Janice Fialka is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and social worker with an expertise in adolescent health, parent-professional partnerships, inclusion, and post secondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. She has co-founded and directed several teen health centers in Michigan, and has previously taught at Wayne State University in the School of Social Work. She is the Special Projects Trainer for Michigan's Early Onï¿½ (Part C of IDEA) Training and Technical Assistance. Over the past two decades, Janice has provided the keynote address and conducted workshops at numerous national and international conferences for audiences of families, school personnel, educators, social workers, early interventionists, health care providers, and community groups. Janice serves on numerous national advisory boards and has received several awards for her advocacy work, including 2007 Social Worker of the Year by National Association of Social Workers - Michigan Chapter.Janice and her husband, Rich Feldman co-produced the award winning DVD, Through the Same Door: Inclusion Includes College which was awarded the 2006 TASH Image Award for the Positive Portrayals of People with Disabilities. This film documents Micah's experiences as a college student. Micah, a rising leader in the disability movement, is part of the new wave of young adults with intellectual disabilities who continue their learning on a university campus.Janice has co-authored three books, numerous articles, and a CD of several of her poems, entitled From Puddles to PRIDE which includes her often-published poem, Advice to Professionals Who Must Conference Cases. Her website www.danceofpartnership.com is a highly regarded comprehensive resource for parents and professionals. In 2009, Janice and her family received the Family Voices Lifetime Achievement Award in Washington D.C. for their work in advocacy and disability.
Arlene K. Feldman, MA, PD, SDA, LDT/C, began her career in education in 1967, at the ripe old age of 20. The depth and breadth of her experience within the field of education is varied and extensive. She has been a general education teacher, a special education teacher, principal of a special education preschool, Director of Special Education for 20 years, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her greatest educational accomplishment, for which she was presented the Excellence in Leadership Award by the NYS Council for Exceptional Children, was the introduction and development of the Collaborative Teaching Model (co-teaching within the inclusive classroom.) in her school district. Believing in the benefits of collaboration, she is also passionate about the partnership between professionals and parents of students with disabilities. She fervently strives to inspire her graduate students, the next generation of educators, to welcome students with disabilities into their inclusive classrooms, to understand the strengths and challenges of these students, so that they, as teachers, may meet their unique needs and enable them to succeed, and to work earnestly and collaboratively with their parents, with the students as beneficiaries.Arlene and her husband, Dr. Harvey Feldman, a Developmental Optometrist, live in New York, and are the proud parents of four, and the proud grandparents of seven, and hopefully, more to come!