Wyndham Hotel Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX


The Inclusion Works! Conference Purpose:

The Inclusion Works! provides learning opportunities for parents, educators, and school administrators to improve skills in collaborating to educate students who qualify for Special Education services in the regular educational environment with supplementary aids and services. The ultimate goal is to offer families and school staff information and education about research-based practices so that eligible students are effectively prepared for further education, employment, and independent living according to the purposes of the I.D.E.A.

The Inclusion Works! Conference values and indicators of implementation of inclusive practices on a campus or in a district:

  • Disability is considered by adults and students as only one of the many attributes possessed by each child. These students may share some attributes, but they possess their own uniqueness as well;
  • All students with disabilities are members of the general education community;
  • Students receive special education services and supports in general education settings;
  • Students with disabilities are involved and making progress in enrolled grade level curriculum based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) or Pre-K Curriculum; and
  • Special educators and general educators work together in general education settings to meet students’ needs.

Online Registration is now closed. If you would like to attend the 2018 Inclusion Works! Event, you may register on location. We look forward to seeing you all soon!  

Teacher and Parent Stipend Information

Thank you for submitting your stipend applications. As of January 8, 2018, we are no longer accepting stipend applications for Inclusion Works!.

If you applied for a teacher or parent stipend, you will be notified by email to announce whether you were awarded a stipend.

A limited number of teacher and parent stipends are available. Stipends are available on a first-come, first-served basis until the balance of the funds is depleted. Stipends may cover conference registration only OR hotel lodging for one or two nights only OR both.

  • Please register using the “Parent” registration option and check that you would like to apply for a stipend.
  • Please limit to one stipend per family.
  • You must make your own hotel reservations. If approved, the hotel lodging will be billed to The Arc of Texas.
  • Hotel stipends are limited to those who live outside of the San Antonio area.


Amy Benjamin

Opening Keynote
Monday, February 5, 2018
9:00 – 10:15 am

Vocabulary: The Secret Sauce in Academic Achievement

Understanding and being able to use academic vocabulary is at the center of success in school and, in many ways, the workplace as well.  Yet, many teachers are still using outdated and ineffective methods, such as having students plod through incomprehensible, decontextualized dictionary definitions for words on a list that are not even related to each other.

How do words get learned and stay learned? What words should be “caught, not taught” through implicit instruction?  What are the best ways to teach technical terms?  This keynote will encourage teachers, parents, and administrators to rely on the principles of natural language acquisition to grow vocabulary skills. Amy organizes these principles into what she calls the “4Es” of explicit and implicit vocabulary instruction: Exposure, Exploration, Engagement, and Energy.  She will demonstrate the use of word stories, visuals, meaningful repetition, morphology, and interesting word-learning activities that make word-learning accessible and memorable for all students.

Amy Benjamin is a nationally recognized consultant, teacher, and author specializing in improving student performance through literacy in all subject areas. Amy has given workshops, courses, and keynotes throughout the United States and Canada. Amy is an advisor to major educational publishers including Holt McDougal, McGraw Hill, and the College Board.

As a classroom teacher, Amy received honors and recognition for excellence from Tufts University, Union College, and the New York State English Council. Her classroom work was used as a model for teaching by the New York State Education Department.

Dr. Carlos A. Flores, Jr.

Closing Keynote
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
10:30 – 11:45 am

Inclusion: More Than Just a Buzzword

Inclusion.  We’ve all heard the word.  We’ve all used the word.  But do we really know what it means and how it evolved to where we are today?  Join Carlos Flores, EdD, as we travel back in time to take a look at inclusion, 25 years of Inclusion Works!, and this year’s Inclusion Works! topics.   Let’s journey from mainstreaming to co-teaching together.  Whether you are a new teacher or have been teaching for, well, 25 years, there’s always something new to learn.  Inclusion is an ever-changing field, join us as we walk this path together.

