The ADE/ESS is very excited to announce some changes to its main conferences, the Directors’ Institute and the Transition Conference! These conferences have been combined and rebranded. The Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services is pleased to present:

Arizona’s IDEA Conference
Converging Ideas: Connections for Student Success

August 31 – September 2, 2020

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort, Phoenix, AZ


The new combined conference will maintain special education administration and secondary transition strands, including national and local experts. There will also be sessions specifically targeted to youths and young adults with disabilities as well as family members/caregivers.

Why Combine?

Although ADE/ESS has been invested in and very proud of its historical dual conferences, in recent years these events have been held close together in the calendar year. This was largely due to the rising costs of hosting a professional development event at a conference center during the “peak” season in Arizona. Keeping costs reasonable and aligned to the State rate, and also avoiding summer holiday time for school staff meant that these huge events were held almost back to back. This has been a tremendous resource cost for ADE/ESS, as well as for special education professionals who wanted to access content at both events. Combining both conferences in a venue capable of hosting more participants allows for an efficient use of resources and time and allows participants to access even more quality content at the same time!


Keynote Speakers

Hotel Information



Call for Artwork

Youth Scholarship



JW Marriott Desert Ridge
5350 East Marriott Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85054