May 1, 2019—Preconference
May 2 & 3, 2019—Conference and Exhibits
Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Tacoma, WA

Featured Presenters

Greg Abell, BA
Dr. Nicoline Ambe, PhD
Virginia Buccola-Tournay, DNP, PMHNP
Hailey Higdon, MS
Don Meyer
Nelson Rascon, MS
Dr. Ilene Schwartz, PhD
DeEtte Snyder, PhD
Alyssa Spomer, BS
Maia Thomas, MA-SLP, MPH




Greg Abell, BA

Greg is the Principal at Sound Options Group, LLC, a Conflict Engagement firm. His particular area of expertise is in assisting agencies, organizations and communities in designing and implementing systems for more effectively engaging conflict, and facilitating productive and collaborative work environments. He has worked int the field of education for 37 years.

Look for their presentation(s):
PRE06: Building Teams of Shared Learning

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Dr. Nicoline Ambe, PhD

Dr. Nicoline Ambe is an International Speaker, Educator and #1 Best Selling Author of several books. She has taught in several elementary schools, colleges, and universities across Canada and the United States for the past two decades. Dr. Ambe has made numerous public television and radio appearances, including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Born in a small African country with limited to no educational resources, Dr. Ambe fought her way to the top of the academic ladder and obtained four academic degrees before the age of 30. Her primary mission is to help parents raise high achievers by creating a relationship and environment for their children to thrive academically. Through teaching, speaking and training, Dr. Ambe has helped many parents develop great relationships with their children, resulting in academic excellence. She believes that with the right structure and support at home, every single child has the potential to excel in school and life. She has given several keynotes and presentations to large and small audiences at conferences, school districts, schools, and churches to share her message of educational excellence, parent involvement, and teaching excellence. To learn more about Dr. Ambe, visit: www.nicolineambe.com

Look for their presentation(s):
F05: 7 Steps to Raising a High Achiever
E01: Raising Healthy and Successful Kids in a Digital World

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Virginia Buccola-Tournay, DNP, PMHNP

Virginia is a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Infant Mental Health Specialist working in private practice and Community Mental Health. She provides care for children and adults and especially enjoys supporting families during their transition to parenthood. She has many years of Nursing experience in Community Health, Maternal-Child Health and Mental Health. She lives in Tacoma, WA with her spouse and their teenage daughter.

Look for their presentation(s):
PRE03: Infant Mental Health 101: An Introduction to Infant Mental Health

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Hailey Higdon, MS

Hailey Higdon is a Speech-Language Pathologist working in early intervention. She has an M.S. from Vanderbilt University. She has training in parent coaching from Dathan Rush and M'Lisa Shelden at the Family, Infant and Preschool Program. She is trained in several parent implemented interventions including, Hanen (It Takes Two to Talk & More Than Words), as well as Enhanced Milieu Teaching under the guidance of the researcher Ann Kaiser.

Look for their presentation(s):
C03: Coaching Families in Early Intervention

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Don Meyer

Don Meyer, the award-winning founder of the Sibling Support Project, author, and creator of the Sibshop model has presented on issues facing families of people with special needs all over the world. Don created Sibshops, which provide peer support and information to thousands of young brothers and sisters of children with special health and developmental needs. He is a best-selling author and editor of seven books on families of people with special needs. Don’s trainings on the Sibshop model have resulted in the creation of over 450 Sibshops throughout the United States as well as Argentina, Canada, Chile, celand, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Trinidad, and Singapore. He has presented more than 300 lively, highly-rated workshops on the concerns of siblings, fathers, and grandparents of children with special needs to professional and family audiences in every state as well as Argentina, Canada, England, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Turkey. Don was a founder of the University of Washington’s SEFAM (Supporting Extended Family Members) program, which pioneered services for fathers, siblings, and grandparents of children with special needs. Don created SibTeen, Sib20, and SibNet, the Internet’s first and largest online groups for young and adult siblings of people with disabilities, reaching over 5000 siblings every day.

Look for their presentation(s):
KEYFRI: Friday Keynote: Brothers and Sisters of People with Special Needs: Too Important to Ignore!