Dr. Carlos A. Flores, Jr., is an Assistant Professor of Education at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, and instructs teacher candidates interested in specializing in special education. Prior to teaching at the university, Dr. Flores taught in the public schools for 15 years as a special educator. He has, and continues to have, an excellent grasp of special education, and special education laws and policies that surround educating students and adults with disabilities. As such, he has advocated for many years for the rights of students needing special education services. He is a very strong proponent of inclusion and co-teaching when each is implemented with fidelity, and helped implement co-teaching on his public school campus.

Dr. Flores has extensive knowledge and expertise in special education. He earned both his Doctor of Education and Master of Education in Special Education from Texas Tech University, and his Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (with Special Education Certification) from Angelo State University. Dr. Flores currently serves as the president of The Arc of Texas, where he can continue campaigning and advocating for special education and special education students.


Distinguished professionals in the field of education featured in 2016 and 2017.

Keynote: Universal Design Daily: 5 Powerful Ways to Support All Students in the Diverse Classroom
Dr. Paula Kluth

Are you looking for new ideas for your lessons? Feeling bored with the techniques you currently use to support students with and without disabilities? Overwhelmed with all there is to learn about universal design and differentiated instruction? If so, this keynote presentation by Dr. Paula Kluth will “hit the spot”! Based on her new book of the same title, this talk is designed to give busy educators ideas for teaching and supporting all learners during busy school days. Specifically, Paula will recommend that teachers “teach up”, change the learning state, center on strengths, rely on rituals, and be goal oriented. She will discuss not only the practices associated with designing learning experiences for all, but habits of mind as well. This presentation contains video clips, classroom stories, examples and illustrations, and collaborative activities. More importantly, it features ideas to help all teachers better respond to the diversity that exists in their classrooms every single day.

Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, teacher, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities, and do create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. Paula is a former special educator who has served as a classroom teacher and inclusion facilitator. Her professional interests include differentiating instruction, active learning, and inclusive schooling.

She is the author or co-author of more than 15 books and products including “Don’t We Already ‘Do’ Inclusion?”, “From Text Maps to Memory Caps: 100 More Ways to Differentiate Instruction in K-12 Inclusive Classrooms”, and “You’re Going to Love This Kid!”. Paula is also the director of a documentary film titled “We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism.”

Book:  UDL Daily coming out in late 2016!

Back to Top

Keynote: Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites – 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain
Marcia L. Tate, EdD

If students don’t learn the way we teach them, then we must teach them the way they learn. Whether you are a special education or regular education teacher, principal, or parent, you will experience 20 brain-compatible strategies that take advantage of the way all brains learn best. Use music, metaphor and movement to increase academic achievement for all students. Explore research as to why these strategies are preferable to others.  This keynote has been called practical, informative and so much fun.

Marcia L. Tate, EdD, is the former Executive Director of Professional Development for the DeKalb County School System, Decatur, Georgia.  During her 30-year career with the district, she has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, language arts coordinator, and staff development executive director.  She received the 2001 Distinguished Staff Developer Award for the State of Georgia and her department was chosen to receive the Exemplary Program Award for the state.

Marcia is currently an educational consultant and has taught over 500,000 administrators, teachers, parents, and business and community leaders throughout the world.  She is the author of the following eight best-sellers: (1) Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain – (3nd Ed.); “Sit & Get” Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Professional Learning Strategies that Engage the Adult Brain – (2nd Ed.); (3) Reading and Language Arts Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Literacy Strategies that Engage the Brain – (2nd Ed.); (4) Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Techniques to Detour Around the Danger Zones – (2nd Ed.); (5) Mathematics Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites – 20 Numeracy Strategies That Engage the Brain and (6) Preparing Children for Success in School and Life: 20 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Brain Power; (7) Science Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain; and (8) Social Studies Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain; and her latest book, Formative Assessment in a Brain-compatible Classroom: How Do We Really Know They’re Learning?.  Participants in her workshops refer to them as the best ones they have ever experienced since Marcia uses the 20 strategies outlined in her books to actively engage her audiences.

