Campus News

UGA conference focuses on autism, speech/hearing and special education topics

Athens, Ga. – Almost 200 speech-language pathologists and special education teachers from across the state will hear about the latest research and best practices concerning a wide variety of topics in their field at the University of Georgia’s third annual Communication Sciences and Special Education Summer Institute June 15-17.

A special pre-conference workshop on June 15 will feature Jeannette Hoit, a professor in speech, language and hearing sciences at the University of Arizona, who will speak on Evaluation and Management of Speech Breathing Disorders. Keynote speakers for the conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education will include:
David A. Sousa, an international consultant in educational neuroscience and author of more than a dozen books that suggest ways educators and parents can translate current brain research into strategies for improving learning;
Christopher Lee, director of the University System of Georgia’s Alternative Media Access Center, housed at the Georgia Tech/Enterprise Innovation Institute, and a nationally-recognized advocate, author, speaker and leader in the field of learning disabilities and adaptive technology; and,
Gary Alderman,a professor of psychology at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., who has taught courses in applied behavior analysis, behavior management in the classroom, academic assessment and interventions, beginning and advanced counseling skills, the exceptional child, inclusion of students with special needs and advanced seminar in school psychology.
Sousa has conducted workshops in hundreds of school districts on brain research, instructional skills and science education at the Pre-K to 12 and university levels. A member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, he has made presentations to more than 100,000 educators at national conventions of educational organizations and to regional and local school districts across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He has taught senior high school science, served as a K-12 director of science, a supervisor of instruction and a district superintendent in New Jersey schools. He has been an adjunct professor of education at Seton Hall University and a visiting lecturer at Rutgers University, where he earned his doctorate.

Sousa will deliver a keynote address at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday titled, How the Brain Learns to Read: A Difficult Process, Indeed!

As a young man, Lee was recruited to UGA on a swimming scholarship and was elected captain of the swim team, graduating after facing his learning disabilities and developing learning strategies. In 1992, Lee published a book titled Faking It: A Look into the Mind of a Creative Learner and in 2001, What About Me? Strategies for Teaching Misunderstood Learners. Lee has published a one-of-a-kind online guide, Learning Disabilities and Technology, an Emerging Way to Touch the Future. He is a member of the Heinemann Speakers Bureau and has addressed groups around the nation about self-advocacy, living with learning disabilities and assistive technology for learning disabilities. He has been featured on CNN, National Public Radio and in newspaper articles picked up by the Associated Press. In 2003, Lee was awarded the W.F. Faulkes Award by The National Rehabilitation Association and was highlighted in a Microsoft video and publication, Microsoft Accessible Technology for Everyone. In 2007, he was featured in PBS’ Reading Rockets Program. He has served as director of Georgia’s Assistive Technology Project, Tools for Life, executive director and president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia and president of the Atlanta Chapter of the Learning Disabilities Adults of Georgia. He has a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on social psychology from the Union Institute and University.

Lee will present a keynote address at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday titled, A World of Knowledge Open to All.

Alderman has been on the faculty at Winthrop since 1992. His research has been in the areas of students with emotional disabilities, classroom management practices, reading, spelling, peer tutoring and inclusion. He has been published in numerous journals and regularly presents at state, regional and national conferences. He also has developed a classroom management program and manual, Advanced Classroom Management: Strategies and Techniques for The Most Difficult to Manage Students, which has been adopted by schools districts both nationally and internationally. He regularly provides training in this model throughout the United States. He also has served on numerous boards, grants and workgroups through the South Carolina State Department of Education. He is a member and past president of the South Carolina Association of School Psychologists, past president of the South Carolina Council for Children with Behavior Disorders and currently is a member of the National Association of School Psychologists. He received his Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina.

Alderman will deliver a keynote address at 9:45 a.m. on Friday titled, Bringing Out the Best in Students Behaving at Their Worst: Getting Out of the Traps of Behavior Management.

All keynote addresses will be presented in the Georgia Center’s Mahler Auditorium.

The two-day conference is hosted by the UGA College of Education’s department of communication sciences and special education.

Registration fees include keynote and breakout sessions, as well as morning and afternoon refreshments, and a networking lunch each day. Registration can be completed on site on the first day of the conference, but pre-registration is preferred. For more information or to register, see