Gratitude and Updates from ERI’s President Carol Loria

As I reflect back on a year that we will all never forget, I want to express my personal and professional gratitude to each and every one of you, our much valued community, who are the foundation that drives ERI to carry our mission forward.  We hope that we have helped you to inspire your patients and families who so want to hear good news and who so want to achieve a better quality of life.

I am grateful for our ERI team, a small but mighty crew, who worked tirelessly to pivot the way we deliver our services while keeping the core of our vision and values at the heart of it all.  I am especially proud that when the country first started shutting down, the very first thing we did was ask ourselves if there is anything we could do to help the thousands of therapists struggling to help patients on ventilators, even though they perhaps had never worked with this patient population before.  I am grateful to Steven Sadowsky who granted us permission and his blessings to offer his 3.5 hour session (part of an online ERI course) on mechanical ventilation to any therapist needing it, free of charge!  Over 5,000 therapists took this course and we are grateful to these therapists who have worked tirelessly taking care of patients day after day amid the weight of this year.

Barbara Goldfarb Vice President

I have some bittersweet news to share.  Barbara Goldfarb, co-founder and friend, is retiring from ERI to pursue new horizons. Barbara has poured her heart and soul into moving ERI from an “in the basement” company where she and I taught all of the courses to an international company reflecting the changing needs of our therapy community and the ever changing technology of our times.  Her dedication, caring and passion has been at the core of ERI.  I am sure that you will all join me in wishing her well in this next phase of life.

All of us at ERI hope that you are all staying safe and healthy and finding cause for joy as we usher in a year of hope, 2021!

We look forward to continuing our work to help you improve the lives of the patients and families you serve.


Carol Loria President


A Successful Therapies in the School Conference – 2020 Style!

Thank you to everyone who attended ERI’s VIRTUAL Therapies in the School Conference in November. For  more than 20 years, our conference has provided resources and tools to help school-based therapists improve their practice. While this year’s virtual event format was unlike year’s past, the outcome was still exceptional; our phenomenal speakers successfully shared expert advice and engaging content to nearly 300 school-based therapists via Zoom; therapists previously unable to attend the conference due to travel were able to participate; and the level of collaboration connection in virtual break out rooms and chats were truly inspiring and informative.

Great Morning Session with Kim Wiggins

This year’s topics included essential information to address the present-day challenges posed by COVID-19 including adapting school-based practices to telehealth, integrating trauma-informed treatment strategies (including COVID-19) into practice, evaluating participation, applying best practices for school-based learning, supporting students with sensory processing disorder using the STAR frame of reference, and so much more. 

Wonderful Morning Yoga to Start Day 2

Therapies in the School is a success because of the truly remarkable speakers who inspired us with their knowledge, practical applications and skills. Thank you to Suzanne Davis Bombria,  Susan Cecere, Sharon Cermak, Colleen Whiting, Kim Wiggins, Kimberly Wynarczuk, and so many more.

A special thank you to Anne Buckley-Reen for starting Day 2 with a yoga session that allowed us to make space to learn and feel connected to ourselves and fellow participants.


Not only does the annual conference provide therapists with the tools they need to succeed, the conference also builds new connections and fosters connections made among returning therapists and new participants. We also recognized those who have made exceptional strides in their field. This year, we recognized Candace Frantz as the recipient of the ERI Scholarship for New to School-Based Practice. Candace provides extraordinary support for students and caregivers, and continues to advance her career through her dedication to education. This year’s ERI Creative Therapies Award was awarded to Polly Merrchaert. Polly’s colleagues describe her  as a team player, collaborator, and innovator who is consistently searching for inventive ways to engage with her students and caregivers, and serves as a consistently resource for fellow therapists, staff members, administrators and families.

Emily Zeman Eddy – Integrating Trauma-informed Treatment Strategies into Your School-based Practice

Stay tuned as we create new opportunities and virtual groups to help continue to build connections and support among this community of professionals – Coming in the New Year!


At ERI, we understand and appreciate the importance of continuing your education. We are already busy gathering topic, speaker, and connection ideas and assembling next year’s conference. In the meantime, be sure to register for upcoming live webinars for school-based therapists that are not to be missed including Jessica Minahan’s “Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety in Students” on January 20 and 27, 2021, or pre-recorded on-demand courses including the Therapies’ in the School Online Series. 

Once again, thank you to all the attendees and speakers and be sure to check out what others are saying below!

