The Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research and the Eastern Michigan University Brehm Scholars Alumni Chapter
Welcome to the first conference hosted by the Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research and the Eastern Michigan University Brehm Scholars Alumni Chapter, Connecting the Dots: Building Inclusive Societies! This annual conference reflects our commitment to inclusion and to the work and research that guides it. We hope that you will learn throughout the day from colleagues about their innovative and thoughtful approaches to inclusion. Our keynote panel, as well as oral and poster presentations this morning, will share stories of their inclusive experiences in school, work, and play. Their various perspectives will fan the flame for movement towards more inclusive societies. Their stories are powerful. We hope that you will enjoy your day, be motivated to change, and gather inclusive spirit in your societies. Thank you for joining us today in this important conversation. Respectfully,
Brehm Scholars Alumni Chapter Executive Committee and Conference Planning Committee
Agenda 8:00-9:00 a.m. 8:00-9:00 a.m. 9:00-10:00 a.m. 9:15-12:00 p.m. 9:00-12:00 p.m. 12:00-2:00 p.m. 2:15-5:00 p.m.
Registration Breakfast Poster Presentations Distinguished Speakers Concurrent Oral Presentations Keynote Panel and Lunch Third Annual Brehm Symposium
For a complete breakdown of the schedule and sessions, see page 5.
Third Floor Lobby Room 300 Room 310 A/B Room 320 Rooms 330, 350, 352, Kiva 360 Ballroom B (second floor) Room 310 A/B
Your Hosts Eastern Michigan University Brehm Scholars Alumni Chapter Eastern Michigan University’s Brehm Scholars Alumni Chapter was founded in 2012 with the goal of developing a community that enables Brehm Scholar Alumni and other Special Education Alumni to share their scholarly research and community outreach activities. Since the Delores Soderquist Brehm Endowed Scholarship was established, almost 90 students have been recipients. All of the recipients of the scholarship are involved in the education of students with disabilities and/or in teacher training programs. The group hopes to foster a network for innovation in special education, disability rights, advocacy, and inclusion. Connecting the Dots is our first annual gathering. This collaboration sings our ethos of dedication, friendship, support, and progress. We partner with each other to transform individual and collective stories to empower each of us to reach our hopes and dreams. This chapter thrives through the dedication of its members. We thank each of your for joining in solidarity for more inclusive societies. More information about the chapter and membership can be found at www.emich.edu/brehm/alumni or https://www.facebook.com/EmuBrehmScholarsAlumniGroup.
The Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship & Research Vision Creating transformational research and the next generation of leaders in special education. Mission The Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research explores best and emerging practices in special education and develops caring, dynamic and critical educational leaders. Principles The Delores Soderquist Brehm Center for Special Education Scholarship and Research (Brehm Center) is based on two mutually supporting principles of transformational education: • Research • Scholar/Teacher/Leader Development The goal is to create special education professionals and researchers whose focus is on understanding and exploring best practices for supporting people with disabilities. These individuals collaborate with families, people with disabilities, and educational organizations to identify and share best practices, and ultimately transform special education by way of their leadership in schools and other organizations.
Sessions 8:00-9:00 a.m.
Third Floor Lobby Room 300
9:00-10:00 a.m. • Poster Presentations • Room 310 A/B • Students with Intellectual Disabilities & the College Experience • Autism Centered Theatre: The Use of Theatre and Drama Techniques to Improve Social Skills in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder • Parent Experiences in the Education Process • Smith-Magenis Syndrome: Language and Communication Deficits • Inclusion Is... • Board Games in the Classroom • An Investigation of Special Education Services Offered in Juvenile Detention Facilities • The Communication Behind the Behavior: How iPads Applications Can Be Used To Help Children with Health Impairments Better Express Their Emotions and Needs • Lateral, Reflexive and Reciprocal Adaptation: An Autoethnography Distinguished Speakers • Room 320 9:15-10:00 a.m. Not Movin’ On: The Failure of Transition Services for People with Disabilities 10:15-11:00 a.m. Emotional Impairment: Increasing Empathy 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Helping Secondary Special Educations Students Walk across the Graduation Stage with Opportunities Embedded in a Personal Curriculum (PC) Oral Presentations • Rooms 330, 350, 352, Kiva 360 9:00-9:30 a.m. Room 350 Serving Students with Disabilities: Lessons from a Service Learning Course 9:40-10:10 a.m. Room 330 Connecting the Dots Through Peer to Peer Support Programs Room 350 Adolescent Experience and Sexual Identity Room 352 Tomorrow’s Teachers: Hopes and Hesitations for the Well-Being of LGBTQ Students 10:20-10:50 a.m. Room 330 Connecting the Dots: Disability, Intersectionality, and Teacher Education Room 350 Creating Inclusive Interiors for Special Needs: Universal Design Principles 11:00-11:30 a.m. Kiva 360 High School Experiences Room 350 Challenges for Minority and Lower Socio-Economic Families With Children With Disabilities Room 352 Community Classroom 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Kiva 360 Is Inclusion the Answer? Next Steps for Transforming Education 5
9:00-10:00 a.m. â€˘ Room 310 A/B Students with Intellectual Disabilities & the College Experience The college experience offers a variety of benefits for students. College is a time when students mature, find mentors, develop real-world skills, and make professional and personal connections. With 19.7 million students enrolled in colleges and universities last fall, college is an unparalleled experience with endless possibilities. When educators, administrators, and policy makers continue to strive for inclusion, why are students with intellectual disabilities being excluded after high school. While transition programs for students with disabilities exist on college campuses, many are still located in high schools or in other isolated settings. College campuses provide transition students access to educational opportunities, employment, and community resources. Why arenâ€™t all transition programs integrated into higher education settings? Preliminary research will be discussed. Presenter: Kristina Oberly, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
Autism Centered Theatre: The Use of Theatre and Drama Techniques to Improve Social Skills in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder ACT: Autism Centered Theatre, a summer theatre day-camp, was developed to assess the effects of theatre and drama activities on the social skills of children with autism spectrum disorder. Through a review of the current literature, research-based activities were developed to maximize the positive effects that drama activities may have on the social skills of this population. Structured parent interview and researcher observation serve as data collection methods for the current study. Preliminary results from the initial study will be discussed. Presenter: Olivia Rhoades, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
Parent Experiences in the Education Process I am going to talk about how I, as a parent, interact with my sonâ€™s IEP team. It is not about his disability, it is about how I interact with the team and how the team provides a student with tools to succeed in school. Many of the interactions that I have had make it more stressful for me as parent and more stressful for my child. How do I get him to want to go school when faced with negative criticism? How can we as a team be flexible enough so that the child will be successful? Presenter: Deonna Lynn, Parent
Smith-Magenis Syndrome: Language and Communication Deficits Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) is a recently identified genetic disorder from the deletion of part of the 17th chromosome. Children with SMS exhibit deficits in communication and language but systematic studies using objective measures are lacking. This qualitative study will establish the speech and language needs exhibited by children with SMS through parent surveys and interviews, as well as current intervention strategies being utilized. It is critical to establish a precise definition of the language and communication needs of individuals with SMS that will help with the identification, intervention, and overall awareness. Preliminary results on the initial study will be discussed. Presenter: Anna Hesson, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
9:00-10:00 a.m. • Room 310 A/B Inclusion is... The concept of inclusion is central to many special education laws as well as policy statements from the American Speech Hearing Association, yet the actual term inclusion and a clear definition is not provided in any provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act or the Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) in Schools. Therefore, in an effort to better understand inclusive practices of school based SLPs, this qualitative study presentation will describe and analyze how speech-language pathology (SLP) professors define, practice, and teach inclusive education in school-based SLP programs in the state of Michigan. Presenter: Audrey Bernard, Eastern Michigan University, Graduate Student, Department of Special Education
Board Games in the Classroom This session includes a review of the literature and preliminary research results on the use of board games for teaching the curriculum. While the literature shows that board games are successful at administering the curriculum content, preliminary research additionally investigates how students’ level of engagement with the curriculum is influenced through the use of board games and how this medium may be used to support an inclusive environment. Presenter: Kaytie Edwards, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
An Investigation of Special Education Services Offered in Juvenile Detention Facilities I am a graduate student in the Speech Language Pathology program at EMU, and a 2013 Brehm Scholar. My research investigates the special education services being offered to children and young adults within juvenile detention facilities, as well as the amount of training employees are provided before interacting with said individuals. Preliminary results of my ongoing research will be presented. Presenter: Leah Miller, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
The Communication Behind the Behavior: How iPads Applications Can Be Used To Help Children with Health Impairments Better Express Their Emotions and Needs It has been said that “behavior is communication”, however it seems too often students with disabilities are labeled as having behavioral issues before the time is taken to research the source of student emotion and overall behavior function. Therefore this notion inspired research in how to help individuals with health impairments learn more effective ways of communicating their emotions and needs that coincide with their disability. To further this research, this preliminary study focuses on the effectiveness of using iPad applications as a means of expression and coping for students with other health impairments (OHI). Presenter: Molly Peabody, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
Lateral, Reflexive and Reciprocal Adaptation: An Autoethnography This project emerged from a personal need to explore my motivations and hesitations in utilizing adaptive tools as I began to shift from student to educator. As an individual with a visual impairment, my white cane has always been an option, but not necessary given my level of visual functioning. This project explores how I arrived at the decision to employ an adaptive device in my daily routine, the perceived societal reaction to my decision, and the personal and public benefit and opportunity that resulted. Presenter: Jason Michael DeCamillis, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
Distinguished Speakers Not Movin’ On: The Failure of Transition Services for People with Disabilities 9:15-10:00 a.m. • Room 320
The transition from special education to supports received in community settings is controlled by professionals, meeting the needs of educational and human service industries, and serving to keep people with disabilities and their families segregated and isolated. The process of transitioning to adult living is seen by people with disabilities and their families as a series of failures, in personal, economic, and social terms. This presentation explores ways in which the transition to adulthood fails to meet the needs and rights of marginalized, culturally diverse students with disabilities and their families. Policy, funding, and practice implications for are explored. Distinguished Speakers: Christie Routel, University of Toledo, Doctoral Student, Theory and Social Foundations; Dr. Phil Smith, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Special Education
Emotional Impairment: Increasing Empathy 10:15-11:00 a.m. • Room 320
The population served for behavioral and mental health is a marginalized population in our society. Individuals in this population who display extreme behaviors are most often perceived as vulgar, offensive and dangerous; therefore, wielding negative social perspectives of their diversity that create exclusion in the home, school and community. Our goal is to provide awareness and share effective, best-practice strategies for addressing the needs of this population that will foster appropriate behaviors, positive peer interactions, social acceptance and improved quality of life. Distinguished Speaker: Emily Groulx, Bay-Arenac ISD Emotional Impairment Programs; Lynsey Welmers, Bay-Arenac ISD Emotional Impairment Programs
Helping Secondary Special Education Students Walk Across the Graduation Stage with Opportunities Embedded in a Personal Curriculum (PC) 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. • Room 320
Learning all the rights and techniques in writing a PC is confusing and time consuming. This session makes life easy for the Special Education Teacher and other High School Professionals to implement this life changing right. Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Derrick R. Fries, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Special Education
Oral Presentations Serving Students with Disabilities: Lessons from a Service Learning Course 9:00-9:30 a.m. • Room 350
The purpose of this study is to identify trends in K-12 special education services (Michigan) in the training of qualified teachers and their professional responsibilities. Preliminary research data revealed that 55% of the research participants have an endorsement in Learning Disabilities while their caseloads consist of students with impairments in AI (79%), OHI (88%), EI (74%) and LD (93%). Are early teachers being prepared to meet the needs of ALL their students? Do higher education institutions need to reexamine their endorsement curriculums? Does Michigan need to reexamine the criteria necessary for endorsement? Presenters: Dr. Raul Leon, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Leadership and Counseling; Dr. Rhonda Vander Laan Kraai, Ed., Eastern Michigan University, Department of Special Education; Kelli Dowd, Eastern Michigan University, Graduate Assistant, VISION Volunteer Center, Master’s Candidate, Higher Education Student Affairs
Connecting the Dots Through Peer to Peer Support Programs 9:40-10:10 a.m. • Room 330
In 2013, Jake Maltby and Mary Magos worked with a group of educators at Ann Arbor Learning Community, a K-8 public charter school, to design a peer to peer support program for students. Through the peer mentoring program, students create meaningful friendships, learn life skills and become responsible community members who support one another across grade levels. The peer mentors work with students in social and academic settings in an effort to support the development of inclusive environments. Students are invited by their teachers to become a peer mentor. Training was provided to the students about how to interact most successfully with their peer buddies. A mentor was placed into a younger classroom to work. Middle school students were placed into classrooms from kindergarten to fifth grade. Jake and Mary are looking for ways to expand this program to support more students during the 2013-14 school year. Presenters: Jake Maltby, Teacher, Ann Arbor Learning Community; Mary Magos, Teacher, Ann Arbor Learning Community
Adolescent Experience and Sexual Identity 9:40-10:10 a.m. • Room 350
Initial discussions and reports in the research literature suggest that more research on the relationship between the adolescent experience and sexual identity must be done. What little research that has been conducted reveals, LGBT youth are at higher risk for verbal and physical in-school harassment, a variety of adjustmentrelated disorders, substance abuse, self-destructive behaviors, truancy and, dropping out. With school being a significant social influence of all students, it is essential for more research to be conducted, which includes both LGBT students and the educational institution. Presenter: Stefanie Arrieta, Eastern Michigan University, Undergraduate Student, Department of Special Education
Oral Presentations Tomorrow’s Teachers: Hopes and Hesitations for the Well-Being of LGBTQ Students 9:40-10:10 a.m. • Room 352
As special educators, we must consider the social and emotional well being of all our students. Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) students are among the most marginalized and ignored groups and are targets for bullying and harassment in schools. Although it is incorrect to identify sexual orientation as being a precursor to an Emotional-Behavioral Disorder(s) (EBD) diagnosis, the emotional distress that manifests requires the skills and dispositions necessary to address LGBT bullying victims. This aligns with the interventions intended for EBD students. LGBTQ bullying is a catalyst for emotional distress that would require school-based interventions that teachers may be required to offer. Over the past two years my research has covered a wide spectrum of topics and subtopics that involved LGBTQ bullying in schools, and the perpetration and personal hesitations of teachers to address such a topic in their respective buildings. Through an extensive literature review, a Likert scale survey of preservice teacher knowledge, skills and dispositions, along with focus groups, conference presentations and my own teaching experience, I would like to present the ten research findings and best-practice suggestions I think teachers need to promote safe and accepting classrooms. Presenters: William L. Milburn, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
Connecting the Dots: Disability, Intersectionality, and Teacher Education 10:20-10:50 a.m. • Room 330
Teacher preparation programs discuss inclusion, but fail to address the intersection of multiple identities (including disability, race, sexuality, and gender). We’ll explore how inclusion is portrayed in special and general education teacher preparation programs, and expand the notion beyond disability to include additional identities. We will discuss the importance of intersectionality as a way to understand and meet the needs of diverse learners. Participants will learn about ways in which the intersection of disability and other lived oppression plays out in educational and civic communities, and begin to understand how to promote values of inclusion and natural supports. Presenters: Amanda Bell, Eastern Michigan University, Doctoral Student, Urban Education; Audrey Bernard, Eastern Michigan University, Graduate Student, Department of Special Education; Dr. Phil Smith, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Special Education
Creating Inclusive Interiors for Special Needs: Universal Design Principles 10:20-10:50 a.m. • Room 350
Whether one is young or old, tall or short, thin or heavy, or has a physical or cognitive impairment, most spaces meet the needs of the average and are not flexible enough to meet the needs of the many in a universal fashion. Special education practitioners and educators should be aware of design principles that support functionality. This brief talk will address these general Universal Design principles that go beyond the basic ADA codes for interior spaces: education, employment, residential. Presenter: Dr. Deb de Laski-Smith, Eastern Michigan University, Interior Design Program 10
Oral Presentations High School Experiences 11:00-11:30 a.m. • Kiva 360
My band director at Skyline High School asked us to share, at our spring concert, how music has affected our lives. I decided to write about my Tourette Syndrome. I have had a huge amount of support from teachers, social workers, counselors, my family, and my friends and peers. I have learned many coping strategies that have helped me fight against my Tourette Syndrome and allow me to work more efficiently. The speech focuses on the impact that playing the flute has had over my education. I would now like to redeliver that speech to you, and then play a piece on my flute called “Sabre Dance”. Presenter: Billy Dering, Student, Skyline High School
Challenges for Minority and Lower Socio-Economic Families With Children With Disabilities 11:00-11:30 a.m. • Room 350
Disability is an equal opportunity employer. Or is it? When families with means, education and support are faced with the challenges of having a family member with a disability; they are already several steps ahead of families who do not have the means, education or support. Where do you begin to look for help when don’t know where to look for help? Many minority and lower socio-economic status families are thrown into a special education system that they don’t understand. How can we learn more about their challenges and what can we do to help to make the system work better for them? Presenter: Donna L. Novack, Eastern Michigan University, Brehm Scholar, Department of Special Education
Community Classroom 11:00-11:30 a.m. • Room 352
The Southland Mall Community Classroom is a community work-based program designed to give students with disabilities the opportunity to improve in social, vocational, and work skills in a “real life” (inclusion) setting. The primary focus of the program is to prepare students with moderate cognitive impairments for jobs requiring entry-level vocational skills. Presenter: Carol Snow, The Southland Mall Community Classroom
Is Inclusion the Answer? Next Steps for Transforming Education 11:30-12:00 p.m. • Kiva 360
Inclusion has been a progressive value in special education for decades. But little has been accomplished to move towards truly inclusive schools. What is the answer? This presentation will explore the meaning of education, and the place of people with disabilities, as well as other oppressed and marginalized groups, within it. Participants will look at the failure of modern education, ways in which it creates disability and difference, its meaning for first and third world cultures, and how to take back teaching and learning from corporate control. Presenter: Dr. Phil Smith, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Special Education 11
Keynote Panel & Lunch
Inclusive Societies in Action Moderated by: Dr. Eleanor White
Director Office of Special Education, Michigan Department of Education Dr. Eleanor White is the Director of the Office of Special Education, Michigan Department of Education (MDE). She holds a doctoral and master’s degree from the University of Michigan. Eleanor also holds both a master’s degree and an undergraduate degree in Special Education from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to joining the Michigan Department of Education, Dr. White was the Director of Special Education for Rochester Community Schools. She continues to prepare tomorrow’s special education leaders as an instructor for Grand Valley State University.
