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Transform your research, innovations, best practices, living experience, and great ideas into a presentation at the EKO Spring Symposium 2023. We’re looking for presentations that will spark the imagination, introduce new perspectives, encourage dialogue, drive new solutions to our greatest challenges in service delivery and in operations, and push boundaries for research questions.

The EKO Spring Symposium 2023 gathers together all those interested in the sharing, creation and dissemination of knowledge that leads to kids with disabilities and their families living their best lives.

Who should submit?

Professionals, teams, clients and families who access and are impacted by services, students who have completed projects and research in the field, and who:

  • Value the opportunity to engage with colleagues from across Ontario
  • Offer translational research to inform evidence-based practice
  • Keep pace with transitions in Ontario’s child development sector
  • Blaze new trails in family engagement, service delivery, and organizational leadership

Attendees will appreciate the information you have to offer, and often find they can apply what they learn from you in their day-to-day work and lives. Please consider teaming up with youth, family members, clinical and research partners to present a session on an innovative idea, or best practice, that you’ve implemented in your work.

Why Submit?

  • Build your CV
  • Share your expertise and experience
  • Introduce notable projects
  • Connect with colleagues who share your research interests, management challenges, and passions
  • Network with mentors, leaders, peers and collaborators, youth and families
  • Discover an inter-professional platform that informs research and cutting-edge, evidence practices that set the standard for best practice in child development and pediatric rehabilitation.

Presentation Categories

EKO is committed to best practice in child development, across all aspects of the sector and its delivery of services and supports for kids and families. The EKO Spring Symposium 2023 Committee encourages presenters consider a range of interesting and useful formats designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information.

  • Workshops (This format incorporates exercises and activities to foster structured discussion and uninterrupted ideation.)
  • Roundtables (Less formal than a panel, roundtables generally include brief presentations by each speaker followed by discussion with one another; the audience is usually invited to engage more directly than at panel presentations.)
  • Family First Conversations (Conversations co-facilitated by a youth or family member with a service provider or researcher, addressing important topics that affect their lives and experience with services. Guiding questions and facilitated conversation will allow youth and family members to reflect on and share their experiences on topics such as wellness, community participation and inclusion, transition to adult services, and aspects of service delivery.*)
  • Panel discussions (Facilitated by a moderator, this is an up close and personal discussion about a specific topic with a selected group of 3 or 4 experts or practitioners in the field, who share facts, offer differing perspectives or opinions, and respond to audience questions.)
  • Solution Rooms (Often described as a community of inquiry – participants are led through a critical reflection and discussion of how current practice can work differently, more effectively, more powerfully, and more efficiently. The focus is about process. Solution Room sessions typically contain several short presentations related to the same challenge.)
  • Fireside Chats (a personal and interactive discussion involving a moderator and guest, allowing the audience to gain insights into the guest’s personal stories and thoughts on various topics)
  • Facilitated Questions & Answer (This type of session allows audiences to find out more about certain topics—often providing the chance to ask a question of someone that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to ask.)
  • Campfire Sessions (This is an informal way of presenting and discussing topics. Less structured than a typical breakout session, campfires are designed to allow participants to meet in smaller groups. This is a good vehicle for niche topics. Slides may or may not be used, and seating is typically a casual cluster of seats promoting relaxed conversation.)

* Family First conversations will be open for service providers, researchers and other attendees to join us as learners. Facilitators will prepare a summary of key insights gained through Family First conversations to share insights with attendees during the conference and with the public following the conference.

Presentation Guidelines

The EKO Spring Symposium 2023 welcomes submissions for presentations focused on new models of service delivery, introducing best practices, closing the gap between research and practice, achievements, advances, and sector innovation.

Successful topics come from both broad and narrow themes and might include, for example:

  • Clinical best practices, for example:
    • Virtual service
    • Education and prevention
    • Tiered Model of Service
    • Trauma-informed care
    • Coaching
  • Sector and cross-sectoral innovation and partnerships, for example:
    • Seamless transitions
    • Wait list management
    • Case load management strategies
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
    • Accessibility
    • Indigenous approaches
    • Family engagement/Youth engagement
  • What’s new and levelling up
    • Ethics
    • What’s trending?
    • Recruitment
    • Research innovation

Presentation Length

Presentations are typically expected to be 60 minutes in length.

Each room is set up theatre style.

Review and Selection

The EKO Spring Symposium 2023 will consist of both invited and accepted presentations. The EKO Conference Committee will review and evaluate proposals based on the goals and objectives of the program, and the following criteria:

  • Innovation in the field
  • Speaker’s/speakers’ experience and knowledge of the subject matter; lived and living experience, clinical and leadership, and research experience are welcome.
  • Timelines and relevance of the topic to current sector and professional trends and advances
  • Potential to contribute to sector conversations
  • Creativity in interaction with participants

Proposals must be submitted through the online Call for Proposals.

Submitting a Presentation Proposal

The primary speaker, moderator, or author should submit a presentation proposal and an abstract to the EKO Conference Committee using the submission form prior to the deadline for the Call for Presentations and Posters.

When the EKO Conference Committee performs its initial review; there may be a question or questions for the presenter. A representative from the review committee will be in touch seeking clarification or to learn more.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: 5 pm. Friday, January 13, 2023
  • Submitters notified January 31, 2023
  • EKO Spring Symposium 2023 Program posted on empoweredkidsontario.ca. February 17, 2023

Speaker Compensation

Speakers at EKO’s Spring Symposium 2023 will receive a discount on their symposium registration fee. All presenters are required to register as an attendee. Travel and additional fees are the responsibility of the presenter. Lead speakers are asked to inform all co-presenters of this policy.

Presentation Tips

Bring your ideas to life.

Presentations at the EKO Spring Symposium 2023 are meant to spark the imagination, encourage dialogue, and drive new solutions to our sector’s greatest challenges.

Transforming your ideas into a presentation that resonates with your audience can be challenging. We’re here to help guide you.

Topics to consider

The EKO Spring Symposium offers the chance to present on a range of topics and across a number of formats. The EKO Conference Committee suggests considering the following topics as you focus your presentation:

  • Clinical best practices, for example:
    • Virtual service
    • Education and prevention
    • Tiered Model of Service
    • Trauma-informed care
    • Coaching

  • Sector and cross-sectoral innovation and partnerships, for example:
    • Seamless transitions
    • Wait list management
    • Case load management strategies

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
    • Accessibility
    • Indigenous approaches
    • Family engagement/Youth engagement

  • What’s new and levelling up
    • Ethics
    • What’s trending?
    • Recruitment
    • Research innovation

Angles to consider

What exactly makes a presentation successful may seem subjective. Still, there are a handful of angles we believe can help a presentation shine:

  • Highlighting operational experience through a case study
  • Identifying anomalies or counter-intuitive aspects of your experience
  • Educating your audience in your particular area of expertise
  • Motivating your audience to take action as a result of your presentation
  • Entertaining your audience through the use of personal anecdotes, dynamic visual elements, and interactivity.

Presentation best practices

We love this tried and true advice on creating effective presentation decks, adapted from a guide by TED’s in-house talks expert:

  1. Craft your main message first: Start by structuring its support points. Then practice, and time it. Now, start building your slides.
  2. Create a consistent look and feel: Make use of typography, color, and imagery that’s cohesive across your entire deck.
  3. Think about topic transitions: Aim for variety, but be careful not to overdo it (the same goes for consistency … you don’t want every slide to look identical). Creating one style of slide for your main talk, and another style for transition slides, is a good rule to follow.
  4. With text, less is almost always more: Avoid slides with a lot of text, especially if the content matches what you’re already saying out loud.
  5. Use photos that enhance meaning: Simple, punchy photos are where it’s at. They can do wonders in helping content resonate with your audience, without pulling their attention away from your spoken words.
  6. Go easy on the effects: Even if the presentation platform you’re using offers a wealth of bells and whistles, few of them truly enhance the audience experience. If you must use effects, keep them subtle and consistent.
  7. Reproduce simple charts and graphs: Dropping an image of a chart into a presentation almost always disrupts the look and feel of a designed deck. Take control over color and type, by recreating simple graphed data.

For more tips on giving great talks, check out Nancy’ Duarte’s TED talk on the subject, or learn how to make a S.T.A.R. Moment in your next presentation with her best-selling guide, Resonate.

General PPT Specs

  • A plain white background is recommended, a yellow background is discouraged.
  • Presentations should be created with a 16:9 aspect ratio — a template is available here.
  • Use at least 28-point fonts (larger for titles), to ensure legibility from any point in the room.
  • All presentations will be run from the Tech Table in the room. Presenters are asked to bring their PPT on their own laptop.

Need a PowerPoint template? Here are two EKO Spring Symposium 2023 templates you can use. Please remember to use Arial fonts.

PowerPoint template 1

PowerPoint template 2


If you have questions about anything discussed above, please contact moulton@empoweredkidsontario.ca


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