Special Education Community Events and News

Special Education Community Event Calendar

Happy 50th Anniversary to Section 504!!!

Tuesday, September 26th was the 50th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This was landmark legislation that paved the way for many of the disability rights we have today and it all started in San Francisco. 

Check out these resources to learn more about Section 504:

Monthly on Thursday's: FREE Support for Families Individualized Education Program (IEP) Clinics

Presented by SFCD. Offered in English, Spanish and Cantonese. Learn about Special Education law, the IEP process, what to do when things aren’t working, and how to become a more active and effective team member.

To register, please call our Warmline at 415-920-5040, email info@supportforfamilies.org,
or click the registration link below.

Presented in Cantonese: 1st Thursdays; 6-7:00pm
Presented in English: 2nd Thursdays; 4-6:00pm
Presented in Spanish: 3rd Thursdays; 4-6:00pm


Click here to register for the English IEP Clinic

Haga clic aquí para registrarse a la Clínica de IEP en español


Mission and Vision

Our Impact

Staff and Board




Monthly: NAMI SF Public Programming

Monthly Programs

Thursday, October 5 @ 6:00 - 7:00pm: Open House

Great opportunity to meet staff and learn about programs, resources, and volunteer opportunities. Monthly on the first Thursday. Zoom. 

Thursday, October 12 @ 6:00 - 7:00pm: In Our Own Voice Presentation (Young Adult Edition)

Educational presentation - all about personal storytelling and humanizing mental health! Hear young adult speakers share about who they are, where they've been, and their recovery journey. In Our Own Voice is a core NAMI program. Part of event series: NAMI SF x Youth Mental HealthMonthly on the second Thursday. Zoom. 


Saturday, October 14 @ 10:30 - 11:45amSaturday Strolls

Community walk on Saturday morning! Led by NAMI staff/board. Meet at Murphy Windmill in Golden Gate Park and walk along the Pacific Ocean (closed section on Great American Highway). Monthly on the second Saturday. In-person.


Sunday, October 15 @ 10:00 - 10:45a: Community Art Class

NAMI SF is hosting free monthly art classes on the third Sunday of every month! Creating art can help focus, reduce stress and anxiety, boost creativity and expression, and is a great way to engage in community. Open to folks of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Monthly on the third Sunday. Zoom. 

October Programs

Thursday, October 19 @ 6:00 - 7:30pm: Second Annual Youth Mental Health Symposium: Anxiety and Substance Use Disorders

Second annual panel event featuring local mental health professionals. 2023 focus: anxiety and substance use. Designed to support youth mental health and provide practical information for families, caregivers, and educators caring for children and teens. Part of event series: NAMI SF x Youth Mental HealthVirtual via Zoom webinar.


Thursday, October 26 @ 6:00 - 7:15pm: Parents as Allies & Advocates

Educational program providing an overview of youth mental health. Parents as Allies & Advocates also features trained parent presenters who will share their story of supporting a child who experiences anxiety and/or substance use challenges. Part of event series: NAMI SF x Youth Mental HealthVirtual via Zoom webinar.

Lunes Nov 27 @ 10-11:30am: Educación Especial: Las Transiciones en la Educación Especial: Desde el Nacimiento Hasta la Edad Adulta

Regístrese para este evento aquí.

Mon Nov 27 @ 7:00 - 8:30pm: DREDF - Special Education: Early Childhood Transitions

Interpretation/Accommodations: If you need accommodations to participate in any of our training or presentations, please contact hmin@dredf.org or call 510 644-2555 as soon as possible. We generally need 10 days to arrange these, and we want to make sure you are included!

Note: We offer all our DREDF Special Education training in Spanish and post other training that may be of interest where we are participating but not hosting on our website as well. Visit DREDF's Special Education Trainings page for more information.

You must register in advance for this meeting, which can be done using this registration link.

Thurs Nov 30 @ 6:00 - 7:15pm: NAMI SF- Black/African American Mental Health 101 Presentation

NAMI San Francisco Presents: Black / African American Mental Health 101

This is a core community program addressing the Black / African American experience with mental health.

