The Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services is pleased to present:

Arizona’s Eighteenth Annual Transition Conference
Ignite the Future! Transition Resources to Spark Engagement

August 27-29, 2018


JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort, Phoenix, AZ

Professional Registration is Full.


2018 Transition Conference: It’s Almost Time!

Many of you may have heard about the Talking Stick Resort’s (TSR) recent damage due to Arizona storms and that the hotel is currently closed as repairs are being conducted.

As a result of this damage, the Talking Stick Resort will not be open in time to hold our 2018 Transition Conference. However, we are thrilled to announce that the conference will held on August 27-29, 2018 at a new venue:  the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort! The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort is located in north Phoenix (5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85054) and has worked extensively with ADE/ESS over the past week to accommodate all conference and sleeping room participant needs.

The following is information that will be useful for registered participants. Please be sure to read each section in case there is action (or no action) that you need to take:

Information for Registered Participants:

There is no need to make any changes to registration due to the change in venue. If you have any other registration questions, please contact [email protected].

Information for Participants Who Held Sleeping Room Reservations at the Talking Stick Resort:

  • Talking Stick Resort room reservations in place prior to the venue cancellation (as of 8/16/18) that were part of the conference room block were transferred automatically from the Talking Stick Resort to the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.
    • Although the ADE/ESS conference coordinator has verified the transfer of reservations, we recommend participants confirm their reservation with the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort directly (480-293-5000).


  • Payment information received by the Talking Stick Resort at the time the reservation was made did not transfer to the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, although a room reservation is being held. Please be prepared to present your method of payment at the time of check in.
    • If payment for your stay was provided in advance (i.e., prepayment through credit card, check, or purchase order), please contact the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort as soon as possible to ensure payment is secured up front. The hotel will not take purchase orders at the time of check in.


Information for Participants Who Held Sleeping Room Reservations at Overflow Hotels (NOT the TSR) or Need Sleeping Rooms at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort:

If participants were unable to reserve sleeping rooms at the TSR and booked at an overflow hotel, these reservations have not been transferred to the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort. Unless you wish to remain at the overflow hotel, these room reservations will need to be cancelled and you can make a new reservation at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort through one of two ways:

  1. Call 480-293-5000 and indicate you are registered for the Arizona Department of Education conference; or
  2. Use this link to reserve a room online:

The 2018 Transition Conference room block will be held until Sunday, August 26. Please be sure to make reservations prior to this time to ensure you can obtain the room block rate of $91.00/night.


The ADE/ESS is thrilled to be able to partner with the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and is working busily to finalize all details behind the scenes. Please check your email Inbox and the Transition Conference website for updates, and if you cannot find the information you need, please contact [email protected].

We look forward to seeing you all on Sunday/Monday. Thank you for your patience during this process.


MONDAY KEYNOTE: William Kellibrew

Picture of William KellibrewWilliam Kellibrew IV is an international advocate for civil, human, women’s, children’s, and victims’ rights. In 2015, Kellibrew was nominated to receive the U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award for exemplifying and embodying the movement for victims’ rights through outstanding efforts in victim advocacy, allied professional advocacy, public policy and public awareness. He is currently a faculty member for SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and a consultant for the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center, as well as The William Kellibrew Foundation. In 2011, he was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work to end domestic violence and sexual assault.



Picture of Dan HabibDan Habib is a filmmaker at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability and the creator of the award-winning documentary films on disability-related topics. He has been named the national Photography Editor of the Year and has been a judge of the Pulitzer Prizes and the Best of Photojournalism. Habib has received the Champion of Human and Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association and the Justice for All Grassroots Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities. Habib was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities—a committee that promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.