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Archives: 2015 Conference

THANK YOU to our Attendees, Presenters, Exhibitors, and Expo Guests!

The 2015 Assistive Technology Conference of New England was a HUGE success:

  • Nearly 500 participants from 17 states and Canada!
  • 31 presentations over 2 days
  • 47 Vendors
  • 12 Bringing Access to Life Expo guests
  • Countless memories!

Thank you to our AMAZING 2015 Presenters!

Pre Conference

Thursday, November 19th

  • 8:30 - 3:30 Chrome Bootcamp - Mike Marotta

    Participate in a full day hands on learning experience – explore the Chrome Operating System and the Chromebook platform. Participants will dive deep into the Google Apps for Education suite of tools as well as the built in accessibility features of Chromebooks. Chrome is the latest trend in Assistive Technology – see what all the excitement is about! Participants will experience an array of Google Chrome apps and extensions that could be beneficial to ALL students. By leveraging the power of this common browser, we can make significant customization to meet the needs of struggling students. Areas covered will include: reading, writing, brainstorming, and organization. Through hands on learning experiences, participants will develop strategies to integrate these powerful tools into the curriculum to promote a Universal Design for Learning classroom by engaging various learning styles. In order to maximize learning, participants are strongly encouraged to bring a Chrome equipped computer to the training, however, any operating system will work. The items and activities will be accessible whether on a Chromebook, Windows or Mac computer. Participants should also have a Google Account, in order to access Google Drive and the apps / extensions we will utilize throughout the day.

    Mike Marotta, AT Specialist, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC
    Room: Patriots

  • 8:30 - 3:30 Apps Across the Curriculum – Supporting Struggling Learners on all Devices & Platforms!
    Many schools are implementing BYOD (Bring your own device) as well as issuing Chromebooks, iPads, and laptops, and some are Going Google! How do you support struggling learners on all of these devices, using free and low cost Apps & AT solutions? Join us for full day of hands-on app support! Half-Day iOS apps for the iPad; Half-Day Chrome Apps & Extensions for all other devices (Laptops, android tablets, Chromebooks, windows tablets, Surface Pro). You will also learn about free and low cost AT solutions to support your struggling students to access textbooks and learning materials (Handouts/ worksheets), and to complete assignments using technology. AT and app solutions to support students with learning disabilities, Dyslexia, Physical disabilities, blind or low vision students, and students who need support with executive function, literacy and math. These apps and assistive technology supports will foster access and success across all platforms, devices, and subjects!
  • 8:30 - 3:30 Accessibility in an Age of Transitioning Technology
    Technologies are evolving at a rapid rate. Even new emerging technologies, from tablets, cloud apps and Bluetooth access devices continue to morph and change. Instead of just learning how a specific device works, this session will focus on learning how to provide accessibility to both content and technology with what is current, and strategies for learning how to utilize and incorporate new technologies as they arrive on the educational scene. Learn how to easily integrate a plethora of diverse devices, from iPads, Android, Chromebook, computers, Bluetooth technologies, switches, cloud apps and more into your learning environment through common apps, commonalities of devices, hardware solutions and the cloud, and how to thread accessibility, from access to supports for expression and communication, across all technology platforms.
  • 8:30 - 3:30 Switch School
    Switch School is professional development for staff and family members that work with children with multiple special needs that access the world through the use of switches. This workshop will discuss access types, mounting, description of different switch clicks and which software programs and apps match that type of switch click access, suggested software programs, how to customize software and apps, interfaces for both the computer and the iPad, environmental controls, using a switch in daily living and play activities, switch use to activate communication devices etc. We will also develop teacher made supplemental tools and manipulative kits, discuss how to adapt commercially bought toys/games/appliances and strategies for including these switch activated AT tools and toys into meaningful learning opportunities.

     

    You will meet Patrick and his mom, Mary Anne, as they take you from “switch school” to the everyday application of switches in Patrick’s life and the role that assistive technology plays in Patrick’s self-employment.   In spite of Patrick’s multiple disabilities, he has operated “Purely Patrick” for the past 3 years.  This successful business, which continues to grow and flourish,  consists of specialty food items with a splash of country flare.  Jars filled with ingredients for a taste of Vermont!   And all completed using assistive technology!

    Patrick’s products have reached 33 states and 6 countries including Russia, Germany, England and Bangui, in the Central Republic of Africa. For more information check out www.purelypatrick.com.

    Jennifer Keenan, Patrick Lewis, Mary Anne Lewis

  • 8:30 - 3:30 Enhancing Communication and Learning for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
    This training will illustrate methods used in the clinical model developed in the Autism Language Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, intended to expand receptive and expressive language development. Specifically, it will discuss the seven communicative operations outlined in the Program’s book, Enhancing Communication for Individuals with Autism: A Guide to the Visual Immersion System, including: protesting, requesting, commenting/labeling, directives, questions, transitions and social pragmatics. It is intended to challenge audience members to think about visual supports in AAC in an expansive manner, far beyond simply requesting and protesting, and to use them with individuals with ASD to promote generative and appropriate communication skills and abilities.
  • 8:30 - 3:30 Strategies for Implementing AT in Today’s Classrooms
    During this session, participants are presented tips for successful implementation of assistive technology in schools. This includes a systematic way to address integrating assistive technology into the classroom. The first focus will be on planning for curricular based activities at the highest levels of academic, physical, social and independent participation supported by assistive technologies and strategies. Participants will receive a resource list and a planning matrix. The tips in this matrix relate to the adaptations and modifications in reading and writing tasks since these activities cross the curricular areas of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies/History. Apps, software, and tools of assistive technology can be utilized to support students in each of these areas throughout the school day and educators need to be reminded that it doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to be plannful. We will be demonstrating a wide variety of these examples Participants can come with a particular classroom or student in mind or be individuals who have a responsibility for a small or large program, these strategies will work in all of these locations. Participants are encouraged to bring their classroom schedule and/or a list of students and their individual schedules. They will have opportunities to work on creating an implementation plan yourself or with colleagues who also attend.
  • 8:30 - 3:30 Free and Low-Cost Assistive Technologies for Struggling Readers and Writers – Create Your AT Toolkit!
    This hands-on, full day workshop will focus on free and low-cost AT, digital tools available to support both struggling readers and writers. A wide variety of AT tools will be shared including many of those for Google Chrome, internet-based tools, and within iOS. Attendees will have time during this session to trial and use a variety of these supports in order to create their own toolbox of tools and strategies they can take and use with students the next day in the classroom! Learners will also discover how to create and differentiate material for students quickly and easily using many of the free tools demonstrated. A Google doc with extensive resources will be provided as well. Participants are encouraged to bring personal devices such as Chromebooks, laptops (with Chrome installed), and iPads/Minis/Phones and will be notified beforehand what tools should be installed before the workshop, including a Google account.

