2022 Speakers

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Patricia Andrews is a partner with the Law Firm of Andrews & Price in Pittsburgh, PA, working primarily in the School Law Section. She represents the firm’s school clients and acts as special counsel to a number of school districts in special education matters. She coordinates the firm’s publication of the Special Education Alert newsletter published through the Tri-State School Study Council and the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Andrews is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association, School Solicitors Section and was the 2011 President of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association Solicitor Section. She received her B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and her J.D. from the George Washington University National Law Center.
 
Kirk Behnke, M.Ed., ATP has presented nationally and internationally on Accessible Technologies, Assistive Technology (AT), and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for over 25 years. He has held an array of administrative positions such as the Director of Technical Assistance for the National Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Center at CAST where he supported the delivery of universal, targeted, and intensive technical assistance and learning opportunities regarding accessible educational materials and accessible technologies within the United States and abroad. He also led a national team of consultants as the Coordinator of Training, Grants, and Contracts and the development and implementation of the “Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP)” at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). He held the position as the Lead for the Texas Assistive Technology Network at Region 4 Education Service Center for the state of Texas. He has written for two textbooks; A chapter for assistive technology evaluations in Assistive Technologies and Environmental Interventions in Healthcare: An Integrated Approach, Gitlow and Flecky, 2019, and a chapter on Future Technologies in Universal Access Through Inclusive Instructional Design: International Perspectives on UDL, Gronseth and Dalton, 2020. Kirk holds a Master’s in Education/Special Education from Temple University, a credential as an Assistive Technology Professional from the Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America (RESNA), and a Certificate in Assistive Technology Applications from the University College of Dublin, Ireland.
 
Mike Bovino is the Senior Advisor for Special Olympics PA and collaborates with a dedicated staff who support more than 270 schools throughout the state with fully inclusive Unified Champion Schools programming. This program utilizes Unified Sports, inclusive youth leadership, and whole school engagement activities to empower students, promote inclusion, and improve overall school climate. Mike has worked in the Special Olympics movement for more than 30 years, starting in the international headquarters as the first Director of Sports Marketing. Over the years, he has helped to develop new sports and inclusion programming, built enriching Unified Champion Schools partnerships with over 425 schools in two states + the District of Columbia, and focused on organizational development, strategic planning, and numerous fundraising initiatives. He has been a global and national leader in Special Olympics Unified Sports since its inception in 1989. Unified Sports brings together individuals with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team for training and competition as equal peers, and he is highly successful in fostering social inclusion. In addition to Special Olympics, Mike has worked with other nonprofits over the years as a consultant, and also served as Vice President for the United States Basketball League. He earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan.
 
Danny Brassell, Ph.D. has served for over 20 years as an educational advisor to students ranging from preschoolers to rocket scientists. While he has held a variety of titles and worked with leaders from a variety of fields and disciplines, Danny has always considered himself first and foremost a teacher. A recognized authority on leadership development, motivation and communication skills, Dr. Brassell has been honored consistently for his strategic intellect and practical solutions. Dr. Brassell has spoken to over 3,500 audiences worldwide and authored 16 books, including his latest, Leadership Begins with Motivation. He is the co-founder of www.theREADINGhabit.com, the world’s top reading engagement program.
 
Lydia X.Z. Brown, J.D. is an advocate, organizer, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work focuses on interpersonal and state violence against disabled people at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, faith, language, and nation. They are Policy Counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, focused on algorithmic discrimination and disability, as well as Director of Policy, Advocacy, & External Affairs at the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network. Lydia is adjunct lecturer in Georgetown University’s Disability Studies Program, and adjunct professorial lecturer in American Studies at American University’s Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies. They serve as commissioner on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights, chairperson of the ABA Civil Rights & Social Justice Section’s Disability Rights Committee, co-president of the Disability Rights Bar Association, and representative for the Disability Justice Committee to the National Lawyers Guild’s board. Lydia founded the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color's Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment. Previously, Lydia was Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow for the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, representing disabled students in education civil rights matters. They are former Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University, and Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. In 2015, Lydia was named to Pacific Standard's 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 list. Most recently, Lydia was named to Gold House Foundation's A100 list of the most impactful Asians in America for 2020 and them.'s Now List 2021 honoring LGBTQ+ visionaries. "
 
