Archive: 2018 Conference

Special thanks to all of our presenters for sharing your knowledge and expertise!

Pre Conference

Thursday, November 29th

  • 8:30 - 3:30 Using Technology as Evidence-based Practice! Meeting the Learning and Behavioral Needs of Students with ASD

     Are you looking to provide better individual programming for your students with ASD, AND better classroom programs to insure consistency across grade levels? If so, this fast-paced workshop will provide you with “learn it today/use it tomorrow” evidence-based practices (EBP), utilizing various forms of technology to meet the learning and behavioral needs of students with ASD, AND increase independent functioning! A unique EBP planning tool, designed to assist in identifying individual student needs, will be shared. This guide will help participants determine appropriate EBP, per individual student, that will serve as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) to prevent the occurrence of challenging behaviors and increase independent functioning. Participants will also learn how to use an EBP classroom/program observation tool featuring pivotal EBP for effective school-based programs. Participants will leave with numerous examples of low tech to high tech EBP, as well as web-based resources.

    Susan K. Lewis Stokes, MA, CCC-SLP


  • 8:30 - 3:30 How to Think AT: Finding Solutions and Repurposing Everyday Technologies

    The tools will always be changing, the need for access will always be there. Yet, every time the platform or devices change, it seems like the magic slate is lifted, and the search for how to provide access must begin again. We cannot always rely upon dedicated assistive technologies and must often repurpose solutions from more mainstream sectors. So, whether we are seeking new solutions for providing alternative access, enhancing individual productivity, or for creating a more universally designed classroom, we must apply an analytical approach to our search for new AT. Thinking AT requires us to be responsible investigators in those searches so that we can find practical solutions to real challenges. Using techniques for finding and evaluating AT solutions may not always seem obvious. This session will demonstrate a path for finding and incorporating every day technologies into specialized environments. Attendees will learn through case study examples, and in-session trials, the fundamentally important ideas that can drive that “Now I see it” moment in the search for what can be AT.

    Dan Herlihy & Mark Surabian


  • 8:30 - 3:30 Two-Four-Six-Eight: Helping Kids ParticipATe!

    With the right supports, all students can learn. Meaningful participation can be facilitated by altering access, content, materials and tools. Matching needs with “the right tool for the job” for students from cradle to career is a skill and a challenge. Determining supports and strategies that are “least restrictive”, implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) practices, or selecting needed assistive technology as a member of an educational team is an ongoing process. To build capacity of all stakeholders, it is important to work together, sharing effective practices about the use of a continuum of tools to enable optimal student learning outcomes. This workshop will provide an overview of resources to support student needs and provide participants with a digital toolkit to begin or continue that process.

    Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FAOTA & Sally Norton-Darr, MS, CCC-SLP


  • 8:30 - 3:30 Finding Hope When Counseling and/or Psychiatric Medications Aren't Enough: Assistive Technology for Psychiatric Disabilities


    Psychiatric disabilities, psychiatric symptoms, or the experience of mental illnesses, are incredibly common in the United States. The best estimate today is 75 million Americans. Many people currently experience depression, anxiety and overwhelming stress without being formally diagnosed or treated for mental illness. The stigma that comes with being labelled with a mental illness keeps many people away from seeing a counselor or therapist. The many side effects of psychiatric medications often results in people never taking them, or abruptly discontinuing them. Counseling and/or psychiatric medications are not enough for a significant number of people to function effectively in workplaces and community settings. Very little is known by most mental health professionals, rehabilitation counselors, assistive technology specialists, or other professionals about the important role that assistive technologies can play for people with a psychiatric disability. This presentation will provide a fascinating, deep-dive, all-day, exploration of assistive technologies that are being used successfully, when counseling and/or psychiatric medications aren’t enough. These assistive technology resources have been carefully researched and recognized for their effectiveness in helping people achieve employment and other major life goals. The presentation will share specific resources that are inexpensive and customizable for unique individuals.

  • 8:30 - 3:30 Access to Education Through Switches: Covering All Your Bases

    Students who struggle with typical access to a school experience are often presented with switches. At times they are stuck using the same software repeatedly; most of it is cause and effect. Staff are concerned with physical skills of switch use and are not sure of how to build cognitive skills; communication may also be impacted, which complicates the issues of how much does this student know? This session will address 4 major factors including:

    1) Switches and related tool selection

    2) Switch skill development through highly motivating activities

    3) Providing access to parallel learning in communication & academics

    4) Pulling it all together with full access & control to their environment

    During this presentation, we will address an organized system for switch selection, introduce a structure for making decisions about apps to use for switch skill development. We will also talk about be mindful about prompting strategies so that you can be ready with more meaningful cues and ditch saying “hit-the-switch”! At the same time as building motor skills with switches, access to academics and language has to occur. This is what is referred to as “Parallel-Learning”. Come join us as we look at meaningful switch access to school.

    (This session has hands-on switches and switch interfaces experience, so please bring your tablets, laptops & any interfaces that you have. The presenter will also be bringing tools to try out with your technology. As you register -please list the type of technology that your student/school uses.)

