Alaska <br>  Speech-Language-Hearing <br>         Association

AKSHA is PROUD to announce our 2021 annual Convention

“Reengaging with Convention”

Teresa Moore and Andrea Toth have been working hard to bring this convention to the Downtown Anchorage Marriott September 24th and 25th 2021!

Friday Keynote Speaker

Hope Finkelstein, FASD Program Director for State of Alaska Department of Health and Human Services

Keynote: An introduction to the roles Speech-Language-Hearing Specialists play in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) diagnosis and subsequent interventions in Alaska.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Comprehensive Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Program and its nascent partnership with the Alaska Speech-Language-Hearing Association 
  2. Explain the State supported multi-disciplinary FASD diagnostic team process 
  3. List the specific roles Speech Language Hearing specialists play in FASD diagnosis and interventions.

Financial Disclosures: Hope has no relevant financial relationships.

Non-financial Disclosures: As the program director for the State of Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, Hope has a professional, non-financial relationship with AKSHA due to her interest in increasing the number of FASD providers in Alaska.


Michelle L.W. Dawson M.S., CCC-SLP, CLC

"Pediatric Dysphagia: Chasing the Swallow and Treating it"


Tiffani Wallace, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

"Putting the Evidence Back into Adult Dysphagia Assessment and Treatment"

Sections: Is your CSE EBP? Skill vs Strength Training! Translating Your Evaluation into Therapy. Ethical Decisions in Dysphagia.


Sarah Ward M.S., CCC-SLP

"Executive Function Skills and Strategies for Professionals"

The ability to eat with peers in the school cafeteria, or participate in family dinners may be the norm for the general population, however there is a significant subset of the population that does not have the ability to independently or safely engage in these activities of daily living due to oropharyngeal dysphagia.  This one day course is designed to educate attendees on the intricate interplay of the Brain-Mouth-Gut connection and how breakdowns in this system, (such as inter-uterine CVA, diminished mastication reflexes, and delayed GI motility), can result in oropharyngeal dysphagia and to walk away with functional interprofessional practice based treatments.  Specific attention is given to the unique needs of the medically fragile and complex pediatric patients from birth to early childhood.

Michelle Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC, Member/Manager of HeartWood Speech Therapy in Columbia, SC, is the acclaimed host of “First Bite: Fed, Fun, Functional” a Speech Therapy Podcast/Podcourse that addresses “all thangs” Pediatric Speech Therapy.  She is an accomplished lecturer, traveling the nation delivering ASHA approved CEU courses on best practices for evaluation and treatment of the medically complex infant, toddler, and child with respect to their pediatric oropharyngeal dysphagia, as well as language acquisition within the framework of Early Intervention.  She has served as the Treasurer for the Council of State Association Presidents, is a Past President of the South Carolina Speech, Language, and Hearing Association, is a Community Ambassador for Feeding Matters, a 2017 graduate of the ASHA Leadership Development Program, has been awarded Feeding Matters “Pediatric Feeding Disorders Awareness Champion”, and is 5-time recipient of the ASHA ACE Award. 

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Explain typical development and sequence of respiration, deglutition, and digestion.
  2. Explain the typical development of at least 3 reflexes related to mastication and deglutition.
  3. Name 4 common pediatric medical diagnoses and describe how each diagnosis in conjunction with medical management can contribute to oropharyngeal dysphagia.
  4. Name 3 different “tubes” for feeding and describe their impact on the normal Brain-Mouth-Gut connection.
  5. List 5 examples of therapeutic interventions to help re-establish the brain-mouth-gut connection and treatment of orophayrngeal dysphagia and how to implement.

Financial Disclosures: Michelle Dawson receives compensation for similar presentations from from webinars as well as from “First Bite: Fed, Fun, Functional” and “Understanding Dysphagia”, both are Speech Therapy Podcasts. Michelle also receives compensation for a similar webinar from PESI, Inc. Michelle is the Coordinator for Clinical Education and Clinical Assistant Professor for the Masters of Speech-Language Pathology Program with Francis Marion University, in Florence, South Carolina, for which she receives an annual salary. She also receives royalties from the sale of her book Chasing the Swallow: Truth, Science, and Hope for Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders. Lastly, Michelle is receiving an honorarium from Alaska Speech-Language-Hearing Association for speaking here today.

Non-financial Disclosures: Michelle Dawson is a volunteer with Feeding Matters, a former Treasurer with the Council of State Association Presidents, and a Past President with South Carolina Speech, Language, and Hearing Association.  She is a current member of both ASHA and SCSHA. Michelle is also recently volunteered with ASHA for the Pediatric Feeding Disorder planning committee for the ASHA 2021 Convention.

Tiffani Wallace has been treating patients with dysphagia for over 15 years. Tiffani has worked in various facilities, including schools, SNF’s, outpatient, home health and acute care. She is currently working as a clinician in home health with adults and owns a Mobile FEES company in Indiana.

Tiffani enjoys sharing information about dysphagia through her website Dysphagia Ramblings Tiffani encourages using evidence-based practice as well as practical strategies for patients with dysphagia. Tiffani also enjoys sharing information regarding continuing education courses and applications for iPads/iPhones dealing with or related to dysphagia.

Tiffani created and is the administrator of the Facebook group The Dysphagia Squad. Tiffani is very active in social media for Professional Networking and incorporating technology into therapy.

Tiffani currently serves on the Advisory Board for Smarty Ears Inc and is a co-author of Dysphagia2Go. She is the author of the app iScreen Aphasia. She also co-authored the app Dysphagia Therapy with Tactus Therapy. Tiffani has created multiple webinars for and Northern Speech Services. She has also traveled and presented for PESI, Speech and Voice Enterprises and Summit about assessing and treating dysphagia and new topics in dysphagia. Tiffani has presented on the topic of dysphagia at various State Conventions and at the ASHA Convention.