Andrew Bulla, Ph.D. earned his Bachelor’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University in psychology with a minor in autism studies. Upon graduating, he completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in behavior analysis from Western Michigan University, and subsequently became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2014. He is currently an assistant professor of psychology and verified course sequence coordinator for the BCaBA coursework at Georgia Southern University – Armstrong Campus. Drew is also a consultant for Morningside Teachers’ Academy, where he helps coordinate and run the Summer Institute to teach individuals all over the world about the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction. Drew has worked at a variety of organizations over the course of his career including autism centers, community mental health agencies, and several school districts. He believes that it is an honor and a privilege to be a part of someone’s education. Drew has published and conducted research in the areas self-management, instructional design, precision teaching, physical activity, and animal training and welfare. He also recently served as the Lead Guest Editor for a special issue of Behavior Analysis in Practice on precision teaching.
 
Bettie Ray Butler, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Urban Education and the Director of the M.Ed. in Urban Education program at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She also serves as a Content Specialist for the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C). Her specialized research interest is in culturally responsive practices (i.e., leadership, instruction, classroom management, transition planning, and advising/ mentoring). Her scholarly research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including, Theory into Practice, Urban Education, Journal of Negro Education, The Urban Review, and Multicultural Perspectives (recipient of the 2019 Emerald Literati Award for Outstanding Paper/Article).
 
Jessica Cabeen is the principal of Ellis Middle School in Austin, MN. She was the 2017 Minnesota Nationally Distinguished Principal and a Future Ready Principal Advisor. She is a Middle-Level Fellow for the National Association for Elementary School Principals and Future Ready Ambassador. Jessica is the co-author of Balance Like a Pirate (2018) and author of Hacking Early Learning (2018), Lead with Grace (2019), and Unconventional Leadership (2019). She loves to connect with other educators on Instagram, Facebook, Voxer, and Twitter (@JessicaCabeen) and her website (www.jessicacabeen.com).
 
Caterina Campbell is a wife and the mother of four beautiful children, three of whom have IEPs. She and her family live in Bangor, in the northeast corridor of Pennsylvania. Caterina felt very alone and hit many walls when it came to navigating her son Sammy's special education, which led her to found the Colonial IU20 Parent Support T.E.A.M. - Together, Educating, Advocating, Moms, Dads, and Families, which she now co-leads. She is actively involved in her school district and her community. Caterina is a tenured member of the FAMILIES TO THE MAX Statewide Family Network and works closely with Colonial IU 20. Together, they help educate families, educators, administrators, and future teachers attending college to improve the lives and education of all children, especially those with disabilities.

Erin Chaparro, Ph.D. is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Oregon's Educational and Community Supports Research Center. For over a decade, she has worked with districts and schools to implement multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) for literacy and positive behavior supports. Dr. Chaparro has worked in schools in a variety of positions including as a school psychologist, a special education teacher, and an academic counselor. Dr. Chaparro has consulted with state departments of education across the country (i.e., South Dakota, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming, and Colorado) on the topics of explicit instruction, PBIS, implementation science, and the education of English language learners. Dr. Chaparro she is currently a technical assistance provider for the National PBIS TA Center and leads the development of an online training of Team-Initiated Problem Solving (TIPS) for Tier 2 data teams and teacher online training that infuses art education and writing instruction in partnership with a local Museum of Art. Her favorite professional activity is working directly with school leaders and teachers around data-based decision-making and the implementation of evidence-based practices in literacy and PBIS. Dr. Chaparro's book Assessment for Special and Inclusive Education with co-author's Drs. Jim Ysseldyke and Amanda VanDerHeyden was published by Pro-Ed in 2022. "
 
Mirko Chardin, Novak Education’s Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, is Founding Head of School of the Putnam Avenue Upper School in Cambridge, MA and co-author of Equity by Design: The Power and Promise of UDL with Katie Novak. Mirko’s work has involved all areas of school management and student support. His greatest experience and passion revolve around culturally connected teaching and learning, recruiting and retaining educators of color, restorative practice, and school culture. Mirko was a keynote speaker at the 2017 UDL for Social Justice Symposium, the 2018 Massachusetts DESE Leading with Equity & Access Conference, and the 2019 California MTSS Professional Learning Institute.
 
