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2023 Fall Conference

**MEMBERS! Please make sure to LOG IN before you register to receive discounted pricing**


2023 Fall Conference "Making Connections Count"

Date: Friday, October 20, 2023

and Continental Breakfast: 7:30am - 7:50am

Conference: 7:50am - 3:30pm

To EARN .6 ASHA CEUs you must arrive on time to attend the KEYNOTE Speaker. 

Member Registration Fees                       After 10/6/23

Members:                       $225.00                   $275.00

Student Members:          $65.00                     $90.00

Professionals:                 $275.00                 $325.00

*Meets CTLE Requirements if documented with the ASHA CE Registry*

LISHA is approved by the American Academy of Audiology to offer Academy CEUs for this activity. The program is worth a maximum of .6 CEUs. Academy approval of this continuing education activity is based on course content only and does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedure, or adherence of the event to the Academy's Code of Ethics. Any views that are presented are those of the presenter/CE Provider and not necessarily of the American Academy of Audiology.

Crest Hollow Country Club 8325 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, NY 11797

Denise McKeon, M.S., CCC-SLP



Cultivate Kindness: How Small Acts of Compassion Can Transform Your Life and the World Around You

Keynote:  Rich Specht 

Rich Specht, founder of the ReesSpecht Life Foundation, shares his personal journey of turning a tragedy into a movement for kindness. He inspires the audience to choose kindness and make a positive impact on the world, one small act of compassion at a time. 

Participants will:

  1. Discuss turning a tragedy into a movement for kindness. 
  2. List two ways of making a positive impact.

7:30 - 7:50    Sign-In and Continental Breakfast
7:50 - 8:00    Intro/Keynote (ALL MUST ATTEND)
8:00 - 8:15    Personal Journey
8:15 - 9:00    One Act of Compassion at a Time
9:00 - 9:15    Transition to next session

Financial:  Rich Specht will be receiving an honorarium from LISHA for his presentation.
Non-Financial:  Rich Specht has no non-financial relationships to report.


The Power of Language and Literacy Addressing All Learners

Presenter:  Maribeth Plankers, M.S., CCC-SLP, ATP

The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) plays a key role in the teaching of literacy. The roles and responsibilities of the SLP include collaborating with General and Special Educators, directing instruction for phonemic awareness and the relationship to literacy. The SLP may be involved with assessment and providing direct instruction for learners who have challenges with reading and writing. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) supports the Individuals with Disabilities and Education Act (IDEA) statement about the connections between spoken and written language “spoken language provides the foundation for the development of reading and writing” for learners, pediatric to adult. This session will provide a wealth of language and literacy evidence-based tools and strategies supporting all learners from assessment to intervention. It is imperative for the recognition and the collaborative role that the SLP contributes to the development and teaching of language and literacy. Collaboration means combining the efforts of the SLP with other professionals to plan and implement evidence-based services for learners who have challenges with language and literacy. Experience the process of collaborative lesson planning and  determining roles and responsibilities for all team members. Let’s put a team effort forth to develop and implement the best educational plan for all learners! Universal Design for Learning (UDL) teaches to all learners. UDL’s Three Guidelines include:  Multiple Means of Engagement, Representation, Action and Expression. The Guidelines are a tool used in the implementation of UDL to optimize instruction and learning, based on scientific research on how one learns best! 


Participants will:

  1. Describe the role the SLP has when working with Literacy.
  2. Discuss the research of Bloom’s Taxonomy higher order thinking.
  3. Identify how attending, memory, and motivation are the cognitive processes that impact comprehension.
  4. List at least two Universal Design for learning tools.
  5. Discuss games of engagement, representation, action and language.

