hibiscus ARCHIVED CONTENT-list of previous speaking engagements, media

Welcome to the Archives. This is historical info on prior work: speaking engagements, media interviews and more. 


Here is a partial list of speaking engagements and testimonials from attendees.

KEYNOTE SPEECH / PONENCIA (in Spanish) - Riverside County Office of Education, Fiesta Educativa - March 2019 - Walk With Me: My Journey Leading the Way with High Expectations for My Daughter / Camina Conmigo: Mi jornada abriendo camino con altas expectativas para mi niña
This heartfelt keynote presentation will show parents what’s possible when you imagine and articulate a vision rooted in high expectations for your child’s future and become the navigators of your child’s special education journey. You’ll be inspired to master new skills for life-long advocacy for your children and learn why it’s the best thing you can do for your family. Learn what Graciela and her husband were taught by professionals (and other parents) in the early years that empowered this mother into action on behalf of her child. You’ll cheer the child’s successes now as a teenager as she prepares for adulthood.   

KEYNOTE SPEECH - 2014 Michigan Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (MAER)

WORKSHOP slides, MAER : "Letting Your Child’s Literate Side Out: Raising A Child Who Loves to Learn" 

Infant and Early Childhood Conference. Tacoma, Washington. April 29, 2010.
2 Sessions: -"Letting Your Child's Wild Side Out: Raising a Confident Blind Baby, Toddler, Preschooler"
The attendees rated this workshop a 4.4 out of 5 points. Here's what they said:
"Thank you for sharing this information and your daily life with us. I enjoyed her story and it helped me think about how to teach and ask parents what works for them."
"Awesome training; very eye opening!"
"Wonderful real-life family story of survival and success in raising an exuberant, confident child who happens to be blind; thanks for sharing and empowering others."
When asked to "list two major points you got from this training that you plan to implement" they stated:
"To allow for children to be more independent in centers and to create a more interactive environment, especially in making music."
"Give them the freedom to explore themselves and their abilities; you never know what they can or can't do unless they try it."
"The importance of allowing a child to experiment, to 'find their one thing and master it', and to continue looking for ways to help parents set up active learning for their child at all ages"
"I will share this DVD with families I work with who are beginning the process of raising a blind child."
"Implement activities to increase preschoolers' mobility and confidence in their abilities at our school-hang the trapeze!; empower parents to let their kids explore but be safe (wear a helmet when necessary)"
"Do not teach fear; teach self preservation."
"You Gotta Know the Rules if You're Gonna Play the Game." Advocacy Skills, Organizational Culture, key legal components of IDEA 2004

The attendees rated this workshop a 4.63 out of 5 points. Here's what they said:
"Great! Thank you so much!"
"Great presentation! Makes me want to switch from going into Special Ed to Advocating."
"You are so inspiring! By far the best seminar of the day."
"Great presentation! Specific, informative, useful."
"This was an awesome resource for parents; as a teacher who has advocated for other children, and as a parent of a 14 year-old with an IEP, I gained so much new information. We need to figure out a way to get this type of workshop to at least every family transitioning from birth-to-three."
When asked to "list two major points you got from this training that you plan to implement" they stated:

"Have an understanding of IDEA and look into the Wrightslaw newsletter."
"To learn IEP law and ask IEP team to 'show me where it says that.'"
"Make an audio recording of every meeting; purchase Wrightslaw e-book as a reference."
"How to address district's resource problems, using the IEP goal development worksheet and parent's master documents binder."
"The crucial nature of parent education and empowerment (we will make parent info night this year); great info about laws and ADHD."
"Better idea of the law and ideas on how to negotiate to meet my child's needs."
"Provide working handouts to parents; provide good basis for discussion with family on IEP rights."
"Educate yourself on the law, ask questions, really advocate for your child."
"I need to know the law instead of counting on the school district to follow it; send requests in writing."
"Ask in writing for assistance; ask for written proof rather than accepting verbal explanations."
"Parents need to be knowledgeable in the law and advocate for their child."
"Really know the IDEA statute and help parents know the law. I, as a teacher, can legally advocate for families."
"Make sure you request evaluations in writing; your legal right to refer for evaluation; teachers can request evaluations too."
"You can solve almost every problem that arises objectively by referring back to the written law."
"They can't make you put your child on medicine; don't sign the IEP at the meeting-take it home to review it."
Conference Speaking Engagements for the presentation entitled "Letting Your Child's Wild Side Out: Raising a Confident Blind Baby, Toddler, Preschooler." DVD of presentation (and comments from those who are using it to educate and inspire families) is available at www.babymilagro.org/DVD.

California Teachers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped (CTEVH). Educator workshop. San Francisco, March 2009. Created original content.

National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention. Presented a workshop to parent and educator members of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. Dallas, July 2008. Created original content, presented with another parent.
CTEVH parent and educator workshop. March 2008. Created original content and presented with another parent. Released DVD version of presentation.

Infant Development Association Conference. San Jose, March 2007. Tailored content to audience of educators and service providers.
Kidango preschool staff In-service workshop. Fremont, California. April 2007.
CTEVH parent workshop. Santa Clara, March 2007. Created original content and presented with another parent.


Articles for Children and Teens Published in Magazines, Newspapers

Borrowing Brains Around the Globe, Faces (October 2006 Globalization Issue). 

Opportunities in the U.S. Air Force and Beyond, American Careers Magazine (September 2006). 

Girls State A Week Of Learning, Friendship, Greeley Tribune, Greeley, Colorado.