Voices of Change (Virtual) Programming

Are you a D.C. teacher looking for programming for middle and high school students with disabilities? We’ve got you covered!

September 14 – 25, 2020

Register today!

Logo - Voices of Change. Four stylized images of youth speaking at microphones

Attention, educators!!! We’re here to help you with FREE September programming for your middle and high school students with disabilities!

Join us for School Talk’s FREE Voices of Change (Virtual) Conference! Sign up, and we’ll bring our transition- and employment-related sessions right to your students. And we’ll tailor everything to fit your class schedule! You can join us in one of our Zoom rooms, or we can meet your students in your virtual classroom. Your choice! As an added bonus, most events include pre- and post-session activities you can use to engage your students!

We’re offering scheduled citywide events on Wednesday, September 16 and Wednesday, September 23 and flexible class-based sessions any day of the week to fit your schedule.

Voices of Change is designed to equip your middle and high school students with knowledge and skills to lead self-determined lives through opportunities to LEARN, LEAD, and ACT. Your students will engage with youth leaders, community-based organizations, and local entrepreneurs and artists who shed light on postsecondary pathways to work, education, and independent living.

Voices of Change will start soon, and some options will fill up quickly. Register your class online today! To register larger student groups or multiple classes, email us at dcyln@schooltalkdc.org.


RegistrationYouth Workshops | Class-based Youth Dialogue | Citywide Events  |  Partner Sessions

Youth Workshops

Length: 45 – 60 minutes
Register your students for one or more of these interactive, youth-focused workshops. Each session is 45 – 60 minutes long and includes pre- and post-session activities you can use to engage your students. Scheduling is flexible based on your needs and availability.

  • Arts to Advocacy: Music Production
    Presenters: Konshens The MC, Elijah Lee
    (Limited availability. First come, first served.)
    Your students will work with an internationally renowned hip hop artist and educator to learn about using
    music production as a means of self-expression. Music can help us better understand and cope with this very stressful time. Producing music helps youth connect with their communities and advocate for equity, acceptance, peace, positivity, and respect.
  • Arts to Advocacy: Visual Art
    Presenters: Tone Carter, Jeremiah Islar, Bobby Whalen
    (Limited availability. First come, first served.)

    Your students will work with local professional artists to learn how to use visual arts as a means of self-expression. Youth and adults alike are creating art to cope with stressful times and make deeper connections with their communities. Join us to learn how we can use the arts to advocate for equity, acceptance, peace, positivity and respect.
  • Hobby to Hustle: Transforming Passions to Paychecks
    Presenters: SchoolTalk Staff & DC Youth Leadership Network
    Entrepreneurship is an often-overlooked option for youth transitioning to adulthood. Students joining this session will learn how local professionals and young people have transformed a personal passion into a paycheck with a purpose. Students will explore entrepreneurship and employment opportunities in yoga and mindfulness, visual arts, and music production, as well as identify their own hobbies and interests that could lead to entrepreneurship and employment.
  • Living a Full Life
    Presenters: SchoolTalk Staff & DC Youth Leadership Network
    In this interactive, youth-led workshop, your students will develop self-awareness through exploring physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Right now, nurturing these parts of our lives is more challenging—and more important—than ever before. Youth presenters will share personal experiences and provide specific examples of how self-awareness helps them live a full life and be successful in school, work, and the community, even in uncertain times.
  • Virtual Professionalism
    Presenters: SchoolTalk Staff & DC Youth Leadership Network
    Working and learning from home is the order of the day. In this session, students will explore how to successfully participate in virtual school, work, and community situations. Youth-centered discussions will focus on understanding how norms differ from one situation to the next, how to effectively present themselves in a virtual environment, and how to create personal connections when in-person interaction is not an option.

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Class-based Youth Dialogue

New Normal: A Community-building Circle
Length: 45 – 60 minutes
Facilitators:
SchoolTalk’s RestorativeDC and DC Youth Leadership Network Teams
SchoolTalk’s RestorativeDC (RDC) and DC Youth Leadership Network (DCYLN) teams will join forces to help your students reflect on how our “new normal” is impacting them, their peers, families, and school communities. Students will share their hopes, concerns, and goals for the upcoming school year. SchoolTalk’s RDC and DCYLN facilitators will use a circle approach to create a safe space for your students to share their experiences, identify challenges, and create actions for moving forward. Each dialogue session is 45 – 60 minutes long and includes pre- and post-session activities you can use to engage your students. Scheduling is flexible based on your needs and availability. 

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Citywide Events

Please join us for our citywide events, open and available to all Voices of Change participants across D.C. These are our opportunities to come together as a larger community to share resources and successes and elevate youth voice!

