Texas Transition Conference

The 2023 Texas Transition Conference will be held on February 15-17, 2023 in Denton, Texas.

We have reached the maximum capacity for the live conference and are only accepting registrations for the virtual conference. TTC 2023 will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center. You can download the 2023 program to help plan your days.

2023 Schedule

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

  • 7:30 am Registration Table Opens
  • 9:00 am Texas A&M University’s Capacity Building Project
  • 11:00 am Pre-Conference Keynote (60 minutes)
  • 12:00 pm Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:15 pm Pre-Conference Session I (60 minutes)
  • 2:15 pm Break
  • 2:30 pm Pre-Conference Session II (60 minutes)
  • 7:00 pm Registration Table Closes

Thursday, February 16, 2023

  • 6:30 am Breakfast Buffet
  • 7:00 am Registration Table & Vendor Exhibits Open
  • 8:30 am Welcome
  • 9:00 am Keynote (90 minutes)
  • 10:30 am Break
  • 10:45 am Breakout Session I (60 minutes)
  • 11:45 am Break
  • 12:00 pm Luncheon & Keynote (90 minutes)
  • 1:30 pm Break
  • 2:00 pm Breakout Session II (90 minutes)
  • 3:30 pm Break
  • 3:45 pm Breakout Session III (60 minutes)
  • 5:00 pm Registration Table & Vendor Exhibits Close

Friday, February 17, 2023

  • 6:30 am Breakfast Buffet
  • 7:30 am Registration Table & Vendor Exhibits Open
  • 8:30 am Keynote (90 minutes)
  • 10:00 am Break
  • 10:30 am Breakout Session IV (60 minutes)
  • 11:30 am Break
  • 11:45 pm Breakout Session V (60 minutes)
  • 1:00 pm Registration Table & Vendor Exhibits Close

2023 Keynote Speakers

What Success Looks Like

Date: Feb. 15, 2023
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Live streaming available, Eagles & Chilton

Jennifer Sommerness, Research Associate, University of Minnesota

Jennifer Sommerness, Ed.S. is a Researcher with the TIES Center and National Center on Educational Outcomes. In this position, she develops resources and provides guidance and technical assistance at the state, district, and school levels to improve inclusion and engagement of students with extensive support needs within general education classrooms and activities. She supports the development of knowledge, skills, confidence, and collaboration of educators and families to support inclusive education systems through the application of evidence-based practices.

Jessica Bowman, Research Associate, University of Minnesota

Jessica Bowman is a Researcher with the National Center on Educational Outcomes and the TIES Center. In this position, she works to improve the inclusion of students with significant cognitive disabilities in general education classrooms by creating resources for parents and educators and providing targeted and intensive technical assistance to states, districts, and schools related to systems change and professional development. Dr. Bowman began her education career as a teacher of students with significant cognitive disabilities and has experience developing, delivering, and evaluating professional development efforts at the state level. Her research has focused on inclusion and access to the general education curriculum in mathematics for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Despite the push for inclusion for students with extensive support needs (ESN), the data show that these students are often placed in segregated classrooms (Anderson & Brock, 2020). This occurs for a variety of reasons, but one is the assumption that the specialized supports required to enable a student with ESN to be successful are not available in a general education classroom (Agran et al., 2020). This session will describe a process for IEP teams that starts with the expectation that each student (including students with ESN) is a general education student that should be supported to actively belong, contribute, and learn in the school and community. A tool with guiding prompts will be presented that participants can use to consider specially designed instruction, supplementary aids and services, and ongoing collaborative processes that will need to be in place to promote inclusive IEPs and programs for students with ESN.

Making the Transition: What Does the Law Require?

Date: Feb. 16, 2023
Time: 9:00-10:30 am
Live streaming available, Eagles & Chilton

Meredith Prykryl Walker, Attorney, Walsh Gallegos Trevino Kyle & Robinson PC

Meredith Prykryl Walker represents public entities in all facets of litigation. Meredith is an experienced trial attorney whose practice also includes appellate matters. Meredith is a proud product of public schools and feels privileged to work with school districts to navigate special education matters and litigation.

Transition planning is an important part of the IEP process. During this presentation, you will hear from a special education attorney and litigator regarding the IDEA’s transition requirements and how those requirements relate to IEP planning, how they playout in due process hearings, and how courts interpret and apply those requirements when parents and school districts disagree.

What’s Right With Us: The Blue Star Recycler Story

Date: Feb. 16, 2023
Time: 12:00-1:30 pm
Live streaming available, Eagles & Chilton

Bill Morris, Founder & CIO, Blue Star Recyclers

Bill Morris founded Blue Star Recyclers in 2009 after discovering people with developmental disabilities possess innate talent and affinity for work tasks involved in the recycling of electronics. Blue Star is an internationally recognized social enterprise and workforce inclusion model for employers, with programs to support employers and job seekers.

Kian Phair is a Senior Recycling Technician at Blue Star’s Denver Recycling Operations. Kian joined Blue Star in 2015 as the first student to complete the vocational skills and bridge to employment program at Cherry Creek Schools. Kian holds the record at Blue Star for number of hard drive disassembly and is a Special Olympics Gold Medalist.

  • Kian Phair, Senior Recycling Technician, Blue Star Recyclers
  • Bob Adams, VP of Finance and Operations, Sipi Asset Recovery
  • Robin Miller, Director of Employment Programs, Center on Disability & Development, Texas A&M
  • Justin Kent, Transition Programs Supervisor, Frisco ISD
  • Grace Patxot, Student, Frisco ISD

In this session, Bill Morris, will share about his organization’s mission since 2009 to employ people with disabilities through electronics recycling. Bill will explain how Blue Star’s asset-based employment model has produced industry-leading occupational statistics for reliability, productivity, retention, and safety, leading to replication of their model with other employers in the US and abroad. This session will also include a panel of stakeholders to discuss replication of their workforce development program in Texas, which provides vocational training and opportunities for employment to SpEd Transition program students.

Everyone Can Work: Establishing Competitive

Date: Feb. 17, 2023
Time: 8:30-10:00 am
Live streaming available, Eagles & Chilton

Sean Roy, Chief Innovation and Training Officer, TransCen

Sean is the Chief Innovation and Training Officer for TransCen Inc. In this position he works to provide training and technical assistance to states, employment professionals and schools, leading to improved success for individuals with disabilities who are transitioning from school into the workforce and life in the community.

Children and youth with disabilities spend between 15 to 18 years in special education programs and there is a rising expectation that these students should leave with employment or be on a clear path to meaningful work. This highly interactive session will highlight the concept of “seamless transition” and provide strategies and tools to help clarify interagency roles, empower students, partner with families, and effectively engage employers. Whether your district is large or small, this session will give you a starting point to begin focusing your transition programs toward competitive employment for every student who wants a job.

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