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The Must-Watch Sessions at OCALICONLINE 2022

Banner displaying blog title "The Must-Watch Sessions at OCALICONLINE 2022".

Written by: Katie Robinson | Accessible Educational Materials Production Specialist, OCALI

November 15 through 18 2022 will be the 16th annual OCALICONLINE (OCALICON online) Conference. Previous to 2020, OCALI hosted their OCALICON Conference at the Columbus Convention Center. OCALICON is the premier autism and disabilities conference that brings together professionals, families, and people who have disabilities and autism. OCALI has a saying “we serve people from birth to earth” and this is reflected in the conference session availability with a wide variety of topics targeting specific types of disability topics that can be useful at different stages in life. Click here to find out more about OCALICONLINE.

During this 4-day conference, there are over 300 sessions for you to attend, including networking opportunities, panels, and educational classes. Plus, OCALICON features keynote speakers whose research and real-life experiences reaffirm our work, challenge our conventions, and give us the opportunity to think differently about what is possible. These internationally recognized leaders help jump-start our hearts and minds with thought-provoking, intriguing, and stimulating content!  

OCALICONLINE 2022 will feature an all-star panel discussion, featuring Temple Grandin, Judy Heumann, and Haben Girma. Each of them are trailblazers, advocates, authors, and world-changers in their own right and we are bringing them together for one conversation for the first time ever. Catch the opening keynote panel discussion on Tuesday, November 15
Among the 300+ panels, these were some of our favorites to add to your must-watch list:  

  • College Student Satisfaction in a Mentoring Program 
    • Mentoring programs for college students with ASD are increasing in number. One area of need is social engagement on a college campus. This presentation will explore one program that reinforces residential student engagement and their satisfaction within a college experience.

  • Increasing Success for African American Males with Disabilities 
    • There are disparities in the graduation outcomes for students with and without disabilities. This disparity greatens when we look at the graduation outcomes for African American Males and other students of color with disabilities. This session will share strategies to increase the access, progress, and success of African American males and other students of color with disabilities. In addition, we will take a detailed look at self-determination skills, mentorship, and family engagement opportunities as strategies to actively support and engage students in their schools and communities.

  • Meaningful Connections: A Conversation with Three Women on the Autism Spectrum 
    • Moderated by Dr. Ruth Aspy and Dr. Barry Grossman, come experience a panel discussion with three autistic women of various ages as they share their experiences of establishing meaningful connections with family members, friends, and co-workers.

  • Bill of Rights for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Then and Now 
    • The first Bill of Rights for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing was passed in South Dakota almost 20 years ago. Since then, nearly 20 other states have adopted similar bills. Come hear a brief history of their passage, their impact, and their current status. This session will also lay a foundation for the networking session, "Toward a Bill of Rights in Ohio".

  • Collaboration: A Team Approach to Advocating for the Mental Health Needs of Deaf and HoH Individuals 
    • The mental health needs of deaf individuals have long been neglected. Service providers as well as state/local funders have never prioritized this marginalized community and consequently there has been little effort to address the unique challenges/barriers faced by deaf people who struggle with mental illness at higher rates than the hearing community. This training highlights the steps taken by a team of dedicated professionals to convince ODMHAS to attend to this gap in knowledge and training. The team will walk participants through the journey that culminated in the project being funded.

  • Deafness and Autism: Lived Experiences of Parents and Professionals 
    • Children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing are more likely to be autistic than the general population; similarly, autistic children are more likely to be deaf or hard-of-hearing. Whatever the reasons for the overlap, professionals often conflate the two, causing them to miss one diagnosis or make an incorrect one, or provide supports for one diagnosis but no intervention for the other. Panelists will discuss the overlap from the perspective of parent, researcher, and teacher.

  • Where Policy Meets Practice: Data-Driven Decisions in Implementing Ohio's Dyslexia Support Laws 
    • Ohio's dyslexia support laws provide opportunities for educators to serve a range of students with reading difficulties. With new legal requirements around universal screening, progress monitoring, diagnostic screening and intervention, there are numerous procedures that require thoughtful and data-driven decisions to support student's reading skills. This session will lead participants through this process, from screening to intervention, and will illustrate how to incorporate policy considerations into practice, with clear examples and demonstrations.
  • DODD Technical Assistance for Youth Ages 5 to 17 
    • Children with developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health disorders account for one-third to one-half of youth being served by the county boards of developmental disabilities system. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities offers Technical Assistance (TA) to support children and families in their home environment. TA includes the assembly of subject matter experts in the field of developmental disabilities to meet with teams and families to provide individualized recommendations.

  • Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Techniques to Teach Innovative Coping Skills 
    • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (also known as ACT) is an evidence-based behavioral change program that combines the use of mindfulness practices and applied behavior analysis to increase psychological flexibility. In this presentation, we will unpack the six ACT skills that teach individuals how to develop a different relationship with their private events (thoughts, emotions, urges) in order to learn how to accept these private events without attempting to fight or control them, thereby allowing the individual to go and behave effectively.

  • Perspectives on Epilepsy and Downs Syndrome: Stories and Supports 
    • Hear from family members and professionals as they share experiences related to individuals with epilepsy and Downs Syndrome on topics such as education, affects on family, executive function supports, and perspectives on disability. Walk away with a broader perspective, as well as tools and strategies for supporting learning and life.

  • Neurological Visual Impairment: The Eye-Brain Relationship 
    • The term Neurological Visual Impairment is used to describe any brain-based visual impairment that is the result of damage to the visual pathway or disruption within the visual processing centers of the brain. This umbrella term includes both Cortical Visual Impairment and Cerebral Visual Impairment. Understanding the role of these different visual processing centers is needed to fully understand the educational impact, and is key to identifying, evaluating, and addressing the needs of all students within this wide spectrum of Neurological Visual Impairments.

  • Creation of the National Agenda for STEM Education for Students with Visual Impairments 
    • This session will introduce participants to the content of the National Agenda for STEM Education for Students with Visual Impairments. The agenda includes 12 goals, strategies for achieving goals, research needed, and development needed to promote the inclusion of students with visual impairments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs, and is a tool for advocacy, research and development.

  • Being a Dual Reader: Using Both Braille and Large Print in Education and Beyond 
    • Come and hear different perspectives on dual reading (reading both braille and large print). Hear from parents of dual readers, and individuals who use both braille and large print in education, leisure and beyond. 
This list is just a small sample of the variety available at OCALICONLINE. Registration for OCALICONLINE 2023 will open during OCALICONLINE 2022 with a special discount rate of $100 for professionals and $40 for parents, family members, and students. We look forward to connecting with you! 

Katie Robinson (she/her) is the Accessible Educational Materials Production Specialist at the Assistive Technology and Accessible Educational Materials Center (AT&AEM Center) at the OCALI Glenmont office. She is a certified Literary Braille Transcriber in both English Braille American Edition and Unified English Braille. In the AT&AEM Center, Katie produces files for large print and braille textbooks and other learning materials. She is a board member on both the National Braille Association Transcriber and Educator Committee and the International Network of STEM for the Blind and Low-Vision. Katie is a member of the Equity Committee at the ESC. Katie is a member of the Lions club and enjoys reading, knitting, sewing, and baking.