October 2012

“Hear my voice”: challenge for special ed conference

Around 160 representatives from the Catholic, Independent and State school sectors are expected to attend the Mater Dei Special Education Conference at Campbelltown, NSW from November 22 to 23.

The two-day conference – convened by Mater Dei School, Camden, and organised by representatives from Mater Dei School, the Catholic Education Office in the Wollongong Diocese, the University of Sydney and the Catholic Education Commission – will explore the theme “Hear my voice”: Accessing the Curriculum in Changing Times.

The conference program includes three internationally-recognised keynote speakers: Dr Martin Agran, Professor of Special Education at the University of Wyoming, USA; Dr Iva Strnadova, Senior Lecturer in Special Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney; and Greg O’Connor, Professional and Consultancy Services Manager at Spectronics, the largest supplier of special needs software and assistive technologies in Australia and New Zealand.

According to the organising committee, a highlight of the conference will be an interactive keynote presentation that reveals the thoughts and educational aspirations of students with a disability from six schools. In response, a panel of experts, including academics and practitioners, will reflect with delegates on the issues presented by the students in the context of the conference keynote addresses.

An extensive range of workshops will also be delivered by special educators and practitioners working on the frontline.

Who should attend the conference? Organisers say the program has been designed for a diverse audience, including: pre-school, primary, middle, secondary and special school administrators and teachers; special education consultants and support staff; therapists, school counsellors and psychologists; family and community workers; State and Federal Government representatives; and parents.

Held every two years, this year is the sixth Mater Dei Special Education Conference. Each conference highlights the emerging trends in special education and deals with the issues facing special educators in both mainstream and special schools.

The conference will be held from November 22 to 23, 2012 at The Cube, Campbelltown Catholic Club. Registrations close on November 19, 2012.

The Good Oil

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