...holding hope for people with disabilities by encouraging them to “Dwell in the Possibilities”
 Workshops on Inclusion

Bridget speakingOur team at Butterflies for Change offers a variety of workshops and training programs for parents and educators. We have experience creating and participating in educational experiences for ALL learners. 

We can also create workshops to meet your needs, calling on additional resources if necessary.

Bridget's Presentations and Workshops

Keynote speeches:
 “Dwell in the Possibilities” ~ Bridget shares her journey as the first student in her district included in a general education classroom. ?She encourages others to open their hearts, minds and doors to welcome all learners.
“Life, A Journey Worth Taking” ~ Bridget inspires others to give babies with Down Syndrome a chance to live full and inclusive lives, based on the book Making A Case for Life and her letter to the editor of the Washington Post.
Workshops and counseling:
¨ Person centered planning and self-determination training for parents and young adults with disabilities. Helps young people present at their own IEP meetings.
¨ Inclusive educational tools and strategies for school personnel and families. Develops models of support, adaptations and accommodations for ALL classrooms.
¨ Transition Planning for individuals as they move through high school into adult life.
¨ Character Education Workshops focusing on Disability Awareness for students teaching them how to RESPECT people of ALL abilities and be champions for each other.


Honey, I Blew Up the Curriculum
Adaptations and Accommodations: The IDEAL Method of Adapting Curriculum

In this workshop participants will learn how to adapt curriculum to meet the needs of a diverse classroom. Parents will learn how to help their children at home and make easy adaptations that will help children access the general education curriculum and be a full participant in the educational process.

Participants will:
  • Learn how to look at the learner, curriculum and environment
  • Learn how to find the essential and enduring concepts of a lesson unit using the curriculum planning pyramid
  • Learn how to all students can have access to the general education curriculum and the learning standards.
  • Learn the 8 types of adaptations
  • Learn how to authentically assess a student who has academic challenges.
  • Learn simple easy to use tools and strategies that include: mini books, previewing, auto summarize, graphic webs, picture/photo stores and books, read please, using technology and how to adapt to maintain the integrity of the curriculum and reduce the density.
  • Learn about the concepts of backward design and universal design.
  • Learn how a student with a disability used all the adaptations to be successful in general education from pre-school – High School.
  • Learn simple ideas and programs that help students support each other in collaborative groups.
  • Learn about environmental structures that support all learners: co-teaching models, stations, and cooperative groups.
  • Learn how to communicate effectively with general education teachers, special education teachers, and parents.
  • Learn how to involve parents in the process
Person Centered Planning: Designing Positive and Possible Futures for Individuals with Disabilities

In this workshop participants will learn about Person Centered Planning. They will learn a variety of ways to use this process so that they can individualize it for their child.  In this process the student with a disability is the heart of the process.  Educators can use this tool to bring teams together (including families and students with disabilities) to plan for a full and inclusive life.
Families can use this process to learn how to be a leader in their child’s life. Students entering into their transition years can use this process to speak on behalf of themselves, learn self determination skills, learn how to set  goals , find their own voice, and present at their own IEP meetings.

Participants will:

  • Learn the foundational concepts of Person Centered Planning
  • Learn a Person Centered Planning process that is very successful.
  • Learn how an individual with a disability can use this process to find their own voice and present at their own IEP meetings. (Bridget Brown will explain and demonstrate how she has presented at her own meetings and provide the participants with tools and strategies to help other students).
  • Learn how parents and families can use this process to be a leader in their child’s life.
  • Learn how the process works and have an opportunity to see the process in action and/or experience the process as a facilitator or participant.
  • Leave with a firm understanding of person centered planning, a workbook, and ideas about how to implement this process so that individuals with disabilities can have full and productive lives.


The Love of My Life – Keynote BY NANCY

Nancy Brown is Bridget’s mother. She is a strong advocate for her daughter and many people with disabilities. She is an inclusion consultant for ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) with Project CHOICES.  Nancy helps parents learn how to be a leader in their child’s life and how to navigate through uncharted territory. She encourages families to dream for their children and hold hope for them and for each other.



Butterflies for Change can tailor a workshop to your specific needs. Some of the topics within our expertise include:
  • Working with teachers to help them understand the parents' point of view
  • Helping teachers adapt the curriculum in specific ways
  • One on one counseling to help students or teachers create their own plan
We have experienced teachers who are consultants in our work and we can bring them in to help with our work.

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