways to work on your relationship.  When your marriage is healthy, it makes not only your life easier but your child’s life also. (F)

2:00 pm - Transition & Exhibitor Hall Open

2:30-3:30 pm - Breakout Session C

  1. “Putting Your Strategies to Work”- Part 2 (Katie Hoover- Special Ed Teacher & Laura Rogers, MS, CCC-SLP) In this breakout we will put the strategies and tips we learned in Part 1 to work. Students will simulate a classroom setting where a lesson will be taught. This will be hands on, and attendees will receive on-the-spot feedback. (V,M)
  2. “Ministering to the Entire Family” - (Gail Oberkircher: Joni & Friends) Disability affects the whole family, but in different ways. Learn how the experiences and needs of parents and siblings differ, and how your church can reach out to them in meaningful ways. (M)
  3. Cracking the Code: Help for the Disorganized Child - (Ruth Stieff, mother, blogger, and owner of OnePiece) Does your child constantly lose things? Does he forget to turn in his homework? Is your daughter still in her pajamas when she was told 15 minutes ago to get dressed? Are there conflicts in your home when there is a time crunch? There is a lot more to this that "just getting organized?" This child can be assisted by the development of Executive Functions. If this describes your child, come and let's Crack the Code together! (F)

3:30 pm - Transition & Exhibitor Hall Open (last segment)

3:45-4:45 pm - Breakout Session D

  1. “Going Beyond Babysitting: Nurturing Spiritual Growth” – (Pastor Wendie Benton: Joni & Friends) EVERY individual has a spirit that needs to connect with the Lord. Discover ways to foster spiritual growth, whatever the disability! (M)
  2. “Hospitality Training” (Gail Oberkircher: Joni & Friends) Most people, including families impacted by disability decide whether to return to a church within the first 6-10 minutes of entering the campus. The hospitality team is the first contact many people will have and the last person they see as they leave - a significant impact. This workshop is designed for all involved in the hospitality teams: parking lot crew, greeters, ushers, and information center teams. (M)
  3. School Age Transition Panel (Consultant, Teacher, Parent/FPSS, AEA) What can I do as a parent to set up my son/daughter for success in their next stage of education? Who can help with this process? What is my role as a parent in the process? What resources are there for me if I feel overwhelmed or defeated in this process? Join us for this panel discussion to gain knowledge for a positive transition process. (F)
  4. Adult Transition Informational Panel (Lawyer, Social Worker, Consultant, Parent) What can I do as a parent to prepare my son/daughter for this next transition? What is available for my son/daughter after high school? Adulthood?  Who can help us with this process? Join us for this panel discussion where we gather insight and knowledge from a variety of experts: parent, consultant, lawyer, and social worker. (F)
  5. IEP Binder (Understood.org) Your child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be tricky to keep in order. Join Understood as we talk about IEPs, your rights and how to help get both parents involved in advocating for your children. We will provide a new binder with inserts and additional information, along with support and the opportunity to ask any questions. (F)

4:45 pm - Closing Remarks and Giveaways

NOTE: Breakouts are labeled by focus area: (M)= Ministry (V)= Volunteer (F)= Family