Cotting’s fifth annual “Making Things Possible” Conference took place on November 18, 2017. The Conference theme “Educating the Whole Child” was infused in every part of the day! The day began with a powerful Keynote address by Deborah and Patrick Downes, and was followed by four sessions of content-rich workshop selections delivered by workshop leaders sharing evidence-based, practical strategies in hands-on sessions and discussions throughout the day. The vendor fair was brimming with networking and social conversation about whole child centered resources.

It was our pleasure to open our doors to so many parents, educators, administrators, and friends and to treat our participants to a free lunch, delivered by Pine Street Inn’s iCater!! A special thanks to the Burr Family for making this conference free and accessible for all.

Keynote Presentation

Making Things Possible: Educating the Whole Child

Friends of Cotting School and dedicated advocates for people with disabilities are two ways to describe our keynote speakers , Patrick Downes and Deborah Downes; a dynamic mother and son duo! Patrick, a Survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, will speak about his story and his deep appreciation f or caregivers, including the doctors, nurses, therapists, prosthetists, friends, and family who provide whole person support in their roles every day. His mother Deborah, formerly a special education teacher, has drawn many connections from her family’s experience receiving care and support to the great impact parents, teachers, and caregivers have on the whole lives of pe ople with and without disabilities.

Workshop Presentations & Handouts



Vendor Name Contact Name Website
3L Place Rachel Steinberg https://www.3lplace.org
Access Recreation Boston Chenine Peloquin https://www.accessrec.org/
Commonwealth Financial Group Michael Heberlein http://www.financialguide.com
Easter Seals MA Desi Forte http://www.easterseals.com/ma/
Greater Waltham Arc Barbara Dunker http://www.gwarc.org
The Guild School Katie Johnson http://www.guildhumanservices.org
MassMATCH Tanya Bombard http://www.massmatch.org/
MGH Institute of Health Professions Kristen Allison http://www.mghihp.edu
Milestones Sarah Folk http://www.advancingmilestones.com
Monroe Speech Designs Brendan McCarthy http://www.monroewheelchair.com/
NESCA Robin Winston http://www.nesca-newton.com
Open Door Theater Sam Gould
Open Door Theater Samantha Gould http://www.opendoortheater.org
Perkins Library Erin Fragola http://www.perkins.org/library
Specialized Housing, Inc. Michael Caballero http://www.specializedhousing.org
Waypoint Adventure Dan Minnich https://www.waypointadventure.org