Marcia received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.  She earned her Master’s degree in remedial reading from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, her specialist degree in educational leadership from Georgia State University and her doctorate in educational leadership from Clark Atlanta University.  Spelman College awarded her the Apple Award for excellence in the field of education.

Marcia is married to Tyrone Tate and is the proud mother of three children: Jennifer, Jessica, and Christopher; and six grandchildren: Aaron, Aidan, Christian, Maxwell, Roman. And Shiloh.

Back to Top

Opening Keynote: The Global Ready Graduate: Skills, Literacies, and Dispositions for a World in Flux
Will Richardson
Monday, February 13 (9:00 – 10:30 AM)

These are interesting and challenging times around the world. Our internal realities as educators are increasingly mismatched with a world that is filled with information, knowledge, people, and technologies accessible by a few swipes on our phones. Because of our immediate, ubiquitous connections, our day to day understanding of events is becoming more complex yet more tenuous. The need to be a curious, critical consumer and creator of information is more important now than ever before. And that now is the foundational work of schools and educators. We’ll take a look at the opportunities and challenges of the new realities we now must negotiate, and what that means for our work as individuals and as systems as we move through a very disorienting moment into an equally uncertain future.

A parent of two teenagers, Will Richardson has spent the last dozen years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education. He was one of a handful of original education bloggers ( and his work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers, and magazines such as Ed Leadership, District Administration, Education Week, The New York Times and English Journal. He is an outspoken advocate for change in schools and classrooms in the context of the diverse new learning opportunities that the Web and other technologies now offer.

Will has authored six books, most recently From Master Teacher to Master Learner (2015, Solution Tree Press). In total, his books have sold over 150,000 copies worldwide.

A former public school educator of 22 years, Will is a co-founder of Modern Learner Media and co-publisher of which is a site dedicated to helping educational leaders and policy makers develop new contexts for new conversations around education. Over the past eight years, he has spoken to tens of thousands of educators in 16 countries about the merits of online learning networks for personal and professional growth.

Will lives in rural New Jersey with his wife Wendy and his children Tess and Tucker.

Back to Top

Special General Session: SPEAKing for Inclusion
Ricky Broussard
Tuesday, February 14 (9:00 – 9:30 AM)

Project SPEAK (Sharing Personal Experiences And Knowledge) is an emerging tool for supporting people with intellectual developmental disabilities to learn specific speaking skills, identify an issue that is important to them, and develop a presentation. Now in the process of development to meet TEKS standards, Project SPEAK is a proven tool for assisting youth and adults with significant disabilities to use their voice. And, with the support and assistance, presentations are making an impact – at the individual level such as in education meetings or staff meetings, local organizations such as the Rotary or School Board, and state conferences. As Peer Leader for Project SPEAK, Broussard will share his experience in being a peer mentor, working with the SPEAKers and the amazing impact this tool has had in the lives of the participants.

Ricky Broussard is a leader in the self-advocacy movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and an experienced speaker on self-determination. In his work as the Peer Leader for Imagine Enterprises’ Project SPEAK, Mr. Broussard assists new speakers through their own discovery process by sharing ideas and experiences, helping prepare their personal message, practicing, and handling the jitters. He promotes Project SPEAK to education and advocacy audiences throughout the state. Mr. Broussard’s career started in 2005 while living in an ICF group home, when he asked the Imagine team to assist him to start a business promoting self-advocacy, called Get-A-Life in Texas! His life-long mission is to “change the world for people with disabilities and those who support them.” He is a peer mentor to many people throughout Texas as well as a member of the Health and Human Services Commission’s Consumer Direction Workgroup and IDD Redesign Committee.

Back to Top


Wyndham Hotel Riverwalk
111 East Pecan Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
Reservations: 1-866-764-8536




Please contact Nancy House at


Attendees at the 2018 Inclusion Works! Conference will stay at the Wyndham Hotel Riverwalk where all conference events will take place.

