Founder of musical theater troupe for people with disabilities to give Goldstick Lecture

by Sharita Forrest  /   Aug 20, 2018

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Krista Wilkinson, the founder of a musical theater troupe for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will give the annual Goldstick Family Lecture in the Study of Communication Disorders at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center in Urbana on Sept. 13.

The Goldstick Lecture series is sponsored by the Department of Special Education and made possible by an endowment from Phillip C. and the late Beverly Kramer Goldstick that funds the Goldstick Initiative for the Study of Communication Disorders.

Wilkinson, a professor of communication sciences and disorders at Pennsylvania State University, will discuss the use of music, dance, improvisation, and other creative arts as tools for teaching social skills and verbal and nonverbal communication skills.

She leads the Changed for the Better: For Good performance troupe, which pairs individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities with actors to stage musical productions.

During her talk, titled “Supporting Social and Communication Goals for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through the Performing Arts,” Wilkinson will explore how these performances promote friendships, social engagement, leadership, and other important skills. Along with videos of the troupes, Wilkinson will share tips and resources for creating successful local performance groups.

The lecture/seminar series enables Illinois faculty members and students to share their research and brings a prominent scholar to the Illinois campus every fall to speak about his or her work.

The endowment also supports a sustainable training and research program in communication disorders that provides fellowships to three doctoral students whose research focuses on communication disorders and delays.

The event will include remarks by College of Education Dean James D. Anderson, as well as Caryn Goldstick Zelinger, Phillip Goldstick, and Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky, the 2018 Goldstick Family Scholar.

Read the full article by the Illinois News Bureau.