Black / African Americans face the unique struggles of ancestral trauma, institutionalized racism, violence, and mass trauma from the pandemic, along with racial and cultural insensitivity within the medical community. Stigma remains one of the greatest barriers to treatment. ​

This presentation speaks specifically to the unique challenges and experiences of Black and African American individuals who live with mental health conditions.

In this presentation, learn about contributing factors, generational trauma, coping strategies, local resources and supports, and how volunteer speakers (peers) manage their conditions. There will be a dedicated time for questions at the end.

This program is open to all community members. We hope to connect with you on November 30!

Learn more and register here!

Wed Dec 6 @ 2-3:00pm: How Educators Can Help Students with Intellectual Disability to Think College

How Educators Can Help Students with Intellectual Disability to Think College


Students with intellectual disability want to go to college - and they can! But they can’t get there alone. They need educators who understand what skills are necessary to make it happen and will support them to achieve their goals. Think College created the “Think Higher. Think College.” public awareness campaign to inform and educate teachers, school administrators, support professionals, college staff and faculty, families, and students themselves that college is an option for students with intellectual disability. The public awareness campaign includes new tools to make the process easy to understand and doable. Join us for this free webinar to learn about the current picture of inclusive higher education in the US, hear from college students with intellectual disability from around the country, and learn from a panel of experienced educators how we can “Think Higher. Think College.” together.

During this webinar, you will:

  • Attendees will learn about the current situation regarding college options for students with intellectual disability.
  • Attendees will learn about new resources from the Think Higher. Think College. campaign.
  • Attendees will hear from a panel comprised of two K-12 educators and a program director from an inclusive postsecondary education program about what options exist for students with ID, how to guide students to pursue college, and how to assemble a team to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college.
Meet our moderator and speakers

Dan Habib is the Inclusive Communities Project Director at the Westchester Institute for Human Development and the founder of LikeRightNow Films.  He is the Director and Producer of Intelligent LivesIncluding Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?and Mr. Connolly Has ALS His current project is the Emmy Award-winning My Disability Roadmap, which he Co-Directed with his son Samuel Habib.  

Dan is also helping to lead a new public awareness campaign called “Think Higher – Think College,” which is part of the Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network Project.

Habib gave the TEDx talk, “Disabling Segregation,” and served on President Barack Obama’s President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities from 2014-2017.

Habib and his wife, Betsy McNamara, live in Concord, NH, and have two sons: Isaiah, 27, and Samuel, 23. 

Yuki Nishizawa is a teacher with 20 years of experience working with students who are neurodivergent/disabled. She holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Lesley University and is currently serving as a Transition Specialist at Brookline High School.  Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, where a pathway for employment for people with disabilities exists, Yuki maintains high expectations for each and every student she encounters. While at the Dr. William Henderson Inclusion K-12 School in Dorchester, MA, she developed a transition program and successfully started a pilot program with MassArt College, now known as the Aspire program as part of MAICEI. She’s also worked with her students to practice their employability skills at local businesses and non-profit organizations.  
Sean Phelan is currently in his 5th year of teaching at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas where he teaches students with extensive support needs. While attending the University of Kansas, Sean was a peer for KU – Transition to Postsecondary Education Program (KU-TPE), where he saw firsthand that individuals with disabilities can succeed in college. Those experiences have shaped his philosophies by instituting inclusive practices and enforcing high expectations for his students. Sean has helped transition many students to postsecondary programs after graduating from high school. 
Melissa Savage is an Assistant Professor in Special Education at the University of North Texas. Her research focuses on health and inclusive community participation for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Savage is a co-principal investigator with UNT ELEVAR, a 4-year inclusive postsecondary education program for young adults with intellectual disability. As part of the ELEVAR program, she leads the UNT ELEVAR Transition Pathway program, working with partner K-12 districts to prepare high school students with intellectual disability, educators, and families for the next steps after high school. Before becoming a professor, Dr. Savage was a middle and high school special education teacher.  