  • 8:30 - 3:30 ABA as a Framework for Effective AAC Assessments and Intervention

    Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a science that utilizes a systematic approach for assessing and providing intervention for socially significant human behavior. This science is based on seven principles that are a foundation for evidence-based practice. As augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) aims to improve one’s quality of life through providing a functional modality for self-expression, it is imperative that professionals use effective practices that are meaningful to the individual. The seven dimensions of ABA provide a framework for the development of evidence-based assessments and AAC programming. The objective of this session is to introduce learners to the 7 dimensions of ABA and apply these dimensions to AAC assessment, intervention, and progress monitoring.

    Sarah Fitta MA, CCC-SLP, BCBA & Nerissa Hall PhD, CCC-SLP, ATP

  • 8:30 - 3:30 Assistive Technology Integration into a Systemic Reading Intervention for Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities Dyslexia

    Research has shown us that for children with specific learning disabilities dyslexia require a systematic reading approach in order to be successful in the reading process. This fast-paced workshop will focus on how the use of assistive technology can be integrated into this approach. It will present each step of a structured literacy reading intervention and what low, mid or high tech assistive technology could be used to assist individuals in having greater success and allow teachers to expand the options for practice in a structured literacy lesson. Participants are encouraged to bring technology to use during the session to explore the various tools presented. These tools will include websites, app and extensions.

    Carolann Cormier, MS, CCC-SLP, CAGS & Lisa Fiano, MA, CAGS


  • 8:30 - 3:30 Do You Know a Chaos Muppet? Technology to Support All Types of Learners

    Using Dahlia Litwick’s ground breaking publication at Slate as a foundation, we will explore her philosophy that every living human can be classified according to one simple metric: Every one of us is either a Chaos Muppet or an Order Muppet. We will explore how to evaluate and support the Chaos and Order Muppets in our lives. Many Chaos Muppets come to us with long neurophysiological evaluations and standardized scores from the BRIEF. Chaos Muppets may be defined as having executive functioning challenges. They have difficulty managing their time, organizing their belongings and regulating themselves. Order Muppets may struggle with flexibility or change and need help when the plan changes.

    During this session we will explore checklists and rating scales to assist with identification and quantification of Muppet types based on the domains of executive functioning as outlined by Dawson and Guare. After exploring these skill areas, we will dive into free, freemium and paid tools for Google, OSX, and iOS (Windows and Android users are welcome!). In addition, low tech tools and strategies to help all Muppets get through the day will be explored through a combination of demonstration and hands-on practice.

    Alicia Zeh-Dean, MS, OTR/L & Melissa D. Mulvey, MS, CCC-SLP, CAGS, ATP


  • 8:30 - 3:30 Creating A Bridge to Learning For ALL: How to Engage and Include Diverse Learners on All Devices Across Curricula

    After first issuing 1:1 iPads and Chromebooks, many schools are now implementing Bring Your Own Device programs that provide more choice for educators and learners. In this hands-on workshop that highlights resources from Google, Apple and Microsoft, experts Diana Petschauer and Linda Beliveau will emphasize technologies and strategies that ensure learners with disabilities can access and engage in the same lessons and assignments as their peers.

    You’ll leave this BYOD, hands-on workshop with a powerful toolkit across platforms, devices and subjects.  You’ll learn about both free and low-cost AT, apps, extensions, & built-in accessibility to help you personalize education and support

    UDL efforts for All students, including those with low vision or blindness, LD/dyslexia, physical disabilities, and executive functioning challenges. These strategies and technologies will also support your efforts to help students improve research and study skills and complete assignments using literacy, media and math-related tools for elementary through high school settings.

    (Additional devices provided by presenters for group activities.)

    Diana Petschauer, M.Ed., ATP, & Linda Beliveau, ATP


  • 8:30 - 3:30 Reading and Writing for Individuals with Complex Communication Needs
  • 8:30 - 3:30 Banishing Barriers: An Exploration of AAC Access Methods

    Physical challenges are common barriers that interfere with successful access to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Individuals with complex communication needs whose physical challenges prevent them from using traditional direct selection methods nonetheless have a basic human right to communicate. Teams within all settings, including schools and medical facilities, must consider creative ways to provide such individuals with access to communication. This full-day workshop will explore tools along the assistive technology continuum, ranging from using a stylus or keyguard to incorporating switches and eye gaze systems. Using case studies and hands-on activities, participants will learn innovative approaches to discovering a user’s access point and access method for attaining communication. The audience will have opportunities to speak with, learn from, and be inspired by a young woman who currently uses eye gaze to access communication and to pursue her ambitious professional endeavors. Lastly, resources will be shared to facilitate a team’s consideration process, and participants will leave the session with a completed workbook that they can directly apply to their own practices.
    Note: The presenters are NOT occupational therapists or physical therapists, but instead are providing perspectives from special education and speech-language pathology backgrounds. Team collaboration during an evaluation is always encouraged.

    Elena Fader, MA, CCC-SLP & Nicole Feeney, M.Ed.



Friday, November 30th

This is a grid of all sessions

Please click corresponding tabs below to view full session descriptions.  

