VESID Commissioner to address School of Ed-sponsored forum on inclusive schools and communities, May 17-18
VESID Commissioner to address School of Ed-sponsored forum on inclusive schools and communities, May 17-18May 11, 2005Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
After a three-year hiatus, the Conference on Inclusive Schools and Communities for Children and Youth returns to New York State under the theme of “Building Partnerships for the Future.” The conference, a collaborative effort among a score of regional and national partners, will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 17-18, 2005, at the Westchester Marriott Hotel, Tarrytown, New York.
The conference, the 10th in a series on inclusive education, is cosponsored by the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) of the New York State Education Department and the New York Higher Education Support Center (HESC) for Systems Change in SU’s School of Education. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.systemschange.syr.edu .
Conference highlights include a screening of the Oscar-nominated film “Autism is a World,” to be presented by Zach Rossetti, a doctoral candidate in the School of Education’s Disabilities Studies program. Wednesday features a keynote address by Rebecca Cort, deputy commissioner of VESID. Cort will speak on “Implications of the Reauthorization of IDEA and NCLB.” Also on Wednesday, NYS Regent John Brademas will speak in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Beginning in 1992, the focus of the conferences has evolved from issues of what inclusion means and basic procedures and structures in inclusive teaching to more effective practices and policies and, now, to partnerships that bring together learners and all those committed to their success. Participants says such partnerships are needed in order to move the implementation of inclusive schools to a level that is truly “systems change.”
This year, HESC and VESID will enjoy the support of more than 20 agencies and organizations that have joined to form the New York IDEA Partnership. Members of the partnership will play significant roles in preparing for and hosting the conference.
During the conference, participants will examine how partnerships strengthen inclusive schools-those that deliver special education services to students with disabilities in general education classrooms within their home zone or magnet schools-and thereby address the needs of all learners.
The conference also will bring together practitioners; families; students; teachers; future teachers; teacher educators; researchers; advocates; federal, state and local education officials; and others to participate in two days of presentations, workshops and panel discussions. The expansion of inclusive practices is reflected in the broad range of conference strands that range from post-secondary education to the implications of the reauthorization of IDEA and No Child Left Behind.
The final session of the conference will introduce a series of learning communities, which will bring together participants to continue the various dialogues highlighted during the conference. The goal is to form a diverse learning community that will continue to work and learn together during the coming school year.
Syracuse University’s School of Education, a national leader in improving and informing educational practice for diverse communities, is committed to the principle that diverse learning communities create the conditions that both enrich the educational experience and provide opportunities for all to realize their full potential. The School of Education pioneered the inclusion movement in the United States, making way for all learners to participate fully in mainstream classrooms and other inclusive learning environments.