About the Organizers

attendees in large conference room

Kim Beloin earned her Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in Urban Education – Exceptional Education with a focus on Inclusive Education and Literacy. Kim has over 25 years of experience as an educator, teaching at the elementary, secondary, and University levels. In addition to being an educator, Kim & her husband are the adoptive parents of four children (all with special needs). Kim is currently writing a book on adopting, parenting, and teaching children with special needs. Kim presents on Inclusive Education, Literacy, Curricular Accommodations & Adaptations, Adopting & Parenting Children with Special Needs and Focused Action Planning. She draws upon her personal experience as a parent and educator to provide insight with humor on the challenges and blessings of including children with special needs in our families and classrooms. Kim is the Director of Wisconsin’s State-wide Leadership Institute on Best Practices in Inclusive Education.

Char Brandl is a retired teacher still actively involved with young people on the autism spectrum, especially those who type to communicate. In her blog, she draws on lessons learned from her years of teaching as well as from watching her own children and grandchildren grow and develop — always hoping to learn from the children themselves, and then daring to hope that others might learn from her own mistakes along the way.

Currently she serves on the board of the Autism Society of Greater Madison and also Autcom (The Autism National Committee). She is author of the book, “Facilitated Communication Case Studies: SEE US SMART!” Read a chapter from the book at:

Visit Char’s blog at: http://www.grandmacharslessonslearned.blogspot.com/

Sandy Berndt has been working collaboratively with Kim Beloin to co-coordinate Wisconsin’s State-wide Institute on Inclusion for many years. She is also a Board member of the Inclusion Institute, Inc.

In addition, Sandra has over 40 years of extensive educational leadership experience working state-wide with special education leadership and personnel at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and as an assistant director of special education in the areas of assessment for students with disabilities, intellectual disability programs, special education law, and professional development. She started her educational career as a teacher working with students with intellectual disabilities.

Sandra’s professional life was greatly influenced by her twin sister with developmental disabilities, who has defined who she is and constantly reminds her why she advocates for children with disabilities and their families. Through Sandra’s experiences with her sister, she has worked with parent groups, sib groups and adults with developmental disabilities, to gain insight to their challenges and successes.

She is now retired and works independently with school districts on program evaluation in the area of intellectual disabilities, inclusion and alternate academic achievement standards, curriculum and assessment.

Alternate contact information:  sandra.berndt@dpi.wi.gov | Home: 608-825-2782

Iris is currently an Education Consultant for the WI Department of Public Instruction, Special Education Team. Her focus has centered on academic assessment for students with IEPs, in particular for students taking the alternate assessment. Iris also is supporting districts in making instructional modifications for students with significant academic and adaptive behavior support needs. Iris has worked within the field of special education in public school settings as a classroom teacher, diagnostician, and program coordinator, primarily in a large urban district. For the past 10 years Iris has also been an instructor of Special Education courses at UW-Oshkosh. During her free time, Iris enjoys traveling to visit her children, biking, and going to hear local bands.