Conference on Disability set at the University of Scranton

Jul 7, 2009

The 8th Annual Northeastern U. S. Conference on disAbility will be held on Oct. 7 in the DeNaples Center on campus. The conference, presented by The University of Scranton’s J.A. Panuska, S.J., College of Professional Studies and the Edward R. Leahy, Jr., Endowment, will feature scholarly papers, professional presentations and the opportunity to network on the timely and pivotal theme: Transition: Today, Tomorrow, Together.

According to Ralph Pacinelli, D.Ed., retired regional commissioner for the United States Department of Education and a Leahy Faculty Fellow at Scranton, “Transition in the context of this conference means a shared responsibility for the successful passage of youth with disabilities from school to adult life, with an emphasis on education, employment, spiritual development and physical and psychological well-being.”

The featured keynote speaker will be Dr. Connie Garner, a Capitol Hill veteran who has been instrumental to the drafting and passage of major bills that improve the quality of life for all people with disabilities, with a special focus on children and youth. She is the principal disability policy strategist to Senator Edward Kennedy, Mass, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. 

Papers, posters and presentations are sought from all disciplines, both university- and community-based, that contribute to the transition of students to achieve the American Dream of empowerment, productivity and living independently in the community. The Call for Papers begins immediately. Of particular interest are current projects and activities in research, evaluation, curriculum development, policy analysis, relationship building between school and business or school-business unions, career development, individual education plan development, due process provisions, parent and stakeholder involvement and more. 

Honorary chairpersons of the conference are University of Scranton alumnus Edward R. Leahy and Patricia Leahy, director of governmental affairs of the National Rehabilitation Association. 

For additional conference information and Call for Papers forms, visit the web site at, or contact conference chairs Lisa Burns, clinical education coordinator for occupational therapy, at (570) 941-4134, or Barbara Wagner, faculty specialist, physical therapy, at (570) 941-7936.

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