Carole Clancy is the Bureau of Special Education Director, with over 25 years of experience in special education, including 15 years as an administrator in urban, rural, and suburban school settings. Ms. Clancy’s role is to oversee the work of the Bureau of Special Education (BSE). The BSE works collaboratively with educators, schools, agencies, and other stakeholders across the commonwealth to ensure they are providing students with quality and meaningful educational supports, services, and opportunities, while complying with state and federal guidelines. Prior to joining the Bureau, Ms. Clancy served as Director of Pupil Services for the Solanco School District, as Director of Special Education at Oxford Area School District, and as the Supervising Coordinator of Special Education Services for the School District of Lancaster. 

Robin Codding, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LP, is an Associate Professor of School Psychology at Northeastern University. She earned her doctorate in school psychology from Syracuse University. Dr. Codding completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the May Institute in Massachusetts where she served as an educational and behavioral consultant. Dr. Codding’s research interests focus on the intersection of intervention and implementation by developing and exploring the effectiveness of school-based interventions, the factors that contribute to student responsiveness of those interventions, and strategies to support intervention implementation. Dr. Codding’s work has emphasized academic interventions and associated assessment for data-based decision making, particularly in the area of mathematics. It is for this work that Dr. Codding was recognized as the co-recipient of the Lightner Witmer Award by Division 16 of the American Psychological Association in 2010. Dr. Codding is currently editor of the APA Division 16 Journal, School Psychology. Dr. Codding has over 75 publications and over 120 peer-reviewed and invited presentations. She is the co-author of a book available from Guilford Press titled, Effective Math Interventions: A Guide to Improving Whole Number Knowledge.
 
Akbar Cook, Ed.D. was named the Principal of West Side High School for the 2018-2019 school year! One month into his new role as Principal, Dr. Cook had his grand opening for a laundromat at West Side High School, which was his project to help ameliorate bullying concerns for students who were displaced and had no funds or access to washing machines. The bullying resulted in excessive school absences and after the laundromat installation, the attendance rates increased significantly. The initiative has been named “Washing Bullying Away.” After being featured on The Star-Ledger, and the success of the newly installed laundromat reached the producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show who invited Principal Cook as a guest of the show on two separate occasions where he secured over $100,000 from DeGeneres and a year's supply of food from General Mills for the food pantry. His “Lights On” segment on CBS Evening News garnered the attention of Oprah Winfrey who visited the school and dropped off a generous donation of $500,000 to ensure the longevity of the “Lights On” program. He continues to create new initiatives such as the development of the Urban Farm on campus, a built-in soccer pitch, and a brand-new kitchen for Home Economics.
 
Melissa Crum, Ph.D. helps help you get comfortable having conversations connecting personal stories, systemic patterns and organizational excellence. As an artist, author, and researcher, she leads Mosaic Education Network - a consulting company that infuses the arts, research, storytelling and critical thinking into professional development, community building and curriculum development. Dr. Crum works with her team of experts to be engaging and collaborative resources to schools, nonprofits, museums, and companies, helping them gauge the collective impact of our conscious and unconscious biases to reach diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. She has facilitated training for hundreds of participants across the United States that creates a nonjudgmental, refreshingly honest look at our privileges. She has also published various academic articles that detail strategies to help you become informed of and feel secure about using everyday practical applications of DEI strategies to positively impact your work and learning environment. To make this happen, she creates a "brave space" where you can ask the tough questions, admit faults, and celebrate successes. Her national and international experiences have allowed her to help you make social change from your desk to your living room and beyond.
 
Mary Ellis Dahlgren, Ed.D., is President of Tools 4 Reading. She is an experienced educator with over 25 years in the field of education having served as a dyslexia therapist, elementary classroom teacher, international literacy consultant and author. She is the author of a highly successful phonics tool kit which includes Kid Lips and Phoneme-Grapheme Instructional Cards for elementary, special education, and English language learner teachers. She is also a National Trainer for the distinguished teacher curriculum Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS). She is the former Executive Director of Payne Education Center, a nonprofit teacher training center in Oklahoma. The Center was established to provide teacher training for teachers of dyslexic students and to support parents of dyslexic children. Mary is a founding board member of a school for adjudicated youth, SeeWorth Academy, organized by the late Chief Justice Alma Wilson. Justice Wilson named the school SeeWorth in hopes the children would “see the worth” in education and the future. Mary’s passion is to help everyone involved in reading instruction to feel equipped and confident in providing the highest quality instruction possible. Mary is also the President of The Reading League Oklahoma Chapter.
 
