Alt Shift

Conventional Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs

February 25-27, 2019


Registration 8:00-8:30

Event 8:30-4:00

(Continental Breakfast and Lunch Included)


Registration closes on February 8.



Registration Fees:

Michigan Residents $75.00

Out-of-State $300.00

A limit of 25 out-of-state registrations are available through November 15. After that date, available slots in that block may be filled by Michigan registrants


Registration fee must be received within 30 days of registration to avoid cancellation. If payment is not received with 30 days, the registration will be cancelled. The only form of payment accepted is check, please make checks payable to Clinton County RESA. Once registered a statement will be sent via email. Additional payment details will be available in the confirmation email.


No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after February 10, 2019.

Course Information

This 3-day workshop will focus on students with significant disabilities who can communicate meaningfully with others, identify most of the letters of the alphabet, and understand that print carries meaning. Participants will learn a framework for organizing comprehensive conventional instruction that can be used to systematically teach students to decode and spell words, read with comprehension and fluency, and write using letters and words to communicate with others. The session will introduce participants to a range of training and implementation supports as well as videos and work samples of real teachers and students applying the suggested strategies in both self-contained and inclusive learning environments.

If you are seeking support to get started with students who do not have a means of communication and/or cannot recognize letters or demonstrate understanding that print carries meaning, look for the workshop on Emergent Literacy and Students with Significant Disabilities.


Please Note: There are two different trainings Alt+Shift offers for comprehensive literacy instruction for students with significant disabilities:


1. Conventional Literacy

2. Emergent Literacy


This workshop covers conventional literacy strategies.

For assistance in determining if conventional literacy training is appropriate for your situation, as opposed to Emergent Literacy, visit the Conventional Literacy event page

Presenter Information

Dr. Karen Erickson

Dr. Erickson is the David E. and Dolores (Dee) Yoder Distinguished Professor of Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where she serves as the Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and is a Professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. She earned a Ph.D. in Special Education and Literacy in 1995 from UNC. A former special education teacher, she has focused much of her scholarly work on children with significant disabilities, particularly those who are unable to use speech as a primary means of communication. In recent years, her collaborative scholarship has led to the development of Tar Heel Reader (, an open-source, universally accessible online library of books for beginning readers; the Dynamic Learning Maps Professional Development resources for teachers of students with significant intellectual disabilities (; and Project CORE (, a comprehensive implementation program, supports, tools, and training resources for the delivery of universal core vocabulary and augmentative communication.

Dr. David Koppenhaver

Dr. Koppenhaver is a Professor in the Department of Reading Education and Special Education (RESE) at Appalachian State University (ASU). He earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in 1991 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). A former middle grades language arts teacher, he holds NC teaching certification in reading, middle grades language arts, and elementary education. His research focuses on literacy in children with significant disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, complex communication needs, and multiple disabilities. In 1998 he co-founded the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at UNC and in 2002 was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Queensland in Australia. His current research projects include studies of visual attention to print in young children with Rett syndrome, interactive shared reading in children with significant disabilities and complex communication needs, writing in adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders, and reading abilities of adolescents with Williams Syndrome.

Continuing Education

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):

Verification of Attendance forms available upon completion of the 3-day course


State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs):

18 SCECHs are available upon completion of the 3-day course


Detroit Metro Airport Marriott
30559 Flynn Drive
Romulus, MI 48174

Click here for directions


Detroit Metro Airport Marriott
30559 Flynn Drive
Romulus, Michigan 48174

Reserve your room today by calling 800-228-9290 or Book OnLine

$116.00 King
$126.00 Double


Code: Alt Shift


Block Deadline: February 3, 2019 at 11:00 p.m.