7:30 - 7:50      Sign-In and Continental Breakfast (Included)
7:50 - 9:00      Intro/Keynote (ALL MUST ATTEND)
9:00 - 9:15      Transition to Next Session
9:15-10:00      The Foundation of Language, the SLP’s Expertise  
10:00-10:40    The Correlation Between Language and Literacy 
10:40-10:55    Break
10:55-11:15    Assessment Considerations for Language and Literacy related to the Role of the SLP 
11:15-12:30    Interventions that Address Expressive/Receptive Language and Literacy  
12:30 - 1:30    LUNCH (Included)
1:30-2:15        Lesson Planning, Examples of Lessons
2:15-2:30       Determining Roles and Responsibilities
2:30-3:15       Games of Engagement, Representation, Action and Language
3:15 - 3:30     Questions and Answers

Financial:  MariBeth Plankers, MS CCC-SLP, ATP will be receiving an honorarium from LISHA for her presentation.
Non-Financial:  MariBeth Plankers, MS CCC-SLP, ATP has no non-financial relationships to report.



Perspectives in Audiology: Amplification, Cognition and Audition

Presenter:  Douglas L. Beck, Au.D., F-AAA, CCC-A

In this session we will address and review how and why cognitive issues overlap with and impact, clinical audiology, as well as hearing aid dispensing. We will review the definitions and demographics of people with hearing and listening difficulty, as well as the demographics and definitions of mild cognitive impairment, dementia and related etiologies. We will explore the professional literature relating to cognition, cognitive screenings and fitting patients with neurocognitive disorders with amplification. We will review and discuss the correlational  relationship between speech-in-noise ability and neurocognitive problems. 

Participants will:

  1. Define hearing/listening and speech-in-noise.
  2. Discuss how and why cognitive issues overlap and impact clinical audiology and hearing aid dispensing.
  3. Identify how speech-in-noise correlations with neurocognitive disorders.
  4. Describe practicalities/examples of dementia and cognitive impairment in daily living.
  5. List two cognitive screeners and two speech-in-noise (SIN) tests.

7:30 - 7:50    Sign-In and Continental Breakfast
7:50 - 9:00    Intro/Keynote (ALL MUST ATTEND)
9:00 - 9:15    Transition to Next Session
9:15 - 9:30    Key Terms, and Definitions
9:30 - 10:15   Hearing/Listening and Speech-in-Noise
10:15 -10:40  Speech-in-Noise Tests
10:40 -10:55  Break
10:55 -11:45  Speech-in-Noise Correlations with Neurocognitive Disorders
11:45 -12:30  Practicalities/Examples:  Mild Cognitive Impairment, Dementia, Activities of Daily Living
12:30 - 1:30   LUNCH (Included)
1:30 - 2:15     Amplification Considerations for People with Neurocognitive Disorders
2:15 - 2:45    Goals:  Early Detection, Referral, Diagnosis & Management
2:45 - 3:15    Wrap Up and Key-Points
3:15 - 3:30    Questions and Answers


Financial:  Douglas L. Beck, Au.D., F-AAA, CCC-A is currently an employee of Cognivue. He will be receiving an honorarium from LISHA for his presentation.

Non-Financial:  Douglas L. Beck, Au.D., F-AAA, CCC-A is an Adjunct Professor at the State University of New York, Buffalo. 


Manual Therapy in the SLP Domain

Presenter:  Walt Fritz, PT


This session will introduce the learner to updated concepts relating to manual therapy with voice, swallowing, and related  disorders. Using evidence-based perspectives to support its use and working from a shared decision-making model, manual  therapy will be explored and applied through hands-on learning experiences. The information presented will allow the SLP to use aspects of this work in the clinic.

Participants will:

  1. Explain the distinctions between historical models of manual therapy with MTD and dysphagia with updated models.
  2. Identify and apply manual therapy from a shared decision-making perspective.
  3. Describe manual therapy treatment to the lower laryngeal and sternal region.
  4. Discuss hands-on manual therapy, why and when it is believed to be effective.

