Planting Seeds: Growing an Inclusive & Informed Community
The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education will convene its 9th National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, Planting Seeds: Growing an Inclusive and Informed Community, October 26-28, 2022. The event will take place in Denver, Colorado at the Renaissance Stapleton. The room rate for the hotel is $169.00 + 15.75% tax. Attendees will have access to complimentary local shuttle service within a 2 mile radius, complimentary Central Park Station Shuttle, and complimentary parking for overnight hotel guests and drive-in attendees. More information about reserving your room at the hotel will be available soon. Book your hotel room now!
Registration is $400 for the event and includes breakfast and lunch for each day of the event.
Symposium participants will include OSEP staff, State dispute resolution coordinators, directors of special education, dispute resolution practitioners, researchers, parent advocates, attorneys, educators, service providers, and parents.
Objectives for this Symposium
Symposium participants will have the opportunity to:
- Examine collaborative dispute prevention and conflict management strategies within the expanding continuum of dispute resolution practices in special education and early intervention in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Learn about innovations, initiatives, and current research in the field of dispute resolution.
- Receive information, resources, and guidance related to the design, implementation, and improvement of dispute resolution processes and systems with a focus on culturally and linguistically competent practices.
- Enhance communities of practice, and connect dispute resolution coordinators, practitioners, educators, and parent leaders with each other and nationally renowned experts in the field.
- Acquire conflict management skills and knowledge critical to the effective resolution of disputes.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
- Kiran Singh Sirah is President of the International Storytelling Center (ISC), an educational and cultural institution dedicated to enriching lives around the world through storytelling. ISC organizes the world’s premiere storytelling event, the National Storytelling Festival, and supports applied storytelling initiatives across a variety of industries. Prior to his ISC appointment, Kiran developed a number of award-winning peace-building programs in cultural centers across the UK. As an artist, folklorist, educator, and social justice advocate, he uses the power of human creativity to establish dialogue. An advisory member to UNESCO and a Rotary Peace Fellow, he has developed programs, publications, talks and conference papers on interdisciplinary approaches to relationship building around the globe. In 2017, Kiran was awarded the “Champion of Peace” recognition at the Rotary International ceremony at the United Nations in Geneva. Kiran firmly believes storytelling not only enriches lives, but also holds the key to building a better world.
- Dr. Darlene Sampson lives by her late parent’s mantra: “Giving back to others is in your DNA-you must respect and honor the shoulders you have stood on.” With that thinking in mind, Dr. Sampson has maintained a space of social justice and cultural humility as she works across the education and social work fields as an administrator, leader, equity specialist, and counselor. Dr. Sampson joined the Equity Assistance Centers after working as a Clinical Field Faculty in the Department of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her previous work in schools as a Director of Culturally Responsive Education, coupled with teaching and social work in schools rounds out her professional experiences. Her lived experiences as a Black woman assist her in infusing empathy for others particularly around the intersectional spaces of gender and race. Dr. Sampson’s professional goals are to infuse culturally responsive consciousness, promote inclusive pedagogy, integrate equity infusions, and promote systemic change for all. She has been a social worker, program manager, consultant, and educator for 30+ years. Her call to teaching, consulting, and community-based practice occurred as a result of the many mentors in her life who demonstrated excellence in regard to communities of color. In addition to many professional mentors, Dr. Sampson was influenced by her nine siblings, and the spiritual foundation instilled by her parents as a young child. Dr. Sampson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation and Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Denver. Her research and published work is focused in the areas of academic performance specifically relating to Children of Color. Specialties include parent engagement, program review, trauma-informed care, racial bullying, culturally responsive social work and mental wellness, authentic engagement in schools, disproportionality and equity reviews, equity trajectories, consultation, and culturally responsive curricular augmentation.
- Jennifer Wolfsheimer, Esq., specializes in building the capacity of State educational agencies to implement general supervision and accountability systems and dispute resolution systems under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through WestEd’s National Center for Systemic Improvement and contract work. Wolfsheimer joined WestEd after working at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for over a decade, where she facilitated the team which carries out activities related to State Performance Plans/Annual Performance Reports and Determinations. Previously, Wolfsheimer was OSEP’s Dispute Resolution Lead. She has led monitoring activities focused on states' dispute resolution policies and procedures and general supervision responsibilities under the IDEA. An expert in policy analysis and its impact on people with disabilities, Wolfsheimer has advocated on behalf of people with disabilities across the legal and regulatory spectrum. Wolfsheimer has advised on disability issues related to mental health and healthcare, technology, employment discrimination, and domestic violence while serving as Commissioner, Montgomery County, MD Commission on People with Disabilities; Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy; independent healthcare policy consultant; and Legal Intern/Extern/Clerk at The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and Protection and Advocacy organizations in New York and California.
- Panel of Parents and Family Members, with PEAK Parent Center
- Presentation of the Anita Engiles Keys to Access Award, with remarks from the recipient