Cindy Duch is the Director of Individual Assistance for the PEAL Center. In addition to her work at the PEAL Center, Cindy is the current vice-chairperson for the Local Task Force (LTF) for the Rights of Education in Allegheny County, IU 3. Cindy also serves the disability community as a member of the PA Rehabilitation Council and chairperson of its Transition/IDEA Committee. She is a Commissioner on the PA Employment First Oversight Commission, and also serves as a peer monitor assisting the PA Department of Education in monitoring the Special Education Departments of School Districts in Pennsylvania. She has a B.S.B.A. in Economics from Robert Morris University.
 
Batya Elbaum, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Departments of Teaching and Learning, Psychology, and Pediatrics at the University of Miami.  She has published numerous studies related to parent engagement in special education, social and learning challenges of students with disabilities, and services and outcomes for infants, toddlers, and young children with developmental delays. She serves as a consultant to multiple states on the collection, analysis, and use of data within the special education accountability system. For more than a decade, Dr. Elbaum has worked closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and PaTTAN to analyze, interpret, and disseminate results of the Pennsylvania statewide survey of parents of students receiving special education services.
 
Brian Jason Ford, J.D. received a B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College and a J.D. from Penn State Law (Dickinson). Attorney Ford also holds a certificate in advocacy and dispute resolution from Penn State and received the CALI award for excellent achievement in the study of mediation. After law school, Attorney Ford practiced special education law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for six years, representing both families and educational agencies at various points in his career. In 2010, he was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star. He left the private practice of law the same year to become a Hearing Officer. In 2014, Attorney Ford became a Certified Hearing Official by the National Association of Hearing Officials.
 
Andratesha Fritzgerald is the author of Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning: Building Expressways to Success (CAST, 2020), winner of a Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association. She has worked as a teacher, curriculum specialist, administrator, and is currently serving as Director of Human Resources, Diversity and Equity in East Cleveland Schools. As an international speaker, presenter, and facilitator, Ms. Fritzgerald exhibits an audacious perseverance that calls organizations to evolve into inclusive antiracist safe zones for all learners. Andratesha is a book nerd, Jeopardy enthusiast, and imagination expert who loves writing and dreaming out loud with her husband, two children and committed educators who believe in academic success for all. She is the founder of Building Blocks of Brilliance Educational Consulting Firm. For more information, go to www.buildingblocksofbrilliance.com and @FritzTesha on Twitter
 
Nancy Giacomini is a mediator, educator, and advocate for integrated conflict management systems. She has mediated for the Pennsylvania Office for Dispute Resolution for 8+ years. Before that she mediated special education disputes for the Conflict Resolution Program at the University of Delaware while earning her doctorate in educational leadership, with research building IEP collaboration. Nancy is a subject matter expert, policy consultant and thought leader advancing socially just, restorative conflict resolution initiatives in education. She championed conflict resolution across adjudication tracks, introduced restorative justice, and incorporated inclusive excellence into mediation curriculum. Nancy was an elected association president, founded the Community of Practice for Women, and served on the Foundation Board and Diversity Task Force. She is a member of the International Ombudsperson Association, PA Council of Mediators, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and ACPA-College Student Educators International.
 
Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq., a nationally recognized speaker on special education and school law topics, is the Executive Director of EdLaw Interactive (edlawinteractive.com) and has been practicing special education law for over 16 years. While she enjoys the challenge of special education litigation, Erin strongly believes that litigation, though sometimes necessary, is rarely in the best interests of students or schools and should only be used as a method of last resort. Based upon this philosophy, she founded EdLaw Interactive, where she provides practical school law training programs for schools, helping them avoid litigation through education and the development of legally defensible practices. A former high school English teacher, she served at the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Chief Counsel prior to entering private law practice. Voted “Rising Star Attorney” for 5 consecutive years and “Distinguished Speaker of the Year” by the Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education (MO-CASE), Erin is a member of the Board of Directors of the NSBA Counsel of School Attorneys, Past President of the PSBA Solicitor’s Association, and a frequent presenter and author for such organizations as NSBA, LRP’s National Institute, the PA Bar Institute (PBI), and the National Business Institute (NBI). She recently published two guides for schools through LRP Publications (www.shopLRP.com) entitled Pandemics and Students With Disabilities: Practical Guidance for Providing FAPE, and Student Health Services under the IDEA and Section 504: Legal Principles, Compliance Issues, Practical Solutions – a helpful legal resource for general and special education administrators, school nurses, and educators. 
 
