Dr. Vickie Mitchell: Beat the Heat 2017 Featured Presenter

Dr. Vickie MitchellOn Beat the Heat Day 1, Vickie Mitchell will be presenting the workshop: Building Sustainable Adult Schedules: The Life Plan with a Focus. Students with significant disabilities need supports to be successful in different environments. How can schools effectively plan for each student to be successful in adulthood? What is the impact of diversity, language and Culture and how does that impact Transition Services? Join us for a review of the Life Planning tool, an essential element of transition services that can lead to sustainable adult schedules. This tool can help schools understand what students and their families see for the young adult’s future. Imagine the sudden jarring moment, when they think about the day the bus stops coming and school supports are no longer available! The Life Plan is designed to help families think through the adult life planning and articulate what the school can do to help them build a good life for their child with significant disabilities. Resources will be shared to help schools review their processes and consider ways to ensure each student is connected with a meaningful, sustainable schedule beyond public school.

Dr. Mitchell has been in education over 38 years, ten years as a secondary general education teacher and over 28 years as a special educator in both elementary and secondary schools. She has been a special education administrator, transition specialist, taught at two Texas universities, and served as the Transition Specialist at Region 4 Education Service Center in Houston, Texas. Although Dr. Mitchell has been intricately involved in inclusion and training research-based inclusive practices, her love is transition services. Her partner of many years is her daughter, Beth Mitchell Panter They are the authors of the student and teacher editions of “The Student-Led IEP Meeting” and the companion teacher training guide to help district and campus-level educators learn how to organize and implement student, parent, and teacher training on Student-Led IEP Meetings. Dr. Mitchell is the President of the Texas Division of Career Development and Transition (DCDT) and was appointed by past-governor George W. Bush and Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities. Vickie and Beth’s last publication, “Student-to-Student”, is a trainer of trainers model for students who have led their IEP Meeting to become trainers of other students, served by special education, on the Student-Led IEP model.

Previous year’s particpant said, “Awesome information on transition. Need to hear this.” We are eagerly looking forward to having Dr. Mitchell back again this year!

To see Dr. Mitchell or any of our other excellent Day 1 presenters, register for Beat the Heat 2017, Workshop SU1734208.

""Beat the Heat 2017
June 21-22, 2017
ESC Region 13
5701 Springdale Rd.
Austin, TX 78723

Beat the Heat 2017 Full-Day Speakers


Take your learning to the next level with these full-day sessions for Beat the Heat Day 1, June 21st!

Setting Up Classrooms for Students with Autism Like a Ninja – Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Teaching Grade Level Standards Across the Curriculum – Cindy R. Miller, MS

Building Sustainable Adult Schedules: The Life Plan with a Focus on Diversity – Dr. Vickie Mitchell 

Strategy to See: Strategies for Students with Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment – Diane Sheline, TVI

Managing Challenging Behaviors – Joanna Ryan, MEd, BCBA

Incorporating Core Vocabulary to Promote Academic Progress: Getting to the Core of Core Vocabulary – Shannon Paige, MA, CCC-SLP

PE and Motor Activities for Students with Severe Disabilities – Randy Foederer, CAPE & Vicki Mason-Foederer, CAPE

Read about their informative sessions.

Summer is coming! Temperatures are rising!  Registration is filling up!
Join us for cool, summer learning!
Beat the Heat 2017—Register now!

Autism at Work Virtual Career Fair

Autism at Work Virtual Career Fair

Thursday, April 13th, 2017 3:00-5:00 CST

Microsoft is hosting a virtual career fair titled Autism at Work with some of the top US employers – all of which have autism hiring programs or inclusive hiring programs. Employers participating in the career fair include AT&T, Ford, Hewlett Packard, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, and more. Persons seeking employment can discuss their career goals, showcase their skills, and ask any questions. LinkedIn will be hosting two 30 minute sessions between 3:00 and 4:00 CST in the virtual theater on how to utilize LinkedIn, build a profile, and get noticed during their job search. Get more information and register for free today at the link below.


Questions? Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net

Beat the Heat 2017: Registration is Open!

Pictures of students with disabilitiesBeat the Heat 2017
Workshop #SU1734208 – 
June 21 & 22, 2018
ESC Region 13

Register now for this exceptional learning opportunity designed for educators, parents, and others who work with children ages 3-21 with significant disabilities.

Wednesday ♦ June 21, 2017 ♦ 9 am – 4 pm

Full day, in-depth workshops on topics including: challenging behavior, communication/AAC, individualized instruction, transition and more!

Thursday ♦ June 22, 2017 ♦ 9 am – 4 pm

Here’s why you should attend!

  • Attend one of the largest conferences in the state focusing on students with significant disabilities
  • Learn first-hand from experts in the field
  • Improve outcomes for your students by learning new strategies and tools from other classroom professionals
  • Network with your colleagues
  • Lunch provided each day

Beat the heat! Spend these summer days with cool people and sizzling hot ideas!

Bonus for ESC Region 13 Parents and Paraeducators!

Receive a discount code to attend Beat the Heat for $10 by contacting Maria Daniel (maria.daniel@esc13.txed.net).


Beat the Heat 2017 Call for Presentations

Beat the Heat June 21-22, 2017

Teachers Teach Teachers

We are seeking teachers who are interested in teaching others about the terrific strategies, tools, and plans they use in their classroom!

