Education Professor to deliver keynote address at state meeting

Bill Bauer sitting in his office

McCoy Professor of Education Dr. Bill Bauer will give the keynote address at the State Support Team 16 Conference on Thursday, November 2nd in Chauncey, Ohio.

State Support Teams are located throughout the state of Ohio, supporting the 900-plus school districts and charter schools in the areas of education and transition of youths with disabilities. They are usually comprised of local and regional educators with a background in school improvement and preschool and special education. The State of Ohio's Department of Education's Division of Exceptional Children sponsors the teams.   

With the conference theme of transition and transition services: growth mindset as it relates to transitioning, Bauer will discuss his journey through school and life transitions that have brought him to his current position. Intervention specialists, community agencies and parents will be just some of the groups in attendance as Bauer gives his speech.

Bauer currently serves as the Chair of the Ohio Office of Exceptional Children State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children. He believes his history and personal experiences allow him to provide a relevant and informed perspective about the conference’s theme.

“As a former teacher, principal and interim superintendent, as well as a person with a disability I have a personal and professional knowledge and accurate empathy that will allow an array of professionals to look at education from a different worldview from someone who has ‘been there,’ ” he said.

With the focus being on transition services for children with disabilities during their high school years and beyond, Bauer believes this year’s conference offers a necessary forum to continue to make sure the highest quality of such services is pursued and achieved.

“A good transition plan follows the student beyond high school to a welcoming and passionate community that is ready to embrace the forthcoming of young adults with disabilities who, just like everyone else, has hopes, dreams and goals to work, recreate and be a contributing member of society.” 

With a passion for this topic, Bauer already knows some of the important takeaways he hopes to impart on the attendees.

“I hope to promote the value of inclusion from birth to post-secondary options and beyond and offer solutions to issues that may arise from barriers, both attitudinal and physical,” he said. “It takes a school, a district, a state to develop a likewise approach to improve the lives of our children with disabilities.” 

Already looking ahead, Bauer hopes such conferences, discussions and action plans will help encourage more employers to give young adults with disabilities a chance to share what they can do and prompt communities to think of how valuable people with disabilities are. He would also like to see more inclusion efforts and consideration be made at the post-secondary education level.

“Post-secondary institutions perhaps should look at how we can include young adults with intellectual disabilities on our campuses. Marietta College has embraced this concept, and I couldn’t be prouder of this school’s faculty and administration dedication and commitment to inclusion.”