SPED Ahead is an opportunity for school administrators and special education specialists to catalyze discussions about new ideas and promising practices that help exceptional students achieve. With a series of free interactive online events and related multimedia web-based resources, we will explore answers to tough questions and shape effective leadership strategies for addressing special needs students’ challenges for literacy skills, scholastic achievement and peer relationships.

 
 
Changing Minds

Dr. Jordan Wright on “Extending Your Reach: Online Counseling for Changing Minds”

Finding help for students with psychological, neurological or emotional issues is a major challenge facing school administrators. There is a shortage of experts to conduct psychological assessments and reach students with appropriate counseling services. Now live video conferencing technology shows great promise for extending our reach to these students wherever they are: doing evaluations and […]

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Dr. Barry Prizant on “Preventing Problem Behavior in Schools”

Problem behaviors are symptomatic of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Learning how to better manage disruptive behavior is a top priority for school administrators, educators, therapists and parents. During this webinar, one of SPED’s most sought-after experts on classroom behavior management strategies will present a “Bio-Psycho-Social” perspective on the interaction of physiological, cognitive and social-environmental issues.

Dr. Temple Grandin on “The Autistic Brain”

School administrators are seeking a deeper understanding and new strategies to serve a growing population of students with autism. An overburdened system and the Common Core’s emphasis on language and communications skills has created a sense of urgency to find the best approaches to giving them appropriate access to the curriculum.

Getting Smarter About SPED: 5 Blended Learning Decisions & Implications

Technology and the promise of individualized education are just two of the factors driving the adoption of blended learning, but there are many more reasons for administrators and educators to get excited. Education visionary and blended learning champion Tom Vander Ark discusses the practicalities of implementation and addresses the impact on special education.

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Online Speech-Language Therapy: HOT Questions. COOL Answers.

Online speech therapy has been tested successfully for the past few years while the technology for delivering remote services has continued to improve. Still, special education directors have burning questions about online therapy. Until now, answers were based on research and theory. Get answers based on real world experience that you can learn from and apply to your district’s special education strategies.

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Rural County Tries A New Approach To Related Services: Online Speech Language Therapy

For Special Education Supervisors in Benton County, a rural community in Western Tennessee, finding certified speech language therapists is often difficult. However, Benton County recently used a state-provided assistive technology grant to train partner counties and implement an effective & affordable solution to this problem: integrating traditional therapy delivery models with online speech therapy services. This webinar explores implementing online therapy from multiple perspectives and discusses how blended learning is transforming related services delivery for rural counties such as Benton.

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Blended Models: SPED Leaders Share Their Implementation Formulas for Online Speech Therapy

With increasing demand and costs for SPED services, district leaders are seeking new ways to deploy their teams more efficiently. Now, innovative SPED leaders are deploying a “blended” model for related services delivery, combining both online and school-based speech-language therapists. They’re getting promising results: improved student outcomes, tighter integration of SPED with gen ed, and […]

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Online OT-For Real! Real Kids. Real Goals. Real Results.

Demand for OT in school settings is growing due to increases in cases of learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder (SPD) and autism combined with the rigors of the Common Core Standards. SPED administrators are trying—and seeing success with—new service delivery options, including using online therapists.

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Hot and Hotter: Is Online Speech Therapy Effective


Hot or Not? How does online speech therapy work?


Cool answers from the front line?

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Transforming Special Education in a Challenging Fiscal Environment

How can superintendents get more engaged and lead transformation in this often-confounding area rather than just continuing “business as usual”? This webinar will present practical strategies around staffing, service delivery options and budgeting that can help district leaders lead meaningful change.

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SPED Transformation: Overview & The Superintendent as Leader


SPED Transformation: Human Resource Management


SPED Transformation: Effective Data Systems


SPED Transformation: Addressing Budget Challenges

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Managing Workloads in a Caseload-Driven World

The topic of workload strategies and approach isn’t new, but it is clear that special education leaders play a major role in changing the way we approach service delivery. There is a set of guiding principles that SPED leaders should apply when considering the needs of SLPs and students and when we are ready to move toward workload approach. Workload experts Dr. Barbara Moore and Dr. Judy Rudebusch provide leadership strategies.

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SLP Workload Approach Overview (15:18)

It's time to think about the role of special education leaders in helping us move toward a workload approach to delivering special education services. Listen to an overview in context of Common Core State Standards and SPED policies.


Staffing Assignments for a Workload Approach (10:49)

Reconsidering the way we assign staff is another leadership challenge. Let's hear what works and what doesn’t and consider how the workload approach relates to other reforms that are affecting special education leaders.


