April 5, 2011 Features

Schools Conference to Capitalize on Communication

ASHA Schools 2011 is gearing up to make the voices of school-based speech-language pathologists heard in the city of movers and shakers: Washington, D.C. The conference, scheduled July 8–10, will be held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center. Attendees will experience the fast-paced action of the nation's capital and hear from a variety of nationally known speakers discussing topics that affect schools from across the country.

Speakers and Sessions 

The opening plenary will feature motivational speaker Jerry Posner, who brings a humorous, open-minded approach to self-improvement and self-mastery. After a near-death experience in 1976, Posner set out on a lifelong quest to learn and practice ways to become a more positive, growth-oriented, productive, and happier person. He takes a practical, open-minded approach to self-improvement and self-mastery, sharing stories and research with diverse audiences.

Li-Rong Lilly Cheng also will provide a keynote address. Cheng is professor at San Diego State University and executive director of the Chinese Study Institute. An expert in mulitcultural affairs, she received the 1997 ASHA Award for special contributions to multicultural affairs and the 2002 Diversity Award from the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

In addition, an official from the U.S. Department of Education will discuss federal issues and initiatives in K–12 education.

Leadership Program 

In addition to the regular conference programming, a leadership development program is scheduled for July 7. Thirty participants representing a spectrum of school-based professionals will take part in the first session of the year-long program, designed to prepare them to take on leadership roles in schools. Selected members also will participate in an advocacy effort on July 1; during this Capitol Hill Visit Day, attendees will receive advocacy training and then meet with their representatives in the U.S. Congress to discuss pressing issues facing school-based SLPs. Participation is limited, and must be requested on the conference registration form.

Assistants Invited 

New invitees to ASHA Schools 2011 are speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs), in recognition of the important relationship between school-based SLPs and SLPAs in providing top-notch services to students. Programming on July 8 will include sessions specifically for SLPAs and a session on supervision for SLPs and SLPAs to attend together. An evening reception for SLPAs on July 7 will give SLPs and SLPAs the opportunity to come together and exchange ideas for cultivating strong relationships in the school setting. 

Participants also will be able to browse exhibits, participate in roundtable discussions, and speak with members of ASHA's Board of Directors during the Member Forum. At a regional discussion session, members of the School Finance Committee will discuss resources available to school-based SLPs.

Registration is open now and continues through the spring. Register before May 31 and receive the early-bird discount. For more information visit the ASHA's schools web page.

Kellie Rowden-Racette, print and online editor for The ASHA Leader, can be reached at krowden-racette@asha.org.

cite as: Rowden-Racette, K. (2011, April 05). Schools Conference to Capitalize on Communication. The ASHA Leader.

Hot Topics in 2011

Conference participants can attend sessions on topics such as:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Vocabulary development
  • Response to intervention
  • Adolescent language
  • Pharmacology and school-age children
  • Curriculum and core standards
  • SLPs and assistants
  • Cultural competence
  • Executive function
  • Ethics of supervision
  • Authentic assessment

A Ghostly Evening with the ASHFoundation

Do unsolved mysteries, tales of romance, and angry ghosts looking for revenge grab your interest? If so, join the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation on July 8 at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of fun, fellowship, and a touch of the supernatural—all for a good cause.

Guided by a costumed storyteller, you will stroll the cobblestone streets of the Old Town district of Alexandria, Va., and listen to eerie tales of local history and folklore. Round-trip transportation by water taxi across the Potomac River is included (three scheduled return times are available). After the one-hour tour you may return to the convention center or participate in a progressive dinner. If you choose to join in the dinner, the ticket price includes the ghost tour, transportation, and guides to the restaurants, as well as a charitable contribution to the ASHFoundation in support of education and research.

Tickets for the ghost tour alone are $39; tickets that include dinner are $75. To purchase tickets, check the ticket box on the conference registration form. If you are already registered for the schools conference, call 800-498-2071 to add the event. Tickets are nonrefundable and options cannot be changed after purchase.


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