Endless Possibilities

2019 Endless Possibilities Conference:
Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities

A conference for educators, parents, and others to gain information related to special education, family supports and mental health. 
Cost: $35

Friday, August 2nd, 2019 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Registration is available on the UW-Whitewater website here!
University Center, Hamilton Room
800 W Main Street, Whitewater, WI

Key Note Session: Impossible to Possible: My Journey from Special Ed to Ph.D

Dr. Shawn Athony Robinson will talk about his journey from Special Education to Ph.D and
the experiences that shaped his identify as a scholar. Dr. Robionson is the author of "Dr. Dyslexia Dude".
Conference participants on 8/2 will receive a copy of his book.

A Sampling of Topics:

Orton-Gillingham Approach to Reading and Spelling
Compassion Resilience (w/Toolkit & Activities)
Preventing the School to Prison Pipeline
Reading Drives Achievement: Procedural Compliance Self-Assessment
Reading Supports for Students with Learning Disabilities (EC and Secondary)
Post-Secondary Transition Plan (PTP) Training
Visual Resumes

Pre-Conference: August 1, 2019 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

These pre-conference trainings are optional and free.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Limited to first 60 registrants

Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8 hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder.

Serving on Groups That Make Decisions

Limited to first 30 registrants

This 8-hour Training of Trainers’ program introduces participants to Serving on Groups That Make Decisions: A Guide for Families (Guidebook) and the Guidebook Trainers’ Manual. The Guidebook is a dynamic nationally-acclaimed resource for anyone who is currently serving, wants to serve, or wants to prepare and empower families to successfully serve on a decision-making group. Family engagement in decision-making is central to school improvement and student achievement. Participants will review all Guidebook topics (Opportunities to Get Involved; Types of Groups; Processes Groups Use; Tools & Tips for Serving on Groups; Understanding & Using Data; The Role of Families; and Skills for Serving on Groups) and collectively choose sections for in-depth training. This will be a fun, productive day, including hard copies of the Guidebook and Guidebook Trainers’ Manual, training materials, hands-on activities, and practical tools, tips, and strategies often used by decision-makers. (See https://www.servingongroups.org/about).


2017 Endless Possibilities Conference:  Challenging Behaviors

Conference Program


2016 Endless Possibilities Conference

A Sampling of Topics that Were Covered:
  • Keynote: "You're Going to Love This Kid!" - Paula Kluth, PhD
  • School Mental Health Framework and Projects AWARE - Monica Wightman, DPI
  • Perspective Shifts and Collaboration with Parents and Schools - Sue McKenzie, Director, Rogers InHealth
  • Wisconsin Medical Home Initiative and New Child Psychiatry Consultation Program - Arianna Keil, MD
  • Mental Health and Self-Regulation Through Literacy - Daniel Parker, DPI
  • Leading Together: Family Leadership - Susan Latton, CYSHCN

Download Conference Agenda and Handouts athttp://tinyurl.com/hrx327r

View Captioned Videos From this Conference:


2015 Endless Possibilities Conference

Mission: Every Child a Reader

Keynote Session: Family Engagement and Results Driven Accountability

Presenter: Barbara Van Haren, State Director of Special Education, DPI

Description: Historically, special education has placed heavy emphasis on procedural compliance without consideration of how the requirements impact student learning outcome.  IDEA is now placing a priority on Results Driven Accountability (RDA), the improvement of educational results and functional outcomes for children identified as a core value in Wisconsin's Results Driven Accountability system.  This presentation will provide an overview of the Department's plan for increasing outcomes of children with disabilities and the connection to family engagement.

Download Session Handout for Every Child a Reader Session

Watch Recorded Session Every Child a Reader


Session: Literacy Resources from the DPI to Support Families

Presenter: Laura Adams and Kay Guberud, DPI

Description: The Department of Public Instruction creates and provides resources for teachers, but did you know that we also have resources for families to support literacy development? Come check them out in this interactive session.

Download Session Handout for Literacy Resources from the DPI to Support Families Session

Watch Recorded Session Literacy Resources from the DPI to Support Families


Session: Growing WI Readers:Intersection of Early Literacy and the Community

Presenter: Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI

Description: The old saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," is particularly true when it comes to insuring that all of our children are ready to learn when they start school.  Find out how Rock County is using the Growin Wisconsin Readers program to spark community partnerships for early literacy.

Download Session Handout from Growing WI Readers: Intersection of Early Literacy and the Community


Session: Next Generation IEPs

Presenter: Daniel Parker, DPI

Description: Next Generation IEPs provide IEP teams with a framework to accelerate growth of students with disabilities with a focus on closing achievement gaps.  To do this, IEP teams must have high expectations for students and utilize a standards-based lens when determining students' academic and functional needs.  In addition to a focus on accelerated growth and achievement of standards, Next Generation IEPs enhance the capacity of IEP teams to produce results by providing guidance on collaboration, development of strength-based and student-centered IEPs, utilization of universal design for learning concepts, and the provision of frameworks to connect academic and functional disability-related needs to services, accomodations, goals, and supports.


Session: Serving on Groups that Make Decisions

Presenter: Emilie Braunel

Description: The most effective decision-making groups start with well prepared members.  Many times we are on committees or in meetings (including IEPs) but don't know what the process is or how to fully participate.  This session will discuss the importance of family engagement in education, the role of family representatives on decision making groups, and the personal skills needed to be an effective group member.  Participants will also be introduced to a resource to help navigate decision-making groups.

