Scholarship on disabilities and the policies shaping university research

Constraints on Language: Grammar, Memory and Aging
March 25-28, 1998

The 1998 Merrill conference in Sedona, Arizona involved American, Canadian, and European researchers with expertise in the areas of language, memory and aging. Participants are pictured below. The conference was designed to maximize interactions among leading scholars from several fields, and to give pre- and post-doctoral trainees the opportunity to learn from senior researchers. The conference enhanced the relationship between the University of Kansas and the University of Potsdam in Germany.

The Research Training Program in Communication and Aging at the University of Kansas joined with the Merrill Center to sponsor this event.

Conference themes included:

  • the social context of communication by and with older adults
  • the effects of memory loss on older adults' communication
  • language processing by older adults.

Participants contributed to a book on this topic. It was edited by Susan Kemper at the University of Kansas and Reinhold Kliegl at the University of Potsdam, and was published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 1999.

The research findings have clear implications for addressing the practical problems of older adults as consumers of leisure time reading, radio and television broadcasts, and as targets of medical, legal and financial documents.

photo of conference participants

Conference Participants
Back row, left back to right: Lynn Frazier, Mary Lee Hummert, Reinhold Kliegl, Dan Kempler, Thomas Gunter,
Joan McDowd, D. Filion, Ruth Herman
Middle row, left to right: Mabel Rice, Sherry Speer, L. O'Hanlon, Gisbert Fanselow, Deborah Burke, Susan Kemper, 
Elizabeth Stine, P. Saunders, M. Morgan, Karen Kemtes
Front row left to right: Arthur Wingfield, Gloria Waters, David Caplan

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today