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October 24, 2017

SVSU conference to address challenges, solutions for individuals with disabilities

Rick LavoieSaginaw Valley State University is hosting the C of IDEAS Summit 2017: Enhancing Lives, Creating Community  Saturday, Nov. 4, starting at 9 a.m. in Gilbertson Hall. The focus of the summit is to advance interdisciplinary education and develop solutions that enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities.

The day will include a presentation on motivation from nationally recognized speaker Richard Lavoie, author of the book “The Motivation Breakthrough: Turning on the Tuned-Out Child.” He has delivered keynote addresses for the Learning Disabilities Association, Council for Exceptional Children, and Children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

The C of IDEAS is a collaboration with SVSU and community partners including individuals with disabilities and family members, educators, and community organization representatives from Arenac, Bay, Genesee, Midland, and Saginaw counties. Presenters will cover topics including evidence-based strategies, policy and practice, post-secondary education opportunities, assistive technology, working with agencies, and more.

Lavoie comes to SVSU as a Dow Visiting Scholar; he will begin the day with a presentation in the Ott Auditorium based on his book. This discussion will begin by describing the common misconceptions surrounding motivation and ineffective strategies and practices currently used to motivate children, such as competition, reward systems, and punishment. Then, Lavoie will outline specific approaches that focus on motivation strategies designed to inspire children to reach their fullest potential.

The day also will feature a lunch presentation from SVSU student Luke Drumright, who has Down’s Syndrome. He will outline his SVSU story and how the university has welcomed and supported students like him. Ted Lind, SVSU associate director of admissions, and Erin VanHavel, an SVSU student and peer mentor, have worked closely with Drumright during his time at SVSU and will help tell his story.

For a more information on the conference, including details on the breakout sessions, please visit and click on the conference flyer.

To register for this free community event, visit Because the event is limited to 250 attendees, registration is only available online. You may register for Lavoie's presentation exclusively, or you can also sign-up for the presentation and the breakout sessions.  No food will be provided at the event, but boxed lunches can be purchased in advance on the registration site for $12. The deadline to order a meal is Friday, Oct. 27.