Friday, May 15, 2009

Special education expert, consultant highlight CSSE Summer Institute June 8-9

University of Illinois special education professor Lisa Monda-Amaya and educational consultant Ron Walker will be the keynote speakers at the first Communication Sciences and Special Education Summer Institute June 8-9 at the University of Georgia.

Nearly 200 early interventionists, speech-language pathologists and special educators from around the state are expected to focus on topics such as intervention and treatment skills, working with children and families of diverse backgrounds and collaboration.

“By connecting research and practice, this inaugural event will provide cutting edge information pertinent to an interdisciplinary audience of professionals interested in individuals (ages birth through school-age) with developmental disabilities and special needs,” said Laura Clark, project coordinator for UGA’s SPECTRUM (Special Education Training and Mentoring on the Web) program.

The conference’s break-out sessions include topics such as Strengthening Partnerships: Effective Collaboration and Co-teaching; Stimulating Language in Bilingual Infants and Toddlers; The New Wave: What Special Educators Need to Know about the Law; and Teaching the Many, While Disciplining the Few.

Monda-Amaya, an expert in strategies to keep students with disabilities in the general classroom, has coordinated teacher preparation programs in the department of special education for nearly 18 of her 20 years at the University of Illinois and has published her research in journals such as Exceptional Children and Special Education.

She has been heavily involved in teacher preparation and certification activities at the state level and has worked to influence policy decisions in Illinois. She has served as an officer on the National Board of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children for four years and in the Illinois Teacher Education Division for 14 years.

Walker is president of Walker Educational Consulting, Inc., which is the educational consultant for the National Professionals’ Consortium on Attention Deficit Disorders.

Walker’s career in education spans three decades and began in the classroom where he taught at both elementary and secondary levels. He was an administrator at Woodward Academy in Atlanta, where he directed a program for college-bound learning disabled students; he was a middle school principal; and he directed both day and boarding programs for the DePaul School in Louisville, Ky. Walker has spent the last 15 years working with more than 700 school districts in more than 30 states, giving workshops, providing school consultation and speaking at conferences.

The two-day conference, a special College of Education Centennial event hosted by the department of communication sciences and special education, will be held at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.

Registration costs $275 and the deadline is June 1. For more information or to register, see www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/conferences/2009/Jun/08/csse_summer.phtml.

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