BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Keely Camden, Chair of the Education Department at Bethany College, has been selected to make a presentation at the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) 2008 National Convention and Expo in Boston, Mass. on Friday, April 4.

This marks the second straight year Dr. Camden has accepted an invitation to present at the CEC’s annual Convention. This year’s event runs from April 2-5 at the Hynes Convention Center and is expected to draw thousands of educators, administrators and parents to Boston. The CEC is the largest professional organization for special education in the United States.

“It is an honor to be selected to present at the CEC Convention,” said Dr. Camden. “I’m also excited to have the opportunity to network with other educators from across the country. It’s wonderful to be able to share this experience with some of my Bethany students.”

Camden’s presentation is entitled, “Classroom Considerations for Children with Food Allergies and Restricted Diets.” The subject is more than just an area of academic study for Camden. It is a challenge she confronts every day while helping her 5-year-old daughter Victoria (Torey) deal with a number of severe food allergies including wheat, dairy, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts.

Food allergies are thought to affect 2-6 percent of the population and the problem is gaining increased national attention. A recent study revealed that nearly one in five children with food allergies have experienced at least one allergic reaction at their school. Camden says food allergens can be found in such common classroom items as Play-Doh (made from wheat), glue strips on envelopes (wheat protein) or candy (milk or wheat protein).

“I understand the challenges faced by parents and teachers,” said Camden. “There are tremendous resources available but the initial process of accommodating and adjusting for food allergies and restrictions can seem overwhelming. As food allergies become more prevalent, it becomes increasingly important for teachers, staff and administrators to understand school readiness issues and make the necessary modifications to ensure student safety.”

Camden will be accompanied on the trip by five Education majors from the College. Ashley Shuttleworth of Canfield, Ohio; Allison West of Tiltonsville, Ohio; Sarah Walter of Weirton, W.Va.; Tricia Mark of Warren, Ohio and Rachel Reardon of Follansbee, W.Va. will attend the conference and assist Camden with her presentation.