Stay in touch with the Active Learning community and training events in your area!  Please submit training events in your area for inclusion on this site. 

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May 2018

May 17, 2018

Active Learning Study Group

Time:  4-5 PM EST, 3-4  CST, 2-3 MST, 1-2 PST

This is the last of a 5-part series of webinars that will focus on a variety of topics, such as setting up a classroom and schedule, choosing materials, addressing the student with CVI, using Active Learning with older students and information on research related to Active Learning. Various guest speakers will be a part of this year’s presentations.  You must register for each individual session; go to

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June 2018

June 21-22, 2018 - Beat the Heat Conference, Austin Texas

Active Learning Full Day Conference on June 21st with breakout sessions on June 22nd

Contact Debra Leff, M.Ed.

ESC-13 Education Specialist for Students with Visual Impairments

5701 Springdale Rd., Austin, TX 78723


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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July 2018

July 16-18, 2018

Active Learning Summer Institute, Perkins School for the Blind

Presented by Patty Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R

This 3-day Summer Institute will be presented by Patty Obrzut and will be held at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA.  The cost is $199.

Young child sitting up in a Little Room

Name of Presentation:

Active Learning: Promoting independence and learning in children with multiple special needs.

Biographical Sketch:

Patricia Obrzut is the Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children, a private, non-profit organization serving blind, special needs children ages 1-12 years. Located in Taylor, Michigan, Penrickton Center offers residential, daycare, and consultative programs at no charge to families. Ms. Obrzut has a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and received the permission of Dr. Lilli Nielsen in 2002 to provide Active Learning educational trainings. She is considered an expert in the use Active Learning strategies, equipment, techniques, assessment tool and curriculum, implementing programming for special needs children since 1992.

Session Description:

Given the opportunity, any child can learn! Active learning, an innovative approach developed by Dr. Lilli Nielsen has reshaped educational programming. Motivating and empowering those with multiple special needs to be engaged by their environment, instead of being controlled by it.

Join Ms. Patricia Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R/L., as she provides you with this fresh and pioneering approach. Learn how to increase functional independence and developmental skills while reducing stereotypical, self-injurious or aggressive behaviors. This exciting conference will feature lecture, video and demonstrations. Active Learning equipment and materials will be on display throughout this conference.

Individuals with multiple disabilities (cerebral palsy, visual impairment, cognitive impairment, autism, hearing impairment, etc.) are at great risk from developing reliance on others to interact with the world around them. Active Learning recognizes that every child/adult with special needs is unique. The programming and intervention for facilitating learning must reflect this individuality. Active Learning emphasizes creating a developmentally appropriate and enriched environment so that children and adults with multiple special needs become active learners. This conference will help professionals and parents understand the theories of Active Learning, to facilitate simple ways to change the environment, and to create a daily curriculum that fosters independent and appropriate developmental learning.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • Establish rich environments to encourage active learning vs. passive learning
  • Identify the role of play as a developmental tool in learning
  • Understanding the dynamic learning circle and the role a disability plays in disrupting this process
  • Identify strategies to encourage developmental learning
  • Identify how to use Active learning as an instrument for decreasing self-injurious behavior, self-stimulatory behaviors or aggressive behaviors
  • Understand the purpose and use of equipment that facilitates an Active Learning environment including: the Little Room, Resonance Board, HOPSA-dress, Support Bench, Multi-functional table and others.
  • Understand and identify the emotional and intellectual levels of the special needs child. Identifying the role of the adult in promoting skill development
  • Assess a child’s developmental level with the use of the Functional Scheme
  • Establish a rich and appropriate Active Learning curriculum by developing appropriate IEPC goals.

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August 2018



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September 2018


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October 2018

October 10-11 

Georgia Sensory Project 

Presented by Patty Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R

More information coming soon.


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November 2018

November 5-6, 2018

Penrickton Center for Blind Children

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

penrickton conference Click on flyer to enlarge.

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December 2018


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January 2019


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February 2019


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March 2019


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April 2019


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May 2019



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June 2019

June 10-11, 2019

Dallas, Texas

Presented by Patty Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R

More information coming soon.


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