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03/05/2024, Conversations with Dr. Koppenhaver – Session 5: Let’s Talk About Conventional Writing

Date: 03/05/2024 Time: 3:30-4:30 Location: internet Type: Webinar


David Koppenhaver, co-author of the book Comprehensive Literacy for All: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write (2020) joins us to host 5 discussions about implementing comprehensive literacy instruction in classrooms. This series is intended to offer a space to connect with others around a shared goal of engaging in meaningful conversations about how we are supporting students with complex needs in becoming readers and writers. Each session will involve time for participants to ask the author questions.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will engage in peer-to-peer knowledge exchange by sharing experiences, successful practices, and challenges in implementing comprehensive literacy instruction.
  2. Participants will deepen their understanding of comprehensive literacy instruction for students with disabilities by listing 2 practical and actionable strategies to implement in emergent or conventional literacy instruction.


Dr. David Koppenhaver

David Koppenhaver, Professor, has been a faculty member in the Department of Reading Education and Special Education (RESE) at Appalachian State University since 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC) and NC teaching certification in Reading K-12, Middle Grades Language Arts, Intermediate Education, and Elementary Education. His research focuses on literacy in children with significant disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, complex communication needs, and multiple disabilities. In 1990 he co-founded the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at UNC with David Yoder, and in 1998 he delivered the Don Johnston/ISAAC Distinguished Lecture at the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication biennial conference in Dublin, Ireland. He and Karen Erickson co-authored Comprehensive Literacy for All: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write (2019), which has ranked in the top 10 best sellers in three special education categories at Amazon ever since.  David will be retiring from Appalachian State at the end of June 2023 but will remain active in his professional focus on literacy and students with high intensity needs.  His current projects include co-authoring a tribute to David Yoder; exploring inclusive literacy practices; assisting special educators in understanding and applying theoretically grounded reading comprehension instruction for students with autism spectrum disorders; understanding reading comprehension profiles of students with William syndrome; and exploring an apprenticeship model for professional development in writing instruction.

Sarah Kinsella, MA CCC-SLP

Sarah Kinsella is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a passion for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and supporting students with complex communication needs. She holds a Master’s degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and has worked in the public school setting for 11 years. She also served as the district Assistive Technology Specialist for 7 years, working with multidisciplinary teams and families to support students with a variety of Assistive Technology and AAC needs. She is passionate about her field and thankful for the students with whom she works as they help her learn and grow along the way.

Brenda Del Monte, MA, SLP-CCC
Brenda Del Monte has been working as a therapist for over 18 years. Brenda received her undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Washington and her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology at Western Washington University. She has worked with children and adults with multiple disabilities since 2003. Brenda owns Technically Speaking, PLLC, a company that serves those who use AAC.  As an expert in AAC, Brenda contracts with Advanced Therapy Solutions to evaluate, train and treat those with multiple disabilities and complex medical conditions. 

Brenda serves as a practice scholar research mentor at Northern Arizona University’s OTD program. Brenda has taught courses for Central Washington University, Arizona State University Speech-Language Pathology SLP Master’s Program and Northern Arizona University Occupational Doctoral students.


Email Sue Wright at the SETC office

Clock hours for this webinar and others in this series are available from ESD105 for a small fee. The following Professional Development Enroller link provides more information about clock hours: