2014 Educator Conference

November 12th, 2014
8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Marriott West
9960 Wayzata Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55426

Registration fee $50 per person
Registration includes workshop fee, handouts. continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.
Certificate of attendance provided

Register online by visiting

Student Centered Planning and Learning

Presented by Jennifer Sommerness

In this workshop, the science and art of including students with disabilities will be examined through the lens of student centered planning and learning. Accessing academics to the fullest extent requires intentional collaborative teaming between educators and families; innovative curricular design and support; and specific instructional strategies, tools and curricular adaptations. Special attention and hands on examples will be given to learn about writing what Jennifer calls a “working IEP”, which are strengths-based and designed specifically for successful use in general education classrooms and environments. In this immediately usable session all of these areas will be outlined and applied, as well as time for learning about fostering natural peer supports and friendships; the effective use of paraprofessionals; and integrating assistive technology through use of an iPad to ignite student participation and provide an outlet for independence. This session will give you hope, direction and inspiration for educational success!

Please visit our educator conference page for more information:

Thank You Educators

We deeply appreciate the important role you play in enhancing the educational experiences of students with Down syndrome. Education is a crucial component of any child’s life. One of the major areas of focus for the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota is supporting educational professionals who work with our children.

Our Association is a resource for you ~ our membership includes families as well as medical, educational and developmental professionals with deep insights into and broad experiences with the developmental challenges of Down syndrome.

We maintain a Resource Lending Library offering video and audio tapes from national conferences, books and other materials addressing a wide range of topics related to Down syndrome. If you would like to know more, please give us a call at 800-511-3696 or email We are located in St. Paul, MN and our staff welcomes your inquiries.

We applaud your efforts on behalf of our children.

Kathleen Forney

Kathleen Forney
Executive Director

External resource for Educators

Questions about communication?  Great speech and language resources can be found here:

The Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota, along with other Down syndrome organizations across the country, partnered with the National Down Syndrome Congress to produce powerpoint presentations on various topics of interest to those supporting individuals with Down syndrome.  Click here to view presentations on Down Syndrome & the Educational Challenge and Supporting People with Down Syndrome for some great resources.

We encourage our parents to download and complete the booklet “A Book About Me” as a resource to share with their teachers.  This is a great way to learn about your student…who he/she is, their likes, dislikes … a terrific picture of the person that you just won’t get on an IEP.

While Disability Solutions is no longer being produced, there are some fabulous resources on line for teachers.  Two of our favorites:

Paraprofessionals in the classroom: What Role Do They Play

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