Conference 2024

Breakout Session Details: 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM


Option 1:  Classroom Supports to Reduce Behaviors presented by Elise Brown

Building Systematic Behavior & Academic Supports in the Classroom to Reduce Problem Behavior 

This comprehensive training aims to equip educators with the necessary tools and strategies to create a structured and supportive classroom environment that effectively addresses both behavior and academic challenges. By providing teachers with evidence-based practices and practical guidance, this training will empower them to proactively manage and reduce problem behaviors while fostering a positive learning atmosphere conducive to academic success.

Presenter Biography: Elise Brown is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and owner of Focus Consulting & Training LLC. She holds a Masters of Science in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Elise has an extraordinary passion for both applied behavior analysis and education. Elise brings over 10 years of experience within the education field, finding ways to not only support students and teachers, but school systems and classrooms as a whole. Currently Focus Consulting & Training provides school based behavioral consulting and training services to the Chicagoland area.


Option 2:  Standards and Essential Elements presented by Lisa Ward

Cracking the Code: How to Turn Dynamic Learning Maps Essential Elements into Epic Lesson Plans for all Students 

This professional development session aims to empower special education teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively integrate Dynamic Learning Maps Essential Elements Standards into their instructional practices. Participants will delve into understanding the standards and engage in practical hands-on exercises to develop lessons and activities that cater to the diverse needs of students with disabilities.

Presenter Biography: Lisa Ward is a seasoned educator with a wealth of experience in the field of Special Education. Holding a Master’s degree in special education, a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Education, and an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Lisa has dedicated her career to supporting and advocating for students with diverse learning needs. Currently serving as the Instructional Technology Manager at Southwestern Illinois College, Lisa brings a unique blend of expertise in both education and technology integration to her role. With a focus on leveraging innovative tools and strategies, she is committed to enhancing educational opportunities for all learners. Prior to her current position, Lisa spent a decade as a content specialist for learning supports on an Illinois State Board of Education funded grant. In this capacity, she played a pivotal role in developing and implementing initiatives to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities across the state and reducing barriers for educators. Before transitioning into a coaching role, Lisa spent fifteen years as a dedicated Special Education Teacher and Middle School Educator. Her extensive classroom experience provided her with firsthand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities within special education, shaping her approach to supporting both students and fellow educators. With a passion for lifelong learning and a deep commitment to inclusive education Lisa is a dynamic presenter who brings a wealth of expertise and practical insights to every session.


Option 3:  Disclosure and Self-advocacy presented by Haley Moss

Presenter Biography: Haley Moss (she/her) is a lawyer, neurodiversity expert, and the author of four books that guide and empower neurodivergent individuals through professional and personal challenges. She is a consultant to top corporations and nonprofits that seek her guidance in creating a diverse workplace, and a sought-after commentator on disability rights and policy issues. The first openly autistic lawyer in Florida, Haley’s books include “Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals'' (ABA Book Publishing; June 2021) and “The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers; November 2021). Her writing on autism, disability, and neurodiversity has also appeared in outlets including the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, and Fast Company.


Option 4:  IL ABLE is Now Part of Students' IEP Meetings - Are you Ready? presented by JJ Hanley

With this 2023-24 school year, Illinois public school special educators are required, by law, to provide information about the "Achieving a Better Life Experience" IL ABLE Program to students, parents and guardians as part of each student's annual IEP meeting. Do you know what ABLE is or what to do? This breakout session will provide you with an easy overview of what you need to know and where to find it.

Presenter Biography: JJ Hanley serves as Deputy Chief Officer, Financial Products for the Illinois State Treasurer. She leads the National ABLE Alliance, a 19-state, bi-partisan “Achieving a Better Life Experience” consortium that includes the IL ABLE Plan and offers a unique savings tool to people with disabilities in Illinois and across the country. JJ is an Autism parent advocate and produced the multiple award-winning PBS documentary, “Refrigerator Mothers,” about Autism. She founded, a review site where businesses promote their brands and disability-aware features to the disability market. She founded and directed the Disability Awareness Players, who have trained thousands of staff of corporations, non-profits and schools to interact appropriately and naturally with employees and customers who have disabilities. She created and launched Internet safety and workplace skills training programs for people with disabilities, along with a public transportation training program with Pace Suburban Bus that has reached thousands of Chicago-area students and teachers. JJ serves on the steering committee for Equip for Equality’s Illinois ADA Project and is a member emeritus the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities.