OCALI's mission is to inspire change and promote access to opportunities for people with disabilities. We know achieving that mission will not happen by forging ahead alone, on our own path, with no one beside us. Achieving that mission means linking arms with parents, policymakers, educators, self-advocates and community members, reaching across the lifespan, across agencies and across the globe. When we bring together the unique perspectives, skills, and spheres of influence of fellow collaborators, we can achieve that mission.
OCALICONLINE 2021 will showcase the best-of-the-best from some of our fellow collaborators and partners, organizations who are similarly inspiring change and promoting access in their own corners of the world, in their own ways, from their own perspectives. We sought them out for their exemplary work in the field of disabilities, and because we know they are each at the leading edge of science and practice. They bring fresh insights and content to our line-up of sessions, and we can't wait for you to meet them.
To view the specific days and times they will be presenting, visit our Session Sorter for the most up-to-date information.
The American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES)
The American Council on Rural Special Education was founded to enhance services to students and individuals with disabilities living in rural areas. The members of ACRES strive to provide leadership and support that will enhance services for individuals with exceptional needs, their families, and the professionals who work with them, and for the rural communities in which they live and work.
They are the only national organization devoted entirely to special education issues that affect rural America.
Autism Network Scotland
Autism Network Scotland (ANS) was originally established in 2005 with funding from the Scottish Government. In 2011, ANS received further funding as part of the Scottish Government and COSLA’s National Autism Strategy to develop as a hub of professional autism support and information. They continues to evolve as a small but essential center of autism knowledge, skills and information in Scotland.
Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA)
CASDA coordinates national conversations in Canada about autism – bringing community voices to the federal government to guide their development of a National Autism Strategy. CASDA is committed to ensuring the creation and implementation of a comprehensive National Autism Strategy that addresses critical gaps in funding and policies, which are preventing autistic individuals and their families from exercising their equal rights as Canadians.
National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C)
The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C) is a Technical Assistance Center co-funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). They provide information, tools, and supports to assist multiple stakeholders in delivering effective services and instruction for secondary students and out of school youth with disabilities.
Organization for Autism Research (OAR)
OAR’s mission is to apply research to the challenges of autism. They strive to use science to address the social, educational, and treatment concerns of self-advocates, parents, autism professionals, and caregivers. The mission of “applying” research to answer questions of daily concern to those living with autism defines their goals and program objectives and shapes our budget. The studies they fund and the information they provide have meaning in the day-to-day lives of persons with autism and their families. Rather than fund research relative to cause and cure, they funds pilot studies on topics of every day relevance such as education, parent and teacher training, communication, self-care, social skills, employment, behavior and adult and community issues.
The Urban Collaborative is a national network of school districts committed to improving outcomes for students with disabilities. Their mission is to improve educational outcomes and life opportunities for children and youth with disabilities in urban schools through leadership development. The Collaborative seeks to bring timely and critical issues in the field, as well as solutions, to the forefront of district leadership.