Special room rates of $124 (government per diem) for single/double standard guest rooms have been secured for 2018 Inclusion Works! Conference attendees, and include complimentary guest room Internet access.


Individuals can make reservations directly with the Wyndham Hotel reservation department. Please call 1-866-764-8536 and identify yourself as a participant of the The Arc of Texas 2018 Inclusion Works! Conference in order to receive your group special rate. Or you can easily make your hotel reservations online.

To ensure the special rooms rates and room availability all reservations must be made no later than Friday, January 5, 2018. It is recommended that if you would like to stay earlier or later than the conference dates, to make your hotel reservation as far in advance as possible.

All guests at the Wyndham Hotel Riverwalk may enjoy these hotel amenities.

The Wyndham Hotel Riverwalk is easily accessible 8 miles from the San Antonio International Airport.

Ground Transportation

Follow the signs at the airport for ground transportation and taxi service.


Self-Parking is available to conference attendees for a 20% discount off the current parking rates.  Valet parking is available but will incur a rate of $32 per day. More information about hotel parking

Local Attractions

The Wyndham Hotel location on San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk puts you steps away from world-class dining, shopping, and nightlife. Walk to The Alamo, Pearl Brewery, and El Mercado Marketplace, or hop on a river taxi outside to explore the Riverwalk by water. Convenient for business travelers, the hotel is also a short walk from the San Antonio Convention Center. Other attractions are just a short drive away, among them the San Antonio Zoo, Six Flags, and SeaWorld.

Wyndham Hotel Local Tourist Information

San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau


The Inclusion Works! Conference provides learning opportunities for parents, educators and school administrators to improve skills in collaborating to educate students who qualify for Special Education services in the regular educational environment with supplementary aids and services. The ultimate goal is to offer families and school staff information and education about research-based practices so that eligible students are effectively prepared for further education, employment and independent living according to the purposes of the I.D.E.A.


The Arc of Texas is excited to announce the Inclusion Works! Conference pathways (session themes) specially designed for Administrators, Educator, and Parents to further assist conference participants in meeting their learning and teaching needs. The seven pathways for the 2018 Inclusion Works! Conference are:


The co-teach model is one effective model allowing general and special educators to deliver instruction with assurances that all students have full access to the grade-level expectations of the general curriculum.  The goal of this pathway is to provide educators examples of best practices and strategies when implementing a co-teach model.

Course/Class Grading vs IEP Goal Progress Monitoring

The goal of this pathway is to provide information on how to utilize statewide guidance as well as best practices to differentiate between grading/evaluating the mastery of general education curriculum and monitoring progress toward IEP goals.

Including Students with Disabilities in General Education Classrooms 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that a continuum of placement options be available to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Inclusion in the general education classroom is one placement option.  The goal of this pathway is to show teachers how to successfully include students with disabilities in a general education classroom by implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.

Navigating the Public Education System and Utilizing Interagency Support and Resources

Empowering parents and individuals with disabilities! The goal of this pathway is to help parents identify if their child might need special education services; how to advocate for their child and teach self-advocacy skills; to provide information on career and technical education opportunities; to provide information on planning beyond graduation with vocational and transition options; and to provide information about public policy and legislative updates relevant to families.

Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) 

Specially designed instruction goes beyond differentiated instruction and addresses the unique needs that exist because of a student’s disability.  SDI is provided to a student with a disability who has an IEP in order to help him/her master IEP goals/objectives.  The goal of this pathway is to provide information on accommodations and modifications, along with SDI options such as adaptations in instructional methods/teaching strategies, materials, techniques, media, physical setting, or environment.

Using Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFPs) to Develop Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals

The PLAAFP is the foundation for developing an IEP.  It provides a summary of the child’s current academic achievement and functional performance. The goal of this pathway is to provide tips on how to write accurate and useful PLAAFPs using appropriate assessment and classroom data.

Working with Paraprofessionals 

The goal of this pathway is to identify how to best utilize the strengths of a paraprofessional in the classroom. Through communication, identifying roles and responsibilities and planning, paraprofessionals can provide support and a powerful bond that will enhance the educational opportunities for all students.


