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Upcoming Event

English Learners with Disabilities Spring Virtual Summit Series 2021: Register Today

Professional Development Spring/Simmer Virtual Events, WestEd

Dates: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for three consecutive weeks in April and May 2021 (April 27, 29 & May 4, 6, 11, 13).

Time: Sessions begin at 1:00 pm PT on each date, and all sessions are 75 minutes long.

Register today.

Registration deadline: April 16, 2021

This three-week online summit series will help educators support English learners with disabilities. Participants will learn how to implement evidence-based instructional strategies using supportive frameworks appropriate for remote and site-based learning environments.

Drawing on WestEd’s longstanding expertise in this interdisciplinary area of work, participants will learn how to apply knowledge and skills needed to improve student outcomes.

Who Will Benefit

  • English language teachers and specialists
  • Special educators and special education directors
  • General education teachers
  • Administrators
  • Related service providers
  • District or site teams of special educators, EL educators, and general education teachers

What You Will Learn

  • Evidence-based instructional practices to support the language acquisition and learning needs of English learners and students with disabilities, including Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, the Six Principles of ELL Instruction, and structured academic discourse
  • The role of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in providing instruction and intervention for English learners and students who may have a disability, along with tools and processes for distinguishing between learning disabilities and challenges related to language acquisition
  • Effective and culturally sensitive strategies to support appropriate referrals of English learners for special education assessment
  • Practical instructional lesson-tuning protocols to help English learners and students with disabilities in classroom and distance learning contexts
  • Tools and strategies for distance learning aimed to support English learners and students with disabilities in virtual settings

Registration Information:

Register today.

Cost: $199 (check or purchase order) or $205 (credit card via PayPal).

The cost includes six content sessions, access to Padlet Wall resources, and all ELSWD Winter Summit 2021 session recordings. The deadline is April 16, 2021.

If you have questions or would like more registration information, please contact Cerelle Morrow at

The Sessions

Session 1: April 27, 2021

Distinguishing between Language Acquisition and Learning Disability

In this session, participants will examine how both language and learning disabilities can affect learning behaviors and what tools are available to distinguish between the two in both a virtual and classroom environment.

Topic include: Considerations of influence of language differences and disability on learning behaviors; tools available to help with determining differences (WIDA, CA Guidance Document Tools, USDOE checklist, NCLD SLD Checklist)

Session 2: April 29, 2021

The Role of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in Identification of English Learners with Suspected Learning Disabilities and the Pre-Referral Process

Topics covered:

  • Overview of MTSS framework
  • Tier I–Core instruction
  • Academic interventions– Tiers II and III
  • Behavior interventions– Tiers II and III
  • Considerations for referral of ELSWD
  • Culturally responsive principles
  • Role of student’s home language
  • Pre-referral data reviews

Session 3: May 4, 2021

Appropriate Special Education Referrals for English Learners

Explore examples, tools, and resources for pre-referral processes to determine appropriate culturally sensitive referrals for English learners based on multiple data sources.

Topics covered:

  • Pre-referral processes
  • Cumulative file review
  • Extrinsic factors review
  • Classroom-level data (CBM)
  • Longitudinal intervention data
  • English language development data
  • Observations in multiple settings
  • Family interviews

Session 4: May 6, 2021

Implementing Evidenced-Based Practices for ELSWD: Universal Design for Learning and English Learners and Students with Disabilities

Participants will receive an overview of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). They will also discuss how UDL is the foundation for instructional planning for EL students with disabilities and dual- identified students in both the classroom and online learning environment.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction
  • Three elements of UDL
  • Strategies for face-to-face and virtual support
  • Instructional planning
  • Strategies for UDL
  • Resources and tools

Session 5: May 11, 2021

Implementing Evidenced-Based Practices for ELSWD: Academic Discussion

Learn about the critical role of academic discussion for ELSWD and how to utilize intentional academic discussion supports in the online and site-based classroom environment.

Topic covered:

  • Introduce the Critical Role of Academic Discussion
  • Research
  • Structuring student conversations in the classroom and online
  • Practices to engage English learners in academic discussion in the classroom and online

Session 6: May 13, 2021

Implementing Evidenced-Based Practices for ELSWD: Lesson Tuning Protocol

Participants will learn how to use a lesson tuning protocol to collaboratively “tune” a lesson to support English learners’ language acquisition and adaptations for students with disabilities. Participants will receive tools for virtual and site-based PLC practices.

Topics covered:

  • Introduce lesson tuning for ELSWD
  • Language objectives aligned to standards
  • Adaptations and supports
  • Protocols for collaborative professional practices
  • Video-tuning in action

Register today.

Registration deadline: April 16, 2021

If you have questions or would like more registration information, please contact Cerelle Morrow at

Register Now

View More Events

Event Type

Professional Development


April 27, 29 & May 4, 6, 11, 13


1:00 pm






Administrators, Coaches, Policymakers, School and District Leaders, Teachers, Teacher Educators