Tiffani holds the honor of Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S). She believes that BCS-S is a high honor and a necessity in our ever-growing field of speech pathology. Tiffani is a member of ASHA and has recently earned her 13th ACE award. Tiffani was a guest on the Swallow Your Pride podcast sharing information on dysphagia.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. List the reasons a patient may not want therapy.
  2. Describe what to do with a patient that won’t modify their diet.
  3. List ethical considerations for dysphagia.
  4. Describe how a waiver may not be the right decision for the patient.
  5. Describe what skill training is with dysphagia.
  6. List principles of exercise.
  7. Describe how neuroplasticity affects swallowing rehabilitation.
  8. Demonstrate evidence-based techniques for the Clinical Swallow Evaluation (CSE).
  9. List the components/purpose of a complete CSE.
  10. Describe how to complete a cranial nerve exam.
  11. List the ways posture, oxygen, vitals, and cognition can affect the exam.
  12. Describe the difference between symptoms and function of dysphagia.
  13. Describe how sensory function can affect swallowing.
  14. List various exercise programs/treatments for dysphagia.
  15. Describe how oral care can affect therapy.

Financial Disclosures: Tiffani is a co-author of the app Dysphagia2Go and iScreen Aphasia through SmartyEars and receives royalties from each purchase of the apps. Tiffani is also the co-author of the app Dysphagia Therapy from Tactus Therapy and receives royalties from each purchase of this app. Tiffani has presented webinars for PESI, Northern Speech Services and Speech and receives royalties/honorarium. Tiffani is a co-author of The Adult Dysphagia Pocket Guide: Neuroanatomy to Clinical Practice through Plural Publishing and receives royalties for books sold. Tiffani is the owner and endoscopist at Hoosier Mobile Dysphagia Solutions, a mobile FEES company in northcentral Indiana. Tiffani is being paid an honorarium for this presentation.

Non-financial Disclosures: Tiffani is the owner and author of Dysphagia Ramblings, a personal blog ( Tiffani is the administrator and creator of the Facebook group the Dysphagia Squad.

Sarah has over 25 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations and treatment of executive dysfunction.  Ms. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Sarah is an internationally recognized expert on executive function and presents seminars and workshops on the programs and strategies she has developed with her Co-Director Kristen Jacobsen. Their 360 Thinking Executive Function Program received the Innovative Promising Practices Award from the National Organization CHADD. She has presented to and consulted with over 1400 public and private schools in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. State the functional working definition of what is meant by the term “executive function skills” as it pertains to therapeutic interventions.
  2. Be able to identify what is the typical developmental course of the executive function skills
  3. Define how situational awareness, self-talk, forethought, gesture/movement and episodic memory are the foundational skills for successful task execution
  4. Develop an intervention program to foster a student’s ability to form more independent executive function skills by describing therapeutic activities to improve: situational awareness, self-talk and forethought; self-regulation and following routines; task planning, task initiation and transition within and between tasks; active self-management of the factors related to the passage of time; and student management of materials.
  5. Describe 4 methods for teaching a student how to visualize and plan hourly, daily and weekly time and prioritize tasks across multiple hours/days
  6. List 3 interventions to teach a student how to visualize complex tasks and then sequence and plan the requisite steps to complete assigned work

Financial Disclosures: Sarah Ward is a speech-language pathologist, co-director of Cognitive Connections, LLP, and an adjunct instructor at MGH Institute of Health Professions. Sarah is receiving an honorarium from Alaska Speech-Language-Hearing Association for speaking here today.

Non-financial Disclosures: Sarah Ward has no non-financial interests related to the content of this presentation.


Friday, September 24, 2021

7:00-8:00       Registration/ Breakfast

8:00-8:30       Keynote Speaker (.5)

8:45-10:15     Breakout Sessions (1.5)

                          A. Adult Dysphagia 

                          B. Pediatric Dysphagia

10:15-10:30   Break

10:30-12:00   Breakout Sessions (1.5)

                          A. Adult Dysphagia

                          B. Pediatric Dysphagia

12:00-1:00     Lunch Provided

1:00-2:30       Breakout Sessions (1.5)

                          A. Adult Dysphagia

                          B. Pediatric Dysphagia

2:30-3:00       Break/vendors

3:00-5:00       Breakout Sessions (2.0)

                          A. Adult Dysphagia

                          B. Pediatric Dysphagia

5:00-5:30       Q&A with speakers (.5)

5:30-6:30       Social & Shopping

Saturday, September 25, 2021

7:00-8:00         Registration/Breakfast 

8:00-10:00       Executive Function (2.0)

10:00-10:15    Break/Visit Vendors

10:15-12:15    Executive Function (2.0)

12:15-2:00       Business Lunch (Meal Provided)

2:00-3:45         Executive Function (1.75)

3:45-4:00         Break/Visit Vendors

4:00-5:45         Executive Function (1.75)

Please refer to the following program for information regarding the conference:

2021 AKSHA Program.pdf

ASHA Credit and CEUs

Please use the following link after the convention to receive ASHA Credit: 2021 AKSHA Conference Attendance Form and Course Evaluation Form Link

These are documents to review and use if you are seeking UAA Credit:

2021 AkSHA UAA Credit Course Requirements.pdf

77945 UAA Online Registration Instructions.pdf

Cancellation and Refund Policy: 

All cancellations and refunds will be processed after the convention. Full refunds will be made only if a written cancellation request is received three (3) weeks prior to the convention (by September 3, 2021).

Sept 4 – 10th refund 75%

Sept 11 – 23rd refund 50%

After the 23rd refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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