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Digital Badge Credentials: Preparing Students with Special Needs for Employment

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Digital Badge Credentials: Preparing Students with Special Needs for Employment

Presented by Dr. Amy Spriggs, Associate Professor, Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, University of Kentucky; Shelley Mauer, Executive Vice President, Education Associates; and Heidi Speese, Customer Care and Outreach Division Manager, NOCTI
Hosted by Ben Lovell, Research and Production Manager, Education Associates

Sponsored by Education Associates, Inc.

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Digital Badge Credentials are an exciting innovation in the field of career preparation and life skills instruction. These tools offer a means to validate individual achievements and create a common language between employers, students, and educators.

This edWebinar explores how teachers are using Digital Badge Credentials to increase opportunities for all students, including those with autism and other special needs. Our presenters demonstrate how these tools allow students to accurately advertise their abilities and provide employers with a reliable means of assessing potential. Key objectives include:

  • Explain what Digital Badge Credentials are, their importance to the educational community and the benefits to employers, educators and individuals
  • Identify a gap between student skill development and successful employment for students with special needs
  • Understand the importance of career exploration, job preparation and life skills acquisition using evidence-based practices
  • Detail how educators utilize Digital Badge Credentials to recognize specific, career-oriented student achievements
  • Follow the student experience with Digital Badge Credentials—in the classroom and with potential employers
  • Describe the full impact of these efforts, including a reduction of communication barriers and a boost in student confidence

Increasingly, educators acknowledge the need for resources to help their students develop and communicate key career and employability skills. Explore how to prepare your learners to be job and life ready with Digital Badge Credentials. This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to teachers, school and district leaders, transition coordinators, special ed directors, and CTE prep instructors at the middle school, high school, and higher education levels.

About the Presenters

Dr. Amy Spriggs is an associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky. She received her Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, and doctorate degrees in special education at the University of Georgia. While pursuing her degrees, Dr. Spriggs taught in the public schools, giving her over 10 years of experience working with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and students with moderate/severe disabilities. Dr. Spriggs continues working with this population through consultations, practicum and student teaching supervision, research, and international partnerships in India and Guatemala. She teaches courses related to assessment, teaching, and research methodology. Her research interests include practical systematic instructional strategies for individuals with disabilities, increased independence, evidence-based practices, and technology. She has authored peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on these topics.


After receiving her teaching degree from Murray State University, Shelley Mauer worked with the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Council on Higher Education prior to co-founding Education Associates in 1980. Shelley is responsible for the strategic planning, leadership and supervision for the company’s research and development efforts as well as its training division. She strives to deliver proven and effective hands-on career exploration, employability and life skills programs incorporating evidence-based practices for all types of learners. As a National Technical Assistance Provider for the U.S. Depts. of Education and Labor, she regularly works with states to develop programs to meet federal/state mandates and guides the correlations of the company’s programs to national standards.


Heidi Speese serves as the division manager for customer care and outreach (CCO) at NOCTI. Heidi’s expertise is in working with educational organizations at the local, state, and national levels on customized assessment and system solutions that support program and student success. She leads a team of professionals in customer service, marketing, and outreach initiatives and guides the development of training workshops, resources, and customized account and program management options for NOCTI clients. Heidi holds degrees in business from Ferris State University and Davenport University and serves as a trustee on her local intermediate school district board.


About the Host

The son of two career teachers, Ben Lovell grew up surrounded by an emphasis on education. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English literature and psychology, he spent a decade in hospitality management, traveling the country and honing his leadership abilities. Returning to his home state of Kentucky, Ben discovered Education Associates, where he rekindled his passion for communication and education. An avid writer, he champions the ability of information to enrich our lives and empower our youth. At Education Associates, Ben utilizes his writing and leadership skills to help develop curricula and enable his colleagues to serve the educational needs of our youth.

Join the Supporting Students with Special Needs community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Education Associates is the leading provider of career exploration and practical life skills for all students, including those with special needs. Through our Digital Badge Credential program, we empower learners to become ‘Job and Life Ready’ and showcase their abilities to potential employers.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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