Sandy Hardee is the Coordinator of Education Programs and Development & Training working for Sheppard Pratt and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She started her career as a middle school health teacher and continued her education to earn a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with an Administrator I certification from McDaniel College. She has been coaching in schools across the state of Maryland since 2007 to include individual teacher coaching as well as school-wide coaching to improve outcomes for students. During her time working in MD schools, Sandy has been able to support the implementation of a variety of grants focusing on social-emotional learning, positive behavioral interventions and supports, culturally responsive teaching practices, evidence-based interventions, data-based decision making, student engagement, school climate and safety, and racial literacy.
 
Elizabeth Harry, Ph.D., a Professor Emerita of special education at the University of Miami, focuses on family and multicultural issues related to disability. In addition to publishing 10 books and many journal articles on these topics, Beth has received notable honors, including: Serving on the National Academy of Sciences’ panel on ethnic disproportionality in special education in 2002; receiving a Fulbright award to study Moroccan children’s schooling in Spain in 2003; and being awarded an honorary doctorate at Lesley University in Boston in 2019. Her research and teaching have been inspired primarily by her experience as the mother of Melanie, who was born in Trinidad and who had cerebral palsy. In response to Melanie’s needs, Beth founded a small private school, the Immortelle Children’s Centre, which continues in Trinidad to this day. Beth’s book about that school was published in 2019, titled Childhood Disability, Advocacy and Inclusion in the Caribbean: A Trinidad and Tobago Case Study, which brought her full circle to the start of her work in special education in Trinidad. Since then, she has published two more books on family advocacy in collaboration with graduate student, Dr. Lydia Ocasio-Stoutenburg: Meeting families where they are (2020) and Case studies in Building equity through family advocacy in Special Education (2021).
 
Amira Hill-Yancy, Ed.D. is an Educational Consultant with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN). Amira is the co-recipient of the 2021 Moral and Courageous Commitment to Equity Educator Award.
 

Nikki Huggan is a wife and the mother of two children with mitochondrial disease, both of whom have IEPs. She and her family live in East Bangor, in the northeast corridor of Pennsylvania, just south of the Poconos. Nikki co-leads the Colonial IU20 Parent Support T.E.A.M.-Together, Educating, Advocating, Moms, Dads, and Families and Bangor Area School District IEP Support TEAM. She is a local leader of the FAMILIES TO THE MAX Statewide Family Network, consumer representative for Bangor Area School District on the Local Task Force 20, and is an Ambassador for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. Nikki is an inspired advocate who works closely with the educational and medical communities to better the lives of individuals in Pennsylvania, particularly those who are medically fragile.

Charles Jelley, Esq. received his undergraduate and Master’s degree from Slippery Rock State University. Attorney Jelley received his first law degree from Duquesne Law School, and received his second law degree, an LL.M. in Health Law, from the University of Loyola School of Law, Institute for Health Law in Chicago, Illinois. In April 1993, Attorney Jelley joined the Law Office of Margaret Tremba and resumed his school law practice in Westmoreland County. Attorney Jelley’s practice focused on children’s issues, school law, juvenile justice, children and youth services, health law, disability law, medical assistance issues, community services, estate planning for families of persons with disabilities, civil rights litigation, ERISA litigation and legislative/policy analyses for persons with disabilities. Attorney Jelley served as the solicitor for the Parent Education Network, a Pennsylvania Parent Training initiative."
 
Laura Justice, Ph.D. is EHE Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology at The Ohio State University. She is also a certified speech-language pathologist with expertise in developmental language disorders. Dr. Justice’s present research interests focus on young children who exhibit developmental vulnerabilities in language and literacy acquisition. Much of her research considers the effects of teacher or parent implemented interventions on children's learning, including the effective use of storybooks. She is also interested in the state of classroom quality in early childhood and how various aspects of quality affects children's gains with the classroom. As a clinically certified speech-language pathologist, Dr. Justice also maintain a strong interest on children with speech/language impairment (SLI) and is involved with several studies examining emergent literacy development among children with SLI.
 