Flexible Scheduling for a Workload Approach (12:18)

Lend an ear to how you can allocate your resources more efficiently and effectively, and in doing so, ease the burden on your staff and improve student outcomes. We really have to rethink service delivery.

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Online Occupational Therapy: Really?

Special education leaders recognize a growing need for OT (Occupational Therapy) for K-12 students and the need to use technology to enhance delivery of clinical services. OT practitioners and school districts are now poised to benefit from the delivery of OT services online into educational settings. OT researcher Dr. Rondalyn Whitney and occupational therapist Rosemarie Helton present the whens and hows of online OT — really.

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Introduction to and Efficacy of Online Occupational Therapy (13:30)

Hear what a leading OT expert has to say about trends and opportunities for school-based OT, including reasons to consider Online OT and efficacy research that points to this new delivery model.


Online Occupational Therapy: Technology and Operations (4:34)

Take five and hear about the nuts and bolts of online OT from an therapist who is delivering OT services remotely. You'll get sound advice about the set up, basic logistics and the potential cost savings for online therapy.


Implementing Online Occupational Therapy: A Front Line Perspective (15:09)

Want to know what it's like to deliver OT online? Listen to a therapist give examples of online activities and tell you how it works. You'll get solid advice on how this new delivery method can serve the needs of 70% of your students.

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Getting to the Core of the Common Core

Oral language skills (communication competence) are foundational to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). For this reason, SPED leaders expect increased demand for Tier II interventions. How will you address reading and social-skills deficiencies given budget cuts and the need to prepare for CCSS? ASHA leader Dr. Barbara Moore leads the discussion with communications disorder expert Maryellen Moreau to answer this important question and more.

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Introduction to CCSS and the Role of the SLP (3:00)

Listen to how the Common Core aligns with speech and language therapy, particularly for language syntax and discourse, and hear about the expanding role for the SLP in meeting the curriculum demands of the CCSS.


Language, Syntax, and Discourse in the Common Core Standards (13:00)

Hear about the definition of language. Oral language is definitely not just talking, it is the focus for the changing role of the SLP with the shift to CCSS and its goal of communicative competence.


Examples of How SLPs Can Help You Meet Curriculum Demands for CCSS (13:30)

Under CCSS, middle school expository text will be 70% of the curriculum, so students must be able to tell and retell stories, and develop progressively more complex expository text. Hear how SLPs can help meet this demand.

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Universal Design for Learning & Assistive Technologies: What Do They Have in Common?

The field of Assistive Technology (AT) addresses important principles that help educators create classrooms that serve the needs of all learners. Kathleen Sadao, EdD, and Nancy Robinson, PhD, leading authors and early childhood specialists are experts in AT and Universal Design for Learning. They share practical strategies and affordable solutions that teachers can implement right away.

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Introduction to AT and UDL: What They Have in Common (9:32)

Hear about examples of the relationship between UDL and the multiple means of representation, engagement, and expression, and how AT tools for access can be used from the beginning.


How AT ToolKits Put AT in the Hands of Every Practitioner (15:21)

Listen to ways teachers can use low-tech devices and inexpensive materials to give them the opportunity to experiment, explore and try out simple, low-cost AT toolkits that will support every child in the classroom.


Merging AT and UDL in the Curriculum (10:28)

Hear how AT and UDL can be combined to differentiate instruction and provide all students ways to participate in class using different learning methods and with the help of SLPs who are uniquely equipped to do so.

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Speech Telepractice (Online Speech Therapy): Good, Bad or Ugly?

Although the technology to deliver SLP services at a distance has been available for years, cost and complexity limited its adoption. ASHA leader, Dr. Barbara J. Moore and a panel of special education experts explore how simple, inexpensive technology is enabling a growing number of schools to use telepractice to improve outcomes, address critical personnel shortfalls and fill gaps in speech-language services.

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An Overview of and Efficacy Research for Online Speech Therapy (10:16)

What's driving demand for online speech-language therapy? Is there reliable evidence that this method really works? Hear expert advice about what lies ahead for telepractice and what the research says about this new method of delivery.


Online Speech Therapy: Technology, Operations and Cost (6:00)

While getting set up and having the technology to successfully deliver speech-language services remotely isn't hard to do, attention to detail will result in reliable implementation with excellent results. Hear an expert describe what you need to do to get the best results.


Online Speech Therapy in the Real World: A Front Line Perspective (8:46)

What is it like for a special education administrator to introduce online speech therapy to teachers, students, and parents? What does it take to make online therapy work and how can you be successful with this new delivery model? Listen and learn!

