Presenter Biographies

Kirk Behnke, MEd, ATP

Kirk is currently the Director of Business and Partnership Development at CAST where he supports the National Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Center, the development of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – Credential/Certification Initiative (UDL-CCI), and builds partnerships with state and other entities on UDL Implementation. Kirk delivers learning opportunities regarding AEM, accessible technologies and UDL within the United States and abroad. His passion is helping to facilitate excellence in learning for all, whether it is in a classroom, lecture hall or presentation room. He has also developed and implemented the “Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP)” at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Kirk holds a Master’s degree from Temple University in Education/Special Education, a credential as an Assistive Technology Professional from the Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) and a Certificate in Assistive Technology Applications from the University College of Dublin, Ireland.

Jodi Bergen

Jodi received her Bachelor of Science from Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland and worked as a sixth grade teacher in Accomack, Virginia. Upon moving to New Hampshire in 2000, Jodi joined Hillsboro-Deering Elementary School as a fifth grade teacher. She received her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix and became the technology specialist at HDES. Jodi then continued her education at Plymouth State University and served as the Assistant Principal at HDES for 5 years. She has been the Principal at Sunapee Central Elementary School for 5 years. As the educational leader there, Jodi has been an advocate for equal access for all students.

Kerry Birchall

Kerry is a Teacher for the Visually Impaired with the Rhode Island Vision Education and Services Program operating out of the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College.  She received her M. Ed. from the University of Massachusetts – Boston and her BA in Computer Science from the University of Rhode Island.

Eric Braun

As an adjunct faculty member at Tufts University and Quincy College, Eric has been teaching entrepreneurship and technology courses for 5 years. As Co-Founder of 30hands Learning, he has led the company to develop software products to help students learn hands-on. Eric regularly conducts workshops on Digital Storytelling, PBL, Blended Learning and Entrepreneurship. He believes we all learn better through “Iterative Creativity” and storytelling.

Eric holds a BA from the University of Minnesota, a certificate in French from the Sorbonne and has worked on post-graduate studies in Computer Science.

Without exploration, experimentation and discovery, we are not true learners.

Robert C. Bureau, E.Ed., CAGS, CCFE

Robert is an inspiring keynote speaker, workshop presenter, group facilitator, faculty member and researcher on Resiliency (rising above life’s challenges). He has taught at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels for 25 years. At the National Empowerment Center, he researched free or low-cost strategies for mental and emotional wellness ( ).  At Assumption College, he was Director of Online Graduate Studies and Faculty for the Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Program. He is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator, Green Cross member ( and President of the Board of Directors for Genesis Club (  His website is

Toni Caggiano

Toni received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Special Education endorsement from Green Mountain College in December 2015. Following graduation, Toni worked as a 1:1 paraprofessional with special education students.  In May 2016, she began working for Crick Software, Inc. as an Education Consultant. Toni enjoys visiting schools and districts to demonstrate Crick Software products, and she has also traveled throughout the United States to deliver software, Chromebook, and iPad app presentations at conferences for Special Education Teachers, Speech & Language Pathologists, and Assistive Technology Specialists.

Karen Cahalane

Karen is a Speech Language Pathologist based at The River Street Autism Program at Birken in Bloomfield, CT. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Karen has worked as an SLP with children with complex communication needs for over 12 years. She has worked in close collaboration with Behavior Analysts throughout her entire career.

Dianne Chambers

Dianne is an Associate Professor, Coordinator of Research and Coordinator Special Education at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus.

Dianne coordinates and teaches into units on catering for students with disabilities, inclusion and behavior management at the undergraduate level.  Postgraduate teaching areas include adaptive education, behavior management and social skills, children with special needs, and educating students who are gifted and talented. She also supervises students within the School of Education Masters and PhD programs.  She is published in the field of inclusive education, assistive technology and children with ASD.   Dianne has also consulted with UNESCO on guidelines for persons with disabilities and Open and Distance Learning using open solutions, and teacher education for global citizenship.  She is current National Councilor of the Australian Association of Special Education (WA Chapter). In addition, she is co-editor of the International Journal of Whole Schooling (  A list of current publications and activities can be found at

Theresa Collins

Theresa is a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.  Currently the Director of Language Training and Director of Southport Teacher Training Institute at Eagle Hill Southport School, she has been an Orton-Gillingham practitioner for over 30 years.  She first developed her interest in learning differences while pursuing her B.A. in Psychology at Colgate University.  She later earned her M.S. in Educational Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany.   She has presented at various conferences, including the Annual Conference of the International Dyslexia Association, the New York and New Jersey branches of the IDA, the annual conference of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the annual conference of the Assistive Technology Industry Association, and Learning Ally’s Spotlight on Dyslexia.

Carolann Cormier

Carolann currently serves as an Education Specialist in the Division of Technical Assistance and Brokering Services (TABS) at the Capitol Region Education Council in Hartford, CT.  Her career spans over 30 years specializing in the field of assistive technology. She co-wrote Assistive Technology Guide to Maximize Learning for Student with Autism and has also written several publications on the topics of Assistive Technology. She has worked as an adjunct professor at three local universities. Carolann earned her B.A. in both Speech Pathology and Audiology, and Psychology from George Washington University, her M.S. in Speech/Language Pathology from Boston University, and a Sixth Year Diploma in Special Education Technology from the University of Connecticut. She can be reached at

Linda K. Cullen, MEd, MS, CCC-SLP

Linda is a Speech Language Pathologist with special interests in Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology. She works at South Coast Educational Collaborative in Massachusetts providing services to children and young adults. She has presented locally, at ATCNE and at Closing the Gap.

Joshua Dickson, MS Ed

Joshua, an Educational Consultant and Assistive Technology Specialist, is a well-rounded and accomplished Educational Consultant who specializes in assistive technology, curriculum development, and inclusion support for individuals of all ages and abilities. His background is in autism spectrum and communication disorders.  He began his career as a Teaching Assistant in an integrated preschool classroom as a 1-on-1 with an individual with cerebral palsy. Joshua stood out for his passionate ability and sincere dedication; he was soon after sought out by district administration to expand and the develop the school’s language based program for students on the autism spectrum. Joshua would spend the next 5 years in the public schools supporting students in grades Pre-K through 12, in both inclusive classrooms and substantially separate programs. In his next position as District Integration and AT Specialist, Joshua successfully spearheaded a district-wide campaign to bring iPads into all classrooms. Throughout his career he has continued to facilitate professional development for school districts, community organizations, and families on an array of topics including behavioral supports and visual strategies, assistive technology, and differentiated instruction.

Joshua recently co-presented at Closing the Gap 2015 in Minnesota on ‘Incorporating AAC and Written Expression’ for students with varying abilities. His enthusiastic and engaging personality combined with his interactive and meaningful approach proves to be compelling.  Joshua’s pride in seeing others access and develop academic, social, and life skills is what continues to motivate his unwavering dedication. Joshua joined Commūnicāre, LLC in 2015 to join a team of likeminded, progressive industry-leaders and broaden his reach in helping educators and school districts utilize the right training and technology to reveal opportunity for individuals and families across Massachusetts.

Madalena DiCorpo, MS Ed

Madalena is an Assistive Technology Consultant for South Coast Educational Collaborative with a background in Speech and Language. Madalena works with verbal and nonverbal children and young adults with moderate to severe/profound special needs. She has presented locally, at ATCNE and at Closing the Gap.

Heidi Doyle

Heidi has been teaching and working in academic and school libraries for over 25 years.  She currently works as a Librarian and Technology Integration Specialist at Sunapee Central Elementary School in Sunapee NH.  She is an avid supporter of STEAM education and loves sharing stories with students.

Jeanne Dwyer

Jeanne is the Coordinator of Assistive Technology for Johns Hopkins University School of Education, managing the Maryland Assistive Technology Network (MATN).  MATN provides educators information on the most up-to-date AT policies, practices and devices.   As part of her work at the Center for Technology in Education (CTE), Ms. Dwyer offers professional development opportunities to MATN members through its semi-annual institutes, webinars, Facebook page and the Maryland Learning Links website.  She presents at national conferences, local school districts and organizations across the state on AT related topics, including universal design and transition.  Ms. Dwyer is a parent of a young man with Down syndrome, who recently graduated from Maryland’s first four year certificate program for individuals with disabilities, the University of Maryland Baltimore County/SUCCESS Program in 2016.

Ms. Dwyer is the coauthor of Considering the Need for Assistive Technology within the Individualized Education Program (CEC, Technology & Media Division).  Ms. Dwyer earned a B. S. at Franciscan University and an M. S. in Special Education and Assistive Technology for Communication and Social Interactions at Johns Hopkins University.

Jennifer Edge-Savage. MS, EdS, OTR/L, RYT200

Jennifer (@JenniferSavedge) is an Occupational Therapist, AT Specialist, and Associate Professor of Clinical Practice at Simmons College, Boston. She has been working in the field of AT for 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 active private practice in MA. She has worked with multiple assistive technology companies to make sure they all play nicely in the sandbox to better support users of Assistive Technology. She was the Director of the Graduate Program in Assistive Technology at Simmons College and continues to keep all AsTech alum connected. She is devoted to instructing in Teacher Prep programs to prepare them for using technology in the classroom to support all learners. She is the current President of the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) Inclusive Learning Network where she is maintaining the special education technology foothold in the larger edtech community and continuing her mission to spread the word about AT and UDL. She recently became a yoga teacher and, believe it or not, she is now focusing on the use of AT to support access to yoga for ALL.

Elena Fader, MA, CCC-SLP

Elena is an Assistive Technology Specialist and Speech-Language Pathologist at New England Assistive Technology (NEAT), an Oak Hill Center.  She provides augmentative and alternative communication consultations, evaluations, and interventions for individuals of all ages with complex communication needs and related disabilities.  Elena also trains families, caregivers, and professionals on strategically using technology to support communication and independence.  Prior to obtaining employment at NEAT, she worked with students in an urban public school district as well as with children in early intervention programs. She also has experience working with adults in an outpatient hospital setting.

Elena attended the University of Vermont (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (M.A., U.S. Dept. of Ed. Autism Spectrum Disorders Fellow).  She obtained her Assistive Technology Certificate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is certified in the Orton Gillingham reading approach.  Aligning with the importance of staying current on best practices, Elena collaboratively published a research article in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, and is a current member of the ASHA Special Interest Group 12 for AAC.

Twitter: @NEATwithElena


Steve Famiglietti

Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and has worked in the field of assistive technology (AT) for 20 years. He delivers demonstrations and training of AT to individuals with visual impairments, as well as family members, educators, therapists, clinicians, and professionals.  With a certification in screen reading and screen magnification supports, Steve has assessed individual need, promoted independence through assistive technology recommendations and provided trainings to those of all ages and abilities.

Cheryl Farley

Cheryl is an Assistive Technology Consultant, DBA at Adaptech Consulting.  She is contracted with numerous public schools in Massachusetts to provide Assistive Technology services.  Cheryl’s objective as an Assistive Technology Consultant is to assist students and their team to help them achieve their goals, both academically and socially.  She provides evaluations, implementation support and training for grades K-12. She also provides professional development training for general education and special education teachers, therapists and staff.  Cheryl is a parent of a teenager with intellectual disabilities and he was the reason that she decided to further her education to become an Assistive Technology professional.  She is passionate about her work and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

Nicole Feeney

Nicole provides professional development, training, technical assistance, and consultation on the continuum of assistive technology devices and services to families, educators, therapists, clinicians, professionals; provides AT consultations and evaluations to people with disabilities of all ages; and offers AT demonstrations to promote community awareness. Nicole has 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.

Robert Felgar

Robert, founder of RAZ Mobility, has 20 years of experience in telecommunications, both as an attorney and business leader.  Robert founded RAZ Mobility in order to bring unique and cutting edge mobile solutions to individuals with disabilities.

Prior to RAZ Mobility, Robert was the general manager of Odin Mobile, the first wireless provider in the world whose sole purpose is to serve persons who are blind.  Odin Mobile sold a unique basic mobile phone, the ODIN VI, that was one hundred percent accessible.  The American Foundation of the Blind recognized Odin Mobile’s pioneering efforts and awarded it the 2015 Access Award.

Prior to starting Odin Mobile, Robert was a practicing telecommunications attorney.  In private practice, he represented both incumbents, such as Verizon, and competitive telecommunications companies.  He also served as general counsel to two telecommunications companies.

Robert has a B.A. in Economics from McGill University (Canada), an M.A. in Economics from Queen’s University (Canada) and a J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law.

Kelly Fonner

Kelly is a self-employed consultant in assistive and educational technology. She is a Special Educator and has a Masters in Educational Technology with emphasis in Rehabilitation/Special Education and a Certificate in Assistive Technology Applications from the University of California – Northridge. Since 1986 she has presented to schools, universities & families in 48 states & internationally on augmentative communication, computer access & electronic literacy. She also consults, trains and coaches for companies including Don Johnston, N2Y, Kurzweil and PODD.

Douglas Gerry

Douglas is the National Strategic Software Sales Manager for VFO. He grew up in Maine and moved back to New England last year after living as a misunderstood Patriots fan in California for 30 years. Douglas has spent the last of those 20 years working in the adaptive technology industry. He made a change of career from owning a restaurant in San Francisco after losing much of his sight in the mid-90s. It was at this time that Douglas was first exposed to the power of adaptive technology, specifically JAWS. He got his first start with ALVA, a Braille display manufacturer as a regional sales manager. He has since been the sales director for Clarity, a video magnifier manufacturer, and the general manager for A. T. Kratter & Co., an adaptive technology distributor in California. Douglas credits adaptive technology for much of his own personal and professional success and over the years he has seen adaptive technology help many others reach their own goals. Today Douglas is proud to be part of the VFO team where he continues to use adaptive technology to reach goals and help do the same for others.

Kathy Gips

Kathy is Director of Training at the New England ADA Center, one of ten centers federally funded to provide guidance on and encourage compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Ms. Gips provides trainings and technical assistance on the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the federal Fair Housing Act and related state and federal laws. Prior to working at the New England ADA Center, Ms. Gips was Assistant Director for Community Services at the Massachusetts Office on Disability.  She has over 15 years’ experience in the disability rights field.

Nerissa Hall, PhD., CCC-SLP, ATP

Nerissa, co-founding partner of Commūnicāre, LLC, is a speech language pathologist and assistive technology practitioner specializing in AAC and tele-AAC. Nerissa offers assessment, intervention and consultation services, and teaches AAC and AT courses at Western Massachusetts colleges. She is also the Associate Editor of SIG 18’s Perspectives.

Joanne Heffernan, MS, CCC-SLP

Joanne is a speech-language pathologist and augmentative communication specialist with more than 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with complex communication needs and significant disabilities.

Dr. Raymond Heipp

Dr. Heipp is currently a Senior Program Manager at School Health. He has been working and supporting those with differing abilities since 1979 and has held many roles in the special education and general education industries including: Teacher, Administrator, Coach, Adjunct Instructor, Sales, General Sales Manager, Presenter, Consultant and Keynote Speaker. An expert in his field, Dr. Heipp conducts trainings, offers keynote addresses and advises companies and schools on how to enhance their practices and processes when implementing assistive technology, software, and professional development designed to assist the special needs population.

Dr. Heipp is an internationally renowned expert on AT products like the TAPit and frequently speaks and consults with schools, hospitals, and clinics regarding the proper integration of all types of AT. Dr. Heipp holds a PH.D in Educational Administration.

Dan Herlihy

Dan has worked in the education field for over 35 years, from Wilderness Programs for at risk students, Special Education classrooms, Network Administrator, Assistive Technology Resource Specialist and currently providing AT training and professional development for schools and learning centers. He presents nationally and internationally and has written articles for national publications, books on technology integration and tools for access, and produced CD’s of educational activities for students and templates for educators. His expertise is in taking diverse technologies, and connecting them together to provide solutions for access to the curriculum and communication of ideas and learning.

Hillary Jellison, MS, CCC-SLP

Hillary, co-founding partner of Commūnicāre, LLC, is a speech language pathologist and assistive technology practitioner specializing in AAC. Hillary offers assessment, intervention and consultation services, and teaches AAC and AT courses at Western Massachusetts colleges.

Christine Jones

Christine is a Senior Education Program Manager at Benetech, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions. She has more than two decades of experience in nonprofit program management, education, and technology marketing. Since joining Benetech in 2009, Christine has conducted outreach and delivered training in the disability field nationwide and has presented at numerous conferences. In her current role, she interacts extensively with people with disabilities as well as the educators and other professionals who support them. She partners with state education leaders and other organizations to bring about improved outcomes for people of all ages who have disabilities. Christine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Eleanor Kennedy

Eleanor is a Digital Storyteller at 30hands Learning. After completing a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and New Media from the University of Limerick in Ireland, Eleanor took the plunge and moved to the east coast of the United States where she has attended and exhibited at numerous educational conferences across New England. The highlights of attending these conferences has been meeting all different kinds of students and teachers and hearing their favorite ways to learn both inside and outside the classroom. Eleanor is a strong promoter of educational technology, and in particular advocates for the use of video in learning. As a journalist, she has had hundreds of articles published in both local and national Irish media.

Meagan Kiger

Maegan is a speech-language pathologist with a personal and professional interest in AAC. She has a 21 year-old brother with Autism who uses an iPad with a communication app to communicate as well as write. She graduated with her masters in communication disorders in 2010. She spent the first few years of her career working with adults in SNF on a variety of skills including using low, mid, and high-tech AAC.  Meagan started working for the River Street Autism Program in 2013, where she works with students ranging from 6 to 16-years-old who have a variety of AAC needs. She completed a second masters at Southern Connecticut State University in special education specializing in assistive technology in 2017.

Heather Koren

Heather began her career as a speech-language pathology assistant for individuals with severe and profound disabilities. In 1997, she began working in assistive technology after receiving a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science and Technology from University of Pittsburgh. Heather worked for United Cerebral Palsy as an AT Specialist where she developed communication and vocational training programs.  During her time in the Center for Technology and Disability Studies at the University of Washington, she assisted in the outpatient computer access evaluation lab and provided training to rehabilitation therapists and school professionals. A move to North Carolina provided the opportunity to teach both undergraduate and graduate level assistive technology classes in the Special Education Department at East Carolina University. In addition to teaching classes, Heather directed the assistive technology lab and developed an online graduate certificate program. She is currently the Director of Assistive Technology Applications and Evaluations for Westminster Technologies.

Jane Lefante

Jane 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. She offers AT demonstrations to promote community awareness to organizations. Jane spent much of her teaching career at the West Hartford Public Schools in West Hartford, CT, where, during the course of her career, she taught elementary aged students across the special needs spectrum 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 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 also has the Assistive Technology Professional/Assistive Technology Applications Certificate through California State University at Northridge.

Kimberly Mulchahy, MS, CCC-SLP

Kimberly is a Speech Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Consultant at South Coast Educational Collaborative providing services to children and young adults. Kimberly has special interests in the areas of AAC and Autism. She has presented locally, at ATCNE and at Closing the Gap.

Melissa Mulvey

Melissa works for Cotting Consulting, an outreach program of Cotting School.  She provides services to students and teams in local school districts.  She is also an adjunct faculty member at Fitchburg State University in the Graduate and Continuing Education Department and has been teaching there part-time for many years in both traditional face-to-face classes and classes with online components.  Melissa’s background as a speech-language pathologist brings a strong language foundation to her intervention with students and teams.  Melissa developed and directs Talk2U AAC Enrichment Program, an opportunity at Cotting School for ‘tweens and teens who use AAC.  Melissa is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, holds licenses with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Division of Professional Licensure, and is certified as an Assistive Technology Professional through the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America.

Nicole Natale, CCC-SLP, ATP

Nicole is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and Assistive Technology (AT) Practitioner.  She currently serves as an Education Specialist in the Division of Technical Assistance and Brokering Services (TABS) at the Capitol Region Education Council in Hartford, CT.  For the past 15 years, Nicole has been providing SLP services specializing in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and AT to assist students with accessing the curriculum.   She co-wrote Assistive Technology Guide to Maximize Learning for Student with Autism and has presented throughout the state of CT and nationally on AT. She can be reached at

Sandra Olin, OTR/L, ATP

Sandy has 26+ years of experience with 21 years in the education setting Preschool through high school.  She is an executive board member for the New Hampshire Occupational Therapy Association and frequently speaks at the state pediatric SIS groups as well as ATIA Conferences.

John O’Sullivan

John is a Librarian, an Assistive Technology Specialist and an author of several books on educational technology. His books include UDL Technology, The Teacher’s Awesome App Guide, and Teaching Projects with Computers. He currently holds four certifications in education and has taught under each certification. He works for Chelmsford Public Schools at Chelmsford High School. He has worked in the past as a Special Education Teacher and Technology Integration Specialist.

He catalogs educational and assistive technology on his website

His twitter account is @The_app_guide

You can download his free book at

Leah Paliotta, MS, CCC-SLP

Leah is an SLP and Assistive Technology Consultant at South Coast Educational Collaborative. Leah evaluates and provides direct and consultative services in both Speech and Language and Assistive Technology in school settings. She has presented locally, at ATCNE and at Closing the Gap.

Dr. Luis Perez

Luis is an author, blogger, instructional designer and inclusive learning advocate based in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has more than a decade of experience working with educators to help them integrate technology in ways that empower all learners. Luis holds a doctorate in special education and a master’s degree in instructional technology from the University of South Florida, where he developed Tech Ease for All, a collection of web accessibility and assistive technology resources for educators.  He was selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) in 2009, as a Google in Education Certified Innovator (formerly Google Certified Teacher) in 2014, and currently serves as the Professional Learning Chair of the Inclusive Learning Network of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). He is also a board member of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST). His work has appeared in publications such as the Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities, Closing the Gap Solutions, THE Journal, and The Loop Magazine.  In addition to his work in educational technology, Luis is an avid photographer whose work has been featured in CNET, Better Photography magazine, Business Insider, the New York Times Bits Blog and the Sydney Morning Herald. Luis has presented at a number of national and international conferences in both educational and assistive technology, including South by Southwest EDU, ISTE, ATIA, CSUN and Closing the Gap.

Twitter: @eyeonaxs

Instagram: lfp1211

Diana Petschauer, MEd, ATP

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 adult services. She presents nationally and locally including other AT conferences such as ATIA, Closing the Gap, and CSUN and is a faculty member/presenter for CTD, Center on Technology and Disability ( 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.

Sharon Plante

Sharon, an educator with over 20 years teaching experience in special education, currently serves as teacher and Director of Technology at Eagle Hill Southport School.  As a Classroom Educator certified Orton-Gillingham tutor, she uses her training and understanding of technology to empower students with learning disabilities.   Sharon is the co-author of Using Technology to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities, which highlights the incorporation of technology through the Universal Design Model to reach all learners.  She has presented at IDA, Everyone Reading, EdRev, ATIA, New York Chapter of ALTA, and Spotlight on Dyslexia.  Sharon is a member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools Commission on Technology. Additionally, she was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from George Mason University College of Education and Human Development.

Madadaine Pugliese

Ms. Pugliese has 40 years of experience in K-12 education, plus 25 years in higher education, and is a nationally acknowledged consultant in assistive technology integration. Madalaine has received international awards and recognition for her innovations including: Apple Distinguished Educator by Apple Computer, Inc.; “Shaper of the Future” by Converge Magazine; a recipient of the Pathfinder Award from MassCue; and the highly respected Elizabeth Dalton Award recognizing leadership in the field of Assistive Technology. The Smithsonian Computerworld Honors Program recognized Madalaine’s work with a Laureate Award twice: In 2000 as Director of the Assistive Technology Project for the Massachusetts Department of Education, and in 2001 as the author of the Stages Developmental Framework (book and accessible diagnostic software). Her achievements include: former Director of Assistive Technology Graduate Program at Simmons College, Boston, MA; former developer and Director of the Assistive Technology Project for the Massachusetts Department of Education; former Co director of Camp Apple and summer program for educators on new instructional technology; and Founder of Adaptive Rehabilitation Technology, a nonprofit organization offering information and resources for families with needs for adaptive technologies.

Jon Reed

Jon has worked in the technology industry for over 20 years where he has split his time in both the high tech private sector and in public education.  For the past decade Jon has worked for Sunapee School District, one of the smallest school districts in NH where he supports all staff and students in the use of technology to enhance their academic achievement.  During his time Jon has led the district in the enthusiastic adoption of Google Apps for Education, a successful 1:world iPad implementation, and in helping all students achieve in heterogeneous classrooms.  Jon is a member of the AT team, a classroom teacher, and coach.  Previously Jon has spoken at the NH Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference and the School Librarians of Rhode Island Conference on topics including iBeacons, learning management systems, and hands on technology.  Outside of school Jon enjoys time with his family, skiing, running, and eating lunch.

Tim Richmond

Tim has been a part of the Cotting Consulting team since 2016.  He is a National Board Certified and licensed occupational therapist with a variety of work experiences.  Most notably, Tim spent eight years working as a staff occupational therapist at Cotting School providing direct service to students with a wide range of physical, cognitive and communication challenges.  Prior to this time, Tim traveled throughout the country earning valuable experience working in pediatric programs from age 3-22 with a focus on programming needs within autism spectrum disorder classrooms.  Accessibility and implementation of technology services have been at the heart of addressing curriculum needs, while ensuring that both teachers and families understand practical daily uses.  Tim earned his degree in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.

Amanda Robidoux

Amanda is a 12th grade scholar with a visual impairment who attends Sargent Rehabilitation Center.  For approximately two years, she has been working with a multidisciplinary team building the skillset necessary to use a switch interface to access the iPad.  She is currently utilizing switches to access Siri, Read2Go and Quizoid apps among others.

Mary Sagstetter

In her current role at AbleNet, 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 29 years of experience serving the field of Special Education, the last 18 of which have been with AbleNet.

Nermin Selimic

Nermin has more than 20 years of sales and marketing, operations, product management, and M&A experience leading teams in the United States, Canada and Europe.

During more than 15 years in telecommunications, Nermin was leading teams responsible for product development and management, sales and marketing, customer support, including technical support and business development.

Prior to joining Raz Mobility, Nermin was managing the residential services line of business for one of the largest long distance and VoIP providers in the United States and Canada – Impact Telecom, and its consumer brands – Startec, Excel and Matrix. Over the last decade, as EVP of Marketing & Residential Services, Nermin spearheaded the development and introduction of innovative mobile and OTT telecommunications products based on advanced mobile and VoIP technology, offering customers greater flexibility for their communication needs.


Dr. Cathy Stern, OD, FCOVD, FCSO, FNORA

Dr. Cathy Stern has a private practice near Boston limited to diagnosis and treatment of behavioral/developmental/neurological vision problems. Treatment includes neuro-optometric vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, and perceptual learning programs. She presents courses about acquired brain injury, vision and learning, special needs and assistive technology. Email: and on the web at:

Mark Surabian

Mark has utilized assistive and instructional technologies to directly serve the educational and vocational needs of thousands of individuals with disabilities for over 30 years, across five states, in both private and public school systems, in residential and work facilities, and within home-based learning programs. He developed and presently operates “ATHelp”, a free assistive technology support clinic in Manhattan, where he has served the needs of over 2800 children and adults with communication, vision, learning, and physical challenges. He is an instructor for Pace University’s Graduate School of Education, a frequent lecturer on assistive technologies at NYC universities and colleges, and conducts trainings for NYC public, charter, and private schools. He occasionally consults for AT developers and NYC advocacy agencies as well. His free resources may be found at:

ATHelp Website:


Twitter: @MarkSurabian

LinkedIn: Mark Surabian

Google Chrome Community:

Kristopher Thompson

Kristopher, CAPS – Coordinator at Oak Hill Centers, is trained as an NAHB Certified Aging in Place Specialist. He researches and implements new technologies for the NEAT Center Smart Home and demonstrates how to gain control of your home environment by using a range of low to high-tech solutions. This includes commercially available smart devices that utilize voice control. He also provides assistance for Oak Hill’s Blind Vocational Services Program, and manages The NEAT Center’s website.

Kristopher has an educational and professional background in information technologies and Computer Science, and he holds a degree in Applied Science/Computer Networking.

Kris can be reached by email at, on twitter @NEATWithKris or our website

Dr. Mark Trexler

Mark received his doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University within the School of Education with a concentration in special education and work-force development for students with disabilities.

Before assuming the role of program coordinator at the Johns Hopkins Center for Technology in Education, he worked for Kennedy Krieger Institute’s school programs, helping students with disabilities develop vocational skills in the community. In order to gain further support for those career industry programs, Mark obtained grants and acquired business partners to employ and help train students for a productive future. He is a Faculty Associate in the School of Education where he helps prepare graduate students in the areas of Career Assessment and Programming for students with mild to moderate disabilities.

Karen Waddill

Karen is the Director of Cotting Consulting at Cotting School.  Cotting Consulting provides technology based assessment, intervention and training to educational programs in the Greater Boston Area.  She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, holds licenses with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Division of Professional Licensure, and is certified as an Assistive Technology Professional through the Rehabilitative Engineering Society of North America.  In her current role, Karen balances her time between the administrative oversight of the program, maintaining a clinical caseload, and speaking engagements.  In addition to her work at Cotting, Karen is a long-standing visiting instructor in the Graduate and Continue Education Department at Fitchburg State University.

Katie Weber-Hottleman

Katie holds an M.A. in Sociology from Columbia University, a B.A. in Sociology and English Language and Literature from Gordon College, and a certification in Post-Secondary Disability Services from the University of Connecticut.  In her role as a Learning Disability Specialist and Technology Coordinator at Northeastern University, she provides disability-related support services to students with learning disabilities, AD(H)D, and psychiatric disorders, ensuring students’ equitable participation in the academic experience. She also helps students understand their disabilities and the impact they have on students’ academic lives, offering one-on-one, specialized advising and instruction on academic skills, and other compensatory strategies specific to each student’s needs.  As the Technology Coordinator, she advises staff and students on technology for projects and accommodations, and she trains staff in the use of different accessibility programs.

Therese Willkomm, PhD, ATP

Dr. Willkomm is an amazing Assistive Technology magician who has invented over 1600 different Assistive Technology solutions including 50 different iPad solutions for people with disabilities. She is known nationally and internationally for her unique five minute approach to creating solutions using 10 basic hand tools and 30 different every day materials. She has presented in 46 states and six foreign countries. Dr. Willkomm has authored 22 publications including her famous book Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes – Make a Difference Today. Dr. Willkom holds a PhD in Rehabilitation Science and Technology and is the director of New Hampshire’s state wide Assistive Technology program. She is also a clinical associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy with the University of New Hampshire and oversees the graduate certificate program in assistive technology at UNH.

Alicia Zeh-Dean, MS, OTR/L

Alicia joined Cotting Consulting, an assistive technology outreach program of the Cotting School, in 2016. Prior to joining the team, Alicia worked as an occupational therapist in the public schools providing evaluations and treatment for students from age 3 to 5th grade. She has experience working with a diverse student population including students in a school based ASD program, a special education preschool program and as part of the evaluation team for students transitioning from early intervention to public school services. In addition, Alicia worked as an Assistive Technology Specialist with college aged students and adults. Alicia received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University and her post graduate certificate in Assistive Technology from University of New Hampshire.