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Back to School 2021 – Getting Ready for Virtually Anything

Wed June 30, 2021: 11:00 am-12:00 pm EDT


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Virtual Learning

About This Webinar

Major disruptions occurred to the school year in 2020-21 that resulted in unprecedented educational challenges for students with special needs, their parents, caregivers, teachers, and service providers. In addition to instructional concerns, all involved needed to rapidly develop and enforce a virtual infrastructure that not only supplemented but substituted for quality in-person interactions and engagement. This webinar, presented as a sequel to the “Back to School: Special Needs and Social Distancing” seeks to alleviate some of these concerns and will discuss tips and strategies for effective virtual communication and interactive engagement between parents/caregivers and:

  1. school personnel in charge of social distancing and COVID-19 related safety.
  2. the student’s teachers.
  3. service providers.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this webinar, attendees will receive:

  1. Tips and strategies for effective virtual communication.
  2. Suggested key questions to ask and ways to pre-prepare answers related to special needs.
  3. Guidance for preparing comprehensive presentations ahead of a virtual meeting, and,
  4. Access to resources for ongoing technical assistance with a one-pager checklist for future reference.


Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Extension Specialist, Special Populations
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Dr. Mahadevan has a doctorate in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Career Development Education from Texas A&M University. Her areas of expertise include universal design for learning, and accessible curriculum. She has more than 15 years of experience in conducting face-to-face and online professional development with educators in Texas addressing various special populations-related issues. Dr. Mahadevan evaluates the accessibility of educational programs, oversees curriculum fidelity and quality control of a community-based life skills program for youth aged 18 through 24 and provides subject matter expertise on advancing equity in career and technical education.

Continuing Education (CE) Credit

Click the button below for CE credit
You will be prompted to complete an evaluation after which a link will be provided.
Continuing Education

  • Social Work, LPC, LMFT: Programming approval for 1.0 CE credits will be obtained for Social Work, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists from the University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Check with your state licensing agency for reciprocity and/or credit approval if licensed for other professions or in one of the following states: CO, FL, HI, IA, KS, KY, MI, NY, ND, OH, OK (Expires: 6/30/2023)
  • Case Manager: This program has been submitted to the Commission for Case Manager Certification for approval to provide board certified case managers with 1.0 clock hours. (Expires: 6/30/2022)
  • Board Certified Patient Advocates: This program has been pre-approved by The Patient Advocate Certification Board to provide continuing education credit to Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA). The course has been approved for a total of 1.0 CE contact hour, of which 0.0 are in the area of Ethics. (Expires: 6/30/2023)
  • Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE):  This program has been approved by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) for 1.0 CE credit for CFLE. (Expires: 6/30/2023)
  • Certificates of Attendance are available for providers interested in documenting their training activities.

Event Materials

Webinar Slides (PDF)

Webinar Flyer (PDF)

Back to School: Special Needs & Social Distancing

Social Distancing Checklist (PDF)

Social Distancing Resources (PDF)

Plugged-In & Left Out: Creating Meaningful & Engaging Virtual Connections with Individuals with Disabilities

The Remote Learning Paradox: Some Educators, Parents  want to Keep Online Classes option even though Instruction Suffered

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