Conference

Friday, November 20th

Rooms:
Tiverton
Salon IV
Narragansett
Bristol A
Bristol B
Patriots
Salon V
Ocean
  • There are 8 rooms that will be hosting presentations at 3 time slots.

    Click a room name above to view the presentations in that room!

  • Creating and Sustaining an AAC Environment: Low Tech to High Tech AAC Solutions

    AAC includes signs, gestures, picture-based systems, written communication and voice output systems. Client candidacy is based on a careful process of feature matching, which pairs the individual’s areas of strengths and needs with different features of the various systems. Successful use of AAC is not only based on feature matching, but is also dependent on environmental and social factors. Environments, tasks and activities need to be carefully designed and adapted to support AAC use and implementation. In addition, team members need to be aware of evidence-based strategies (such as aided language stimulation) and prompting hierarchies in order to foster independent AAC use.
    Nerissa Hall, PhD, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP, Commūnicāre, LLC
    Hillary Jellison, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP, Commūnicāre, LLC

    Individuals with Differing Needs: Bridging the Gap Between PECS and Dynamic Display (Vendor)

    During this presentation the learner will be informed of the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Technology that is used in most of our devices. Listeners will learn how the technology is uniquely used for speech devices to expand and meet the needs of individual sensory and motor planning skills through tactile and voice feedback. Listeners will learn how these devices can bridge that gap between PECS and a dynamic screen device. This presentation will touch on the topic of blind and demonstrate ways that the BrailleCoach, ProxTalker, and ProxPAD can be used to help non verbal blind individuals and those who need to learn Braille and implement it in their daily living.
    Glen Dobbs, President, ProxTalker

    Augmentative Communication Strategies to Support Students with Poor Intelligibility

    Do you have students who struggle with poor intelligibility? Students who are verbal but have intelligibility issues that impact their ability to be successful communicators across contexts and with a variety of communication partners? If you answered yes, this workshop is for you! Attendees will learn a variety of augmentative communication strategies to support students with poor intelligibility. Supports for both non-readers and students with basic and emerging literacy skills will be discussed. We will explore lo-tech through hi-tech augmentative communication supports and share ideas for implementing these strategies. Implementation strategies will focus on getting our students to talk more, in more places, and with more people.
    Linda K. Cullen, MS, CCC-SLP, South Coast Educational Collaborative

    Madalena Medeiros, MS, Ed, AT
    Kimberly Mulcahy, MS, CCC-SLP
    Leah Paliotta, MS, CCC-SLP

  • Top 10 Ideas for Including Students with Significant Learning Difficulties

    In this session participants will explore ideas for thoughtfully and meaningfully working with students with multiple significant difficulties through using a range of low and high tech tools. Discover AT ideas for ensuring that all students can participate and have a voice in the classroom. Experience the power of battery-operated toys, battery interrupters, switches, switch toys, switch interfaces, PowerPoint, alternate keyboards, Powerlinks, iPads, eyegaze, accessible software, online resources, favorite ipad apps and more. Explore the Top10 of Assistive Technology in transforming the academic and leisure experiences of students with significant difficulties. Brainstorm and share ideas and resources for making curriculum accessible for ALL students.
    Jennifer Edge-Savage, MS, EdS, OTR/L

    Personalize Learning through a Suite of Products for the Inclusive Classroom

    Writing doesn’t just happen at a child’s desk. Having materials immediately available for students who have difficulty writing is a challenge in any classroom. This is especially true when your student is fully included in an elementary environment that does lots of writing to demonstrate knowledge; and don’t forget that never ending pile of worksheets. How do you keep up with giving a student access to all of the same learning experiences as the rest of the kids in the class? During this session we will demonstrate apps and software programs that are flexible enough to be customized on the spot or have downloadable free writing activities tied to curricular content or modules. We will give demonstrations of iPad apps and software from K-6 classrooms. We will give demonstrations of iPad apps and software from K-6 classrooms. We will show pictures from classrooms set up from all the areas of the classroom in which writing occurs. Writing doesn’t just happen at a child’s desk.
    Kelly Fonner, Educational/Assistive Technology Consultant

    The Inclusive Library: A Model for NOW!

    What does it take for libraries to ensure that they are truly open and inclusive for ALL? Public libraries are natural sites for accessibility – since they are free for ALL persons of ALL ages and backgrounds. Digital literacy and access to information are priority charges for today’s libraries. In this session, we will share an exciting model of services to address these priorities with sustainability in mind – ALL Access in the Libraries. This presentation will cover:

    • National context and rationale for accessibility and inclusion In libraries
    • Results of a comprehensive survey of accessibility in RI libraries (2015)
    • ALL Access in the Libraries project components and results to date
    • Accessibility plans and supports in one urban public library (including low tech supports)
    • The Assistive Technology Exploration Station model for libraries

    Materials will be shared. Participants are invited to bring questions and ideas to share during the discussion period at the end of the session.
    Dr. Elizabeth Dalton, Director of Development and Research, TechACCESS
    Karisa Tashjian, Director, Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative and ALL Access in the Libraries
    Kay Bullard, Assistant Director, Providence Public Library
    Jessica Franco, Teen Services Librarian E.C. Scranton Memorial Library

  • The ADA and Transition-Aged Youth Seeking Employment

    Graduating from high school is a rite of passage that is both exciting and scary. To help smooth the transition from high school into employment there are important differences between the ADA and IDEA that young people need to know and talk about. We will discuss disclosure and asking for a reasonable accommodation on the job. It can feel tough to talk about a disability for the first time in a new environment, so it can help to think about the accommodations you need to do your job beforehand.
    Stacy Hart, ADA Trainer, Information and Outreach Specialist

    Engaging Students with Different Learning Styles Through Digital Storytelling with Case Studies (Vendor)

    A classroom full of students with different learning styles can be a challenge. How do you get everyone to engage in learning when there are many differences? In some cases, all of the students in class may have disabilities. Digital Storytelling can help overcome this problem by allowing students to express their learning in different ways. Since many people learn and communicate in different ways, often the written word is not effective. This is a fundamental principle of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). We will explore how digital storytelling can be used as a communication option for learners, presenters and teachers and how they can all work together. The centerpiece of this presentation will be a case study from an elementary age class from The Learning Center for the Deaf where students collaborate and develop a final multimedia project to show what they learned. Digital Storytelling allows for the use of pictures, drawings, videos and audio to explain or present ideas. Bring your iPads or iPhones to get hands-on with the 30hands app for iOS and experience creating your own digital story using iterative creativity. For those without iOS devices, we will break into teams.
    Eric Braun, adjunct faculty member at Tufts University and Quincy College and Co-Founder of 30Hands Learning
    Karen Janowski, MS Ed, Assistive Technology Consultant, EdTech Solutions