7:30 - 7:50      Sign-In and Continental Breakfast
7:50 - 9:00      Intro/Keynote (ALL MUST ATTEND)
9:00 - 9:15      Transition to Next Session
9:15 - 9:30      Self vs. Social Touch: more than the Tissues
9:30-10:00      Evidence for Manual Therapy in the SLP Domain
10:00-10:40    Evolving from Clinician-as-Expert into Shared Decision-Making
10:40 - 0:55    BREAK
10:55-11:10     Introduction to Touch as Communication
11:10-11:30     Demonstration of a Patient-Led Manual Therapy Interaction 
11:30-12:30     Lower Laryngeal Region Hands-on Experiences
12:30 - 1:30     LUNCH (Included)
1:30 - 2:30       Laryngeal Hands-on Experiences
2:30 - 3:15       Tongue Experiences
3:15 - 3:30       Questions and Answers

Financial:  Walt Fritz, PT receives royalties from Compton Publishing Ltd. He will be receiving an honorarium from LISHA for his presentation.
Non-Financial:  Walt Fritz, PT has no non-financial relationships to report.


Culturally Responsive Clinical Practices on Long Island and in New York State

Presenter:  Ana Santos, M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE

With a focus on bilingual students and clients with communication disorders, this presentation will provide an understanding of cultural awareness and culturally responsive practices, when working with individuals of various linguistic and cultural  backgrounds. Participants will examine the role of language and cultural diversity on Long Island and in New York State by addressing linguistic diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to communication. We will provide an understanding of cultural humility and culturally ethical practices, when working with individuals of various linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Participants will examine the role of their cultural responsiveness and personal bias in creating culturally appropriate interventions.

Participants will:

  1. Describe cultural awareness and the implications to SLPs and Audiologists on Long Island and in New York State.
  2. Discuss where to find resources available to guide an individualized framework for the assessment and intervention of students and clients of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  3. Describe cultural competence and the role of SLPs and Audiologists on Long Island. and in New York State.
  4. Identify resources to engage in the journey of cultural competence and the achievement of culturally responsive clinical practices.
  5. List ways to engage in equity and inclusive clinical practices with our local communities.

7:30 - 7:50       Sign-In and Continental Breakfast (Included)
7:50 - 9:00        Intro/Keynote (ALL MUST ATTEND)
9:00 - 9:15        Transition to Next Session
9:15 - 10:00      Principles and Understanding of Cultural Awareness 
10:00 -10:30     Breakdown of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity on Long Island
10:30 - 10:40    Cultural and Linguistical Diversity in our Caseloads: Sharing of Clinical Resources to obtain an Adequate Baseline of Treatment and/or Assessment
10:40 - 10:55    Break
10:55 - 11:30    Equity and Justice in Speech-Language and Audiology Practices Tailoring Dynamic Assessment and Ethical Progress Monitoring During Intervention
11:30 - 12:30    Inclusive Therapeutic Interventions Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Principles
12:30 - 1:30      LUNCH (Included)
1:30 - 2:00       Our Role as Culturally Competent Clinicians and its Effect on Clinical Practice
2:00 - 2:30       Journey Toward Cultural Humility, Reshape Years of Clinical Practice to Integrate our Communities and their needs while Balancing Current Laws and Ethical Dilemmas
2:30 - 3:15       Cultural Quotient and Personal Responsibility, Bias and our Responses toward Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
3:15 - 3:30      Questions and Answers

Financial:  Ana M. Santos M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE will be receiving an honorarium from LISHA for her presentation.
Non-Financial:  Ana M. Santos M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD-BE currently serves as a committee member on the NYSSLHA and LISHA Boards.




Confirmations can be obtained at or e-mail at All cancellations must be submitted in writing. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after October 6, 2023. Please note, registrants will receive a certificate of completion after the course has successfully been completed. 




Keynote Speaker Rich Specht is a father of four, husband, former science teacher, and co-founder of the ReesSpecht Life Foundation. The foundation is named in honor of Rich's son, Rees, who passed away tragically in 2012 at the age of 22 months. In the aftermath of Rees's death, Rich and his family were overwhelmed by their community's kindness and compassion, and they founded the ReesSpecht Life Foundation to pay it forward. The foundation's mission is to promote kindness and compassion through various initiatives, including the distribution of "ReesSpecht Life" cards, which encourage recipients to perform acts of kindness in Rees's memory. The foundation has also established a water safety program called "ReesSpecht the Water" to teach children and their caregivers the essentials of how to be safe in and around the water. In addition, Rich is also a public speaker who shares his family's story and the importance of kindness and compassion. He has given talks at schools, businesses, and community events and has been featured in various media outlets, including The Today Show, Fox and Friends, and Good Day NY.

