Conferences 2021-03-02T08:58:16+00:00

Our Annual Conference

Each year, the DSAGR attends various events throughout Virginia to continue the development of relationships among Down syndrome awareness groups, families, and individuals with DS. We see firsthand the value of our involvement in these events, and we’re proud to continue our efforts in providing the Disability Education and Transition Conference each year since 2013 and serving over 400 educators and parents each year.

Thank you for attending! 

Handouts and the Certificates are on a password protected website. Contact if you did not receive the password.

Conference Flyer

Join parents, special and general educators and other professionals from throughout Virginia and beyond to discover how to better educate children and young adults with disabilities.

Inclusion Session – Dr. Paula Kluth
“All In: Creating Virtual Inclusive Classrooms”
Saturday February 6, 2021 (10-11:30am EST)

Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, teacher, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities, and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. Paula is a former special educator who has served as a classroom teacher and inclusion facilitator. Her professional interests include differentiating instruction, active learning, and inclusive schooling.

She is the author of numerous books and products including Universal Design Daily, 30 Days to the Co-taught ClassroomDon’t We Already Do Inclusion?From Text Maps to Memory Caps100 More Ways to Differentiate Instruction in K-12 Inclusive Classrooms, and You’re Going to Love This Kid!.  Paula is also the director of a documentary film titled We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism.

Adolescent Behavior Session – Terri Couwenhoven
“Supporting Students with Intellectual Disabilities: Common Concerns During Puberty”
Saturday February 13, 10-11:30am EST

Terri Couwenhoven, M.S. is an AASECT certified sexuality educator who specializes in developing programs and resources for people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and the professionals who support them.  She is the author of Teaching Children with Down syndrome about their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up: Choices and Changes in the Tween Years, A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes During Puberty and for teens and young adults, Boyfriends & Girlfriends: A Guide to Dating for People with Disabilities.

When she is not teaching or writing, she is Clinic Coordinator for the Down Syndrome Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  She is the mother of two girls. Her oldest daughter has Down syndrome.

Transition Session – Dan Habib
“Action! Effective Practices in Transition”
Saturday February 13, 2021 (1-2:30pm EST)

Dan Habib is the creator of the award-winning documentary films Including Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?, Mr. Connolly Has ALS, and many other short films on disability-related topics. Habib is a filmmaker at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability. His newest documentary, Intelligent Lives, examines our society’s narrow perceptions of intelligence.

Before joining UNH in April of 2008, Habib was the photography editor of the Concord Monitor (NH). In 2006 and 2008, he was named the national Photography Editor of the Year and has been a judge of the Pulitzer Prizes and the Best of Photojournalism. He is a six-time New Hampshire photographer of the year and his freelance work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times. In 2012, Habib received the Champion of Human and Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association, and in 2013 he received the Justice for All Grassroots Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities. In November 2013, Habib delivered a TEDx talk titled “Disabling Segregation” on the benefits of inclusion to students without disabilities. From 2014-2017, Habib served on President Barack Obama’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities—a committee that promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. Habib and his wife, Betsy, live in Concord, NH, with their sons, Isaiah, 24, and Samuel, 20.

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Conference Handouts

Conference Photos

2020 Exhibitors

Conference Flyer

Thanks for coming! Parents, educators and other professionals representing 43+ school districts from throughout Virginia joined together for a day of learning, networking and inspirations.  The keynote speaker Dr. Julie Causton spoke on the “Heartset of Inclusive Education” and then provided three breakout sessions.  Charlotte Woodward,  our lunch speaker,  inspired the audience with her life at George Mason University. The Transition Conference was back again for parents and educators of transition age students.

30+  exhibitors provided resources and services. Self-advocates introduced speakers as session hosts and greet the attendees. Volunteers kept the conference running smoothly.  We honored educators with the Outstanding Educator Awards at lunch.  We always appreciate the sponsors that allow us to offer this conference at a low-cost to all attendees!

Keynote and Breakout Sessions – Dr. Julie Causton

Julie Causton is founder and CEO of Inclusive Schooling. She is a former Professor in the Inclusive and Special Education Program in the Department of Teaching and Leadership at Syracuse University. She has spent the past 20 years studying best practices for inclusive education and as a former elementary, middle and high school special education teacher herself, she knows firsthand how inclusion leads to better outcomes for students.

She is an educational consultant and works with administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals and families across the country to help them promote and improve inclusive practices. Her dynamic presentations focus on engaging ways to educate all students within the context of general education. Julie is the author of many books about inclusive education and she has published articles in over thirty educational research and practitioner journals.

Lunch Speaker – Charlotte Woodward

Charlotte is a Community Outreach Associate with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). She is currently attending George Mason University working on a B.A. She earned an associate’s degree from the Northern Virginia Community College and graduated from Fairfax High School with a standard diploma. Charlotte was born with a heart condition and had four open-heart surgeries when she was young and recently became one of the very few people born with Down syndrome to receive a life-saving heart transplant! Her motto is to always give back to others, and she loves to have bake sales and donate the proceeds to various charities. These fundraising efforts have led to some exciting opportunities to give motivational speeches. She hopes to pursue a career as an author, professional baker, event planner and motivational speaker. She is determined to do her best to help ALL people with special needs!

Thank you to Our Sponsors

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