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Bettie Graham Special Education Seminar set for March 18

MARTIN, Tenn. – The UT Martin Bettie Graham Seminar Series on Diagnosis and Early Intervention of Learning Difficulties will be held Monday, March 18, and it will welcome back two guest speakers who previously participated in the seminar.

H.K. Derryberry and Jim Bradford will return to the Martin campus in the roles they had at the 2018 Bettie Graham seminar.

The seminar will begin at 6 p.m. in Watkins Auditorium in the Boling University Center on the UT Martin campus.

Derryberry is blind and has cerebral palsy after a car accident in 1990 resulted in his premature birth.

He also has hyperthymesia, also known as superior autobiographical memory. He can recall every event that has happened to him.

Derryberry was the subject of the book “The Awakening of H.K. Derryberry,” copies of which will be sold at the event.

Bradford is a businessman from Brentwood, and he met Derryberry when the latter was 9 years old. The two have been friends ever since.

Bradford and Derryberry have made more than 175 appearances and spoken to more than 40,000 people since 2012.

“The program is geared toward special education majors, but we invite all students, current teachers and community members to attend,” said Dr. Clinton Smith, chair of the Department of Educational Studies and professor of education.

Smith said that Derryberry was a crowd favorite at the 2018 seminar.

“The last time they were here, the audience loved that they could tell him their birthdate, and he could tell them the day of the week they were born on,” he said.

“The program is called ‘The Power of Friendship,’ and they are really great friends. That comes out when they share with us. The program also encourages people to reach out to people with disabilities and see their strengths and not their challenges.”

Tickets for this event are free of charge, but attendees must have a printed ticket to reserve a seat in the auditorium.

Seating is limited to the first 450 people who register online.

Tickets are available through by searching “H.K. Derryberry” in Martin.

The Bettie Graham Seminar Series on Diagnosis and Early Intervention of Learning Difficulties is made possible through a generous endowment given by Bettie and the late Newell Graham.


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