Beat the Heat 2017 will be a two day learning extravaganza! On Wednesday, June 21st we will have full day sessions for participants’ extended learning. On Thursday, June 22nd we will have a short keynote presentation and then a series of 90 minute breakout sessions with presentations by the best and brightest from here in Region 13. This means you!

Please consider providing a breakout presentation for this year’s Beat the Heat conference.


TED Tips: Transition Fairs and Events

As the TED for your district, you’re probably wondering how to connect your students with disabilities and their families with the agencies and other resources they’ll need to be successful in adult life. One way to do that is to learn about area events that offer information and host networking opportunities with representatives from the agencies/programs that support adults with disabilities in education, employment, independent living, recreation, legal/financial planning, and other areas.

Region 13 hosts an online calendar for Transition Fairs and Events in central Texas. Check out the events that are posted, and be sure to explore the option to view the events by month or by list. Click on an event to get details, including who to contact for more information and flyers to share with your students and families.

Sharing information about these events meets the requirement to “provide information and resources about effective transition planning and services” from TEC 29.011. . . Although it’s not just TEDs who can share this information! The online calendar is available to anyone, and the events posted are free and open to the public.

For more information contact Elizabeth.Danner@esc13.txed.net



TED Tips: Transition and Employment Guide

The Texas Transition & Employment Guide was required by the same legislation that created the Transition & Employment Services Designee (TED). Developed by a team of stakeholders from across the state, this guide was first published in 2014 and is posted to the Transition in Texas website (in English and Spanish).

The Texas Transition & Employment Guide includes:

  • Sections on Self Advocacy, Transition Services, Employment and Supported Employment, Social Security Programs, Community and Long Term Services and Supports, Postsecondary Educational Programs and Services, Information Sharing, and Guardianship and Alternatives
  • Phone numbers, emails, and websites to help you find what you need
  • Timeline of steps that students and families can take as they make the transition from student to adult

If you are the TED for your district or charter school you should be very familiar with this guide. Be sure that you know how to use it to learn more about services in Texas or to help students/families access these services and understand the transition process based on their needs and goals.

Texas Education Code §29.0112 (e) requires that a school district shall:
(1) post the transition and employment guide on the district’s website if the district  maintains a website; and
(2) provide written information and, if necessary, assistance to a parent regarding how to access the electronic version of the guide at:
(A) the first meeting of the student’s admission, review, and dismissal committee at which transition is discussed; or
(B) the first committee meeting that occurs after the date the guide becomes available, if a student has already had an admission, review, and dismissal committee meeting discussing transition. 


For more information, contact Elizabeth.Danner@esc13.txed.net


TED Tips: Agency Connections

One role of the Transition & Employment Services Designee (TED) is to “provide information and resources about effective transition planning and services and interagency coordination” (TEC §29.011).

Here are a few ways to accomplish this:

For more information, contact Elizabeth.Danner@esc13.txed.net


TED Tips: Intro to TEDs

Welcome to TED Tips, a blog series devoted to supporting the Transition & Employment Services Designee. Today’s post will cover the basics.

What is a TED?

Beginning in July 2014, each district/charter school is required to designate one staff member to serve as the Transition & Employment Services Designee (also known as the TED). This is reflected in Texas Education Code 29.011.

What does the TED do?

According to TEC §29.011, “An individual designated under this subsection must provide information and resources about effective transition planning and services and interagency coordination to ensure that local school staff communicate and collaborate with:
(1) students enrolled in special education programs under this subchapter and the parents of those students; and
(2) as appropriate, local and regional staff of the:
(A) Health and Human Services Commission;
(B) Department of Aging and Disability Services;
(C) Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services;
(D) Department of State Health Services; and
(E) Department of Family and Protective Services.”

Use this checklist to review your processes. Note that TEA has not yet developed training guidelines for the TED. Stay tuned for those requirements to be clarified, and consider attending the Texas Transition workshop at your ESC.

Region 13 will offer this workshop on Monday, November 7 from 9:00 to 4:00. Cost is $45 (workshop ID: FA1634835)

Who is my TED?

Search for your district or charter school on the Transition & Employment Services Designee list at the Legal Framework website. Click the icon to the right for contact information, and click the icon further to the right to open the link to your district’s website where the Texas Transition & Employment Guide is posted.

Is this the same TED as in “AskTED”?

Nope. AskTED is an online directory of schools and service centers in Texas, and is not related to the Transition & Employment Services Designee. There’s also something called TEDS, which are the Texas Education Data Standards for PEIMS and TSDS. Be sure you know which TED you’re talking about!

For more information, contact Elizabeth.Danner@esc13.txed.net

It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning for Transition

Starting the new school year means getting to know your students. Transition assessments are one way for secondary educators get to know their students’ strengths, preferences, interests, and needs. Transition planning must begin by age 14 (or younger, if appropriate) for any student receiving special education services.

But what about elementary teachers and students . . . ?

This Hands On Activity To Identify Your Child’s Strengths from Understood.org is a great tool for students to learn about their strengths and interests. It can also help elementary teachers learn more about their students and to begin teaching the skills for self-determination. For more resources on self-determination across all grade levels, check out the I’m Determined website from Virginia Department of Education.

For more information about transition planning for students with disabilities in Texas, contact the education specialist from the Secondary Transition/Post-School Results Network at your ESC.

Elizabeth Danner

Education Service Center Region 13

Austin, Texas