Teacher/Transition Specialist Stadium Transition Services for Washtenaw Intermediate School District Ralls has served young adult students and their families for over 33 years, providing transition training, education and support. She has recently completed her master’s in educational leadership at Eastern Michigan University.
Teacher Consultant Washtenaw Intermediate School District Rose currently serves the county high school’s transitional needs. He is also serving as a blended MRS/WISD staff. John has been instrumental in creating collaborative positive relationships and programming for students with disabilities at Eastern Michigan University and throughout the county.
Christine Kleimola Special Education Teacher Livonia Public Schools
Kleimola is currently serving students at Emerson Middle School. In her 33 years with the district, she has taught preschool through young adult students or served as curriculum consultant. Chris is the adoptive mother of three students with special needs: Rachael (1989-2011), James, age 22, and David, age 17. They are her inspiration for building inclusive societies. 12
Keynote Panel & Lunch 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Inclusive Societies in Action Megan Hoorn
College Buddy Director, Eastern Michigan University Junior, Speech, Language, Pathology major and minor in biology and human sexuality Hoorn is the College Buddy director for Best Buddies at Eastern, an international nonprofit organization that seeks to create opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through quality one-to-one friendships, employment opportunities, and leadership development. Best Buddies works to create friendships between college students and young adults with IDD. Activities include bowling, attending basketball games, the annual ball and a Friendship Walk. She has been matched with two buddies since her freshman year, Adrian and Jesse, and they are both great friends, not to mention all of the wonderful friends she has made through the program.
Young Adult Student Ypsilanti Transition Services Kleimola serves on the board of directors for EMU Best Buddies. Along with his involvement in a number of organizations, he speaks out for self-determination, empowerment and respect.
Deon Chaneyfield Student Ypsilanti Transition Services
Chaneyfield works two part time jobs and is a member of EMU Best Buddies. He advocates for inclusion and has recently been featured in the Eastern Echo, speaking out for acceptance and respect.
Many Thanks Dee and Bill Brehm Delores “Dee” Soderquist was born on August 28, 1930. She grew up in Southeastern Michigan and didn’t aspire to attend college until she received a small scholarship to attend Michigan State Normal College. While at MSNC, Dee was active with Kappa Delta Pi, Theta Lambda Sigma and participated in the Choral Union. During her years in college she also met her future husband, Bill Brehm. Dee graduated in 1952 with a major in special education focusing on the mentally impaired. After college, Dee and Bill married and moved to the San Diego area where Dee taught prior to starting their family and Bill pursued a career in business. The Brehms have been blessed with successful lives, Bill having an accomplished career in public service and business. Looking back on her time in college, Dee attributes her success to that initial scholarship. Dee and Bill wanted to give back to Dee’s alma mater by establishing an endowed scholarship that would offer special education students a life-changing award, just as she received when she was a student. Their scholarship is the first one million dollar scholarship that Eastern Michigan University has ever received.
We would like to thank the conference planning committee: Casey Cornelius Kevin Dorn Benjamin White John Conley Linda Polter
Phil Smith Linda Williams Kelly Quilter Joni Harhold
We would also like to thank the following individuals and departments for their support of this conference: Bill and Dee Brehm The Department of Special Education EMU College of Education Faculty, Staff, Students and Leadership Eastern Michigan University Foundation
Also happening on campus today!
2:15 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. EMU Student Center Room 310 A/B Following the conclusion of the conference, you are welcome to stay for the third annual Brehm Scholars Research Symposium. Because dissemination is an essential part of the research process, the annual Brehm Scholars Research Symposium and accompanying monograph provides an opportunity for the eight Brehm Scholars to share their research. The Symposium is held towards the end of the Scholarsâ€™ year of research where each may present his/her research to faculty, family, and friends. A monograph of the presented papers is published for this event.