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Kickstart the 2022-23 School Year
with Literacy Thought Leaders

Hear from literacy leaders and classroom innovators who will share strategies for delivering effective literacy instruction to students with complex learning needs during a half-day Virtual Summer Summit on July 28, 2022 from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. CDT.

This 3-hour Virtual Summit will kick off with a keynote address by Karen Erickson, the Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at Chapel Hill and the co-author of Comprehensive  Literacy for All. Customize your learning path by selecting from several live sessions (and later, access them all in recorded format!). Then join us for inspiring closing remarks from Don Johnston, the CEO of Building Wings. All sessions will be recorded and your registration will provide access to the live and recorded sessions.


Featured Presenters​



Ph.D., Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, UNC at Chapel Hill


Caroline Musselwhite

Ed.D., CCC/SLP, AAC Intervention



M.S., CCC-SLP, AACreATively



M.S., CEO/Founder Building Wings

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M.A., Assistive Technology Coordinator, Barrington
220 School District



M.A. Alternative/Augmentative Communication Consultant, Oakland Schools

michael mccormick headshot 2022 via JJ


M.S., Penn-Delco School District

Maureen Donnelly LI


M.Ed., Curriculum Development Manager



Regular Summit
Fee: $29.
An early-bird rate of
$19 is available until July 1, 2022

CPDU Credits

We will provide a certificate of attendance to those who register, attend sessions, and fill out our post-session form. With that certificate you can report your participation in professional development for your school or for state and
organizational tracking.

Answers to FAQs

Access answers to FAQs
about the Summit

Printable Agenda

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Building Wings Leading with Literacy 2022 Summer Summit FAQs

We’re looking forward to hosting the 2022 Leading with Literacy Summer Summit. Please find answers to commonly asked questions below:

This conference has been designed for school-based teachers, administrators, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, paraprofessionals and literacy advocates to hear from literacy leaders on best-practices to provide literacy instruction to learners with complex learning barriers.

Literacy leaders will provide presentations on current trends in comprehensive literacy instruction as well as specific sessions on cortical visual impairments, integrating AAC, empowering knowledgeable others, IEP goal writing and steps to facilitate school-wide effective literacy practices. This summit will focus more on effective practices rather than product use.

This is for you; a time to invest in yourself! Our goal is to provide a time-efficient way for educators to kickstart the 2022-23 school year with effective literacy instruction practices. We also have a few surprises planned!

This Summit will be held virtually. You will receive an email prior to the summit with directions on how to access the summit on your computer or smartphone. You’re welcome to join in from your desk, home office, couch, deck, or even the beach.

We’re offering an early-bird registration fee of $19 until July 1,2022, after that the registration fee will be $29.  We are unable to process refunds.

For this Summit, we are only accepting credit or debit cards and you will receive an electronic  receipt if you need it for reimbursement or for your records.

We will provide a certificate of attendance to those who register, attend sessions, and fill out our post-session form. With that certificate you can report your participation in professional development for your school or for state and organizational tracking.

Please contact us at with any additional questions!

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D.​

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Her focus is on understanding the best ways to assess and teach reading and writing to children with the most severe disabilities. As a special education teacher, Dr. Erickson has worked to support students with a range of disabilities in a variety of classroom settings, particularly students who do not use speech as their primary means of communication.


Author Profile:,Ph.D.

Caroline Musselwhite Ed.D., CCC-SLP

Caroline Musselwhite Ed.D., CCC-SLP, is an assistive technology specialist with more than 45 years of experience working with children and adolescents with significant disabilities. She has taught courses at several universities, authored a number of books on educational topics, and presented thousands of workshops throughout the world. She is also a founding member of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC).





Amanda Soper, M.S., CCC-SLP

Amanda Soper, M.S., CCC-SLP, Amanda currently works at a special education charter school in Washington, DC. as the Assistive Technology Specialist. Amanda is an adjunct professor at Gallaudet University and owns a private practice, AACreATively Communicating, seeing private clients who use AAC in Maryland and DC. Amanda specializes in working with individuals with complex communication needs who use AAC.





Don Johnston, M.S.

Don  Johnston, M.S. is the Founder/CEO of Building Wings LLC, Don Johnston Incorporated, and a Board Member of Texthelp. Don founded his company in 1980 for the purpose of developing educational tools and materials that transform the lives of people across all learning styles and abilities. He is the visionary behind Readtopia, Co:Writer, Snap&Read, and more.

Kelly Key, M.S.

Kelly Key, M.S., is the Assistive Technology Coordinator for the Barrington School District (EC-Transition) in Barrington, Illinois. She has worked in the field of special education for over 25 years. Prior to becoming an administrator, she taught special education students with multiple needs for 9 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership as well as an ATACP.

Twitter: @KKey_AT

Marlene R. Cummings M.A., CCC-SLP
AAC Consultant, MRC Communications

Marlene is a speech-language pathologist, former early childhood educator, and Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) Consultant. Her 40-year career is highlighted by her passion to create environments and change culture for students with complex communication needs in AAC, language and literacy. Marlene designed and implemented an AAC classroom program for students with severe apraxia and an accompanying Assistive Technology Center in a large suburban school district.  She specializes in designing innovative implementation systems utilizing cutting edge professional learning frameworks and dynamic service delivery models to build capacity and sustainability among teams and organizations. In addition, Marlene’s past classroom experience drives her exploration and use of universal AAC supports and strategically chosen implementation strategies. She currently influences others in the field through state, national and international conference presentations focused on AAC implementation frameworks, capacity building, shifting mindsets and job embedded learning models. Marlene teaches graduate students in AAC, contributes posts on PrAACtical AAC and other blogs and newsletters and most recently collaborated with The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies on a train the trainer literacy initiative.




Michael McCormick, M.S., LBS

Michael McCormick, M.S., LBS is Supervisor of Special Education at Penn-Delco School District in Pennsylvania.

Michael McCormick is a Secondary Supervisor of Special Education for the Penn-Delco School District. Previously, Michael worked as a Low-Incidence Special Education Teacher, Secondary Transition Coordinator, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Exceptionality Programs at Bloomsburg University, and Supervisor of Early Intervention. He graduated from Bloomsburg University with a dual degree in Elementary and Special Education and continued to earn his Master of Science in Special Education with a focus in Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Michael furthered his education at Bloomsburg University to obtain his Principal and Supervisory Certificate. In addition, Michael is a Licensed Behavior Specialist (LBS), a Safety Cares Trainer, Check & Connect Trainer, and Executive Committee Member of the Greater Philadelphia Light the Night Event. Michael strives to help create a world that is a more inclusive environment for all by advocating for individuals with exceptionalities and providing training to parents/guardians, educators, and students.


Maureen Donnelly, M.Ed.

Maureen Donnelly, M.Ed. is a Curriculum Development Manager at Building Wings. Maureen is an early childhood educator by training who has worked with students of diverse ages and abilities, from preschool through college. Throughout her 25-year career, Maureen has developed numerous products and written hundreds of books that support the literacy learning needs of beginners. She lives and works in Kittery, Maine, in an office stuffed with children’s books.


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