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DRS 2019 Annual Meeting
March 7-9
Post-Graduate Course ~ March 6
Wyndam San Diego
San Diego, CA

Please note our new address!
DRS - C/O Badger Bay Management Company
563 Carter Court, Suite B, Kimberly, WI 54136
Phone:  920-560-5624 | Email:

In Memoriam:  Dr. Justine Joan Sheppard

Dr. Justine Joan Sheppard, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, ASHA-Fellow, passed away on the morning of March 31st, 2018 in her home after a 3-year battle with breast cancer. She was surrounded by family and loved ones in her final days.

If you did not have the honor to know Joan professionally, she is one of the very few in our field who devoted her life to working with and for individuals with intellectual and developmental disability and cerebral palsy. Her contributions and her tireless work, up until the very end, to advance the care and management of individuals with disability are unmatched.

Joan spent decades serving and conducting clinical research on this significantly underserved population, and developed several tools to help in the early diagnosis and management of dysphagia in these patients. The Dysphagia Disorder Survey (DDS) (Sheppard et al. 2014) has been repeatedly cited as having the best psychometric properties and highest clinical utility among a number of clinical assessment tools for pediatric dysphagia and is used internationally by hundreds of dysphagia specialists.

Joan was extremely well known and respected internationally for her work. She traveled yearly to Australia and Europe and had been invited to talk in the Middle East, China, and other parts of the world several times. Her work has influenced thousands of clinicians and patients across the globe. Joan was also a pioneer in the area of forensic speech language pathology and one of the first pediatric dysphagia experts to advocate for patients in the legal domain. In addition, Joan’s passion for teaching and her tremendous love for her students were inspirational. At Teachers College Columbia University, Joan prepared two generations of students for careers as teachers and therapists.

For those who knew her best, it is her unfailing kindness, enthusiasm for life, and true humility for which she will be remembered most. As our colleague Jim Coyle said: “let's keep carrying Joan’s torch of excellence, collaboration, and lifelong learning.” Joan was an avid supporter of lifelong learning and research. Despite her illness she only missed two DRS meetings over the years and she attended both ASHA and DRS in 2017, where she won one of the DRS Best Poster awards.

Donations in her name may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or the Anne Moore Breast Cancer Research Fund. A donation fund for a student award or scholarship in Joan’s honor are being planned and should be announced in the coming months.

Her obituary can be found at:

Composed by DRS Board Member Dr. Georgia Malandraki on behalf of the Dysphagia Research Society.

DRS President 2017-2018


3/6/2019 » 3/9/2019
2019 DRS Annual Meeting


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