VKC well-represented at The Arc Tennessee’s Bridge to Success Conference

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Vanderbilt Kennedy Center faculty and staff attended and delivered presentations during The Arc Tennessee’s inaugural Bridge to Success Conference, held on Apr. 5. Speakers presented on topics from two tracks, Advocacy and Education, to an audience of self-advocates, their families, and educators.

VKC-affiliated presentations are described in more detail below.

Supporting Your Child Through Manifestation Determination
Presenter: Danielle Buse, BCBA, VKC TRIAD Behavior Analyst

A Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) is required when a public-school student with a disability, covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, is considered for a significant change of placement due to suspension/expulsion. This panel focused on providing support for caregivers and families, how to locate resources to prepare for a manifestation determination meeting, and a Q&A about the Manifestation Determination process. The panel also included representatives from the Tennessee Department of Education and The Arc Tennessee.

Transition Information and Resources
Presenter: Erin Maves, Project Director, Transition Tennessee

Every student has goals for their future, and the years that lead up to graduation are the time to work toward meeting those aspirations. This discussion included information and resources to help prepare students for transitioning from high school to adulthood, followed by time for questions.

Research-Based Advocacy Programs for Individuals with Disabilities and their Families
Presenter: Meghan Burke, Ph.D., BCBA-D, professor of Special Education

In this session, research-based advocacy strategies were shared that may result in improved outcomes for individuals with disabilities and their families. Burke shared data about advocacy strategies as well as discussed next steps in this research.

Authentic Advocacy: Understanding and Empowering Autistic Students through Self-Advocacy
Presenter: Richelle Hurtado, Ph.D., BCBA, VKC TRIAD Behavior Analyst and Educational Consultant

This presentation included evidence-based strategies for teaching self-advocacy skills to autistic students, as lead by an autistic professional. The information presented was developed from a neurodiversity-affirming framework and is informed by the lived experiences of autistic self-advocates.

Transition from Part C to Part B Services
Presenter: Becky Haynes, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, VKC TRIAD Educational Consultant; Assistant in Pediatrics

The transition from early intervention to special education services is a multi-step process involving important decisions as the young child and family move from home and community-based services to school-based services. This session presented information so that families and educators can identify best practices and key steps related to the transition process and have access to resources to aid in decision-making.

To learn more about the Bridge to Success Conference, click here.

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