Fri Dec 8 @ 11:00am - 12:30pm: Access SFUSD: The Arc Holiday Sing Along

Wattis Theater, 151 3rd St, San Francisco

Join AccessSFUSD: The Arc and the SF MoMA's Education Team for a holiday event to remember and plenty of merriment. Sing along to your holiday favorites alongside the musical artists of AccessSFUSD: The Arc, musical director Max Baker, and special guest appearances! RSVP now because space is limited and this event is NOT to be missed. Please designate at least 72 hours in advance if you need wheelchair accessible seating so accommodations can be made to the theater.

Register here

Sat Dec 9 @ 9:00 - 10:00am: Inclusion Access Hour at the Children's Creativity Museum

Hosted in partnership by: SFUSD, Support for Families, Children's Creativity Museum

The Children's Creativity Museum will open an hour early on Saturday, December 9th from 9:00-10:00am to host an inclusive celebration for Inclusive Schools Week surrounding this year's theme of "Draw Me In." If you are not able to attend in person, there will also be a virtual opportunity to participate! More details to come, but registration is open here!

Sat Dec 30 @ 11:00am: Sensory Friendly Nutcracker Performance

Learn more about this event and buy tickets here

This December, San Francisco Ballet is pleased to offer two Sensory Friendly Nutcracker experiences for people with autism, sensory input disorders, sensory sensitivities, or other physical, cognitive, or developmental disabilities, plus their families, friends, and caretakers. We hope you'll join us as we celebrate this magical holiday tradition!



SF Ballet is delighted to present a Sensory Friendly Performance of Nutcracker on Saturday, December 30 at 11 am. This full-length performance will provide a relaxed environment for children and adults of all abilities to experience this magical holiday tradition in a safe and comfortable atmosphere.

In collaboration with our community partners from Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area, SF Ballet has made special accommodations to the performance and theater-going experience to make neurodiverse audiences feel welcome to experience Nutcracker in a fun, accepting environment.

Tickets start at $25. Promo code for 20% off tickets* to the Dec 30 at 11 am performance: SENSORY23



SF Ballet is excited to offer three Sensory Friendly Dance-Along workshops this season open to all ages and abilities! These fun and interactive workshops will provide an engaging and accessible movement experience for neurodiverse audiences. Explore the characters, music, and story behind some of the most famous story ballets. Participate in a guided dance class that is specifically tailored to the sensory and behavioral needs of the individuals. Explore tactile activity tables, take-home arts and crafts activities, enjoy the quiet room, and more.

  • Nutcracker Dance-Along on Sunday, December 17, 2023 at 1:30 pm

  • Swan Lake Dance-Along on Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 1:30 pm

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream Dance-Along on Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 1:30 pm

Tickets are $25 per person per Dance-Along.

*Offer expires December 13, 2023. All sales are final. No refunds. Exchanges are subject to availability, restrictions, and fees. Casting, programming, and prices are subject to change. Tickets are subject to availability. Offer does not apply to previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. Discount does not apply to fees. Discount not valid for $25 tickets in Balcony Center and Balcony zones. Promo code is only valid for the Sensory Friendly Performance of Nutcracker at 11 am on December 30, 2023. 

Fri-Sat March 1-2: 2024 Literacy and Justice for All Symposium

Register Here

Location: Oakland Marriott City Center

The Oakland Literacy Coalition’s Annual Literacy & Justice for All Symposium brings together school and community educators, practitioners, funders, leaders, influencers, and community stakeholders committed to sharing and learning effective strategies, approaches, and tools that address the literacy needs of all learners. This event provides fighters for literacy justice with expanded spaces for professional learning in community and a chance to collaborate with literacy allies and champions across the region.

Our work toward literacy justice is critical. 1 in 3 children who started school during the pandemic need extensive literacy support. At the state level, California has the lowest literacy rate in the country with only 77% of adults are considered mid to highly literate. In our hometown of Oakland, only 1 in 3 students are reading on or above their grade-level.

Learn more about the symposium here

Disability and Special Education in the News

Check out these articles about the disability and special education. 

November 2023

October 2023

September 2023

August 2023

Archived Disability & Special Education Articles 2022-2023

July 2023

June 2023

May 2023

April 2023

March 2023

February 2023

January 2023

December 2022

November 2022

October 2022

September 2022

August 2022

Past Articles

This page was last updated on November 27, 2023