Understanding Disabilities

Professional Development


Understanding Disabilities will cover a wide range of important information regarding disabilities and offer effective and humane strategies, including:

  • Autism (characteristics, strategies for supporting students in schools teaching social skills, context blindness, and hidden curriculums;
  • Emotional Disabilities: Reactive Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder Anxiety etc.
  • Specific Learning Disabilities, Communication Disorders, Health Impairments including ADHD
  • Physical Disabilities, Sensory Dysregulation Disorder, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Visual Impairments, Intellectual Impairment

In addition to online sessions, you will be required to complete an additional 6 hours of homework and a product to earn PDPs.


Teachers and Paraprofessionals; Grades K - 12


15 PDPs will be awarded to participants upon completion of this training, in addition to outside readings and assignments (as per DESE regulations). Note that these 15 PDPs will satisfy the Special Education-related requirement for recertification.

Date and Location

This training is fully onlinewith virtual sessions on the below dates:

  • June 23 - 25, and June 30 - July 2, 2020, 9:00am - 10:30am 

Cost and Registration

The cost of the workshop is $365 for member districts, and $395 for non-member districts.

Registration Deadline: July 28


  • Sharon Jones photo

    Sharon Jones has spent 34 years working in public school districts. She has worked as both a special education and general education teacher; assistant principal; educational diagnostician/consultant; inclusion specialist; and, most recently, in the role of Administrator of Special Education. Sharon also teaches courses on inclusion for the University of Massachusetts.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at collaborative.org. You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day.