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RISE Meeting Will Address Inclusive Educational Practices Nov. 27
For release: November 15, 2007
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The 11th annual Beyond Access Inclusion Conference, a comprehensive one-day conference on inclusive educational practice, will be held November 27 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. The conference is designed to provide educators, administrators, parents, and related service providers current information on the best and most promising practices in inclusive education.

This year’s conference theme, “Inclusion: Mission Possible,” re-establishes the commitment of educators and schools to become innovative in meeting the educational needs of diverse learners through inclusive practices such as response to intervention, differentiated instructional approaches, co-teaching methodology, and positive behavior support activities.  Participants will learn better ways of including not only students with disabilities, but all students, through effective educational practices.

Keynote speakers will be Dr. William Heward and Dr. Chris Skinner.  Heward has had an international impact on improving the education and treatment of people with disabilities by influencing the ways many teachers provide education to those children. He has accomplished this not only through his writing, but also university teaching and advising, consulting to schools and other educational programs, extensive research programs, and numerous presentations at professional meetings for researchers and practitioners.

Heward is perhaps best known for co-authoring the widely read Applied Behavior Analysis. He has written five other books, including Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education, now in its eighth edition and translated into several foreign languages. His peers recognized him for his contributions to education by awarding him the 2006 American Psychological Association’s Division 25 Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award.

Skinner received his M.A. degree in special education from Johnson State University and Ph.D. degree in school psychology from Lehigh University. He has worked with de-institutionalized adults with chronic schizophrenia and developmental disabilities, and he has taught students with emotional-behavioral disorders and with autism.

Skinner served as editor of the Journal of Behavioral Education for six years and has edited two books and co-authored a textbook.  He has also published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.  His interests include preventing and remedying student problems by the application of behavioral strategies.

The conference is hosted by the RISE Project (Restructuring for Inclusive School Environments) of the Instruction and Curriculum Leadership Department in the University of Memphis’ College of Education and the Tennessee Department of Education’s Division of Special Education. The RISE Project seeks to build capacities within schools to assist them in implementing best and most promising practices in inclusive education and positive behavior support.

RISE provides technical assistance and support to West Tennessee schools that are seeking to initiate reform and that are restructuring activities to ensure that all students benefit from an inclusive educational environment. RISE services are free of charge to area school systems and include in-service sessions, professional development activities, ongoing professional technical assistance, and other services and support.

To register for the conference or to obtain more information, call the RISE office at 901-678-4932 or visit the RISE Web site, http://rise.memphis.edu.

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