Virginia Wise Berninger was a general education, special education, and reading specialist in urban, suburban, or rural schools, 1967-1976 before completing a Ph.D. in Psychology (Johns Hopkins University) in 1981. She completed APA-approved predoctoral and postdoctoral clinical psychology internships at Boston’s Children’s Hospital where she worked in interdisciplinary clinics. She was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School (1981-1983), Tufts New England Medical School (1983-1986), and University of Washington (1986 to 2016, where she was a tenured faculty member for 27 years and taught courses and advised masters and doctoral students in school psychology and learning science and human development, served as Director of the APA-approved and NASP-approved School Psychology Program 1993-2000, and Director of Internship Training 2001-2006, and engaged in many local and national service activities. A licensed psychologist, she had a part-time private practice specializing in assessment and consultation from 1982 to 2016. She was Principal Investigator on NICHD- funded research on development of writing, reading, aural language, and oral language and related processes and effective teaching for at-risk writers and readers from 1989-2008, Principal Investigator of an NICHD-funded Multidisciplinary Learning Disabilities (genetics, brain imaging, diagnosis, and specialized instruction) from 1995-2006, 2011-2016, and Co-Principal Investigator of a Department of Education grant on math, 1993-1996. Since retiring in 2016 as a Professor Emerita, she has remained active in translation of science into practice through professional development activities, helping former students and colleagues publish collaborative research, writing books (revisions of four instructional tools and two user guides for linking assessment and instruction), and volunteer tutoring.
Kelli Fetter, MS, OTR/L is a Handwriting Instructional Specialist and Executive Board Member. Kelli is an occupational therapist with extensive experience in pediatrics. She currently provides handwriting tutoring virtually and in-person through her company Handwriting Solutions at www.handwritingsolutions.org. She has practiced in pediatric outpatient settings, early intervention, preschools, private schools, and homeschool co-ops. She has served as adjunct professor teaching pediatrics and kinesiology. Kelli’s handwriting specific training includes a Handwriting Specialist Certification as well Handwriting Without Tears, Size Matters Handwriting Program, and numerous training and workshops on dyslexia and dysgraphia. She has additional skills in pediatric feeding difficulties, primitive reflexes, sensory processing, visual perception, motor deficits, and ergonomics. Kelli also is a parent of a child with dyslexia and dysgraphia and is passionate about serving these children and educating families with evidence-based best practices.
Dr. Sherry (Crawford) Compston is a Developmental Optometrist and the Handwriting Collaborative's newest Executive Board Member. Sherry is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she received her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctor of Optometry degrees. She also did an additional two-year Fellowship in Family Practice Optometry where she specialized in Ocular Disease and Pediatrics. After completing her residency at Ohio State, she was invited to join the full-time faculty as a Clinical Assistant Professor and the manager of the Binocular Vision and Pediatrics Clinic. Even after she left this position, she never lost her ties to OSU and continues to be an Associated Faculty Member to this day. In private practice, she continued to specialize in children, particularly those with developmental delays, “lazy eye” or who were struggling in school.
Ms. Asha Asher, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA, is a Handwriting Instructional Specialist and Executive Board Member. Ms. Asher has provided school-based occupational therapy services for over forty years in four countries (United States, Canada, Belgium, and India), worked as a part-time lecturer, and is currently in private practice in Redlands, California. She has several publications and has presented internationally, nationally and locally on topics pertaining to school-based therapy. Asher serves as a reviewer for two national journals and is on the Roster of evaluators for the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, and for the Occupational Therapy Fellowship program. In 2010, Ms. Asher was recognized as a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association for her leadership, scholarship, and culturally sensitive practice. She has received two Fulbright grants to promote occupational therapy services in schools in South Asia. As a school occupational therapist my goal is to facilitate the optimal participation of every student in their educational environment.
Carol Armann, OTR/L is Director of The Handwriting Collaborative's Executive Board. Carol is a pediatric therapist who provides consultative services to local schools. She has over 40 years of pediatric experience with an expertise in sensory processing disorders and best practices in handwriting development. She has presented throughout the USA at state and national occupational therapy conferences including the American Occupational Therapy Association. She has recently co-authored and published a chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Visual-Motor Skills, Handwriting, and Spelling: Theory, Research, and Practice (©2023).
Kathleen Wright is the Founder and Executive Director of The Handwriting Collaborative. She began her career as an early childhood educator and has been a handwriting instructional specialist and nationally recognized handwriting research advocate for over 30 years. Kathleen has served as subject matter expert on handwriting curriculum development-including the use of teacher-and student-facing classroom technology; and directed the development and implementation of a national handwriting instructor certification course. She has presented on best-practice approaches to classroom handwriting instruction at national and state-level conferences; led virtual and in-person professional development workshops; initiated and organized the 2012 HW21Summit research symposium; and organized and directed the 2022 International Conference on the Science of Written Expression which was held virtually via zoom on January 21st – 23rd, 2022. (https://conference.handwritingcollaborative.org)