“This was my first year attending this conference. I will definitely come again! It was well run and speakers are all highly knowledgeable.” –  K. Callum

“Great conference! After 32 years in practice it can be hard sometimes to find continuing ed that is enjoyable and applicable. This conference fit the bill! Very knowledgeable speakers and ERI goes out of their way to make sure things run well.” – K.Truppa

“Overall this was a great conference with a lot of great “take home” information. References provided an opportunity for meaningful follow-up. I would definitely recommend this conference.” –  V. Mason

“I was really blown away by this conference! Because it was held virtually, I was able to attend for the first time as a second-year school based PT. The knowledge I gained from this conference will be able to be immediately applied, which is great. As I am the only PT in my district, having a clearer direction and understanding on how school based therapy and clinic based therapy differ will really help me out in the long run. I enjoyed each of the speakers, and all of the courses are applicable to my needs as a school based PT. I plan on returning in the future, and hopefully in person!!”  – V.  Brooks


Dr. Richard Clendaniel’s Updated Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation Online Course Teaches Therapists the Latest Therapeutic Tools and Rehabilitation Techniques

We’re pleased to announce that ERI and Dr. Richard Clendaniel have released an updated version of the popular online course “Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation Online.” Previously recorded during a live in-person course the newly revised “Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation Online” teaches the latest rehabilitative procedures and evidence-based treatments and methods for assessing advanced BPPV, cervicogenic dizziness, post-concussion syndrome, and more.  Dr. Richard Clendaniel is a highly regarded expert in vestibular rehabilitation and an effective educator who is dedicated to sharing his expertise with fellow therapists.  The online course format provides participants the ability to study and learn from the convenience of home or office, and with access to the course and handouts for one year, participants can take the 12.5-hour course at their own pace. For complete information on “Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation Online” please click visit

Coming This January: “Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety in Students” a Live Webinar with Jessica Minahan, BCB

Jessica Minahan, international presenter, licensed and board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), author, special educator, and school consultant is partnering with ERI to offer the new, live webinar “Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety in Students” on January 20 and 27, 2021.

Clinicians, school-based therapists, and other professionals working with students will find the course to be extremely helpful in the time of COVID19 when anxiety has become ever-present in students of all ages Using case studies, humorous stories, and examples of everyday challenging situations, participants will learn easy to implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, accurate thinking, and self-monitoring in students. Jessica will also share strategies for in-person and virtual platforms.

A recognized expert in her field, Jessica co-authored the highly acclaimed book “The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students,” published by Harvard Education Press. She has also been featured in several podcasts and radio interviews including: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Teaching Systems Lab Online Learning – TeachLab podcast with Justin Reich, Addressing Student Anxiety in Remote Learning with Jessica Minahan, May 6, 2020.

Join Jessica for this live webinar and learn time-tested interventions that provide clinicians and therapists new methods and solutions that help students to more appropriate, constructive behavior in and out of school. 

Register before December 30, 2020 and use promo code MINAHAN21 to register at a reduced rate of $135 (Regularly $149). Join Jessica Minahan and ERI for the live webinar “Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety in Students” on January 20 and 27, 2021.

Announcing Recipients of the Annual ERI Scholarship and Award for School Therapists 2020

Thank you to all who submitted applications for our Annual Scholarship and Award for School-Based Therapists. 

We are thrilled to announce that Candace Frantz is the recipient of the ERI Scholarship for New to School-Based Practice. 

We were impressed with Candaces dedication to her students and her initiative to learn more about school-based practice. She works hard to meet the needs of both the students and parents, providing a high quality of care and the support they need to succeed.

The ERI Creative Therapies Award, this year is being awarded to Polly Meerchaert

Polly has been described as “a team player who presents herself everyday with a smile on her face and ALWAYS puts student needs first.  She goes above and beyond to tailor her OT interventions to students’ interest incorporating the student’s favorite music or characters.  

In the nomination papers, her colleagues extolled her collaboration skills and lauded her ability to contribute to the profession on many levels.  She consistently rises to the challenge of being an information source to other therapists, staff members, administrators and families.  

CONGRATULATIONS to both Award Recipients. We received many compelling applications and it has proven difficult to chose the winners among the many talented and dedicated candidates.

Candace and Polly will be recognized at the 21st Annual Therapies in the School Conference November 19-20, 2020 – LIVE WEBINAR

Registrations are still be accepted for the popular 2 day conference

Year after year, therapists practicing in a school setting gather at our annual conference to learn new innovations, research, evidence and practical tools to improve the lives of the children they serve . Whether new to practice or having worked in a school setting for many years, they anticipate reconnecting with colleagues and meeting new friends who share their passion.

ERI provides sessions for therapists who have been working for many years, as well as therapists new to practice in a school-based setting, providing a diverse array of options for participants

Our presenters are excited to share their knowledge and are updating their information in real time to reflect the changes happening.  We look forward to the normalcy of gathering in November for our annual conference and “seeing” your faces virtually as we learn, connect and share our stories and experiences with each other again this year. We have been here for you for over 20 years and this year is no exception!