Tamika La Salle, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut in the School Psychology Program. Prior to becoming a school psychologist and professor, Dr. La Salle was a special education teacher in Atlanta Georgia. She a research scientist for the Center for Behavioral Education Research (CBER). Dr. La Salle earned her doctoral degree in School Psychology from Georgia State University. Dr. La Salle studies culturally responsive educational practices and school climate. She Is particularly interested in the impact of culture on students’ educational experiences and on developing and maintaining culturally responsive school environments that are equitable, safe, and positive for students, teachers, and families.
 
Sue Looney, Ed.D. began her journey to understand how children learn mathematics when, as a new teacher, she became aware that her fifth-grade students had significant gaps in understanding mathematics. Inspired by the work of author Jonathon Kozol (Savage Inequalities, 1991) she became particularly interested in our most vulnerable and under-represented populations and supporting the teachers that serve these students with compassion, enthusiasm, and kindness. This learning journey has taken Sue to amazing places: from the elementary classroom, to writing materials for preschool students, to obtaining her doctorate and teaching pre-service teachers at Boston University, to speaking at conferences from coast to coast in the United States, to writing two children’s books, and to volunteering in the Galapagos Islands! She has been fortunate for these experiences and to have met incredible educators along the way who have been willing to teach and inspire her. She is still curious, still learning, and has a deep respect for all educators.

Deana Mack, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Education and Department Chair at Geneva College. Dr. Mack teaches in the fields of special education, middle level education, and elementary education.

Mike Marotta is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional and the 2017 ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator. Mike is a nationally and internationally recognized presenter providing practical training to professionals interested in assistive and inclusive technology. In addition, Mike is an adjunct professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey (NJ) teaching Master’s level educators in Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning. Mike is the Director of the Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center and serves on both the CAST Accessible Educational Materials and Center on Inclusive Technology and Education Systems (CITES) Advisory Boards. Mike is also the founder of EdcampAccess NJ and co-moderator of the weekly #ATchat Twitter chat. Mike is one of the co-authors of the ISTE book Inclusive Learning 365: Edtech Strategies for Every Day of the Year. For details visit https://inclusive365.com/
 
Kent McIntosh, Ph.D., is the Philip H. Knight Chair of Special Education at the University of Oregon and Director of Educational and Community Supports, a research unit in the College of Education. His current research focuses on implementation and sustainability of school-based interventions, increasing racial equity in school discipline, and integrated academic and behavior support. He is lead author of over 90 peer reviewed journal articles, presenter of over 50 keynote addresses, and principal or co-investigator of over $60 million in federal grant funding. He is Co-Director of the Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and lead of the Center’s Equity Workgroup, as well as a founding member of the PBIS-SCP Canada Network and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Positive Behavior Support.
 
Christine Moon is an educational consultant in the PaTTAN Pittsburgh office. She has over 25 years in the educational field.  Christine’s areas of specialization include Special Education Leadership, Procedural Safeguards, and Inclusive Practices.  Prior to coming to PaTTAN she served as the Director of Special Services for the Shenango Area School District in New Castle, PA for 15 years. Christihne previously taught English and special education at the secondary level.  Her background includes working with individuals who are adjudicated youth, individuals with emotional disturbance within the partial-hospitalization setting, and a variety of students within the public school systems within the states of VA, NC, and PA.  Christine received her B.S. in Secondary Education/English from Clarion University and her M.Ed. in Special Education from Regent University.  In addition, she has her Educational Supervision Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh and her Superintendent Letter of Eligibility from Edinboro University.  
 
Shaheen Munir-McHill, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of practice at Portland State University and the coordinator of the PSU Special Education K-12 license and endorsement programs. Shaheen has served in a wide range of roles in the education system, including elementary resource room teacher, school psychologist, DIBELS mentor, reading interventionist, student teaching coach, and the coordinator of a reading intervention clinic. Shaheen is passionate about supporting all learners to become successful readers.  Her interests include the use of formative and diagnostic assessment tools to drive reading instructional practices, early screening for potential reading challenges, multi-tiered systems of instructional support, and working with families to navigate special education systems and reinforcing evidenced-based instructional practices at home.
 
