March 24, 2018  

Current weather

Clear sky, 59 °F

The Children’s Center at Southern Miss Hosts Institute for Educators

Main Content
Pictured is a Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) book used in several classrooms at The Children’s Center for Communication and Development. (Submitted photo)

The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi and the Mapp Family Foundation will present The Children’s Center Institute, a conference focused on learning strategies for children with significant disabilities and complex communication needs, set for April 4 – 8 at Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.

Led by Linda J. Burkhart, an internationally-known pioneer in the field of simplified technology for children with severe challenges, participants will have the opportunity to take in two very distinctive education topics: Multi-Modal Communication/Learning Strategies for Children who face Significant Challenges and the official Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Method.

This week-long conference is designed specifically for special educators, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and early interventionists.  All participants will have an opportunity to earn up to 3.25 CEUs, approved for speech-language pathologists and educators.

“Several of our teachers attended a workshop under Linda and have successfully implemented the PODD method into their classrooms,” said Sarah Case-Price, executive director for the Center. “With the generous support of the Mapp Family Foundation, we hope to help make a bigger and better impact on students with complex communication and development disorders throughout our region.” 

Conference Session Information

Multi-Modal Communication and Learning Strategies for Children who face Significant Challenges is a two-day session with a focus on severe multiple disabilities and children on the Autism spectrum. Participants will also receive a brief overview of the PODD method. The cost is $75.

The Official Introductory PODD Course with Book is a three-day session which includes two days focusing on the introductory workshop and a third day dedicated to focusing on alternative access in the classroom. Participants will actively learn how to use the Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display approach developed by Gayle Porter of Melbourne, Australia. Templates that can be customized for a range of access methods and other individual needs will also be available to all participants. The cost is $100.

If participants would like to register for the full week covering both topics, the cost is a discounted rate of $125. Registration can be accessed at or by calling 601-266-5222.