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Nelson Rascon, MS

My name is Nelson Rascon, the Director for Dads MOVE, a father driven peer support organization, based in Washington State. I became involved with the non-profit world as a result of my three special needs children. As I began searching for help with my children, I met many individuals from other non-profits and parent support groups. Since then I have developed a passion for helping other parents, particularly fathers. After gaining the needed help and support for my own children I went to work for several non-profits and community based groups. I began to take what I learned to help my own family, and began helping others. I am certified in many training modules, and have even authored several of my own. I have now been working in this Director capacity since 2011. In the last seven years I have become certified in over a dozen trainings and workshops became a Peer Certified Counselor and in 2012 received my National Peer Certification. I have also attended and presented at numerous national conferences during this time frame. I have a degree Master’s of Public Administration, all with the goal of learning more so I may continue to help others in this capacity. Aside from my duties at DadsMOVE I also serve as the Housing Operations Manager for Valley Cities Behavioral Health supportive housing program in King County.

Look for their presentation(s):
C01: A Road Map for Professionals to Better Support and Connect with Dads
B01: Obtaining Services for Children with Special Needs: A Fathers Perspective

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Dr. Ilene Schwartz, PhD

Dr. Ilene Schwartz is a professor in the Area of Special Education at the University of Washington and the Director of the Haring Center for Research and Training in Education at UW. She earned her Ph.D. in child and developmental psychology from the University of Kansas and is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA-D). Dr. Schwartz has an active research and professional training agenda with primary interests in the area of autism, inclusive education, and the sustainability of educational interventions. She has had consistent funding from the U.S. Department of Education since 1990 and serves on a number of editorial review boards, including the Topics in Early Childhood Special Education and the Journal of Early Intervention. Dr. Schwartz is the director of Project DATA, a model preschool program for children with autism that has been in operation since 1997, and is currently involved in research projects examining the efficacy of the Project DATA model with toddlers and preschoolers with autism. Dr. Schwartz has been working with children with ASD since 1978. She is dedicated to developing, evaluating, and disseminating effective and sustainable instructional strategies for students with disabilities. She is committed to helping every child with a disability have access to a high quality, inclusive educational experience.

Look for their presentation(s):
PRE07: Making Inclusion Work for Toddlers and Preschoolers with ASD
KEYTHU: Thursday Keynote: Starting Off Right: Inclusion for Toddlers and Preschoolers

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DeEtte Snyder, PhD

DeEtte Snyder is the Birth to 3 Outreach Director in Blindness and Visual Impairment (BVI) for the Washington State School for the Blind. She earned her PhD in Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado in with a focus on BVI, early childhood, and educational leadership. For over 25 years she has worked with children aged birth to 5 with BVI, and their families, both as an educator and a program administrator.

Look for their presentation(s):
D04: CVI 101: An Introduction to Cortical Visual Impairment
A02: Screening Hearing and Vision in Birth to 3 Year Olds: The Three-Prong Approach

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Alyssa Spomer, BS

Alyssa Spomer is a second-year graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington. Originally from Fort Collins, CO, Alyssa received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Upon graduation, Alyssa accepted an opportunity to pursue a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering to perform biomechanics research to improve rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with neuromuscular disorders. Outside of her studies, Alyssa is the Toy Adaptation Chair for HuskyADAPT. HuskyADAPT is a student-run organization that works to foster an inclusive, multi-disciplinary community on the UW campus focused on developing and improving the accessibility of technology for a diverse population. She is a part of a dedicated team of board members who organize opportunities for students to learn about accessibility and develop basic engineering skills to address challenges in accessibility. In her role, Alyssa organizes bimonthly toy adaptation events for students, clinical partners, and community members during which battery-powered toys are made switch accessible. She is always looking for ways to start conversations about accessibility and inclusivity in the community and is excited to share her work in toy adaptation during IECC.

Look for their presentation(s):
D14: Toy Adaptation with HuskyADAPT: Learning How to Make Toys More Accessible to a Diverse Population

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Maia Thomas, MA-SLP, MPH

Maia Thomas is the northwest region Program Consultant with the Early Supports for Infants and Toddlers team at the WA State Department of Children, Youth, and Families. She is a Speech Language Pathologist experienced in serving adults and children in a variety of medical and community settings. Maia holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of TX at Austin and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of WA. Her areas of interest include infant/toddler social-emotional development and the impacts of environmental toxins on early childhood neurodevelopment.

Look for their presentation(s):
PRE10: The Growing Brain; Understanding Social-Emotional Development and Behavior from Birth to 5
V02: Thursday Advance Registration

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For Additional Information
Contact:


Amanda Cardwell
Co-Conference Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, and Continuing Education
Diversified Services, Inc.
Stanwood, WA 98292
Email: amandacardwell@frontier.com

Mike Stewart
Conference Administrator
Boyer Children's Clinic
1850 Boyer Avenue E.
Seattle, WA 98112
Email: info@boyercc.org



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