ALS topic of Aug. 14 Omaha Science Cafe

August 01, 2018

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Amy Nordness, Ph.D., director of speech-language pathology at the Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation, and Shannon Todd, M.S.W., a care services specialist with The ALS Association Mid-America Chapter, will discuss "The Eyes Have It - How the Eyes Keep People with ALS Connected to the World" at the next Omaha Science Café at 7 p.m. on Aug. 14 at the Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The disease is characterized by a gradual onset with progressive muscle weakness.

Dr. Nordness received her bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology from Marquette University and her master’s and doctorate degrees in speech-language pathology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

She has worked as a clinical speech-language pathologist with children and adults across multiple levels of care, including outpatient, acute rehabilitation, and acute care and taught at Western Illinois University.

Dr. Nordness became the director of speech-language pathology at MMI in 2015. She specializes in motor speech disorders and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

She has co-authored multiple publications in the areas of AAC, motor speech, and ALS and has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally. She has received grant funding to support projects related to pediatric swallowing disorders, instrumental swallowing training, AAC, and childhood apraxia of speech.

Todd has worked for the ALS Association Mid-America Chapter since 2006. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Doane College in 2000, and her master’s degrees in social work and public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2005. She has been providing social work services and case management across the state of Nebraska for patients and families dealing with acute and chronic health conditions since 2000.

This Science Café is being held in partnership with the ALS Association Mid-America Chapter.

Science Cafés involve a face-to-face conversation with a scientist about current science topics. They are open to everyone (21 and older) and take place in casual settings like pubs and coffeehouses. Each meeting is organized around an interesting topic of conversation. A scientist gives a brief presentation followed by a Q-and-A period.

Pizza will be provided for the first 50 people. For more information about Science Cafes, go to

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