  • Panel Discussion—SchoolTalk’s DC Youth Leadership Network: Elevating Youth Voice
    Wed., Sept. 16, 2020  |  10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    Youth voices are often not heard or respected by adults. Student participants will hear from their peers about how the DC Youth Leadership Network (DCYLN) works to change that by elevating youth voice and engaging young people in capacity-building workshops, community-based activities, work-based learning opportunities, and civic engagement experiences.
  • Virtual Exhibit Hall for Educators
    Wed., Sept. 16, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. and
    Wed., Sept. 23, 2020  |  3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Join other educators and youth service professionals in this virtual meet-and-greet session with representatives from leading community-based and national organizations. Learn about emerging strategies and collect resources to support your students in a wide range of essential areas, including youth transition, employment, mental and physical health, benefits planning, self-advocacy and navigating systems, disability disclosure, youth leadership, and more!
  • Panel Discussion—Hobby to Hustle: Transforming Passions to Paychecks
    Wed., Sept. 16, 2020  |  1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    Entrepreneurship is an often-overlooked option for youth transitioning to adulthood. Students joining this session will learn how local professionals and young people have transformed a personal passion into a paycheck with a purpose. Students will explore entrepreneurship and employment opportunities in yoga and mindfulness, visual arts, and music production, as well as identify hobbies and interests that could lead to entrepreneurship and employment.
  • Citywide Youth-led Dialogue
    Wed., Sept. 23, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    SchoolTalk’s RestorativeDC (RDC) and DC Youth Leadership Network (DCYLN) teams will join forces to help your students reflect on how our “new normal” is impacting them, their peers, families, and school communities. Students will share their hopes, concerns, and goals for the upcoming school year. SchoolTalk’s RDC and DCYLN facilitators will use a circle approach to create a safe space for your students to share their experiences, identify challenges, and create actions for moving forward. This session is similar to the class-based youth dialogue above, but is open to all D.C. youth with disabilities, regardless of participation in the class-based dialogue.
  • Poetry Slam with Konshens The MC
    Wed., Sept. 23, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Poets: Tarik “Konshens The MC” Davis and Your Students
    Don’t miss our annual poetry slam with the celebrated Konshens The MC, a nationally known hip-hop artist, songwriter, educator, and youth advocate from Washington D.C.! Konshens will share some of his rhymes and invite your students to share their own poetry in this high-energy citywide event!

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Partner Sessions

SchoolTalk partners—the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities and Got Transition®, a program of the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health— are providing virtual programming for parents, students, and educators. To participate in a Quality Trust session, please register in advance through the link in the session description. For Got Transition sessions, please follow the Zoom link included at the bottom of the session description at the beginning of the session’s scheduled time.

  • What Parents Need to Know About a Child’s Transition to Adult Healthcare: Supporting Effective Transitions
    Tues., Sept. 15 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Presenters: Got Transition Staff
    Helping your child transition to adult healthcare is a big step for parents. It involves encouraging youth to become more independent and knowledgeable about their health, from filling out their own forms to scheduling their own appointments. Got Transition is a national organization that helps young adults and families with this transition. We will share an overview of healthcare transition, helpful tips to encourage independence, and tools to help your child take charge of their health. Join this Got Transition session via Zoom at the scheduled start time.
  • Youth Reaching Age 18: Guardianship and Supported Decision Making
    Mon., Sept. 14 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Presenters: Morgan Whitlatch and Rhonda White, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities
    Reaching age 18 is an exciting time for youth with disabilities and their families. It’s also when questions arise about a youth’s legal responsibilities and need for continuing support. Join us to discuss options available to support young adults in making critical life decisions related to healthcare, finances, education, and transition to adulthood. Learn about adult guardianship and less-restrictive strategies for providing support, including supported decision making and powers of attorney. Register for this Quality Trust session here.
  • The Role of Special Educators and Transition Coordinators in Supporting Health Care Transition for Students
    Wed., Sept 16 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Presenters: Got Transition Staff
    Transitioning to adult healthcare is a major step for all students and especially for those with special healthcare needs. Got Transition is a national organization that helps young adults and their families with this transition. We will offer a quick overview of healthcare transition, explain the importance of health as it relates to independent living and postsecondary life, and offer some tools for special educators to use in IEP transition plans (Readiness Assessment and Sample Goals). Join this Got Transition session via Zoom at the scheduled start time.
  • Decision-Making Supports in Healthcare for the Youth in Transition
    Thurs., Sept. 17 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Presenters: Morgan Whitlatch and Rhonda White, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities
    For transition-age youth with disabilities, questions can arise about how they can be supported with health care decisions when they turn 18 and become legal adults. We will discuss how to plan ahead for that transition, what legal options are available in the health care context, and how to support young adults with medical choices. Come learn about new, innovative tools to support your family, including those that advance supported decision making. Register for this Quality Trust session here.
  • Are You Ready to Transition to Adult Healthcare? Helping Youth and Young Adults with the Transition Process
    Thurs., Sept. 17 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Presenters: Got Transition Staff
    Transitioning to adult healthcare is a big step for any young adult. From scheduling appointments or filling out your own forms, a big part of the process is becoming more independent and knowledgeable about your health and healthcare. Got Transition is a national organization that helps young adults with this transition. We will share an overview of healthcare transition, helpful tips to become more independent, and easy tools to help you take charge of your health. Join this Got Transition session via Zoom at the scheduled start time.
  • Advocating for Your Youth’s Education During Distance Learning
    Mon., Sept. 21  |  1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Presenters: Jonathan Martinis and Rhonda White, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities
    Distance learning is new and has been challenging, but your youth in transition still has the same rights to an appropriate education and supports during distance learning. We will discuss the rights of your youth in transition and strategic tips on how to advocate for services and supports that may be lacking in the transition process. Share your experiences during distance learning and discuss what kind of advocacy is needed for youth with disabilities in the transition process. Register for this Quality Trust session here.

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Register today!!!

Online registration is designed for educators to register individual classes of students. If you have multiple classes to register from your school, please contact us at dcyln@schooltalkdc.org.


Sponsors

Logo - D.C. Department on Disability Services (DDS)Logo - D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)Logo - The Kennedy Center

School Talk’s Voices of Change Conference is funded by the D.C. Department of Disability Services, the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.