Speakers

Lauren J. Lieberman Ph.D. is a Distinguished Service Professor in the Kinesiology Department at The State University of New York at Brockport, (SUNY) in adapted physical education. She started her career teaching at The Perkins School for the Blind in the Deafblind program. She is co-director of The Institute on Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments or Deafblindness (IMSVI)( See www.brockport.edu/IMSVI) . She is the founder and director of Camp Abilities: An educational sports camp for children with visual impairments. Camp Abilities has been replicated in 20 states and eight countries. (www.campabilities.org and www.campabilitiesworld.com) She has published over 193 peer-reviewed articles and 21 books. She has delivered Keynote presentations and was an invited guest speaker all over the US and in over 15 countries. She won an Access Award from AFB for starting Camp Abilities and helping to start camps all over the world, a Professional of the Year Award from The Society for Health and Physical Education (Adapted Physical Education Committee), and a Research Award from the National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities. She is a Research Fellow with the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity. In 2017 she won a Points of Light Award for her work with Camp Abilities from the US Government. Camp Abilities has been featured on CNN, HBO Real Sports, and on NBC. In the Fall of 2019, she was awarded a Global Fulbright Scholarship to promote Camp Abilities world-wide. She won the Joy of Effort Award from SHAPE America in 2021.

Pamela Beach, Ph.D. is a Professor of Motor Behavior in the Department of Kinesiology, Sports Studies and Physical Education and Associate Director of the Honors College at the State University of New York Brockport. She is also a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Institute on Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments (IMSVI).  Recently, Pamela and her colleagues were awarded the Corrine Kirchner National Research award from the American Foundation for the Blind for their work with IMSVI. Pamela regularly publishes and presents nationally and internationally on her research in motor behavior and balance in individuals across the lifespan with sensory impairments. Pamela also has a line of research focusing upon motor competence in children with CHARGE syndrome. In addition, she published Gross Motor Development Curriculum: For Children with Visual Impairment with the American Printing House for the Blind with Dr. Lauren Lieberman. Pamela has also produced numerous educational and training videos for parents and practitioners of youth with visual impairments and deafblindness. She has also published two editions of the undergraduate textbook Motor Learning and Development which have been widely adopted. Pamela has received accolades for her teaching and engagement including the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and has been appointed as a SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador. She was elected to serve on the American Kinesiology Association Board, and is an active Brockport Lions Club member, recently awarded the Lions Membership Award and the Lions International Centennial Award.

Keynote Title: Life is About Balance

This talk will address the importance of balance across the lifespan in individuals with visual impairments and blindness and discuss strategies to improve balance.

Justin A. Haegele, PhD, is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Center for Movement, Health, & Disability in the Department of Human Movement Sciences at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA, USA). Contextualized within the interdisciplinary field of adapted physical activity, his primary research interests center on exploring how disabled individuals experience physical activity participation, including within school-based physical education contexts. Since joining Old Dominion University in 2015, Dr. Haegele has amassed over 215 peer-reviewed research publications, as well as several edited or authored texts. He currently serves as the director of Project CAPER and the co-director of the MAMC, two adapted physical activity training collaboratives that are funded through the US Department of Education focused on training doctoral scholars in the field. He is also currently the president of the North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity, and the editor-in-chief for the peer-reviewed publications Quest (2022-2024) and Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (2023-2025).

Ruth Childs – Associate Professor Department of Theatre and Music Studies
MFA has been at the College of Brockport Department of Theatre and Music Studies since 2001. Her teaching specialties include public speaking, acting, voice and speech, improv, and the politics of theatre. In addition, she is certified to teach Fitzmaurice Voicework. Ruth has directed and acted in multiple productions at Brockport and beyond. Recent projects include 25th Annual Putnman County Spelling Bee, Urinetown, Prelude to a Kiss and Wonder of the World. She often works in voiceover, as well as a voice and dialect coach. She is a public speaking consultant. Ruth served as regional chair of the National Playwriting Program for Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and has been a respondent and reader for national and regional playwriting awards. In 2011 she was awarded the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Gold Medallion. She directs the self-advocacy program at Camp Abilities each summer.

Dr. Judit Gombás is a full-time academic at Eötvös Loránd University Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs Education (Budapest, Hungary). Ms Gombás was granted her Ph.D in 2017, her doctoral research investigated free time sporting habits of Hungarian adults with blindness or visual impairment.

She is the national representative of Hungary in the International Council for the Education of Individuals with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) Europe. Since 2019, she has been board member of „For the development of Special Education Foundation” (Gyógypedagógia Fejlesztéséért Alapítvány), and since 2021, she has been board member of „Hungarian Association of Special Needs Educators ” (Magyar Gyógypedagógusok Egyesülete). She is a founder and former president of Sports and Leisure Association for the Visually Impaired (Látássérültek Szabadidős Sportegyesülete). She is an advocate of active living and independence of individuals with blindness and visual impairment. In her free time, she loves tandem biking, hiking and learning foreign languages.