I just returned from the 18th Annual International Conference of Autism, Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disabilities Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida. It was one of the best conferences I have attended in a long time. As Elizabeth West, current DADD president, wrote in her welcome letter, “Each of us came to the conference for different reasons, but what unites us is a desire to enhance the educational outcomes for individuals with autism, intellectual disability, and/or developmental disabilities.”
One of the prevalent themes of the conference was personalized learning and differentiation for all students. As those of us in education well know, there are no more homogenous classrooms, and teachers are tasked with meeting the needs of all learners. This goal is critical for each and every student’s success, but it is also enormously difficult and time-consuming. I was encouraged by the focus on differentiation and more excited than ever about the vision and mission of Connections for Autism: to partner with passionate educators by providing them tools for easier implementation of personalized learning.
Just as I returned from Florida, Becky and I had back to back days of facilitated work sessions with two of our partner schools. In these sessions, we worked alongside teachers in using Connections for Autism to create materials designed especially for their students. This is one of the most satisfying parts of our jobs as co-founders of CFA. We know how time-consuming differentiation can be. When teachers get excited about the ease of doing just that through our site, the feeling is infectious.
Because all of the materials and resources on the CFA site are customizable, teachers have a starting point, a template, to begin creating materials that are specially designed for each of their students. This is what makes CFA unique and different, and this is what teachers have found really meaningful. We supply the template, and teachers use their creativity and knowledge of their students to make each resource their own. To us, that’s a win: not only as a time-saver for hard-working teachers, but as a way to enhance learning for students.
To learn more about scheduling facilitated work sessions and site license opportunities for your team, please drop us a line!