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Conference on disAbility Marks 20th Year

Conference on disAbility Marks 20th Year
From left: Conference co-chairs Rebecca Spirito Dalgin, Ph.D., director of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program and Lori Bruch, Ed.D., chair of the Counseling and Human Services Department; and Debra A. Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies.

The 20th Annual U.S. Conference on disAbility at Scranton took place on Oct. 14. The conference, “Exploring Autism Across the Spectrum: Building Inclusive Communities,” included a keynote address by Maria Davis-Pierre, founder and CEO of Autism In Black, Inc., and licensed mental health counselor, who discussed autism from a cultural perspective.

Edward R. and Patricia Leahy served as Honorary Conference Co-Chairs for the 2021 U.S. Conference on disAbility, which they helped to establish 20 years ago.

“We established the endowment as a way to remember our son and do something to help children with disabilities,” said benefactor Edward Leahy ’68, H’01.

Over the past two decades, numerous nationally recognized speakers have discussed topics such as transitioning from school to work and enhancing the quality of life of individuals with disabilities, autism across the lifespan, veterans’ issues, the evolution of the  Americans with Disabilities Act, vocational workforce innovations and technology for accessing education and employment. Since 2019, through a partnership with AllOne Foundation, the conference has focused on “Exploring Autism Across the Spectrum: Building Inclusive Communities.”

Read about this year's conference in Royal News, here.
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