Special Events at the ASHA Convention

Opening General Session 

Thursday, November 9
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall G

Experience the excitement and energy 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, language, and hearing professional community. You'll be welcomed by ASHA President Gail Richard, who will share her insights about the state of the discipline. Then, Convention Co-Chairs Mary Casper and Anita Vereb will pique your interest with a preview of what's in store for you this year—including special sessions, new events, and other not-to-be-missed activities.

We are very excited to welcome Academy Award–winning actress Goldie Hawn as our keynote speaker this year. You may know her from popular films such as Snatched, Overboard, Private Benjamin, Cactus Flower, or another of her many well-known film and television roles. But what some people don't know is that Ms. Hawn is more than an actor: She's a passionate children's advocate and a supporter of the practice of mindfulness. She created The Hawn Foundation, a public charity with a mission to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to lead smarter, healthier, happier, and ultimately more productive lives. Alarmed by increases in school violence, youth depression and suicide, and a concern that children were not well-prepared to cope with increasingly stressful lives, Hawn and her foundation set out in 2003 to apply cutting-edge scientific research toward the creation of education programs that support the social and emotional development of children.

Working with leading neuroscientists, educators, psychologists, and researchers, The Hawn Foundation developed MindUP™, an evidence-based curriculum and teaching model for grades K–12 that provides tools to help children self-regulate and understand their own emotions, moods, and behaviors; reduce stress and anxiety; sharpen concentration; increase empathy; and improve academic performance. The skills and mindfulness practices taught through MindUP™ have helped children improve learning and academic performance and have enabled them to acquire valuable social and emotional skills that build personal resilience for a lifetime.

Join us on Thursday morning for an inspiring Opening General Session with a little celebrity sparkle, as Goldie Hawn shares her passion and invites you to open your mind to the BIG PICTURE—our children's futures. This event kicks off the ASHA Convention and will get you enthused and excited about the next 3 days!

The Opening General Session is sponsored by Pearson. 


ASHA Awards Ceremony

Friday, November 10
6:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall G

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 CSD professions. Additional awards will be given to honor other members who have also contributed to the professions and to the Association.

The Annie Glenn Award is also given each year at the Awards Ceremony. Annie Glenn, wife of Senator John Glenn, is known nationwide for her advocacy for those with communication disorders. "The Annie" recognizes an individual who demonstrates Mrs. Glenn's spirit by making a positive impact on those with communication disorders. This beloved award is a perpetual highlight of the ASHA Convention.

This year, the "Annie" will be awarded to the ABC-TV show "Speechless," a comedy about a family, the DiMeos, with a teenage son, JJ, who has cerebral palsy. The character JJ—played by Micah Fowler—communicates by using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). JJ's dedicated aide, Kenneth—played by actor Cedric Yarbrough—serves as JJ's "voice," reading the words that JJ spells out with his AAC device. Minnie Driver plays JJ's mother, Maya, who mercilessly (and sometimes tactlessly) advocates for JJ's inclusion. Now in its second season, "Speechless" is one of the few television shows in which a character with a disability is played by an actor who himself has a disability.

"Speechless" is a story the show's creator, Scott Silveri, has long wanted to tell after being raised with a brother with cerebral palsy. The show presents a funny—but never mocking—take on a nonverbal teen with disabilities and his family, and brings awareness of AAC opportunities to the more than 5 million viewers who tune in each week. The show carefully and humorously balances the focus on JJ with the big picture of the whole family. The family comedy airs on ABC on Wednesday nights. Join us on Friday evening as we honor the achievements of colleagues in the professions and award the "Annie" to the producers and cast of "Speechless" in recognition of their efforts to increase awareness of communication issues. Come to the Awards Ceremony and be inspired!

The Awards Ceremony is sponsored by Throat Scope.   Throat Scope

ASHA Corporate Partners