School of Education Faculty Team Present at National Conference
A team of seven faculty members from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education were featured presenters at the 35th Annual Conference for The Association for Severely Handicapped (TASH). This was the first time that an entire department, in this case the Special Education team, submitted proposals that were all accepted to present! The conference was held in December in Denver, Colorado.
The theme was “Embracing Difference…It’s Time!” and presentations focused on five specific topics; inclusive education, community living, employment, human rights, and people of color.
Drs. Whitney Rapp and Susan Hildenbrand’s presentation focused on teacher preparation and was entitled, “Doing For is Not Providing For: Scaffolding Independence While Maintaining High Expectations.” They discussed a path to student-centered, independent, and authentic learning through specific resources and strategies.
Drs. David Rostetter, Susan Schultz, and Dan Kelly’s presentation, “Least Restrictive Environment: The Unfulfilled Promise of Integration,” centered around advocacy, legislation, and litigation. All three brought a unique perspective of being a parent of a student with a disability, a national policy expert, and a teacher educator.
And Drs. Katrina Arndt and Rostetter presented, “Class Action Lawsuits in Special Education – Review and Recommendations.” They spoke specifically about class action lawsuits relative to least restrictive environment provisions, school services for students with the label ‘mental retardation,’ and service provision for students labeled with autism spectrum disorders. The session concluded with recommendations for families and practitioners.
“We are so lucky to have a unique, talented, and hard working team who share expertise and encourage each other to grow professionally,” said Dr. Schultz, Special Education Program Director and Assistant Professor at the School of Education.
TASH is an international association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals fighting for a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm. The organization’s members are concerned with human dignity, civil rights, education, and independence for all individuals with disabilities. TASH is made up of over thirty chapters and has members from thirty-four different countries and territories.