Tuesday, October 24th

NE-PACT Conference 2017

Leading Through Change with Vision & Values


11:00 am REGISTRATION 2nd Floor Foyer
11:30 am 12:30 pm Welcome & Opening Remarks

Working Lunch – Eye to Eye App Demo


Diamond AB

Following lunch, please proceed to one of the breakout sessions shown below.


Youth Leadership Development  |   Aqueduct-Churchill Room  |  This session is for youth participants.
12:30 pm

12:45 pm

Welcome & Introductions Dawn Monaco,


12:45pm 4:15 pm Building Youth Capacity to Serve

·         Telling Your Story for Advocacy Purposes:  Reid will use his extensive experience as an advocate to share opportunities for using personal stories for advocacy purposes.

·         Working with Adult Allies:  Reid will explore how youth self-advocates and adult allies can collaborate effectively.

Reid Caplan,

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

4:30 pm 5:00 pm Wrap-Up:

Report from breakout sessions, Evaluation, and Closing Remarks


Diamond AB


Working With Youth  |Monmouth Room  |  This session is for parent center staff.
12:30 pm

12:45 pm

Welcome & Introductions Diana Autin,


12:45pm 4:15pm Connecting & Involving Youth with Your Parent Center

An interactive workshop featuring tools to help connect and involve youth/young adults with your parent center.

Diana Autin,

Jeannette Mejias,

Nicole Pratt,


4:30 pm 5:00 pm Wrap-Up:

Report from breakout sessions, Evaluation, and Closing Remarks


Diamond AB


Non-Profit Management  |Pimlico-Belmont Room  |  This session is for parent center directors and board members.
12:30 pm

12:45 pm

Welcome & Introductions Carolyn Hayer,


12:45pm 3:30 pm Building a Strong Parent Center Board

A facilitated discussion on what you can do to ensure your board is strong, diverse, and effective.  Newly developed OSEP-funded PTAC resources will be introduced.

Rachel Howard,

Rachel Howard Consulting

3:45 pm 4:45 pm Stakeholder Engagement in Identifying Disproportionality

What’s happening in your state regarding the US ED new policy on disproportionality?  How are/should you and other stakeholders be involved? What resources are available to help you in this important work?

Debra Jennings,



5:00 pm 6:30 pm Dinner

(on your own)

Visit registration for local restaurant list


6:30 pm 8:00 pm Tech, Talk & Tunes

Join us for an evening reception highlighting technology tools for parent centers

Refreshments will be served.


Diamond C




Wednesday, October 25th

NE-PACT Conference 2017

Leading Through Change with Vision & Values


7:30 am REGISTRATION 2nd Floor Foyer

Diana Autin& Carolyn Hayer, NE-PACT Co-Directors


Diamond AB

9:00 am 10:00 am KEYNOTE SESSION:

Justice Is A Team Sport

Kori Hamilton Biagas, M. Ed.

Founder, Just Educators

This session will focus on building your capacity to navigate various systems in a polarized social climate. What role do power, position, and privilege play in our work? How do we address culture and bias? This thought-provoking presentation will help you improve your ability to meet the diverse needs of families.


Diamond AB


10:00 am BREAK
10:15 am 11:45 pm CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – SESSION A (choose one)
A1.Pre-Employment Transition Services

Nancy Mader,Federation for Children with Special Needs

Karen Price, Vermont Family Network

Federal legislation (WIOA) requires states to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services to students with disabilities to improve post-school outcomes. In this session, panelists will share information about the transition services they are providing, including details of how program funding was secured.

A2.Becoming a More Trauma-Informed Organization

Diana Autin, SPAN

Many of the families that parent centers serve have faced and are facing significant trauma. This workshop will increase parent center knowledge basein the area of trauma-informed care and practice and their capacity to adopt trauma-informed care practices. Participants will learn how to find and use resources to support individual and organizational self-assessments and development and implementation of action plans designed to help them become more trauma-informed individuals and organizations.


A3. Appropriate Supervision of Individualized Assistance

Maria Docherty, SPAN

In this workshop, we will explore practical ideas for effectively overseeing the work of individualized assistance staff. Participants will share strategies on training new staff; monitoring, assessing and improving staff performance, and building a cohesive and collaborative technical assistance team. The session concludes with an open discussion brainstorming solutions to barriers to effective supervision.



12:00 pm 12:30 pm Getting to Know TheBranch:

Table Conversations: Military Family Milestones and Your Experiences

Barb Koumjian, The Branch Military PTAC

Peg Kinsell, The Branch Advisory Committee

This short 30-minute session will begin with a brief introduction from the Branch-MPTAC, followed by small group discussion and learning about the key milestones in military life that may send families to your Parent Center.  A brief report out sharing the wisdom in the room will be followed by group discussions over lunch.  A summary of the group experiences will be sent to participants.


Diamond C


12:30 pm 1:30 pm LUNCH

The Branch table discussions.


Diamond C

1:45 pm 3:15 pm CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – SESSION B (choose one)
B1. Fostering Safe & Welcoming Spaces for ALL

Dr. Graciela Sleseransky-Poe, Acadia University

This session will offer a “safe” space to explore and learn from & with each other critical concepts and practices on how to foster spaces that are safe, welcoming, inclusive, and affirming of the experiences of all, with particular emphasis on gender expansive, gender non-binary, and transgender students, families, and educators.



