Print Friendly, PDF & Email





Regional Conference

Friday, February 5, 2021


** Registration closes the evening of Tuesday, February 2 **



For those who registered for our conference, an email was sent to the email address you provided in registration. That email was sent on Thursday, February 4 @ 12:39 pm with the subject line “Deeper Than Words Conference Login”. The link to the platform is in that email. If you have not received it, please check your spam or junk folders and see if you can find it there. If not, reach out to us with your full name and we will help.





How long do we have to wait to hear these amazing speakers?
-726Days -1Hours -34Minutes -23Seconds





Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Fumiko Hoeft, MD, Ph.D.

Director, Brain Imaging Research Center, University of Connecticut; Director, Laboratory for Learning Engineering and Neural Systems ( located at the University of Connecticut and the University of California, San Francisco; Co-Director of Haskins L2 (Language & Literacy) Global Innovation Hub, Yale University; Co-Author, “Impact of Mentoring on Socio-Emotional and Mental Health Outcomes of Youth With Learning Disabilities and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (2019, Child and Adolescent Mental Health), and “Brain Basis of Cognitive Resilience: Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Better Reading Comprehension in Relation to Decoding” (2018, PloS One).

“Using the Neuroscience of Anxiety and Social, Emotional, and Mental Health in reading and learning disorders to rethink 504 and IEP Accommodations”

You will learn about neuroscience research that has informed our knowledge about learning in the realms of anxiety and social, emotional, and mental health for all students, particularly those with learning challenges. This information will be translated for educators to increase their understanding of the power of accommodations from IEP and 504 plans in providing opportunities for all learners to demonstrate their potential. Participants will learn to apply this knowledge to a diverse mix of case studies. A question-and-answer period wraps up the session.

Andrea Banks, M.Ed.

Andrea Banks received his Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of North Texas. He currently works as an independent Behavioral Consultant. Prior to this, Andrea Banks worked with Pearson Education as the Director for Behavioral Products. He spent twenty-one years working in the Dallas Independent School District where he served as a classroom teacher, a behavior specialist and as the program director for students with emotional disabilities. Over the past 20 years, he has presented at several national and international conferences on topics ranging from Managing Students with Challenging Behaviors, PBIS School Improvement, SEL and MTSS Processes. Much of his recent work has been around preparing teachers and other educators for classroom challenges for the 21st century.

“I’m Not Bias: Implicit Bias, What Every Evaluator Needs to Know”

How we treat and view others, is greatly influenced by our beliefs and experiences. For many of us, if we ask ourselves, “Am I biased?” Most of us would probably answer that question with a resounding “No!” But biases exist everywhere and in everyone. They influence every facet of our lives. They influence our thoughts and behavior. In this session, we will look at how implicit biases can play a role in our evaluation process and what we can do, to limit its influence in our decision-making.

Beth Brown, MS, MEd.

Ms. Brown currently works in Wylie ISD as a junior high school counselor.  Prior to becoming a school counselor, she has 13 years’ experience in secondary education teaching Science, Health, Teen Leadership and GEMS (a study skills class). She earned her Master in Educational Leadership in 2011.  Her passion has always been with teaching her students beyond the content so they gain skills to help them have a successful and fulfilling life.  To pursue this passion actively she has worked to increase Social-Emotional Learning opportunities at both the campus and district levels.  

“Identifying What Lies Beneath”

Self-Awareness is the greatest social-emotional skill we can learn.  As humans, our emotions drive our behaviors and our thoughts which then impacts our level of success in life.  Being able to identify the emotion and break down its impact on our lives is a skill that is learned.  Oftentimes the social-emotional well-being of a dyslexic student and students with learning disabilities is affected differently than other students.  The greatest gift we can offer all of our children is the ability to understand themselves.

Dr. Cheryl Chase, Ph.D.

Dr. Chase is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Independence, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of various conditions impacting children, adolescents, and young adults including ADHD, Learning Disorders, and emotional concerns. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Chase is also an accomplished speaker at the local and national levels, leading workshops on such timely topics as executive functioning, working memory, and ways in which our emotions impact learning and performance. Finally, Dr. Chase serves as an adjunct instructor at several colleges in the Cleveland area. She is an active member of the International Dyslexia Association, the American Psychological Association, and Learning Disabilities Association of America. For more information, please visit or her Linkedin page.

“Executive Functions and Learning Disorders; What’s the link and how can I help?”

“Executive functions” is a term used to describe a broad set of cognitive skills that, when working properly, allow students to manage impulses, work in a deliberate and thoughtful manner, and organize their time and materials. When development of these skills is delayed, as is often the case in those with learning disabilities, academic performance suffers, but for reasons not fully understood. For example, a student with dyslexia, although receiving intensive reading intervention, continues to receive low grades in school because she does not consistently turn in her homework. This workshop will define the term “executive functioning” using clear, easy to understand language, and will draw the connection between executive functioning and learning disorders. Finally, many concrete strategies for home and school use will be shared.  

Dr. Mandi Skerbetz, M.Ed.

Dr. Mandi Davis Skerbetz is currently the Assistant Head of School at Dallas Academy and an Adjunct Professor for Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Skerbetz has focused her career as a teacher, school district administrator, professor, researcher, and consultant in the area of implementing evidence-based practices for students receiving Special Education for over 17 years. 

In 2015, Dr. Skerbetz was the recipient of the Extra Mile Award from the Council of Graduate Students in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She received the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh Founding Advisory Board Member and Faculty Fellow Award in 2016. The University of Pittsburgh, School of Education awarded Dr. Skerbetz with the Early Career Award in 2017.   Dr. Skerbetz holds an Ed.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in the Education of Students with Mental and Physical Disabilities, a M.Ed. in Special Education and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Duquesne University.

“Strategies to Support Students with Dyslexia in the COVID-19 Educational Landscape”

As a society, we are working to pivot and develop new routines due to the impact of COVID-19. The world of education, which historically is resistant to change, has been forced to evolve. Educators have been in a race against time to develop new learning environments and platforms that allow instruction to take place while ensuring the safety of students and staff remains the top priority. In this race against time and limited research and best practices available, educators have fallen into the old practice of planning for the average student; students that do not fit that profile are often an afterthought.  

Students with Dyslexia are a subgroup of students that have found this ever-changing state of education and the “new” normal difficult to navigate. The amount of cognitive shifting that is necessary to find success within a hybrid, virtual, or e-learning landscape is taxing for all students, let alone students with Dyslexia. It is more important now than ever for families and educators to work together to support students with Dyslexia. When considering supports for students with Dyslexia, accommodations, and modifications are typically organized into four categories: presentation, response, environment, and timing/scheduling. Specific accommodations and modifications that families and educators should consider when developing plans to support students in a hybrid, virtual or e-learning environment will be provided.

Elizabeth Hamblet, MAT, MSEd

Elizabeth C. Hamblet has been a college learning disabilities specialist at the college level for two decades.  In addition to working at a university, she is a nationally-requested speaker and Understood expert on preparing students with disabilities for successful college transition.  Hamblet is the author of From High School to College: Steps to Success for Students With Disabilities, and her work has appeared in numerous journals and online platforms.  Explore her site,, and connect with her at or Twitter @echamblet.

“College Accommodations: Why They Change and What is Commonly Available”

When students transition to college, prevailing laws change, which affects the availability of services and of certain accommodations. Many basic accommodations will be available to eligible students, but parents and professionals should know specifically what supports students generally can and can’t expect so that they can prepare them for the transition.  Learn what accommodations students are likely to receive, or not, and why.







8:00 – 10:15 Welcome

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Fumiko Hoeft

10:30 – 12:15 Andrea Banks

Excellence in Education Award

Grand Prize Art Contest Award

12:30 – 1:30 Beth Brown
1:40 – 2:40 Dr. Cheryl Chase
2:50 – 3:50 Dr. Mandi Skerbetz
4:00 – 5:00 Elizabeth Hamblet



** Registration closes the evening of Tuesday, February 2 **



Early Bird Registration

(ends December 22, 2020)

Member              $99

Non-member   $120

Standard Registration


Member             $115

Non-member     $135



CEU Credits

8 hours

ALTA, TEA CPE, and IDA approved


Printable Registration Form            Register


** Registration closes the evening of Tuesday, February 2 **


Share this page with your friends…