Trends, tips and resources

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

The Wednesday keynote speaker is "Poppin'" Joe Steffy, a small-business owner of Poppin' Joe's Kettle Korn, based in Louisburg, Kansas. Steffy was diagnosed with autism and Down syndrome and is nonverbal. He will use his AAC device to convey his story of perseverance and success, accompanied by his parents and coworkers, Ray and Janet Steffy.

The Thursday keynote is Dr. Ann Turnbull, distinguished Professor of Special Education and co-director of the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas, where she co-directs the Beach Center's doctoral program focusing on systems change in order to enhance quality of life outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

The OCALI Exposition, 4-8 p.m., November 17, is the opening event for the conference and is free and open to the public. 1,500-2,000 participants from Ohio, around the United States and across the globe are expected to attend the 2009 OCALI Conference and Exposition. For more information, go to www.ocali.org.

The young and the young-at-heart adore the many colorful characters that Clara and her Nutcracker Prince encounter on their adventure, including the larger-than-life Mother Ginger, the mighty Chinese Dragon, the graceful Sugar Plum Fairy and more. With more than 100 dancers and spectacular sets and costumes, the production is an unforgettable experience that brings together generations. Children find something new to love in each viewing, and the magic begins the moment they step into the majestic Ohio Theatre.

Tickets are available through balletmet.org, (800) 982-2787, or (614) 469-0939. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more at (614) 229-4848. Visit balletmet.org/Nutcracker for special events and extras.