32. How Fostering High Expectations and Presuming Competence Creates Learners

Speakers: Lorie Brew, Tammi Morton, Jacqui DiDomenico, William Del Toro Vargas, Jill Houseal, Sharon Janosik

Session Handout: *These speakers will be presenting in person at the Penn Stater.
**This session is available for in person and virtual attendance.

This session will provide attendees with the guidelines for an educational approach that begins with the presumption of competence when educating ALL students. To base education on the premise all students CAN learn and hold high expectations creates an environment where students are taught as individuals. Come find out what it means to hold high expectations in the home, school, and community.

Credits: Act 48, ASHA

Audience: Special Education Teachers; Teachers who work with students who are blind or visually impaired; Teachers who work with students with hearing loss; Teachers who work with students who are Deaf-Blind; Teachers/other professionals who work with students who have sustained traumatic brain injury; Speech Therapists; General Education Teachers; Supervisors/Administrators; Assistive Technology Specialists; Occupational Therapists and/or Physical Therapists; Orientation and Mobility Specialists; School Counselors and/or School Psychologists; Parents, Guardians, Family Members; Paraprofessionals

Speakers' Bios:

Lorie Brew photo Lorie Brew is the PEAL Center’s Project MAX Coordinator for the Eastern Pennsylvania. Much of Lorie’s knowledge about   disability-related issues come from individuals with disabilities themselves, families who support someone with a disability, as   well as her own personal experience of raising a child with Autism. Lorie is dedicated to the principles of Project MAX, which are   presuming competence and leading change in the education system towards inclusive settings. Through Project MAX Lorie   supports a statewide parent network based on its principles. Lorie has two adult children and lives in Philadelphia with her   husband Wayne. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and Human Services.
lbrew@pealcenter.org  Website: https://www.pealcenter.org/

Tammi-Morton-2.JPG Tammi Morton is a graduate of Allegheny College. She has a M.A. in Education, where she focused on developing a curriculum   for adults with intellectual disabilities. She began her career working with a variety of children as a therapeutic staff support   (TSS) for Northwestern Human Services. Her experience prompted Tammi to write about Autism and intellectual disabilities. She   is the author of two books about the Autism Spectrum and wrote with Dr. Mark Dombeck for MentalHealth.net. Tammi is a   parent of a child who has a disability. Her work experience runs the gamut from Early Intervention to adult habilitation. Tammi   places high value on listening to others, understanding their needs, and respecting their learning styles. She strives to make   meaningful connections. As a Project MAX Coordinator at the PEAL Center, Tammi hopes to instill the belief that every student   has the capacity to learn.
 Email: tmorton@pealcenter.org  Website: https://www.pealcenter.org/

Jacqui DiDomenico is a parent consultant with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN).  She has a background in early childhood education and brings her experience of parenting three children, including her middle child who has Down syndrome. She is currently working on the following initiatives: Family Engagement, Procedural Safeguards and OSEP Grants.


William Del Toro Vargas
is a Transition Consultant for transition consultant, LLC, a title broker service coordinator and a family advisor for Hune. He has been a youth leadership advisor coordinator for the ARC of Philadelphia,  a legislative advocate and much, much more. He is on the board of PA APSE and volunteers with the PA Rehab council. His energy and zest to support those who need support is unmet.

Jill Houseal is a mother of three adult children: Aaron, Alden and Ana.  Ana, who is in her last year of high school, was the impetus for Jill’s journey in learning about and having high expectations and presuming competence that began when Ana was 4 years old.   Jill has been involved in parent education in various capacities over the past 12 years.  She currently is a family leader for FAMILIES TO THE MAX (F2MAX) and has a passion for helping families and professionals to know about and understand best practices, principles and resources that can help children envision and reach their hopes and dreams.