Laura A. Owens, Ph.D., CESP, has over 30 years of experience as a national leader in the transition and disability employment field. She is currently the President of TransCen, Inc. (TCI), an organization based in Rockville, Maryland that provides employment and meaningful day services to individuals with disabilities in CA, WI and MD, and provides training and consultation to organizations and school districts focusing on the improvement of educational and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. She is also a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM). Her areas of interest and work include competitive integrated employment, community inclusion and promoting self-advocacy through self-directed IEPs/transition planning. She has also utilized community conversations to successfully bring communities together around transition and integrated employment. She recently co-authored the book: Planning the Transition to Employment with Drs. Wendy and Richard Parent-Johnson.
 
Hollie Pettersson, Ph.D., serves as Director of Leadership Development and Research at the SWiFT Education Center, University of Kansas. Dr. Pettersson is passionate about justice for historically marginalized students; she is the founder of Diligent Learning Group, an independent, not-for-profit focused on quality schools for all children and youth regardless of family income, "home" status, race and ethnicity, gender, language, or disability. She values the lessons learned through on-the-ground experience serving as a teacher, school psychologist, building and district administrator, director of state improvement initiatives, and university instructor. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Hollie and her family spend much time together in the mountains.
 
Alison Polly, Ed.D. received her Doctoral degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Dr. Polly currently is certified in Special Education Supervision, Special Education, Elementary Education, and as a School Principal (K-12) in Pennsylvania. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Gina R. Scala, Ed.D. is chair of the Special Education/Rehabilitation Department, including the Applied Behavior Analysis program at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. In addition to teaching at the undergraduate/graduate level, she works within the Partnership of Professional Development Schools.

Gloria Soto, Ph.D. is a Full Professor at San Francisco State University with a joint appointment in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and the Department of Special Education. She is also the coordinator of the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education between SFSU and University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Soto specializes in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Her research focuses on language development and intervention for children and youth who use AAC, inclusive educational practices, and the provision of AAC services to children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Current research projects involve the development of best practices for the equitable provision of AAC services to “minoritized” students, bilingual AAC development, and the investigation of discourse-based interventions on the linguistic skills of children and youth who use AAC. Among Dr. Soto’s publications are two books about the provision of AAC services in school settings, Practically Speaking: Language, Literacy, and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs and AAC in the Schools: Best Practices for Interventions.
 
Laurie VanderPloeg is the Associate Executive Director for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Prior to joining CEC, she was the director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), at the U.S. Department of Education. Laurie also served as director of special education at Kent Intermediate School District (Kent ISD) in Michigan. Also at Kent ISD, she served as assistant director for monitoring, compliance, and parent support. She also served as a local supervisor of special education, special education teacher, and adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University in the special education administration program. She is a parent of an adult son with disabilities. VanderPloeg graduated from Grand Valley State University with a master’s degree in special education administration; and, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State College. 
 
Julie Washington, Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). She is a Speech-Language Pathologist and is a Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Dr. Washington directs the California Learning Disabilities Research Innovation Hub at UCI. She is also director of the Dialect, Poverty and Academic Success lab. Her research is focused on the intersection of literacy, language variation, and poverty in African American children from preschool through fifth grades. In particular, her work focuses on understanding the role of cultural dialect in assessment outcomes, identification of reading disabilities in school-aged African American children, and on disentangling the relationship between language production and comprehension in development of early reading and language skills for children growing up in poverty. Dr. Washington brings to this work a deep understanding of the impact of within language differences on development of early reading, writing and language skills of African American children. She has led several large projects funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development focused on literacy and language variation. Currently, she is working on development of assessment protocols for use with high density dialect speakers that are designed to improve our ability to measure their linguistic competence. This work is funded by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders at the NIH.
 
Christopher S. Wolfel, Ed. D. is an optimist. He is committed to influencing people to be positive in all situations, taking challenges and issues, and creating opportunities through creative solutions.  Chris has dedicated his life to service. He has spent over 20 years working for Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 a regional service agency in northeast Pennsylvania as a special education teacher, educational administrator, and currently the executive director. Chris has provided training, workshops, and speaking engagements at local and statewide events in areas of behavior management, disability awareness, family engagement, and educational leadership. He is an adjunct professor at Delaware Valley University. In addition, he is a Master Trainer in Therapeutic Aggression Control Techniques. Chris and his wife Beth live in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania with their four children. He is active in his community by volunteering for recreational sports organizations and Special Olympics.