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What to Bring in Your Conference Carry-On: Essentials for the 2019 PEAK Parent Center Conference on Inclusive Education

What to Bring in Your Conference Carry-On: Essentials for the 2019 PEAK Parent Center Conference on Inclusive Education

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How many of you have been on a trip where you've packed an empty bag inside your suitcase to bring home all the goodies, treasures, and keepsakes to remember your travels?

Those of you who will attend the 2019 Conference on Inclusive Education will bring a lot of keepsakes home with you. These will be in the form of renewed perspectives, fresh ideas, an expanded toolkit, new resources, and a broader circle of friendship and community!

You'll need to bring your "conference carry-on" with you as you attend keynote sessions and breakout presentations. What do you need in your "conference carry-on" to have the ultimate experience for everyone interested in inclusive education? Here are some thoughts on things that will help you make the most of the conference along with some important details.

1. An open heart and mind. Inclusion is at the heart of why we do what we do-though the road is not often easy. Whether you're a general or special education teacher, a related service provider, school administrator, parent or self-advocate, this work is personal and it speaks volumes about the core of your character. Your role in this movement, your daily work, and your presence at the conference are a testament to your commitment to a better world for ALL individuals! That brings with it many strong emotions. Bring an open heart as your norms may be pushed. New ideas and concepts often ask us to change or challenge systems and ideas that we have become rooted in. Bring an open mind so you can be open to this change and continue forward doing what is right and just.

2. An outreaching hand. Your support is essential to continue this important work! We need you to come with open arms and hands outstretched. Support takes many forms - it could simply be a welcoming smile to another, offering an individual a seat with your group, shopping with our self-advocate vendors, or making a new connection with our sponsors at the marketplace. We encourage you to support PEAK at the Silent Auction on Thursday evening. It's another opportunity to have fun and connect with others; to broaden your network while putting your pocket book to work for a great cause. There is something for everyone, but expect some Valentine essentials to take home to your sweeties!

Community is at the heart of what we do and outreached hands are necessary to develop healthy communities.

Heart Clipart3. Scrapbooking materials/camera. You'll want to look back at the memories of this 2-day event and share with others in your school or community back home. Bring materials to capture all the cutting edge information from keynote presenters like Paula Kluth, Jonathan Mooney, and more. You will also be given tools and practical applications for making inclusive education work. Some people like to take pictures of meaningful or important slides from presentations. Some people prefer a notebook. My memory is in my pen - you'll see me writing as much as I can! Bring the tools that work best for you, but prepare to be overwhelmed with information as this is an intense 2 days. How will you bring all that home to be implemented?

4. Dancing shoes. We are known for our fun-loving spirit at PEAK. No Conference on Inclusive Education would be the same without Thursday night karaoke! Whether you twist and shout, are more prone to floss, or have the coordination for orange justice-we want to see your best moves. Pack your favorite dancing shoes and join us for a great time dancing and singing after the silent auction.

5. Health, well-being, and comfort essentials. Prepared travelers have a first-aid kit on hand. While bandages and medications are important, there are some other Colorado considerations. This conference attracts people from all over the nation, and many are not acclimated to our Denver altitude. Staying hydrated and hitting your water goals is a must. Dressing in layers is also important. Colorado weather is known to change every five minutes, so be ready for warmth and sun, AND cold and snow, and everything in between! We want everyone to stay healthy and comfortable.

6. A map. No traveler leaves home without a map (or a smartphone). Here is a link to information about getting to our conference venue, the Denver Renaissance Stapleton Hotel, to and from Denver International Airport (DIA).

No matter what road or history brings you to us on Valentine's Day, we welcome you with open arms to the PEAK Parent Center community and cannot wait to spend some time with you! All of us from PEAK will prominently be wearing some sort of red PEAK attire - scarves, wraps, vests, and red ties. Look for us if you need anything or simply stop to say "Hi." We'll be happy to make your acquaintance!

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