Welcome to My Point of View…..
WOW, look what time of year it is again. I know every one is gearing up for the school year 2007-2008 which also means that we are also anticipating the first conference of the season. Last year, I wrote “How to attend CTG like a Pro”. I have been asked by a few people to re-send out the information from last year. However, I am taking a leap of faith and stepping into the area of blogging to share this information. I am updating the information and adding a few helpful tools for people that are attending. So please be patient. This is going to be a long post.
Every year there are new people entering the field of assistive technology for personal reasons or because the job was thrust upon them. Closing the Gap is the first conference of the conference season for professional development for beginners, intermediate and advance AT specialist. Closing the Gap happens every year at the same time of year, same state, same hotel. This is very convenient for planning purposes. You can always anticipate when it will happen
Where: Minneapolis, Minnesota
When: Pre-conference: October 16-17th Conference: October 18-20th
No matter if you are a newbie or an old pro attending the conference, it is an exciting time. It happens at the time of year when you have to get your head into the game for training, implementing, evaluating and thinking of the students we are working with or will be working with. The conference is an awesome conference to attend and learn about the technology and how others have used a strategy or tool.
If you are attending the conference for the first time or you are a pro, it is or can be an overwhelming experience especially when you start to read the website (www.closingthegap.com) for the list of workshop opportunities and exhibitors that will be attending.
The experience is a jumble of feelings. You feel excited (when you are approved to attend), panic (especially when you find out that the school hasn’t paid the bill to CTG or the hotel can’t find your reservation), anxiety (when you realize your bag was left in the last hall you were in which is on the other side of the hotel) and shear exhaustion (when you had to run from conference to conference hall). Just remember that you are not alone. You are in a community that is feeling the same thing as you are.
Every year, Closing the Gap offers some of the best presentations and presenters that you will ever have a chance to hear. You have access to presenters that are the experts in their field. They return to the conference every year so they can share their knowledge and experiences but also to learn from others. Closing the gap is about energizing your batteries for the school year. It is about motivating you to push further than you did the year before for the children and adults we serve.
There are 200 or so presentations in a 3 day period it is suggested that you develop a game plan. I personally find it is important to develop a plan because there is no way you are going to be able to attend all the workshops you want or need. Planning is the only way that you will be able to cover all your bases in just period of time. To be honest, if you don’t do some planning you are going to be running around the conference floor like you have just landed late for a connecting plane and you landed in Gate A and your connecting plane is in Gate F. No matter how much you rush and run, you will still miss the plane.