    The ABC’s of AT for the Aging

    During this session participants will examine a variety of apps and devices available to seniors as they age. Apps to enhance vision, hearing, communication and memory will be demonstrated and feature matching will be explored. A variety of devices and adaptations will be discussed to help seniors age in place. Assistive Technology to enhance safety in and around the home will be explored. Attendees will discover both commercially available solutions and solutions they can quickly and easily make themselves using easy to obtain materials. Attendees can expect to leave with a broader knowledge of what exists and what is new and innovative in the world of Assistive Technology for seniors.
    Stacy Driscoll, M. Ed, Assistive Technology Specialist, LifeLong Assistive Technology

  • iOS Switch Control by AbleNet (Vendor)

    Never before has a mobile operating system come with such a powerful switch accessibility toolset built directly into the operating system. With one or two switches connected via Bluetooth, users with significant physical disabilities can easily access an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch running iOS to do tasks like communicating with an AAC app, writing an email, browsing the internet, watching a video, or listening to music. Every app, every screen item, is now accessible. This session will share the powerful new accessibility features in iOS for Switch Control. For users with significant physical disabilities, Switch Control is a much needed feature that provides access to almost every feature in iOS through the use of one or multiple switches connected via Bluetooth. Participants will view a video on how to set up Switch Control for one or two external switches. The NEW Blue2 Wireless switch will be introduced. This switch provides a sleek, modern design with new features that make it compatible with iOS and all apps and features.
    Mary Sagstetter, Business Development Manager, AbleNet

    Camera Mouse Head Controlled Computer

    The Camera Mouse program was developed at Boston College to help people with disabilities use the computer. The main audience for this program is people who do not have reliable control of a hand but who can move their head. People with Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, various neurological disorders use this program and its predecessors to run all types of computer software. Camera Mouse works as a mouse replacement system for Windows computers so it should work with just about any application program. For example people use Camera Mouse with entertainment programs, education programs, communication programs and web browsers.
    Maureen Gates, Project Director, EagleEyes/Camera Mouse, Boston College

     

    Simply Accessible: Use Your PC and Smartphone to Create Easy-to-Understand Multimedia Materials

    Advocates in Action RI is an independent statewide Self-Advocacy organization. Our mission is to empower people who have a developmental disability to advocate for themselves and others, to support and strengthen the Self‐Advocacy movement and to raise awareness about disability issues in the community. One of the ways we do this is by creating a variety of multimedia educational materials that are designed in a simplified and accessible format. Our techniques has helped to empower individuals who may have an intellectual/developmental disability which would otherwise prevent them from learning in the traditional printed-word format. As a Self-Advocacy organization, we strive to help people become educated about their options, aware of available resources, able to make informed decisions so that they are in greater control of their lives, and involved within the community. We love using technology to help us do this!

    Deb Kney, Executive Director, Advocates in Action RI
    James Boucher, Vice President, Advocates in Action RI Board of Reps
    Keith Wilcox, Member, Advocates in Action RI Board of Reps
    Scott Hopkins, Advocates in Action RI Board of Reps

  • Chrome as AT – Going Google!

    Many schools are increasing their use of Google Chrome Apps for Education, as well as implementing 1:1 devices for students, including the Chromebook, or laptops with access to the Chrome Browser. How do you support the struggling student while using Google Chrome? Come learn about several FREE apps and extensions to support your struggling reader or writer, including options for text-to-speech, voice recognition (speech-to-text), highlighting and study skills, organization and time management, mind-mapping, researching, visual support, math support and more! These apps and extensions support all learners, including those who struggle with literacy and executive function.
    Diana Petschauer, M.Ed, ATP, CEO, AT for Education & Access4Employment

    Become a Digital Publisher: Create Your Own Engaging Materials for Students and Adults

    Mobile devices are everywhere! But…how do we leverage the power of these tools to provide access to educational materials? This session will focus on strategies and tools to enable us to create and deliver materials to students and adults – regardless of the devices they are using. Bring your own technology to the session to enhance your learning experience. The facilitator will guide the participants through strategies to create and manage customized electronic materials.
    Mike Marotta, ATP, AT Specialist, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC

    Google Tools to Support Reading and Writing

    Reading and writing supports are constantly being developed for Google Apps for Education and the Chrome Browser. Read&Write for Google, iPad, and Android by TextHelp are designed to assist struggling readers and writers and includes features such as word prediction, text-to-speech, picture dictionaries, highlighting, etc. TextHelp offers a FREE annual subscription for educators. This workshop will demonstrate the best Google has to offer including Read&Write, Beeline, Clearly, Read Comfortably, Dyslexie, and other extensions that work alone or in conjunction with Read&Write to add unique supports and scaffolds for our students.
    Gaby Richard-Harrington, Strategy 2 Design

  • Lock and Key: Securing iPad Accessibility with Third-Party Keyboards

    As many people with learning disabilities already know, the iPad has developed into an indispensable tool for various language-based activities. With each new release of its mobile operating system, iOS, Apple has put a great deal of effort into steadily improving the built-in accessibility features of the iPad. Users can take advantage of built-in dictation, word prediction, and multiple options for text-to-speech. Now, the newest version of the operating system, iOS 8, allows for the installation of third-party keyboards, increasing the amount of assistive technology that can be used universally with iPad apps that involve reading and writing. This presentation will first review how alternate keyboards are installed and used on iPads. Then, a number of specific keyboards will be demonstrated, including Read&Write for iPad, Keeble, Ginger, and TextExpander.
    Jamie Martin, AT Consultant, Eagle Hill School – Southport

    Develop Writing with Clicker (Vendor)

    From their first steps in writing to becoming independent, confident writers, Clicker supports students at all stages of writing development. Discover how the innovative reading and writing tool uses targeted scaffolding as an effective strategy for developing the writing skills for students of all abilities, and in particular for emergent and struggling writers, English language learners, and students with special educational needs. Clicker’s powerful features, including speech feedback, word prediction and word banks, and integrated painting tools and webcam support, are used to target areas essential for learning the mechanics of writing and the necessary skills for the writing process. As a result of this session, participants will be able to identify Clicker’s innovative features that support students through all stages of writing development; recognize ways to integrate Clicker into a writing program; and understand how special student populations that will benefit from Clicker’s integrated tools and easy customization.
    Andrea Szechenyi, Crick Software

    Playing with a Full Deck: Using AT to Study Vocabulary

    Back in the old school days, learning vocabulary involved index cards, markers, and images cut from old magazines. Students proudly carried around their color-coded vocabulary decks, either in their pockets or tucked away in their Trapper Keepers. Unfortunately, those decks were not accessible to students with learning differences. If they had difficulty reading the text themselves, they had to rely on others for help. Nowadays, there are many options for electronic vocabulary study that students can access independently. This presentation will explore desktop software, web-based tools, and iPad apps that can be used to build vocabulary. The discussion will include Read&Write Gold’s dictionary and picture dictionary, Inspiration, iFlash for Mac, Quizlet, Rewordify, Flashcards Deluxe, Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, and iBooks textbooks. With these assistive technology tools, vocabulary study can go way beyond the traditional flashcard deck.
    Jamie Martin, AT Consultant, Eagle Hill School – Southport

  • Exploring the Use of the iPad for Literacy Instruction

    Using the iPad for literacy instruction, means investigating how this device can facilitate positive and successful reading and writing practices for all students. In this session, participants we will explore iPad accessibility options, accessories, and third party apps that provide useful opportunities for building literacy skills. These apps will be identified because of the important features, customizable settings and ease of use for both teacher and student. The instructor will demonstrate and provide resources on how to evaluate an app and determine its potential use for classroom instruction.
    Nicole Feeney, M. Ed., Assistive Technology Specialist, NEAT Center at Oak Hill

    AT Strategies to Aid Students with Written Expression

    Assistive Technology promotes greater independence by enabling individuals to perform tasks that they previously struggled with or were unable to accomplish, including written expression. Through a combination of low-tech (word banks, sentence starters, graphic organizers) and high-tech tools (apps: DocAs, Co:Writer, built in accessibility features of software), educators are able to provide students with increased access to the ability to complete written expression tasks more independently within the general education curriculum. This session will explore an array of low-tech and high-tech tools that support legible handwriting, spelling, organization and sequencing of ideas, increased written output and strategies for completion of open-response questions.
    Hillary Jellison, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP, Commūnicāre, LLC; Nerissa Hall, PhD, CCC-SLP, ATP, Commūnicāre

    Autism, Apps and AT

    Participants will learn about the continuum of assistive technology tools that can help support students and individuals with Autism in a variety of environments including home, school, work and in the community. There will be demonstrations of powerful apps, as well as accessibility options for mobile devices. Participants will gain insight on the power of low-tech tools for individuals with Autism. There will be discussions on how to determine the most efficient tools and ideas for how to implement them successfully. Assistive technology supports demonstrated will include items for enhancing social learning, sensory supports, leisure time, academic and functional skills, personal safety, visual supports and schedules, adapted books as well as social stories.
    Nicole Feeney, M. Ed., Assistive Technology Specialist, NEAT Center at Oak Hill

  • Mobility Independence (Vendor)

    A presentation on key features that will enable individuals with certain special needs to drive and be mobility independent. My main focus will be on presenting the accessibility and convenience that a handicap wheelchair ramp van offers. We offer both side entry and rear entry wheelchair accessible vehicles. Either the individual themselves can drive the vehicle with the assistant of specialty equipment or they can opt to have family members drive. Aside from presenting the ins and outs of the vehicle itself and their capabilities, I will then present the specialty equipment that aides the individual who wants to drive. Things such as hand-controls, which allows the individual to operate the accelerator and brakes simply by using the hands and not the feet. As well as many other assistive technology equipment that allows individuals to drive with ease and comfort. My goal in doing this presentation is that the individuals and their family members know that there are many options in terms of vehicle mobility and that the key take away is that we “Adaptive Mobility” can offer mobility convenience and independence!
    Joseph Sok, Sales and Marketing Manger, Adaptive Mobility Equipment

    Assistive Technology for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

    Psychiatric disabilities or mental illness affects an estimated 40 to 50 million Americans, with many more people experiencing distressing symptoms each year. Very little is known by most mental health professionals, assistive technology specialists, rehabilitation counselors, or the general public about the important role that assistive technologies can play for people with a psychiatric disability. This presentation will introduce assistive technologies that are being used successfully by people with psychiatric disabilities to achieve employment and other life goals. This session will share specific resources that are inexpensive, customizable and very effective. Attendees will receive access to an extensive e-book of resources at no charge.
    Robert C. Bureau, M.Ed., CAGS, CCFE, Distance Learning Coordinator and Faculty, Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Program, Assumption College, Worcester, MA

    Tech Tools for Students with DYSLEXIA

    In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate a wide range of technology tools available to help students who struggle with Dyslexia. We will explore a continuum of tools and resources that will fill your student’s digital toolkit – giving them better access to the general curriculum. Tools will include best practice, implementation strategies, websites, graphic organizers, text to speech, dictation, note-taking, word prediction, and many more.
    Jane LeFante, M.S. Ed, Assistive Technology Specialist, NEAT Center Oak Hill

The Frances C. Dixon Advocacy Award

The Frances C. Dixon Advocacy Award was established in 2014. It is an award presented by TechACCESS of RI to recognize outstanding efforts by an individual or agency that has advocated for the rights of individuals with disabilities.

The 2015 Recipient of the Frances C. Dixon Award is:

SUZANNE ARENA

Elizabeth M. Dalton Assistive Technology Award

The Elizabeth M. Dalton Award was established in 2010. It is the Rhode Island Assistive Technology Access Partnership’s (ATAP) award recognizing outstanding commitment by an individual to improve access to and acquisition of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities.

The 2015 Recipient of the Elizabeth M. Dalton Assistive Technology Award is:

MADALAINE PUGLIESE

Judith Hammerlind-Carlson Spirit Award

2015 is the inaugural year for the Judith Hammerlind-Carlson Spirit Award.

This award will be presented annually to a user of Augmentative Communication or Assistive Technology who strives to bring awareness to the role assistive technology can play in improving the lives of people with disabilities and those around them.

Judi was the founder of the Assistive Technology Conference and TechACCESS of Rhode Island, where she served as the Executive Director.  She was a dedicated and talented clinician, and a ground-breaker in the field of Assistive Technology in Rhode Island, improving communication in the lives of so many families.

25 years ago, Judi began the endeavor to open a non-profit to provide assistive technology services to individuals with disabilities.  She was told by leaders in the field that it couldn’t be done.  Choosing to focus on possibilities instead of obstacles, Judi forged ahead to create her legacy: TechACCESS of RI.

Judi is remembered for her wit, her dedication, her compassion and her giving nature and TechACCESS is pleased to present the Inaugural Judith Hammerlind-Carlson Spirit Award in her memory to:

JAMES PETRONE

 


 

Bringing Access to Life Expo

The Bringing Access to Life Expo is a new feature of the ATCNE that offers attendees an opportunity to see products, services, opportunities and resources available to people with disabilities in RI and the northeast. Entry into the Expo is included with your November 20th registration.

Visit the Expo to see new technologies, explore new possibilities, and find new opportunities that can enrich the life of a person with a disability! The Expo will include:

  • Entrepreneurs who have disabilities
  • Companies who employ people with disabilities
  • Agencies and Programs that offer recreational/leisure activities for people with disabilities
  • Agencies that provide specialized services/supports for people with disabilities
  • Tons of resources!

Love Letters By Emily

Helping Hands Florist

NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans

Sail to Prevail

Best Buddies Rhode Island

Ems Weaving

RHD (Resources for Human Development)

Purely Patrick

West Bay Residential Services, Inc.

Rebecca’s Greeting Cards

Hands in Harmony, LLC

ASTRO – Action Sports and Technology Resource Organization

Presenter Biographies

Jennifer Abramson, MS, CCC-SLP
Boston Children’s Hospital, Autism Language Program and Augmentative Communication Programs

Presentation: Enhancing Communication and Learning for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

Jennifer is a Speech Language Pathologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she works in the Autism Language Program and the Augmentative Communication Program. Her primary focus is on development and implementation of a comprehensive, visually-based instructional approach for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. She performs hundreds of evaluations each year, conducts therapy sessions and supervises graduate student interns within the clinic. Outside of the clinic, she provides in-service and community trainings, has guest lectured at local universities and has presented at several conference both in the United State and aboard. In addition to clinical work, Jennifer has participated in published research studies and is the author on the book, Enhancing Communication for Individuals with Autism: A Guide to the Visual Immersion System. Jennifer has worked with individuals with autism for 12 years.

 

James Boucher
Vice President, Advocates in Action RI Board of Reps

Presentation: Simply Accessible: Use Your PC and Smartphone to Create Easy-to-Understand Multimedia Materials

Eric Braun
Co-Founder, 30hands Learning; Adjunct Faculty, Tufts University

Presentation: Engaging Students with Different Learning Styles Through Digital Storytelling

As an adjunct faculty member at Tufts University and Quincy College, Eric teaches entrepreneurship and technology courses. He is Co-Founder of 30hands Learning – a company developing technology to help provide students with a personalized learning experience through blended learning. Eric believes that we all learn better through “Iterative Creativity” which allows learners of all ages to continuously improve. Eric has a BA from the University of MN and a certificate in French from the Sorbonne.

 

Kay Bullard
Assistant Director, Providence Public Library

Presentation: The Inclusive Library: A Model for NOW!

Kay Ellen has been the Assistant Director of Providence Public Library for sixteen years.   She received her M.L.S. from the University of Rhode Island.  Her expertise encompasses consensus management, employee relations, grants management, budgeting, and program design.  She is an ardent proponent of lifelong learning, and the library’s mission to support that in myriad ways.

Robert C. Bureau, M.Ed., CAGS, CCFE
Distance Learning Coordinator and Faculty, Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Program, Assumption College, Worcester, MA

Presentation: Assistive Technology for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Robert has thirty years experience as a speaker, workshop presenter, and faculty member. He has researched low-cost, effective strategies for achieving emotional wellness at the National Empowerment Center. He is the Distance Learning Coordinator and Faculty at Assumption College’s Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Program (Worcester, MA) where he teaches “Effective Use of Technology for Rehabilitation Counseling Professionals”.

 

Carolann Cormier, MS, CCC-SLP
CREC; Adjunct Professor, St. Joseph’s University

Presentation: Free and Low-Cost Assistive Technologies for Struggling Readers and Writers – Create Your AT Toolkit!

Carolann is a Speech/Language Pathologist who has been providing AAC and AT services to individuals for over 30 years. She currently provides AT and AAC services and evaluations throughout the state of Connecticut through CREC-TABS. In addition, she has been an adjunct professor at the University of St. Joseph’s since 2009 and a Speech/Language Pathologist for the Department of Developmental Services since 1984. Carolann has written several publications on the topics of Assistive Technology and co-wrote with Nicole Natale “The Assistive Technology Guide to Maximize Learning for Students with Autism.”

 

Linda K. Cullen, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist, South Coast Educational Collaborative

Presentation: Augmentative Communication Strategies to Support Students with Poor Intelligibility

Linda K. Cullen, MS, CCC-SLP, is a Speech Language Pathologist with over 20 years of experience. She has special interests in the areas of Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology. Linda has worked for the past 16 years at South Coast Educational Collaborative in southeastern Massachusetts providing services to children and young adults in a variety of educational settings. She previously worked at a state residential facility for adults. She has presented on many different topics in the areas of Communication and Assistive Technology to educators, therapists, students, administrators and parents. Linda has an MS in Speech from Emerson College and is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instructional Technology through Framingham State University.

Dr. Elizabeth Dalton, Ph.D.
Director of Development and Research, TechACCESS

Presentation: The Inclusive Library: A Model for NOW!

Dr. Dalton is Director of Development and Research at TechACCESS of RI and an independent education consultant.  She holds a PhD in Education and post-doc in Universal Design for Learning. Dr. Dalton presents often on UDL, technology, and diversity, edits several professional journals, and is past-president of the Inclusive Learning Network of ISTE. Currently, she consults for ALL ACCESS in the Libraries, a RI IMLS project http://allaccessri.org/

Glen Dobbs
President of LoganTech

Presentation: Individuals with Differing Needs: Bridging the Gap Between PECS and Dynamic Display

Glen Dobbs is the President of ProxTalker.com, LLC who created a communication device for his son who is non verbal and has autism. After realizing that his son was successful in using the device, he found a need for it in other children and adults. Since then, his son and many others have advanced from the ProxTalker device to dynamic screen devices such as the iPad. Glen has also expanded the company to cater to the needs of the blind. The BrailleCoach teaches braille and the 6dot Braille Label Maker which give individuals the convenience of easily labeling the things that they need braille to be on.

 

Stacy Driscoll, M.Ed
Assistive Technology Specialist, LifeLong Assistive Technology

Presentation: The ABCs of AT for the Aging

Stacy  completed her Assistive Technology Graduate Certificate at UNH in 2014 and established her own company, LifeLong Assistive Technology, where she specializes in providing assistive technology to people of all ages, with a focus on AT and aging. Prior to completing her graduate certificate she spent 20 years as an elementary and special educator.

 

Jennifer Edge-Savage, MS, EdS, OTR/L
AT Specialist; Associate Professor of Clinical Practice, Simmons College

Presentation: Top 10 Ideas for Including Students with Significant Learning Difficulties

Jennifer is an AT Specialist and Associate Professor of Clinical Practice at Simmons College, Boston. She has been working in the field of AT for nearly 20 years, co-founding the SSEC Center for Assistive Technology in Hingham MA, exploring the corporate side of AT as the Director of Implementation Services for Kurzweil Educational Systems and IntelliTools, and providing Assistive Technology consulting services through her private pracice. She recently stepped in to the role of Director of the Graduate Program in Assistive Technology at Simmons, teaching courses in UDL, Differentiating Instruction using technology, Technology to Support Literacy, and Advanced AT Applications. She maintains a private AT consulting practice in the South Shore area of Boston and most recently for the TEC Collaborative in Walpole, MA. She is an active board member for ISTE’s Inclusive Learning Network.

 

Nicole Feeney, M. Ed.
Assistive Technology Specialist, NEAT Center at Oak Hill

Presentations: Exploring the Use of the iPad for Literacy Instruction; Autism, Apps and AT

Nicole is an Assistive Technology Specialist provides professional development, training, technical assistance, and consultation on the continuum of assistive technology devices and services to families, educators, therapists, clinicians, and healthcare professionals; provides AT consultations and evaluations to people with disabilities of all ages; specializes in iTechnology and offers AT demonstrations to promote community awareness. Nicole comes to us from Foundation High School in Milford, CT, where she taught students with special needs in the classroom as well as helped them to develop and improve their skills through the use of assistive technology. She has provided ongoing support, mentoring, and guidance to her students while promoting innovative approaches for their employment, independent living and community needs. A Master’s Degree in Assistive Technology from Southern CT State University has also allowed her to provide professional development and assistance to educators in K–12 settings.

 

Kelly Fonner
Consultant

Presentations: Strategies for Implementing AT in Today’s Classroom and Personalized Learning Through a Suite of Products for the Inclusive Csassroom 

Kelly has been working with individuals with disabilities since the mid 70s and with assistive technologies since 1983. Her teaching experiences have been as a teacher assistant, teacher, instructional media specialist, and assistive technology consultant in early childhood, preschool and school age programs. University – Northridge’s Center on Disabilities. Kelly is on the training support team for several manufacturers in the assistive technology industry and has done consulting on several development projects. In addition to her professional affiliation with people with complex communication needs, Kelly has people in her personal life that use and have used assistive technologies, including augmentative communication, and this has molded and shaped her career and presentations over time. She firmly believes that information about this field is at its greatest value when represented from all perspectives.

 

Jessica Franco
Teen Services Librarian, E.C. Scranton Memorial Library, Madison, CT

Presentation: The Inclusive Library: A Model for NOW!

Jessica is a recent graduate from the University of Rhode Island’s Masters of Library and Information Science program.  She has spent the past seven years working with children and teens with special needs, in both library and recreational settings. Her experience with assistive technology stems from her previous work at the Curriculum Materials Library, as well as an independent study with Cranston Public Library and ALL ACCESS in the Libraries.

Maureen Gates
Project Director EagleEyes / Camera Mouse, Boston College

Presentation: Camera Mouse head Controlled Computer

Maureen is the Eagle Eyes Project Manager at Boston College. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts and A Master of Science in Education at Simmons College, The Master’s Thesis on “The Love of Mike”:published in DiMattia Curran and Gips J, An Eye Control Teaching device for Students without Language Capacity. New York, Mellon Press. As the Project manager ,Maureen is responsible for development of specialized educational programs and protocols various school systems and rehabilitation hospitals through the United States, Ireland and Scotland.  In addition Maureen has assisted in the development of software for Award winning Camera Mouse augmentative communication systems that enable the handicapped In the operation of computers. The established Camera Mouse technology In Ireland SESS/Eagle Eyes in Ireland has been selected for UNESCO Institute for information Technologies in Education (UNESCO-IITE) and the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education publication on Practice Review. The SESS’ project was one of 12 selected almost 50applications from Europe, Latin America, the Arab and as states. In her free time, Maureen spends time with family which Includes her husband, three children and eight grandchildren.

 

Nerissa Hall, PhD., MS, CCC-SLP, ATP
Commūnicāre, LLC

Presentation: Creating and Sustaining an AAC Environment: Low-Tech to High-Tech AAC Solutions

Nerissa is a member of Commūnicāre, LLC and is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist specializing in AAC and assistive technology in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut. She is certified by ASHA and RESNA. Nerissa has worked with individuals of all ages with different abilities, in a number of settings (including medical, early intervention, residential, vocational, and educational settings). Nerissa completed her dissertation researching tele-AAC (telepractice for individuals using AAC), is a LEND Fellow, and is adjunct faculty at Elms College.

 

Stacy Hart
ADA Trainer, Information and Outreach Specialist

Presentation: The ADA and Transition-aged Youth Seeking Employment

Stacy is an ADA Trainer, Information and Outreach Specialist for IHCD’s New England ADA Center. Stacy sees her work here as a continuation of making our communities more accessible and inclusive of everyone. Previously at Boston Center for Independent Living, Stacy worked with youth and adults with disabilities from diverse backgrounds achieve their education and independent living goals. She specialized in explaining the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), helping parents through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process, and assisted with transition services for high school students.

Transition age youth hold a special place in her heart because successful transition from high school to college and or employment is critical to increasing an individual’s independence. As such, Stacy has worked to increase employment opportunities for young people with disabilities as well as guiding individuals through the maze of benefits, helping people to navigate the intersection of those benefits and employment.

 

Dan Herlihy
Connective Technology Solutions

Presentation: Accessibility in the Age of Transitioning Technologies

Dan has worked in the education field for over 30 years, working in Wilderness Programs for at risk students, Special Education classrooms, as a Computer Resource Specialist, Network Administrator, Assistive Technology Resource Specialist and currently as a private consultant providing training and professional development to school systems. He presents nationally on topics ranging from Technology Solutions for Struggling Students, Knowledge and Accessibility: Promoting Higher Ordered Thinking, Using 21st Century Tools for Teaching & Accessible Learning and Accessible Solutions for the iPad. He has written numerous books and articles on technology integration, as well as producing CD’s of educational activities for educators and students.

 

Scott Hopkins
Advocates in Action RI Board of Reps

Presentation: Simply Accessible: Use Your PC and Smartphone to Create Easy-to-Understand Multimedia Materials

 

Karen Janowski, MS, Ed
Assistive & Educational Technology Consultant, EdTech Solutions; Adjunct Professor, Simmons College

Presentation: Engaging Students with Different Learning Styles Through Digital Storytelling with Case Studies

Karen is an Assistive Technology Consultant with a professional practice called EdTech Solutions in Reading MA. Her passion is to provide whatever it takes to promote success for learners who struggle. She works with students with many different learning styles and difficulties. Karen is also an adjunct professor at Simmons College, Graduate School of Education and is a nationally recognized speaker about a variety of assistive and educational technology topics.

 

Hillary Jellison, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP
Commūnicāre, LLC

Presentation: AT Strategies to Aid Students with Written Expression

Hillary is a speech-language pathologist specializing in AAC and assistive technology. She is certified by ASHA and RESNA. Hillary has worked with the public schools, early intervention agencies, visiting nursing services, community partnerships, and in outpatient clinical/medical settings for the past 11 years. She is a member of the AAC division of ASHA, and collaborates with faculty and students at UMass-Amherst to advance the field of AAC. In addition, Hillary is adjunct faculty at Elms College.

 

Jennifer Keenan
AT Consultant/Special Educator, Maryland School for the Blind

Presentation: Switch School

Jennifer has worked in the field of Special Education for over twenty years.  Jennifer earned her Masters Degree in Special Education/Assistive Technology from Johns Hopkins University and The Center for Technology in Education.  Jennifer currently works as an Assistive Technology Specialist at The Maryland School for the Blind.  Jennifer enjoys participating in Animal Assisted Therapy for Students with Special Needs, being a team member for Connections Beyond Sight and Sound, and Co-Author for vicurriculum.org website.

 

Deb Kney
Executive Director, Advocates in Action RI

Presentation: Simply Accessible! Use Your PC and Smartphone to Create Easy-to-Understand Multimedia Materials

Deb is the Executive Director of Advocates in Action RI, and has been working for the organization since it first began in the early 1990’s. Over the years, she has learned, developed and taught a wide range of skills required to make information more accessible for people who have an intellectual/developmental disability and others.

 

Emily Laubscher, MS, CCC-SLP
Boston Children’s Hospital, Autism Language Program

Presentation: Enhancing Communication and Learning for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

Emily specializes in the use of innovative, visually-based instructional strategies to support communication and language learning in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  Emily conducts evaluations and provides therapy within the clinic environment.  She also has extensive experience collaborating with families, educators, and other specialists to implement visual communication supports across home, school and community settings.  Emily has worked with colleagues in the Autism Language Program at Boston Children’s Hospital to help develop and study the Visual Immersion System of language instruction for individuals with autism.  She has participated in research and contributed to publications about this work, and has spoken about it at local universities and professional conferences.

 

Jane LeFante, M.S., Ed
Assistive Technology Specialist, NEAT Center at Oak Hill

Presentation: Tech Tools for Students with DYSLEXIA

Jane is an Assistive Technology Specialist provides professional development, training, technical assistance, and consultation on the continuum of assistive technology devices and services to families, educators, therapists, clinicians, and healthcare professionals; AT demonstrations to promote community awareness. Jane comes to us from West Hartford Public Schools in West Hartford, CT, where, during the course of her career she taught elementary aged students with special needs in the classroom, the Pre K – 5 Special Needs population at the Early Learning Center, as well as worked as a Reading Interventionist. In the private sector, she has provided ongoing support, mentoring, and guidance to students and families to individualize learning experiences through assessment and the use of AT. Jane earned her Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts, as well as pursuing an official certification as a Reading Consultant at Central CT State University. She has had classroom training hours in Orton Gillingham and Wilson Language System training. She is pursuing the Assistive Technology Applications Certificate via California State University at Northridge.

 

Mary Anne Lewis, OTR/L, MOM

Presentation: Switch School

Mary Anne practiced as an Occupational Therapist for 27 years.   She started in adult rehabilitation, but after 12 years, switched to the world of pediatrics after her son Patrick was born 14 weeks prematurely.  Quickly learning that pediatrics are “not just little adults”, she used all her newly gained knowledge (and empathy) from Patrick and applied it to her own skill set.  Mary Anne followed  Patrick to The Maryland School for the Blind where she worked for 16 years as the Occupational Therapy supervisor.  In 2009, Mary Anne and her husband moved to Stowe, Vermont, where they now own and operate a Bed and Breakfast.  In 2011, Mary Anne helped her son, Patrick, develop his own business using his strengths and assistive technology.  In her spare time, Mary Anne enjoys skiing, bicycling, reading and knitting.

Patrick Lewis

Presentation: Switch School

Patrick, 24 years old, has had his own business since the age of 19.  Patrick has cerebral palsy, intellectual delay, is blind and non-verbal.  Patrick’s business, “Purely Patrick” focuses on his skills and strengths (www.purelypatrick.com) .    Using assistive technology, Patrick makes “specialty food items with a splash of country flare: mason jars filled with ingredients for a taste of Vermont.”  Patrick has the support of a job coach 25 hours a week.

By participating in his business, Patrick has many opportunities to participate in the community: trips to the grocery store to get the necessary ingredients, the hardware store to get the Mason jars, the post office to mail his on-line orders and numerous craft shows and Farmer’s Markets in and around his hometown of Stowe, Vermont.  In addition, Patrick has a chance to practice social skills as well as gaining a feeling of self-worth and dignity.

Patrick has also had the honor of being invited to present at Voices and Choices conference, Vermont APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First) and Stowe Rotary. In his spare time Patrick enjoys adaptive skiing, swimming and singing.  He loves music of all kinds.

 

 

Alyssa Marinaccio, AT Consultant
AT for Education & AT Coordinator, ODS, Keene State College

Presentation: Apps Across the Curriculum-Supporting Struggling Learners on all Devices & Platforms!

Alyssa is the AT Coordinator for ODS at Keene State College and AT Consultant/Trainer for Assistive Technology for Education, LLC. She developed KSC’s ‘AT Web Resource’, a website designed to give high school/college students a place to start with free/low cost AT. Alyssa presents locally (NHDOE, NEOA) and nationally (ATiA, CSUN). Read more about Alyssa’s expertise at: http://assistivetechnologyforeducation.com/trainers/

 

Mike Marotta, ATP
AT Specialist, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC

Presentations: Chrome Bootcamp and Become a Digital Publisher: Create Your own Engaging Materials for Students

Mike is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional who has been providing direct services to individuals with all disabilities for over 25 years. As an evaluator, Mike works collaboratively with teams in all environments (school, workplace, and community) to effectively match the individual’s needs to technology supports.

Mike is a nationally and internationally recognized presenter who was previously a trainer for California State University at Northridge (CSUN), providing practical and in-depth training to professionals interested in specializing in assistive technology. In addition, Mike is an adjunct professor at California State University, Northridge and Felician College, teaching courses on UDL and AT.

 

Jamie Martin
AT Consultant, Eagle Hill School – Southport

Presentations: Lock and Key: Securing iPad Accessibility with Third-Party Keyboards and Playing with a Full Deck: Using AT to Study Vocabulary

Jamie has been an educator for over 20 years, with a passion for working with dyslexic students. Currently an AT consultant, he has presented at several conferences, including ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) and Closing the Gap. He also contributes articles about assistive technology to the education website, Noodle.

 

 

Madalena Medeiros, MS, Ed AT
Speech Language Pathologist, South Coast Educational Collaborative

Presentation: Augmentative Communication Strategies to Support Students with Poor Intelligibility

Madalena is an Assistive Technology Consultant for South Coast Educational Collaborative in southeastern Massachusetts with an extensive background of over 14 years in Speech and Language therapy. Madalena works with both verbal and nonverbal children and young adults with moderate to severe/profound special needs. Madalena earned a BS in Communication Disorders from the University of Connecticut and an MS in Assistive Technology in Special Education from Simmons College. She is the recipient of the Patty Walsh-Cassidy Memorial Award from the Assistive Technology Faculty and Education Department at Simmons College. Madalena has presented on a range of topics in Assistive Technology to educators, therapists and parents.

 

Kimberly Mulcahy, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist, South Coast Educational Collaborative

Presentation: Augmentative Communication Strategies to Support Students with Poor Intelligibility

Kimberly is a Speech Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Consultant at South Coast Educational Collaborative in southeastern Massachusetts providing services to children and young adults in a variety of educational settings. She has over 8 years of experience in the field.  Kimberly has special interests in the areas of Augmentative and Alternative Communication and working with students with moderate to severe/profound special needs. Kimberly has a BA in Communication Disorders from Rhode Island College and an MS in Speech Language Pathology from Seton Hall University. Kimberly has presented on a range of topics in Speech Language Pathology and Assistive Technology to educators, therapists, and parents.

 

Nicole Natale, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP
CREC

Presentation: Free and Low-Cost Assistive Technologies for Struggling Readers and Writers – Create Your AT Toolkit!

Nicole is a speech-language pathologist who has been providing AAC and AT services to students for over 13 years. She currently provides technical assistance and training to school districts throughout the state of CT on a wide variety of topics in AT. She also completes AT and AAC evaluations for students and supports districts with AT implementation and consideration. Nicole co-wrote with Carolann Cormier “The Assistive Technology Guide to Maximize Learning for Students with Autism.”

 

Susan Nicholas, MS
Special Edcation Teacher / Tech Champion AT Coach

Presentation: Free and Low-Cost Assistive Technologies for Struggling Readers and Writers – Create Your AT Toolkit!

Susan has been a special education teacher for over 30 years, with the majority in the Region 12 school district in CT. She has worked with grades 1 – 12 in special education. She has been collaborating with CREC consultants to optimize access to tools and assistive technologies within the special education population. She assists with integrating technology into the whole educational population through teacher workshops and individual support.

 

Leah Paliotta, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist, South Coast Educational Collaborative

Presentation: Augmentative Communication Strategies to Support Students with Poor Intelligibility

Leah has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Consultant at South Coast Educational Collaborative in southeastern Massachusetts for 15 years.  Leah evaluates and provides direct and consultative services in both Speech and Language and Assistive Technology for children and young adults with a range of abilities in school settings. For the past few years, she has focused on providing services to Middle and High School students with moderate to severe/profound special needs.  Leah’s special interests are Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Feeding/Swallowing in the schools. Leah has a BS in Communication Disorders from UMASS Amherst and an MS in Speech Language Pathology from URI. Leah has presented on a range of topics in Speech Language Pathology and Assistive Technology.

 

Diana Petschauer, M.Ed, ATP
CEO, AT for Education and Access4Employment

Presentations: Apps Across the Curriculum-Supporting Struggling Learners on All Devices & Platforms! and Chrome as AT-Going Google!

Diana is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional and is the CEO of AT for Education and Access4Employment. Diana has over 20 years of experience in Special Education & Disability Services, Pre-K-12th grade, as well as post-secondary, and she presents nationally and locally. Diana manages her multi-disciplinary team of consultants who provide comprehensive AT evaluations, training & services for students to access education and for adults to access employment, home and the community. Individual and group training, PD workshops, and live webinars. Read more on the company websites:
ATforEd.com Access4Employment.com

 

Gaby Richard-Harrington
Strategy 2 Design

Presentation: Google Tools to Support Reading and Writing

Gaby has worked as an Instructional Technology Specialist at the Elementary and Middle School levels for the past fifteen years.  This year she has been working exclusively as an assistive technology specialist for a Western Massachusetts K-12 district. She is always looking for ways to engage students in lessons rooted in constructivist theory and pedagogy. She has a good grasp of how technology integration and AT enhances the learning experience for students while preparing them to work and live in the 21st Century.

Gaby is the Vice President of New England ISTE and runs the PD and Webinar Series. She is a former MasCUE board member and PD Chair. Gaby has presented at workshops across New England and at ISTE.

Mary Sagstetter
Business Development Manager, AbleNet

Presentation: iOS Switch Control by AbleNet

In her role as AbleNet Business Development Manager, Mary’s expertise focuses on providing school districts across the nation with standards based curricular programs and assistive technology solutions for students with moderate to severe disabilities. Mary has 28 years of experience serving the field of Special Education, the last 17 of which have been with AbleNet.

 

Joseph Sok
Sales and Marketing Manager, Adaptive Mobility Equipment

Presentation: Mobility Independence

 

Andrea Szechenyi
Clicker

Presentation: Develop Writing with Clicker

Andrea is a certified elementary teacher and former ELL instructor who joined Crick Software in 2014. As an Education Sales Consultant, Andrea uses her classroom experience to train teachers in using Crick software products. Andrea focuses her presentations and demonstrations on the effective use of technology to allow all students to access the curriculum.

 

Karisa Tashjian
Director, Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative and ALL Access in the Libraries

Presentation: The Inclusive Library: A Model for NOW!

Karisa serves as Director of the Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI) and is the Project Director for ALL Access.  Karisa is former Co-Chair of the Rhode Island Department of Education Technology Advisory Committee for Adult Education and is a Board Member of the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC).

 

Keith Wilcox
Member, Advocates in Action RI Board of Reps

Keith Wilcox is a graduate of the Advocates in Action Leadership Series. He graduated in 2012. He is also a Peer Mentor for Advocates in Action, as well as a member of our film crew. He has experience filming events with a simple FLIPCAM and also has begun to use an ipad mini. He will be sharing from personal experiences in our presentation.

Presentation: Simply Accessible: Use Your PC and Smartphone to Create Easy-to-Understand Multimedia Materials