B2. Shifting the Culture; A Story of Collaboration

Panel: Helene Fallon, Debi Kienke, Naomi Brickel, Yvette Goorevitch

This workshop will identify the key aspects of collaboration and effective communication, focusing on essential elements of team-building while identifying research based strategies and the promising practices of Leading by Convening that have been successful in educational teams working together and greatly improving outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.Meet parents and special education administrators who have collaborated to “change the culture” in their school districts focused on improving outcomes for all students.

B3. Positioning Your Parent Center in a Competitive Environment

Carolyn Hayer, SPAN

Parent centers are facing increasing competition for limited resources to assist the children, youth and families we serve. Join us for an interactive discussion about how parent centers can position ourselves to flourish in this competitive environment.

3:15 pm BREAK
3:30 pm 5:00 pm CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – SESSION C (choose one)
C1.Directors’ Session

Carmen Sanchez, OSEP

This session is for parent center directors ONLY.

C2. Next Steps: Developing an Action Plan to Move Forward

Kori Hamilton Biagas, M. Ed

Like what you heard in the morning keynote session but not quite sure what to do next? This session will continue the conversation and address the issues of poverty, ability, and ethnicity and the implications of those factors in our work.



C3. Pyramid Model in Early Childhood

Denise Bouyer, SPAN

The Pyramid Model provides guidance for early childhood educators, early intervention personnel, families and other professionals on the evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s healthy social/emotional development. Join us to learn more about the three tiers of intervention.


Optional Group Dinner – 6:30 PM at SPAN Office

Check your conference packet for more information (Sign-up at Registration Table.)



Thursday, October 26th

NE-PACT Conference 2017

Leading Through Change with Vision & Values


7:30 am REGISTRATION 2nd Floor Foyer
8:45 am 9:15 am WELCOME BACK

Diana Autin& Carolyn Hayer, NE-PACT Co-Directors


Diamond AB

9:15 am 10:15 am KEYNOTE SESSION:

If Not Now, When Will We End Educational Inequity?

Wanda J. Blanchett, Ph.D.

Dean & Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University, 

Graduate School of Education 

This presentation will examine historical issues that have contributed to and currently maintain educational inequity and access in the American educational system including the impact of institutionalized racism and bias on racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse students. Dismantling these historical systems of oppression and achieving greater levels of educational equity and service delivery will be discussed.




Diamond AB

10:15 am BREAK
10:30 am 12:00 pm CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – SESSION D (choose one)
D1.Coffee and Conversation with Dr. Wanda J. Blanchett, Ph.D.

Dean & Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University

Join us as we continue the conversation. This is your opportunity to engage in a thought-provoking discussion about the complex issues of race, class, culture, and equity and how these factors impact the diverse communities we serve.


Diamond A

D2.Incorporating Technology into the IEP

Adam Krass, Adam Krass Consulting

Technology based supports can offer tremendous benefits to students with disabilities, particularly in the areas of literacy, math, communication and transition to adulthood.  This hands-on session will demonstrate how assistive technology can help students struggling with a wide range of school related activities.

D3. Breaking Barriers: Reaching the Hard to Reach

NYS Region 1 Collaborative-

Michelle Eaton, Barbara Glassman, Alfonso Guzman, Don Lash, Yvonne Sinisgalli

This session will explore creative models and best practices for parent centers seeking to reach families that have historically been under-served.  Representatives from each of the four parent centers comprising the New York Region 1 Parent Training and Information Center Collaborative will present strategies for bridging cultural, racial, and linguistic differences as well as approaches for overcoming challenges posed by the child welfare system and parental incarceration. Session leaders will then facilitate a discussion among participants so they can share their own strategies and challenges for reaching under-served families.Practices to be shared will include programs targeting Spanish-speaking families (INCLUDEnyc), Native American families (Long Island Advocacy Center), parents with children in foster care (Sinergia), and parents who are incarcerated (Advocates for Children of New York).



12:00 pm 12:30 pm Getting to Know the NAPTAC:

Native American Parent Specialist Program

Yvonne Sinisgalli, Long Island Advocacy Center

In this session, information about NAPTAC’s Native American Parent Specialist Program will be shared by a member of the first cohort of this intensive 6-month training program. Additional information about the Native American PTAC’s activities will also be shared. Key concepts related to serving this population will be discussed over lunch.


Diamond C

12:30 pm 1:30 pm LUNCH

Serving Native American families table discussions.


Diamond C

1:30 pm

2:45 pm


Update on Legal Developments in IDEA, ADA, & Section 504

Diana Autin, Executive Co-Director, SPAN

The past year has seen tremendous changes in the education laws, regulations, and administrative decisions impacting children and youth with disabilities and their families. This workshop will provide an overview of court decisions, administrative guidance and decisions, and regulations – including recently rescinded guidance – relevant to our work as parent centers.

Handout 1

Handout 2

Handout 3



Diamond C

2:45 pm 3:15 pm CLOSING SESSION:

Wrap-up & Evaluations


Diamond C