Charity Golf Tournament Benefits Penn State Professor’s Research

October 27, 2008

For the second year in a row, proceeds from a charity golf tournament sponsored by Forklifts, Inc., of Mechanicsburg, Pa., were donated to Penn State’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to benefit the work of one of its faculty members.

This year’s event, combined with several other fundraisers conducted over the past few months, resulted in a $27,000 gift from the Joe Strada, Sr. Memorial Fund to the department to support the world-class research of Dr. Janice Light, Distinguished Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Dr. Light is internationally known for her research in the area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, which is geared toward improving communication outcomes and enhancing the quality of life for individuals who have significant speech and language impairments, including children with autism. Through the use of tools such as signs, communication boards, and computer-based assistive technologies, in addition to methodologies and information for families and caregivers, Dr. Light and her research team are changing the lives of the individuals, families and programs they serve. The golf tournament was organized by the employees of Forklifts, Inc. in partnership with the Strada Memorial Fund to support Dr. Light’s research. Her work was recently highlighted in a video featured on Penn State Live (

More than 180 members of the local community participated in this fundraising event, held on September 13 at Armitage Golf Club in Mechanicsburg. Plans are already underway for next year’s fundraiser, set for September 12, 2009. A total of $47,000 has been donated to the Augmentative and Alternative Communication Laboratory since the tournament and related fundraising efforts were initiated in 2007.

image of Janice Light with Doug Gibson


Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at (814) 865-3831 or