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The Five Legal Pitfalls District Leaders Must Avoid This Year

The transition to Common Core Standards, the spread of bullying, reauthorization of IDEA, implementation of RTI, and explosive growth in autism could become legal pitfalls for your district this year. You can avoid legal problems by understanding legislative provisions and by knowing how to avoid common mistakes. Special education legal expert Charles Weatherly takes a look at each of these looming pitfalls and provides timely tips to steer clear.

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Legal Pitfall #1: Inadequate Training for Autism (10:04)

What do you do to avoid legal tangles related to serving students with autism? Training is the focus. What training and who should get the training is explained by a special education legal expert. Listen now!


Legal Pitfall #2: Insensitivity to Bullying and Harassment (10:22)

Special needs students are easy targets for bullying and harassment. As an administrator there are reasons to be on guard for potential legal issues. Hear the whys and hows from a SPED legal expert who knows!


Legal Pitfall #3: Procedural Violations of IDEA (8:56)

The potential pitfall is not so much for what we do, but it is procedural – how we go about it. Following prescribed rules and policies, having the right meetings at the right times, covering all the bases and keeping very good records. Listen to how you can avoid problems.


Legal Pitfall #4: Inflexible Implementation of RTI (8:30)

Hear how some states' strict RTI guidelines impose a rigid, inflexible process of putting students through interventions at each tier and waiting for results. Beware! Being inflexible may expose you to legal challenges from parents.


Legal Pitfall #5: The Blackhole of IDEA Reauthorization (7:12)

New federal regulations may present challenges and opportunities as the shift to Common Core State Standards continues. Listen to the legal perspective on how school administrators can connect the CCSS to IEP goals that are in sync with IDEA.

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Online Speech Therapy for Virtual School Students: When, Where and How?

Special education services, including speech-language therapy, must be available to all students, including those who attend online schools. Meeting this need is an ongoing challenge facing SPED directors for virtual schools. Special education researcher Dr. Shari Robertson moderates a panel of experts in helping you understand the “when, where and how” of online speech therapy for virtual school students.

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Online Speech Therapy for Virtual Schools (21:55)

Hear what the research says about the efficacy of online speech and language therapy and what a special education director for a leading virtual school says about how it works and best practices to ensure a successful implementation.

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Online Speech Therapy for Charter School Students: When, Where and How?

Charter schools offer diverse learning opportunities and instructional approaches, but as in mainstream schools, all students must have access to special education services, including speech-language therapy. Special education researcher Dr. Shari Robertson moderates a panel of charter school leaders as they share first hand about the effectiveness of online speech language therapy and advice for a smooth implementation.

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Online Speech Therapy for Charter Schools: A Front Line Perspective (14:11)

Listen to what the research says about the efficacy of online speech and language therapy, what charter school special education leaders say about their experience with online delivery and how you can have the best implementation.

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Understanding and Managing the Growing SLP Shortage

The SLP shortage is a persistent problem and a top concern. Though a wide range of recruitment and retention initiatives have been in place for a decade, the shortage is growing. Why do we have this chronic problem? How will you prepare to meet the need for SLP services as we shift to Common Core State Standards? Dr. Shari Robertson unpacks this issue with an expert on this topic, Karen Roth of Arizona State University.

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Understanding the SLP Shortage (16:24)

Hear about the reasons why the SLP shortage persists and gain a deeper understanding of how training requirements and changing demands of the student population are driving a demand that is greater than the supply.


How to Recruit SLPs to Schools (12:16)

Listen to a recent graduate describe her experience being recruited and the challenges she has faced entering the practice. Hear expert advice how to attract and retain the SLPs you need.


Solutions to Managing the Growing SLP Shortage (14:55)

Take in real strategies for managing the SLP shortage. The problem isn't going away, so listen to an expert suggest how you can continue to deliver quality services and best maximize the expertise of speech-language therapists.

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Shift Happens: New IEP Language for a Common Core World

The transition to the Common Core has kept special education administrators busy helping their staff learn to align IEPs with the new standards. So how does an IEP read in our new Common Core world — especially with respect to speech and language goals? How does your staff need to change their work with students? Dr. Judy Montgomery seeks answers from assistant superintendent Dr. Judy Rudebusch and from Perry Flynn of UNC Greensboro.

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The New Language of the Common Core (15:47)

Hear two special education experts explain the implications of Common Core standards on your SLPs and IEPs and describe an ideal IEP planning process that involves your entire special education staff.


How to Write a CCSS-Aligned IEP (14:31)

Listen to experts suggest a step-by-step method to develop CCSS-aligned IEPs that have goals and objectives that incorporate the language from the new standards.

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