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Annual Conference Focuses on Autism

Annual Conference Focuses on Autism
Exploring Autism Across the Spectrum: Building Inclusive Communities” was the focus of The University of Scranton’s 18th Annual U.S. Conference on disAbility, which took place on campus recently. At the conference, from left: John Graham, AllOne Foundation board member; Victoria Castellanos, Ph.D., associate dean of the University’s Panuska College of Professional Studies; U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr.; John Cosgrove, executive director, AllOne Foundation and Charities; and conference co-chairs Rebecca Spirito Dalgin, Ph.D., director of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at the University, and Lori Bruch, Ed.D., chair of the Counseling and Human Services Department at Scranton.

In collaboration with the AllOne Foundation and Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence (ACCE), the Panuska College of Professional Studies (PCPS) and the Edward R. Leahy Jr. Endowment presented “Exploring Autism Across the Spectrum: Building Inclusive Communities” at the University’s 18th Annual U.S. Conference on disAbility on Oct. 10 on campus.

“The conference was abounding with excellent keynote speakers and presenters,” said Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of PCPS. “It provided opportunities to address key issues relevant to our mission by positively influencing the quality of life and wellness of individuals and families living with disabilities, especially autism.”

The speakers at the conference included: Patrick R. Progar, Ph.D., BCBA-D, vice president of behavioral services at The Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health; autism advocates Deya Velasco and her son, Jose Velasco Jr.; Kerry Magro, Ph.D., an award-winning professional speaker and best-selling author; and Jeremy Sicile-Kira, an acclaimed intuitive artist. This year’s conference included a meet-and-greet reception with U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr.

The conference also highlighted the continuing accomplishments of ACCE, which is part of a multi-year, multimillion-dollar regional initiative led by the AllOne Foundation to enhance the service delivery system for individuals with autism and their families living in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania.

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