Bristol A
Bristol B
Salon IV
Salon V
  • SETT Your Compass for Innovative AT Collaboration

    The SETT framework is the hallmark of Assistive technology evaluative tools. Created by Joy Zabala, the SETT framework explores the Student, Environment, Tasks, and Tools in a collaborative team-based approach with a student-centered focus. The SETT framework values all perspectives and input. The Innovator’s Compass, created by Ela Ben Ur, is a powerful collaborative tool that empowers educators, students, and leaders to think proactively regarding a problem, a statement- virtually anything. While both tools can be used separately to leverage various outcomes and issues regarding student learning and access to AT, Combining the two tools of the SETT framework and the Innovator’s Compass in a small school district in Southern Maine has led to increased collaboration amongst team members, retained the focus on the student, allowed team members to think without limits concerning the selection, acquisition, and use of AT and most importantly, AT has become a dynamic process that is not performed in isolation, but is performed in a truly innovative and collaborative manner.

    Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles, PhD ATP & Kevin Good


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, Higher Ed, Adult Services, Elderly Services, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Categories: AT, HE, Work

    Universal Design for Learning with Technology

    Participants will learn about educational/assistive technology that helps engage and include students based on the principles of universal design for learning. Many of us have studied universal design for learning. Now you can learn how to connect the concepts in universal design for learning with technology. Attendees will learn about specific technologies to remove barriers and to engage students in the process of learning. Educators will learn about how to help students achieve educational goals with different paths to learning using technologies. Various technologies will be discussed to help remove barriers in multiple areas of learning as well as engage students. Attendees will get free PDF copies of The Educational Technology Guide 2018 and The UDL Educational Technology Guide 2018 written by John F. O’Sullivan that they can share with colleagues. Attendees will have time to pick technology from the guides to remove barriers and engage students. Time will be allowed to ask questions, discuss technology and make connections to universal design for learning.

    John F. O’Sullivan


    Audience: K-12, Teachers

    Categories: Acc, EL, AT

    Extreme Steam: CASTING High and Low with a Tool Continuum

    Many factors impact participation in STEAM activities, including motor, sensory, cognition, attention, organization, social, communication, language, and literacy skills. Students with disabilities are increasingly receiving instruction in general education classrooms, requiring collaboration between general and special educators. Best practices encompass Universal Design for Learning principles to provide access to education for all learners. Participants will be introduced to research and evidence of sound educational practices to reach all learners. Particular emphasis will be placed on tangible adaptations to meet the needs of students with special needs via the development of math, science, art, and literacy kits that have been anchored with books and extended with hands-on low tech and high tech activities.

    Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FAOTA & Sally Norton-Darr, MS, CCC-SLP


    Audience: K-12, Teachers Therapists

    Category: EL

  • Readability! Strategies & Technology to Support the Struggling Reader

    In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate a continuum of strategies and technology tools that can support students who struggle with reading and build upon their digital toolkit – giving them better access to the curriculum. These supports include readability, accessibility, software, web resources as well as mobile/Chrome apps designed to facilitate student success. Case studies will be used to demonstrate how an AT mindset can help develop and support reading skills while decreasing dependence on teacher assistance.

    Nicole Feeney


    Audience: K-12, Higher Ed, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Category: Acc, AEM, EL, AT, HE, Work

    Must-Have Literacy & Math Tools for G Suite (and More) (V)

    G Suite for Education puts powerful productivity and collaboration tools into the hands of students and teachers alike, no matter where they are or what type of device they’re using. The availability of extensions provides students with even more support, personalization and means of engagement in their learning. With thousands of these third party tools to choose from, how do you know which ones will truly support the needs of all your students? (Session attendees should already be familiar with G-Suite for Education.)

    Gary Rubin


    Audience: K-12, Higher Ed, Teachers, Administrators, Technology Coordinators

    Category: Acc, EL, AT, EFS, V, HE

    AT to Go: Delicious Mobile Apps for Dyslexia

    With their built-in accessibility, touch-screen interface, and variety of AT-related apps, mobile devices like iPads and Android tablets have become valuable devices for students with dyslexia. Well-established assistive technology companies have made their tools available as apps, and smaller developers have joined them in creating new AT tools that can make language-based activities easier for struggling students. This light-hearted but informative session will explore a baker’s dozen of those apps while using a running theme of take-out food.

    Jamie Martin


    Audience: K-12

    Category: Acc, AEM, EL, AT

  • Getting Organized and Staying Organized with AAC Devices

    Can’t remember the device password? Don’t know the code to unlock editing features? Too many different codes on one iPad? If you’ve felt this pain, then we have the session for you! Managing students’ communication devices and iPads used for communication in a busy school setting is a challenge. Getting organized, keeping good records, and making sure critical information is readily accessible to those who need it can be overwhelming. In this session, we will share strategies for getting and staying organized, including:

    Managing dedicated devices versus iPads

    Creating an AAC Device Info Packet

    Sample organizational forms

    Pros and cons of paper versus digital forms

    Benefits of keeping logs for tech support, file backups, etc.

    Strategies for sharing information

    Building a home-school connection

    Supporting student transitions

    Linda K. Cullen, MEd, MS, CCC-SLP; Madalena DiCorpo, MS, Ed; Kimberly Mulcahy, MS CCC-SLP; & Leah Paliotta, MS, CCC-SLP


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, Teachers, Therapists

    Category: EL, AAC

    Supporting AAC Device Trials in School Settings

    Completing a communication device trial is an important part of the process when identifying the most appropriate device for a student. The device trial is typically the final step in the feature-matching process – verifying that the recommended device really is the best fit for the student. And what if the SLP expected to oversee the trial isn’t the SLP who completed the evaluation? Or maybe the SLP doesn’t know much about the recommended device? Or doesn’t feel very comfortable with AAC in general? Where to begin? This presentation will help school-based SLPs understand and feel comfortable with the process of completing a device trial, including:

    • Knowing your funding source and how that impacts the trial
    • Planning ahead for a successful trial
    • Involving all educational team members, the family, and the student
    • Locating resources to support the trial
    • Knowing what data to collect
    • Analyzing data
    • Documenting trial outcomes

    Linda K. Cullen, Med, MS, CCC-SLP; Madalena DiCorpo, MS, Ed; Kimberly Mulcahy, MS CCC-SLP; & Leah Paliotta, MS, CCC-SLP


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, Teachers, Therapists

    Category: EL, AAC

    The Power of the Para (and Other Communication Partners)

    Communication partners are integral to the success of AAC and AAC implementation. Communication partners can support an individual’s success using a range of AAC systems and strategies. In this training we will review evidence-based techniques (such as aided language stimulation and AAC modeling), as well as how to apply these techniques when engaging in specific academic, vocational and game-based tasks and activities. We will also discuss different ways to adjust the environment to support communicative exchanges and interactions.

    Hillary Jellison, MA, CCC-SLP, ATP & Nerissa Hall, PhD, CCC-SLP, ATP


    Audience: K-12, Teachers, Therapists

    Category: AAC

  • Addressing the Sensory Needs of All Individuals; Especially Those on the Autism Spectrum

    This session will focus on the sensory needs of all individuals; especially those on the autism spectrum. The categories of sensory feedback will be addressed as a foundation for understanding the sensory tools which may make the most sense for use by an individual. Approaches within classroom, workplace, and therapy sessions will be discussed as to create an understanding of how these tools can be most effectively used. An analysis of proper evaluation will be presented so as to recommend the best tools for the individual. Finally, a variety of tools within the various sensory categories will be demonstrated in a hands-on manner to give a greater depth of understanding to what the tools are and how they can be best used.

    Dr. Raymond Heipp


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, HE, Adult Services, Rehab, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Category: Acc, EL, AT, Aging, TVR

    It’s Not Black and White; It’s Gray: Understanding Psychosocial Challenges that Affect Students and How Strategic Implementation of Technology Can Help

    Many students have psychosocial and emotional challenges, including trauma, and present with a range of externalized and internalized behaviors, as well as communication difficulties. It is essential that we understand what these behaviors are telling us, as well as the impact the environment and our behaviors have on these individuals. Environmental engineering can foster a sense of safety and security for individuals with complex psychosocial and emotional needs. Additionally, AAC and assistive technology can serve to empower individuals and offer them a much-needed sense of control, autonomy, and/or independence. This presentation will detail ways in which we can leverage technology, tools and strategies to support individuals with social and emotional challenges. Case examples will be provided.

    Giancarlo Albelice, BA & Nerissa Hall, PhD, CCC-SLP, ATP


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, Higher Ed, Adult Services, Elderly Services, Rehab, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Category: Acc, AEM, AAC, EL, AT

    Multi-Sensory Strategies for Early Math Instruction

    This session will center primarily around developing number sense in students who are blind and/or with sensory processing challenges. Attendees will learn how to effectively use sensory-based strategies to increase student engagement and comprehension through a wide range of assistive technologies and adaptations of traditional math tools.

    Attendees will make connections between the general core curriculum standards and expanded core curriculum skills to address generalization and collect/analyze progress data across all classes and therapies.

    Attendees will develop curriculum plans using structured methods to identify the most relevant order for introducing math standards by taking into account the student’s strengths and needs.

    Attendees will adapt popular general core curriculum activities including math centers, guided math, and spiraling using Apple devices with VoiceOver and refreshable Braille displays.

    Hillary Kleck


    Audience: Early Childhood, Teachers, Therapists, Families

    Category: AEM, BLV, EFS

  • A Multisite Project to Promote Cognitive Support Technology Use and Employment Success Among Postsecondary Students with Traumatic Brain Injuries

    Project Career is an interprofessional multisite research demonstration project that supports undergraduate students with TBI through the use of cognitive support technology (iPad and apps) and individualized case management services. Project Career is currently in it’s 5th and final year of funding, and can share the positive outcomes of this program, including which program components, methods, and apps have been most beneficial to participants.

    The goal of this 75 minute presentation is for attendees to be able to learn about apps that can be used as educational and employment support for students with TBI, and for this information to be used at home, in schools, in therapy, with clients, etc. The presentation will include a PowerPoint describing background on TBI and barriers to higher education and employment, the Project Career model, assessments used, iPad apps, and outcomes to date. After completion of the presentation, attendees will participate in an experiential learning activity in small groups to test out apps on the iPad and recommend apps based on case studies.

    Karen Jacobs EdD, OT, OTR, CPE, FAOTA; Amanda Nardone, OTS, CBIS; Brianna Pinto; & Hannah Zaininger


    Audience: Higher Ed, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Category: EL, AT EFS, HE, Work

    All Access P.A.S.S. Protocol: A Practical Model for Classroom Implementation of Augmentative and Alternative Communication

    Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can be the key component to enabling students with disabilities to participate in their educational environments and curriculum. Putting AAC into place within the classroom is a dynamic process. It involves team collaboration, data collection and thorough trials of the targeted tools. Once the tool is chosen and the implementation process begins, it is often very difficult for teams to measure successful outcomes. Progress monitoring of the student’s individual goals are the typical standard for efficacy. While collecting data on student specific goals is important and professionally necessary, it usually doesn’t address the pragmatic use of AAC. Questions often remain: What is the student trying to accomplish with AAC? How does it impact the role of the Speech/Language Pathologist and other professionals involved in the implementation process? Is the IEP team providing appropriate communication opportunities within the student’s environment? For this reason, I have developed a practical protocol for SLPs and other professional staff members to use within the classroom environment to examine four specific outcomes of AAC. As an assistive technology consultant at the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I’ve observed great success implementing the All Access P.A.S.S. Protocol with special education teams within our 24 public school districts.

    The All Access P.A.S.S. Protocol is a simple tool that can be used to quickly determine whether or not a student’s AAC is assisting with important pragmatic functions. It is focused on four specific areas: participation, accessibility, social integration and self-reliance/self-advocacy. This protocol is based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning, a multi-tiered system of support and best practices in the field of AT. It incorporates no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech supports in a structured system of implementation and team goal setting.

    The All Access P.A.S.S. begins with a team self-assessment and/or an observation using a coaching model. The team and/or team member looks through the guiding questions in each of the four pragmatic areas and discusses whether or not the student is receiving appropriate opportunities to use AAC. It is recommended that specific examples of AAC use are documented. If examples cannot be identified, then the team member(s) is asked to discuss ways to increase the student’s AAC use. Goals are set for the professional and revisited to ensure completion. It’s important to point out that these goals are not student goals. They are goals for the SLP and/or IEP team members. It’s the responsibility of the school professionals working with the student to give that student opportunities for participation, physical and academic accessibility, social integration, and independence skills. It is very possible for a student to learn an AAC system and know how to use it but still face challenges in these areas. Oftentimes, the SLP and/or IEP team members have overlooked the responsibility to create and maintain a variety of opportunities for the student to use AAC. The All Access P.A.S.S. protocol can help guide teams to a better understanding of the pragmatic outcomes of AAC use.

    Geri Schaffer, MA, CCC-SLP


    Audience: K-12, Teachers, Therapists, Transition Coordinators

    Category: AAC

    Adaption for Increased Function and Independence

    This session will include a brief overview of the presenters and their respective work environments.  The bulk of the session will focus on discussions with active audience participation based on case studies ranging from low tech custom adaptations to some higher tech items. Discussions will focus on how the item or adaptation was conceived, fabricated and how it impacted the individual’s life and independent functioning. The discussion will include (but not be limited to) such topic areas as, ADLs, wheelchair seating and mobility, community and home access. As time is available, participants should feel free to bring their ideas or issues they are currently working on and/or seeking assistance with.

    Brian Dennis, COTA/L, ATP & Merry Kaulbach, OT, ATP


    Audience: Therapists, Tech Professionals, Commercial Designers

    Category: Acc, AT

  • iOS Apps, Innovative AT & Accessibility Features for Blind and/or Low Vision Users

    The iPad and iOS devices have incredible built-in accessibility features, right out of the box before adding any apps that can potentially make them the most accessible device to individuals with disabilities, including those who are blind or have low vision. In addition, the robust apps available on the iPad/iPhone for accessible books and documents/handouts (for education and work), OCR, instant text-to-speech and translation, currency and object identification, Braille support, magnification, navigation support, and research far surpass what you could try to use on any other device. Many of the accessibility features and apps can replace expensive software, and often times people don’t even realize they exist! In particular, students & adults are most impressed to learn that they can do more than text and social media on their phone, and that those activities can be made easier & more accessible as well.

    This workshop will focus on the significant support available in iOS for iPad/ iPhone users who are blind or have low vision. Join us for this engaging session with hands-on demonstrations! AT experts, Diana Petschauer & Stephen Yerardi from AT for Education and Access4Employment ( will engage the participants with demonstrations to teach:

    • Built-In Accessibility features to access everything from your phone or tablet (text-to-speech, magnification, high contrast, display accommodations, speech-to-text)
    • Access to Digital Books and Handouts for school or work
    • Support for Literacy, Math and Executive Function
    • Instant OCR and text to speech for documents on the go such as menus, grocery items, signs, etc.
    • Money, color and product identification
    • Independent navigation support, comparing free and paid services and apps/features and support
    • Voice control devices (Siri versus Alexa versus Google) and smart home options!
    • The latest innovative assistive technologies being developed and utilized currently!

    Diana Petschauer MEd, ATP & Stephen Yerardi, BA


    Audience: K-12, Higher Ed, Adult Services, Rehab, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Category: Acc, AEM, BLV, EL, AT, EFS, TRV, HE, Work

    AT to Support Successful Employment in the Workplace

    Employees with disabilities include highly trained individuals, seasoned professionals, and skilled veterans who have equal or higher job performance ratings, higher employment retention rates, and lower absenteeism than those without disabilities. Talented people with disabilities want to work but they often face obstacles in the workplace. Assistive Technology supports individuals with disabilities to be able to efficiently and equally access the workplace and accomplish tasks that may be difficult or impossible due to their disability.  Assistive Technology also supports individuals who acquire an injury or are naturally aging and losing abilities over time, sensory and/or physical.

    In this workshop you will learn about various assistive technologies to help individuals with disabilities in the workplace environment and gain awareness of the latest, most innovative AT that exists to support individuals with disabilities to consider employment in a field or position that they may not otherwise feel qualified or capable of fulfilling, as well as technologies to support their current position and access to workplace tasks or requirements. Support for various disabilities will be presented including Cognitive (Dyslexia, LD, PTSD, TBI, Executive Function), Blind, Low Vision, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

    It is important for individuals with disabilities to feel confident and independent in the workplace and to know about the AT that can support productivity and efficiency while equally accessing workplace documents, emails, meetings, etc. It is critical that employers, HR personnel, Vocational Rehabilitation counselors and family members be aware of how assistive technology can support individuals with disabilities in the workplace, including low cost options for mobile devices and technologies that the individuals may already have access to on a daily basis. This in addition to laws, best practices, benefits, advocacy and implementation will be discussed, and the latest, most innovative AT options on the market will be demonstrated from head control to eye gaze, instant OCR, personal navigation support, and more!

    Diana Petschauer, MEd, ATP & Sarah Vogel, MEd


    Audience: Adult Services, Rehab, Families, Transition Coordinators, Advisors, State Program Coordinators, VR Counselors, Consumers

    Category: Acc, DHH, BLV, EL, AT, EFS, TVR, Work

    Top Ten Technology Treasures

    There are many pieces of technology available to help people with low vision or blindness as they go through different phases of their lives. Each day, we are presented with many challenges ranging from equal access during school to staying healthy and fit. Join me as we explore and discover exciting, new developments, apps, and tech supports addressing the needs of individuals with visual impairments in today’s fast paced world.

    Steven Famiglietti


    Audience: K-12, Higher Ed, Adult Services, Rehab, Teachers, Therapists, Transition Coordinators

    Category: BLV

  • Hands-On with iOS Recipes

    Have you seen and heard about iOS recipes for making apps and toys accessible for individuals with complex motor profiles? Are you ready to go hands-on and make your own recipes? We will demonstrate 5-7 apps and activities that use recipes, then we will show you how to create your own before you go hands-on to setup up your own recipes for switch access. In this hands-on session, participants will use the iOS switch control menu to set up switches, investigate scanning styles/timing options, and create recipes with custom gestures. Participants will have the option of working with a facilitator, following written directions or using video tutorials as a guide. A variety of switch accessible communication and leisure apps will be represented. Bring your own iOS device (iPad, or iPhone) loaded with SpinArt Free and Angry Birds POP and we will bring the rest!

    Karen Waddill & Alicia Zeh-Dean


    Audience: Therapists

    Category: Access

    Mounting Solutions for Simple to Complex Mounting Needs (V)

    It is essential for a person’s physical and psychological well-being to be able to readily and independently access food, drinks, technology and other items in their environment. People need access to their phones, iPads, tablets, cameras, speech devices and trays to make this possible. Positioning and securing these items for access can be a challenge for people with major and minor mobility limitations. Mounting systems help stabilize and position devices for optimal access on wheelchairs, tables, beds and floor stands. This session will cover simple to complex mounting solutions to address the access needs of individuals with disabilities and their caregivers.

    Movable mounts offer an alternative to stationary mounts. In a research study of individuals using the Mount’n Mover, a movable mounting system, conducted by Ithaca College, their findings showed individuals experienced functional gains, and psychosocial benefits resulting from increases in their independence and self-esteem.

    Case studies and hands-on demonstrations will be presented.

    Mary Kay Walch


    Audience: K-12, Adult Services, Rehab, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators, Early Childhood

    Category: AAC, AT, TRV, V, Work, Acc

    Use of Remote Supports in Ohio and Emerging Technologies on the Horizon

    Technology encourages opportunities for more inclusive and independent lives for people with developmental disabilities. Currently, in Ohio alone, over 90,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive supports from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD). In recent years, technological advancements have provided an opportunity for supported living services to become, in many ways, less intrusive and promote independence.

    This presentation will help identify how remote supports and emerging technologies may be used/have been used to promote independence for people with developmental disabilities. Attendees will gain an understanding of Ohio’s approach to the use of remote support (similar services are known elsewhere as many other titles including: remote monitoring, monitoring technology, electronic monitoring/surveillance systems, etc.); hear feedback from people who have used remote support; and learn about the possible uses of current and emerging technologies to promote independence for individuals with developmental disabilities.

    Marc Tassé & Jordan Wagner


    Audience: Adult Services

    Category: AT, Aging, EFS

  • Gaining Control Through Smart Technology

    Environmental control and the ability to connect with others is crucial for independent living. Whether it be someone facing health challenges, disabilities, or aging in place, it is important to have a solid plan and find creative ways for an individual and their caregiver to ensure comfort and control. Fortunately, there are many emerging, smart, assistive technology options in today’s fast paced world that can greatly impact independence and social opportunities. Participants will take part in exploration of case studies that will cover smart device and voice-controlled technologies and illuminate the powerful impact they have on creating opportunities for independence yet providing the ability to stay connected. More specifically, a closer look at supports from Amazon Alexa, iDevices, etc. The presenter will also discuss feature matching and the consideration process for choosing smart technology and the specialized peripherals that make an individual aging in place feel more confident and supported living at home.

    Kristopher Thompson


    Audience: Adult Services, Elderly Services, Families

    Category: Acc, BLV, DHH, AT, Aging

    You Can’t Take Your Case Manager with You! Strengthening Assistive Technology Skills for Successful Transitions

    Good things happen when a transition services coordinator and an assistive technology coordinator begin discussing how assistive technology helps to bridge some of the gap between services provided in an IDEA environment (high school) vs. in an ADA environment (college).

    While special education case managers consistently go above and beyond, what can we do to prepare IEP students for college, where you can’t take your case manager with you?  First, we gathered evidence including staff knowledge in the areas of AT, transition, and policy.

    Surveying colleges that our students attend and using the K&P guide, we learned about the levels of service provided at most colleges.  We began educating staff on the differences in law and the level of service students can expect. The QIAT (Quality Indicators in Assistive Technology) has helped to set a benchmark for staff knowledge of how to use assistive technology to increase student independence in using their accommodations.

    Sayard Bass SLP, ATP & Taryn Chrapkowski, M.Ed, CESP


    Audience: K-12, Higher Ed, Teachers, Therapists, Families Transition Coordinators

    Category: EL, TVR, HE

    When the Internet is Down or There’s None at Home!

    When the internet is running everyone is happy, but what happens when it’s out, or a student uses the technology in the classroom, then returns home without internet access? Learn what apps and extensions for iPads and Chromebooks can run offline, and how to set them up for offline use. Many options for using Chromebooks and iPads don’t even need internet access, and much can be downloaded and used offline. From apps and projects that can be done without access, to setting up the environment to go back and forth between internet access and none, discover how learning and creativity will continue and flourish, even when…the internet is down!

    Dan Herlihy


    Audience: K-12, Teachers, Families

    Category: Acc, AEM, EL, AT

  • But My School Doesn’t Have Any Money! (AKA: Free Assistive Technology to Support Student Learning)

    The majority of students in the US live in poverty (NCES, 2015). US schools continuously face budget cuts and limited funding to support technology advancements for both general and special education. Poverty should not dictate student access to assistive technology. With technology at the forefront of “Generation Z”, it is important to engage students by embedding technology into learning as part of Universally Designed Learning (UDL) classrooms. In regards to special education, technology (e.g., assistive technology, adaptive technology) to support students with language, literacy, and learning tasks continue to grow in a variety of forms. A main goal of this session is to demonstrate FREE AT tools to support students with language, literacy, and learning tasks across the curriculum.

    The presenters will also demonstrate and discuss ways participants can embed free assistive technology tools into applied practice with students who need support with language, literacy, and learning in order to fill gaps and access the curriculum daily and discuss how to feature match tools with student needs. SLPs and SLAs play a critical role as service providers in assessing and implementing AT supports and services for students who experience language, literacy, and learning challenges.

    Kelsey Hall, CDP, Ed.M., MS, CCC-SLP & Emma Kuras, BS, SLA, AT Specialist


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, Higher Ed, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Category: EL, AT, TVR, HE

    The Blackboard is Now in Your Hand

    Learn how to utilize a variety of tools allowing you to display and interact with your class lessons, on all platforms, to your students as you teach. Record today’s lesson while presenting, allow your students to contribute to the discussion, then save to online programs, classrooms apps, LMS, or shared folders. Homework supports from today’s lesson are now a click away! Demonstrated tools will include using a Surface Pro and draw/handwriting options, Livescribe 3 for iPad/Android pens, apps for iPads, solutions for broadcasting any device to any platform, integrating with Google Classroom, Class Notebook and more.

    Dan Herlihy


    Audience: K-12, Teachers

    Category: Acc, AEM, EL, AT

    Alexa, Can You Make Learning Accessible for ALL Students?

    “Alexa, how do you spell “inclusive”?

    Do you have an Amazon Alexa device at home? Is it making your life easier? Is it engaging and fun? Have you considered how game changing it could be for individuals who are blind, struggle with reading, or have physical challenges? Have you considered using it in the classroom?

    The possibilities are endless. These beneficial devices for many folks like you, could be a necessary life-changer for anyone who struggles with accessibility issues. It is exciting and encouraging to see the effort that technology companies are putting into accessibility and inclusive design.

    Join this session to learn more about the many uses for Alexa and other Amazon tools in the classroom and at home.

    • We will actively explore basic functionality of Alexa devices and Alexa “skills”.
    • We will share, demonstrate, and brainstorm ideas for using Alexa to include all learners.
    • We will explore and share online resources for integrating Alexa in the classroom and at home.
    • We will discuss the possibilities of students as designers of Alexa skills.
    • We will expand our Alexa PLC via twitter, Facebook, and other social media tools.

    “Alexa, remind me to put you in my briefcase on November 30th”

    Jennifer Edge-Savage


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, Higher Education, Adult Services, Teachers, Therapist, Families

    Category: Acc, BLV, EL, AT, Aging, EFS, TVR

  • ART (Adapted Repurposed Tool) Kits for Everyone!

    Inclusion in art is not just for socialization with peers, it is about active participation in the activities provided for all students. Art can be considered as an individual product (outcomes not compared to others in terms of quality, but are valued for the aesthetics) and an individual process (unique path to completion). Flexible time lines for projects, individual or collaborative activities, and assignments that are highly participatory and interactive can facilitate success. Create very basic tools from easily found materials to assist with viewing, understanding, holding on to, and manipulating art materials resulting in meaningful participation.

    Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FAOTA


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, Teachers, Therapists, Families

    Category: Acc, EL, AT

    Navigating the IEP: Writing Functional Assistive Technology Goals and then Achieving Them

    Our presentation will highlight identifying functional outcomes for students with a variety of needs and involving assistive technology.

    Furthermore, we will address writing goals and objectives that are functional and involve assistive technology.

    Meghan Broz, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP; Dana Haxton, MS OTR/L; & Mike Dizio, COTA


    Audience: Early Childhood, K-12, Teachers, Therapists, Transition Coordinators

    Category: AT, EL, AAC

    Successful Transition to College: AT, Accommodations & Advocacy

    Transition from high school to college is a significant and critical time in a student’s life and educational career. This session will inform participants of process, strategies, technology and resources to help ensure that the transition is a successful one! Many students (and parents/ educators) are not aware of the various accommodations provided in college and how to access them. Learn about the different assistive technology and other supportive accommodation options for students in high school and college. We will discuss the process for acquiring accommodations, the importance of self-advocacy and awareness skills, communication with professors and instructors, meeting with counselors, confidentiality, and questions and paperwork involved.

    Learn the difference between high school and post-secondary laws for students with disabilities and discuss parent involvement and student independence as an adult, as well as parent and student rights in high school versus college. Knowledge on how to seek accommodations in college including: when to start, what to ask for, who to contact, and what documentation colleges require. Learn about the admission process versus the process for registering with the Disabilities Services Office on campus and how to access and use your accommodations. See live demonstrations of supportive assistive technologies utilized by students in college. Support for literacy, note taking, executive function, math and more will be shown on various devices!

    Diana Petschauer, M.Ed, ATP & Alyssa Marinaccio, M.Ed, ATP


    Audience: Higher Ed, Rehab, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Category: Acc, AEM, BLV, DHH, EL, EFS, TVR, HE

  • Math and Science for All: Creating Classroom Access for Students with Physical Challenges (As Well as Their Peers!)

    Students with disabilities have been making gains in the classroom through the growing use of UDL and AT solutions for reading, writing, and even for organizational needs, but still appear to be often sidetracked by the inaccessibility of Mathematics and Science activities. Educators are promoting more inclusion for STEM activities (and STEM careers) but the knowledge as to how truly tear down obstacles and enhance participation is lacking. This session will explore solutions in iOS, Windows, Macintosh, Android, and Chrome for addressing the content delivery, interaction, and study needs of students with physical disabilities, as well as some hardware and peripherals that make Mathematics, the Sciences, and even STEM focused Project-Based Learning activities more accessible for all.

    Some resources to provide support for low vision and intellectual disabilities will also be explored.

    Mark Surabian


    Audience: K-12, Higher Ed, Teachers

    Category: Acc, AEM, EL

    Creating STEM-Based Accessible Educational Materials Using 3D Printing

    In a world full of inaccessible images, the challenge is real for individuals who learn differently. In Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math courses (STEM), the challenge can be overwhelming! For individuals who experience blindness or low-vision, STEM-based coursework can be daunting and difficult to complete independently when data visualization or imagery (such as the visual depiction of molecular structures) is heavily embedded. UMass Amherst’s Assistive Technology Center in conjunction with the Digital Media Lab is engaging with a Molecular Biology professor in creating 3D-printed tactile-based kits to support a wide-array of learners (blind/low vision, ADD/ADHD, Learning Disabilities) to address questions/concerns of inclusion and accessibility in STEM-based classes on campus. Join us to find out more about this project and have an open discussion about STEM accessibility!

    Kelsey Hall, CDP, Ed.M, MS, CCC-SLP; Bryan Monesson-Olson, PhD; & Dennis Spencer, B.F.A.


    Audience: K-12, Higher Ed, Teachers, Transition Coordinators

    Category: AEM, BLV, EL, HE, Work, Acc

    AT Mythbusters: The 5 Year Rule and Other AT Myths Debunked

    These are some of the many myths that circulate about the funding and acquisition of AT:

    “You can only get a new piece of equipment every five years.”

    “AT is only for students with IEPs.”

    “AT is only for use in the home (or school), not for use in the community.”

    “You cannot take your AT with you after graduation.”

    This session’s goal is to “debunk” many of these myths that prevent people from pursuing AT that they may be entitled to. Following this session presented by an attorney from an agency who advocates for clients with school districts, vocational rehabilitation, Medicaid and Medicare, participants will not only know the facts, but will know the relevant areas of the law to use in pursuing funding coverage.

    Elisabeth K. Hubbard


    Audience: Higher Ed, Adult Services, Elderly Services, Rehab, Teachers, Therapists, Families, Transition Coordinators

    Category: TVR, AT

Thank you to the exhibitors who joined us in 2018!

NEAT, Oak Hill

Lift & Care Systems, Inc.

New England Institute of Technology

Kurzweil Education

Cotting School


RI Talking Books Library




Note Taking Express Limited

Tobii Dynavox


Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities

Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan Program

East Bay Educational Collaborative






Rhode Island Materials Access Center