Download Session Serving on Groups that Make Decisions Handout


Session: Special Education Legal Updates

Presenter: Patti Williams

Description:This session will provide an update on recent guidance and decisions involving special education law.

Watch Session Special Education Legal Updates


Session: Students with Learning Disabilities and Reading

Presenter: Debra Heiss, Laura Adams, and Kay Guberud, DPI

Description:Why do we want our children to become readers? This session will explore the continuum of school reading programs and offer some concrete suggestions for parents to support their child at home.

Download Session Students with Learning Disabilities and Reading Handout

Watch Session Students with Learning Disabilities and Reading


Session: What We Know About Dyslexia

Presenter: Cheryl Ward and Pam Heyde, WIBIDA

Description: Most children who struggle with reading and spelling have characteristics of dyslexia.  For parents of these children, the importance of understanding the nature and implications of dyslexia is crucial in helping their child develop foundational reading skills.

Download Session What We Know About Dyslexia Handout

Watch Session What We Know About Dyslexia


Session: Nurturing Lifelong Literacy by Raising Readers

Presenter: Mary Jo Zeigler, DPI

Description: Reading is one of the most-researched education topics in every country across the world, and yet finding the answer to what makes a child a reader, seems elusive.  In this session, we will explore the endless possibilities for nurturing literacy throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence that will foster a love of learning AND improve reading achievement.  Examples and time-tested interactions will be shared.

Download Session Nurturing Lifelong Literacy by Raising Readers Handout


Session: Independent Education Evaluation (IEE)

Presenter: Paula Volpiansky

Description: Parents are entitled to an Independent Education Evaluation at no cost to them when they disagree with a school district's special education evaluation of their child.  The presentation will include a review of federal law and the department's guidance on the topic. 

Download Session Independent Education Evaluation Handout 1 

Download Session Independent Education Evaluation Handout 2

Watch Session Independent Education Evaluation 


Session: Spotlight on Reading

Presenters: Cheryl Ward and Pam Heyde

Description: Learning to read is much like a pyramid.  You must have a strong and broad foundation.  Reading develops from well developed oral language abilities, exposure to written language, the abilitiy to hear and the ability to distinguish sounds of language and the understanding of print and what it can convey.  Parents who know about the devlopment of these skills will be empowered to help strengthen their child's reading skills.

Download Session Spotlight on Reading Handout 


Session: Connecting the IEP and the New State Assessments (ACT and Smarter/Badger)

Presenter: Eva Kubinski, DPI

Description: This session will provide an overview of the connection between student IEPs and Wisconsin's State assessments.  Participants will learn how IEP teams determine which assessment a student with a disabilitiy will participate in as well as an overview of the current assessments that are Part of Wisconsin's State Asessment System.

Download Session Connecting the IEP and the New State Assessments Handout

Watch Session Connecting the IEP and the New State Assessments (ACT and Smarter/Badger) 


Session: Universal Design for Learning

Presenter: Nissan Bar-Lev

Description: This presentation wil describe the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Networks/Principals/Guidelines. When UDL is implemented in the classroom, it removes learning barriers, and allows sutdents to receive classroom material in multiple ways, express what they learned in multiple ways, and to engage in the classroom material in multiple ways. The workshop will also describe the multiple ways that teachers can present information and the multiple ways in which students can get engaged in learning. 

Download Session Universal Design for Learning Handout


October 19, 2013 - Supporting Children who have Experienced Trauma (Trauma Informed Care)

Download the Supporting Children who have Experienced Trauma Conference Program

SESSION: Understanding the Biological Repercussions of Trauma

Presenter:  Dr. Mary Hess, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

The effects of trauma are biological as well as behavioral and emotional. The brain develops and changes in response to a person’s experiences. When experiences are healthy, the brain grows healthy neurological connections. When the experiences are traumatic, it changes the lens through which a person sees the world and his/herself, and it actually changes the way the brain works.  DownloadUnderstanding the Biological Repercussions of Trauma Powerpoint


SESSION:  Resources and Strategies for Schools to Support Students Affected By Trauma

Presenter:  Nic Dibble, State Consultant for the School Social Work at the Wisconsin DPI

This presentation will share Wisconsin’s efforts to help schools better support students who have been affected by trauma, which were recognized earlier this year with an invitation to present on a national webinar. Wisconsin is unique among states in that it is encouraging school districts to build trauma-sensitive practices and strategies into their efforts to establish Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Current and future activities will be discussed and links to resources will be shared.  Download Resources and Strategies for Schools to Support Students Affected by Trauma Powerpoint


SESSION:  The Biologically Respectful Approach to Traumatized Individuals

Presenter:  Dr. Mary Hess

This session will focus on what healthy neurological functioning consists of and how “caring others” can assist children and adults to move from unhealthy reactions to more thoughtful mindfulness that can help put the traumas into the past so the present can be healthier and more balanced.  Download The Biologically Respectful Approach to Traumatized Individuals Powerpoint


SESSION:  Understanding & Addressing Challenging Behaviors of Traumatized Learners Using Brain Based Interventions

Presenter:  Dr. Nomsa Gwalla-Ogisi, Professor, U.W.-Whitewater

Participants will discuss trauma based challenging behaviors in children and how to use healing brain based interventions that are responsive to the diverse needs of learners to address the challenging behaviors.  Download Understanding & Addressing Challenging Behaviors of Traumatized Learners Using Brain Based Interventions Powerpoint