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Event Description

CTA is excited to announce our inaugural Special Education Conference – Home Edition! This first ever conference has been created specifically for CTA members working in either general education or special education. This brand-new online event will have sessions and workshops that were designed to meet the changing and demanding needs of our members as they work to support, educate and serve all students regardless of their circumstance or situation.

The theme of the 2021 CTA Special Education Conference – Home Edition! is Kaleidoscope. Just as the view through the kaleidoscope lens produces different images and patterns, this conference will provide you with new and timely learnings, models and inspiration that will fortify and strengthen you as you work to meet the needs of the students and families in your community.

The Special Education Conference – Home Edition! will offer a variety of workshops focused on core special education topics including instruction, identification, IEPs, behavior, and more. Some session highlights include:

  • IEPs Untangled: How to Write IEPs like a Pro in Half the Time
  • Dyslexia in the Classroom: A Teachers Guide to Signs and Accommodations
  • UDL, Inclusion and Collaboration: Expanding Access for All Students
  • Mild to Moderate Instructional Strategies
  • Transition: A Scope in Sequence
  • Trauma, Stress, and Behaviors, Oh My!

Keynote speakers include Heather Calomese, the Director of the Special Education Division at the California Department of Education, and Brian Donovan, the Director/Producer of the award-winning feature film Kelly’s Hollywood. Kelly’s Hollywood will be available to conference attendees to view in advance of his keynote address on Friday evening.

Click below for a special message from Brian Donovan!

Your experience at the Special Education Conference is equal parts educational and transformational. You’ll learn new skills and find solutions to real-life challenges. You’ll leave the conference feeling inspired, motivated and with a knowledge of what you need to do to be even more successful in your classroom.

If you have any questions, please email the conference staff at


AGENDA & WORKSHOP GRID*: Click here to view a PDF version of the agenda and workshop grid.

DESCRIPTIONS*: Click here to view the workshop descriptions. 

*All program details and documents are subject to change.

Friday, April 30

4:30 PM - 5:15 PM

How to Earn University Credit for Attending the Special Education Conference

5:30 PM - 5:55 PM

Opening General Session with CTA President E. Toby Boyd

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Kelly's Hollywood Movie Discussion and Q&A with Director/Producer Brian Donovan

Saturday, May 1

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Keynote Session with Heather Calomese, Director of the Special Education Division at the CA Department of Education

9:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Breakout Session 1

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

Virtual Exhibit Booths

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Breakout Session 2

12:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Virtual Exhibit Booths

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Caucus Meetings

Sunday, May 2

9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Breakout Session 3

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Parent Perspective: An Educator and Caregiver Panel

Would you or someone you know be a good addition to a future conference? We are currently seeking presenter applications for the next Special Education Conference taking place November 5-7, 2021. Click here for more information.

Virtual Venue

Platform Name: Webex

Webex Tips

  • We highly recommend that you download and install the Webex Meetings app in advance.
  • You’ll need a device with a microphone and speakers or a headphone connection, and ideally a camera.
  • We recommend you use a computer rather than a mobile device to take full advantage of the Q&A and polling features.
  • Click here for information about how to add your personal pronouns to your name in Webex.

Attendee Hub

The Special Education Conference will be hosted online using our Attendee Hub! Each of our CTA Statewide Conferences will have a unique attendee hub website where you can build your agenda, join all your sessions, meet with exhibitors and more! Please check back for more information and updates.


  • CTA Members – Complimentary
  • Invited Exhibitor Page – $250 / page
  • Invited Exhibitor Virtual Booth – $500 / virtual booth


Session documents will be available in the virtual attendee hub within each session closer to the start of the conference.


University Credit: University Credit is available to members attending CTA Statewide Conferences this year. As a benefit to members, CTA will cover the cost of enrollment with CSU Chico, normally $75/unit. Click here for more details on the University Credit Season Pass.

Professional Growth Hours: Professional Growth credit will be available at no cost for CTA members and will be based on the number of sessions you attend. Confirmation of professional growth hours will be emailed within two to four weeks after the conference.


Planner Name: Becky Roberts


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