American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Special Events at the ASHA Convention

Opening General Session

Thursday, November 14
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
McCormick Place, Lakeside Center, Hall D1

Experience the magic of the ASHA Convention as we kick off our annual event with the Opening General Session on Thursday morning. This popular session brings everyone together to celebrate the speech and hearing professional community. You'll be welcomed by our mistress of ceremonies, the amazing President Patty Prelock, who will charm and inspire you with her insights about the state of the discipline. Then, the team of Convention Program Co-Chairs Colleen O'Rourke and Donise Pearson will entice you with a preview of what's to come—including special sessions, new events, and other not-to-be-missed activities.

In the spirit of the 2013 Convention theme, "The Magic of Teamwork: Science and Service Delivery," ASHA is excited to welcome, as keynote speakers, one of America's most unique and successful teams: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Ben and Jerry are lifelong friends and business partners whose teamwork formed the foundation of their successful ice cream business with a social conscious. They are both business community and philanthropic leaders whose work over three decades has supported grassroots organizations that promote sustainability; equal social, political, and economic rights; and multicultural understanding and peace. Funding from the Grassroots Organizing for Social Change national grant program—sponsored by the Ben and Jerry Foundation—helps give voice and visibility to constituents and causes, enhancing the possibilities for awareness and honest, tough dialogue that can impel change.

Join your colleagues on Thursday morning to hear more about how Ben and Jerry's teamwork has not only enriched their business but also served their socially responsible activism. After the session, enjoy a celebratory scoop of Ben & Jerry's delicious ice cream. The Opening General Session will set the agenda and tone for the next 3 days!

ASHA Awards Ceremony

Friday, November 15
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
McCormick Place, Lakeside Center, Hall D1

The Awards Ceremony celebrates the highest achievements and excellence in the professions. Presentations will be made to recipients of the Honors of the Association, ASHA's most prestigious award which recognizes lifetime achievement, and to ASHA Fellows, whose contributions are the cornerstones of the professions. Additional awards will be given honoring members who have also contributed to the professions and Association.

The Annie Glenn Award will also be presented. Annie Glenn, wife of Senator John Glenn, is known nationwide for her advocacy for those with communication disorders. Each year, the "Annie" is given in her name to an individual who demonstrates Mrs. Glenn's spirit.

This year, Mrs. Glenn will present the 2013 "Annie" to Erik Weihenmayer, and while his name might not be familiar, his story and accomplishments will captivate you. Although Erik lost his vision at age 13, he was determined not to held back by his disability. A former middle school teacher and wrestling coach, Erik holds a passion for outdoor adventure and is currently one of the most accomplished athletes in the world. He has scaled some of the most famous mountain peaks on the globe, including Mount Everest, and in 2008 completed his quest to climb the Seven Summits—the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Throughout all of his achievements, Erik has emphasized the importance of teamwork by helping and inspiring others with disabilities to achieve their dreams. Whether teaming up with fellow outdoor adventurers with disabilities to climb a rock tower in Moab, Utah or leading blind students on a climb to the Rombuk Glacier on the north side of Mt. Everest, he has never let his blindness interfere with his passion for leading an exciting and full life. 

Erik's incredible story, his reliance on trust and teamwork to remove barriers and limits, and his unique perspective all illustrate that adversity can be an advantage. As such, he embodies the very best of Mrs. Glenn's inimitable ability to overcome obstacles with hard work and lead the way. Join the ASHA community on Friday evening as Mrs. Glenn awards the "Annie" to Erik Weihenmayer.

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