MariBeth Plankers is a practicing Speech Language Pathologist, and Assistive Technology Professional. She has practiced in the public and private school sector, as Director of a Regional Assistive Technology Center at Minnesota State University (MSUM), and an assistive technology consultant from pediatric to geriatric populations. Her areas of communication services include augmentative alternative communication, autism spectrum disorder, reading and     written language, Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology. MariBeth is a National Presenter for the Bureau of Education and Research. 

Dr. Beck began his career at the House Ear Institute (L.A., Ca) in cochlear implant research and intraoperative cranial nerve monitoring. In 1988, he became Director of Audiology at Saint Louis University. In 1996 he cofounded a dispensing practice in St Louis. In 1999, he became President and Editor-In-Chief of, and After joining Oticon in 2005, from 2008 through 2015 he also served as Web Content Editor for the AAA. In 2016 he also became Senior Editor for Clinical Research at and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Communication Disorders & Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNYAB). After 17 years with Oticon, he retired in 2022 as Vice President of Academic Sciences. Dr. Beck is among the most prolific authors in audiology with more than 218 publications. In April of 2022 he joined Cognivue Inc. as VP of Clinical Sciences.

Walt Fritz is a US-based physical therapist who teaches a unique interpretation of manual therapy to speech-language pathologists, voice professionals, and other related communities. His gentle, non-manipulative, and interactive approach advances views of causation and impact from historical tissue-specific models into a multifactorial narrative, leaning heavily on biopsychosocial influences. His principles apply to a broad spectrum of intervention models using a model of evaluation and intervention that encourages equality between patient and clinician, utilizing shared decision-making rather than the biomedical clinician-as-expert approach. Unlike traditional laryngeal and soft tissue manipulation, Walt offers the clinician and patient a more subtle approach that gives the receiver more time to assess its influence and relevance. This approach is often better tolerated than aggressive, manipulative forms of treatment and aligns well with newer research findings, allowing the patient to frame the intervention from their preferences and values. Seeing the utility of manual therapy not as a standalone treatment but as an integral part of clinicians' more extensive work, Walt assimilates his approach into a wide range of treatment protocols. His work is equally appropriate for dysphagia, dysphonia, voice performance limitations, oral motor dysfunction, tongue-related concerns, breathing difficulties, and related disorders. Walt presents his live, in-person workshops internationally through his Foundations in Manual Therapy Seminars. His book is scheduled for release in March 2023 titled "Manual Therapy in Voice and Swallowing:  A Person-Centered Approach," and maintains a physical  therapy practice in Upstate, NY, USA.

Ana Santos is a licensed Bilingual Speech and Language Pathologist born in Colombia. Having acquired a second language upon moving to NY, she began developing an interest in the development of bilingual children. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Speech and Language Pathology from  St. John’s University and furthered her education by receiving a bilingual extension from Teacher’s College at Columbia University and a Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Certification. She was a member of the New York League for Early Learning Bilingual Task Force where she had the honor of working with educational staff experienced in Bilingualism Development and Bilingual Education Law throughout New York State. She currently serves as a member of the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Inc (NYSSLHA) Ad Hoc Diversity and Inclusionary Practices Committee and the LISHA Diversity Committee. She works with several Long Island School Districts and Clinical Staff to guide in the development and implementation of appropriate policies and educational curricula, to better serve culturally and linguistically diverse students. She has mastered a specialized focus on bilingual and multilingual students in need of academic interventions, developing a best practice framework for their specialized treatment and assessment, to aid in the reduction of the disproportionate representation of this group in special education.

**LISHA speaker selection does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or procedures. We reserve the right to substitute speakers due to circumstances beyond our control.**


October 20th, 2023 from  7:30 AM to  3:30 PM
8325 Jericho Turnpike
Crest Hollow Country Club
Woodbury, NY 11797
United States
Event Fee(s)
Professional Fee $275.00
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