Onsite Conference Schedule

Please take a moment to view our Onsite Conference Program prior to your arrival. All attendees will receive a printed copy of the program in their conference bag at registration.

Breakout Session Handouts

We have many exciting breakout sessions to attend this year! Below you will the speaker handouts for each presentation. Enjoy!

ADHD, OMG! Proactive Strategies for Supporting and Celebrating ADHD

Building Successful Inclusion Experiences for Students with Significant Disabilities

Circling the Wagons: Transitioning to Autistic Adulthood

Co-Teaching 2.0: We Need More Ideas!

Decreasing Anxiety for Classroom Success

Demystifying Modifying

Grading and Progress Monitoring for New Special Educators

Finding Your Students Voice

Inclusion: Mission Possible! 

Inferencing in the Inclusion Classroom

Loving Literacy Through Cooking and Sensory Exploration

Making your Behavioral Interventions Work

Managing Behavior Due to Neurological Differences

Mathematics: Including all Students

Now You See It!!!

Putting the  I into IEP

The Transition Process: From Tots to Teens

Two is Better Than One

Understanding The Developing Brain


The Arc of Texas invites you to participate in the 25th Annual Inclusion Works! Conference February 4 – 6, 2018 at the Wyndham Hotel Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.  Professionals and parents regard the Inclusion Works! Conference as the premiere source for training and information about inclusive education practices.

Inclusion Works! Conference participants include school district and campus administrators, special education directors, general and special educators and parents of students with disabilities from across Texas, and even some out-of-state attendees!

This year we have expanded our participation opportunities to include sponsorship, exhibiting and advertising.


Download the Sponsor/Exhibitor/Advertising Prospectus packet below.


Sponsorships are designed to help companies and organizations further engage, network, and connect with attendees during The Arc of Texas Inclusion Works! Conference. With a variety of sponsorship opportunities to choose from, The Arc of Texas offers you the perfect way to expand your presence during the conference. Whether you’re seeking new business, just entering the field, or hoping to expand your partnerships with existing clients, we offer numerous ways to attain your marketing goals through sponsorship opportunities.

If interested in sponsorship, please make your commitment via the online store and submit the sponsorship form included in the Prospectus to Marcia Espinal at


Advertising in the onsite conference program is a great opportunity to help companies and organizations further engage, network, and connect with attendees during The Arc of Texas Inclusion Works! Conference. With a variety of advertising opportunities to choose from, The Arc of Texas offers you the perfect way to expand your presence during the conference. Whether you’re seeking new business, just entering the field, or hoping to expand your partnerships with existing clients, we offer numerous ways to attain your marketing goals through advertising opportunities.

If interested in advertising, please make your commitment via the online store and submit the advertising form included in the Prospectus to Nancy House at


Exhibits are designed to help companies further engage, network, and connect with attendees during The Arc of Texas Inclusion Works! Conference.  By exhibiting you will be able to interact face-to-face with influential decision makers, build visibility for your company in a competitive marketplace, expand your market reach, strengthen existing customer relationships, introduce new products and services, and generate new sales leads.

If interested in exhibiting, please register as an exhibitor via online registration and submit the exhibitor contract included in the Prospectus to Nancy House at


Register as a Sponsor or Advertiser below.


Register as an Exhibitor below.

At the Inclusion Works! Conference, participants can expect to learn how to:

  1. Provide access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities using the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the Pre-K Curriculum.
  2. Support students with disability labels in inclusive settings-including use of Assistive Technology and school-wide positive behavior interventions & supports.
  3. Improve skills in planning, collaboration and co-teaching.
  4. Use PLAAFP to write grade level standards based IEPs and how to implement them.




For any questions regarding sponsorship, please contact Marcia Espinal at or 512-485-9728.

For any questions regarding exhibiting & advertising, please contact Nancy House at or 512-746-6204.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt