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October 6–8, 2021

2021 ODE/COSA Special Education Fall Conference


"Building Inclusive Learning Communities - Opportunities to Thrive"

The ODE/COSA Special Education Fall Conference is organized as a face-to-face event with a virtual option for Thursday and Friday, October 7-8.  Pre-Conference workshops on October 6 are all face-to-face sessions. Participants must provide proof of vaccination and wear a mask. Please know that our top priority is your health.  Those choosing the virtual option will receive Zoom links the day before the conference.

Click here to download the conference program.

Featured Speakers:
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  • Rosemarie Allen, President and CEO, Center for Equity and Excellence – Bio
  • Jasmine Crane, Director of Health and Wellness, Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence - Bio
  • LeDerick Horne, Speaker, Poet, Disability Rights Advocate – Bio
    • Keynote: "A Path to Pride and Success" - Within this presentation, LeDerick Horne will share his own experience as a student with a learning disability who was able to graduate from college with a BA in mathematics. LeDerick will introduce participants to a framework designed to help students develop positive identities as people with disabilities. Strategies for helping students reach their transition goals will be shared as well as advice on helping students develop positive relationships in school and the adult world. Participants will also have an opportunity to hear some of LeDerick’s performance poetry related to these topics. 
    • Breakout Session: "Disability, Race, and Identity" - This interactive workshop will provide a deeper exploration of the topics covered within the keynote. Strategies to help educators incorporate the diverse representation of people with disabilities within their curriculum will be provided. Participants will explore the role of culturally responsive pedagogy in strengthening their student’s self-advocacy skills and improving their student’s academic performance.
    • LeDerick Horne - Poet and Speaker - YouTube
  • Tenneal Wetherell, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Enhancing Student Opportunities, ODE - Bio


This year's conference will offer the following breakout sessions:

  • Building Anti-Racist Learning Spaces
  • Building Integrated mental health services in house 
  • Considerations for Special Education Eligibilities in Light of the Pandemic
  • Co-Teaching for Inclusion
  • Creating 2021 Opportunities From 2020 Challenges
  • Creating aligned, inclusive, positive school culture that welcomes and supports each and every student.  Goal setting: measuring what matters!
  • Creating School Environments Where Every Student Can Belong: Preventing Exclusionary Discipline Practices in Special Education 
  • Data-Driven Direction:  Using Paraprofessional Data to Enhance Student Support
  • Differentiation = Inclusion
  • Disability, Ableism and Special Education: The Impact of Implicit Bias
  • How Implicit Bias Effects Relationship-building with Families of Students with Disabilities
  • How to Set the Stage for Equitable Outcomes for All Learners Starting with Kindergarten Transition
  • Legal Lessons Learned During a Never-Ending Nightmare
  • Let's talk about Pre-Employment Transition Services
  • Medically Licensed Staff in Schools: The Intersection Education and Health Services
  • Meeting Trauma at the Door - Supporting Elementary Colleagues in Implementation of Tier II Interventions
  • Promoting Equity and Inclusion for Students with Disabilities using Best-Practice Small-Group Instruction
  • Raising Resilience & Self-Regulation: Proven Practices for Creating & Sustaining Educator Health and Optimal Performance While Serving Students with Trauma Impacts or Chronic Challenging Behavior
  • Section 504, the ADA (Title II) & Students with Disabilities in Public Schools: Lessons Learned 2021
  • Solutions for Curriculum Access and Inclusion with Oregon Technology Access Program
  • Strategies for Supporting Educator Wellbeing and Building Resiliency
  • Supporting Students after a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): HB 4140 
  • The Transition Continuum
  • What does HB 2105 mean for you?

Participants will be able to design their own unique schedule using our conference app and presenters will provide engaging sessions and relevant materials throughout the day.


Pre-Conference - Participants must provide proof of vaccination and wear a mask. Please know that our top priority is your health.

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (in-person only) 8:00-5:00
  • Equity Academy I & II (virtual) 8:00-12:00
  • New and Veteran SPED Directors Luncheon (12:00-1:00)
  • New Special Education Directors Academy (click here to register) 9:00-12:00
  • Rosemary Allen Pre-Conference Workshops (face-to-face) 9:00-11:30 & 1:00-3:30


Grant Opportunity for the EdD Program - Portland State University was recently awarded a personnel preparation grant to support the Special Education specialization of the EdD (Doctorate in Educational Leadership). The grant will provide 4 years of funding (tuition and fees) to the incoming Fall 2022 cohort of doctoral students.  The doctoral program focuses on preparing special education leaders who would like to continue in the field as practicing leaders in special education after completing their doctorate. The doctoral program is designed for working professionals, all coursework will be on-line, with synchronous on-line class meetings every other week throughout the program. The goal is recruit and support special education leaders from across the state and region to address identified shortages locally and nationally. The EdD is designed to work with doctoral students on job embedded problems of practice to align and integrate doctoral studies with the doctoral student’s professional practice. The application deadline is January 10th, 2021.


If you are registering someone other than yourself or need to register a group, please contact Sera Lockwood, or call the COSA office at 503-581-3141 and we will process their registrations.  Pre-Conference attendees lunch will be provided on October 6th.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided on October 7th.  Breakfast will be provided on October 8th along with a Grab and the end of the conference.  Cancellation Policy: Failure to cancel 72 hours in advance will result in a $95 cancellation fee. Failure to show will result in the full conference fee.  If you have any registration questions or cancellations please e-mail



Graduate Eugene
66 E 6th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401


Click here to view the agenda.


Click here for directions.


Graduate Eugene
66 E 6th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401

Booking Link: Graduate Eugene Booking Link - ODE/COSA Special Education Fall Conference
Reservations: 844-888-4723 and reference Group: ODE/COSA Special Education Fall Conference
Cutoff Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021


Click here to apply for exhibit space.