INTERNAL PD OPPORTUNITY: Save the Date for Arizona’s IDEA Conference and Call for Proposals

Published: December 30th, 2019

Special Education Directors,

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 as:

Arizona’s IDEA Conference

Save the Date

Arizona’s IDEA Conference in 2020 will take place over three days, August 31—September 2, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix. This year’s theme is: Converging Ideas: Connections for Student Success.


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!


Each registration fee will allow participants to access all content, regardless of strand (registration information will be made available in late Spring). Additionally, ADE/ESS has increased the total number of participants who will be able to attend in order to accommodate participants who historically attended both conferences.

Coming Soon

ADE/ESS is busily building the new website for Arizona’s IDEA Conference. Also, student artwork will still be featured in the graphics for this event, but the new conference will also have its own new “brand.” Stay tuned for new developments over the Spring!  Update: Website is now available:

Call for Proposals

ADE/ESS invites the submission of proposals for Arizona’s IDEA Conference. Proposals should address the theme and be targeted to special education administrators, transition professionals, or youths with disabilities and their family members/caregivers.  Please follow this link to submit. Proposals are due February 7, 2020.

Please email feedback or questions to the new Arizona’s IDEA Conference email Inbox: [email protected].