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Presenter Biographies

Giancarlo Albelice is a case manager for the department of mental health and specializes in working with adults with complex psychosocial needs. Gian works to integrate a variety of disciplines to offer comprehensive support to the people with whom he works. Gian is often working collaboratively to incorporate a range of assistive technology tools and strategies to offer his clients greater independence, autonomy, and control.

Marcie M. Belfi, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Education at Wells College in Aurora, NY. Her Ph.D. is in special education from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests are the use of AAC for culturally and linguistically diverse children, and teacher preparation in the use of assistive technology.

Meghan Broz received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Rhode Island in 2003, and her Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from Worcester State University in 2005. She has worked in a variety of settings within the field of speech language pathology specializing in pediatrics. She has expertise in complex communication disorders, functional communication, behavioral needs and communication, severe and profound developmental disabilities and augmentative alternative communication. She began teaching at the University of Connecticut in August of 2015 and transitioned to the New England Institute of Technology in July of 2016. She received her Assistive Technology Professional certification in June of 2017. She is currently the supervising speech language pathologist at Pathways Strategic Teaching Center in Rhode Island.

Simone Buckley has a Masters in Education with a focus in Assistive Technology from Simmons College, and is also a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional and a Google Level II certified educator. She  has been working in the special education field for several years and has been a special educator and an assistive technology specialist. Simone’s current role is an Assistive Technology Specialist at The Campus School at Boston College. She trained and worked all over the country which has allowed her to meet many amazing people in our field and grow/develop her own personal professional development. Simone has spoken at several professional developments and conferences such as the ATIA conference in Orlando, FL.

Abigail Burnett is an Inclusive Childhood Education major at Wells College. She is a member of the Living, Learning Community, the Women’s Resource Center, and participates in plays. In the summer she is a camp counselor.

Carolann Cormier, MS, CCC-SLP currently serves as an Education Specialist in the CREC Resource Group at the Capitol Region Education Council in Hartford, CT. She has been with CREC since 1995.  She provides assistive technology evaluation, training, and technical assistance to students and districts throughout Connecticut.

Kai De Palma, M.A.T. CCC-SLP is a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist in the states of MA and CT and is currently working in a specialized school for children with autism. She holds a B.A. in Italian Studies, a Master’s of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T) and a M.A. in Communication Disorders from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from UMASS Lowell. Throughout her career, she has served a vast number of learners with AAC needs, many of those on the autism spectrum. In addition, she is a Poundfitä Pound Pro certified in Generation Pound, a fitness program inspired by drumming, using music and movement as a catalyst for skill acquisition. In addition to working in schools, she has worked in pediatric outpatient settings, as well as a language instructor in higher education.

Elena Fader is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Specialist and Speech-Language Pathologist at New England Assistive Technology (NEAT), an Oak Hill Center. She provides AAC consultations and evaluations for individuals of all ages with complex communication needs and related disabilities. Elena also offers trainings and workshops to families, caregivers, and professionals to promote community awareness of technology to support communication and independence. She has extended her support beyond her immediate community by presenting at conferences at the local and national levels. 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 AT Certificate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is licensed by the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts as well as by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is a current member of the ASHA Special Interest Group 12 for AAC.

Steven Famiglietti has been employed at the NEAT Center at Oak Hill for 13 years. His current title is Blind Services Vocational Manager. Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and has worked in the field of assistive technology (AT) for over 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.

Nicole Feeney delivers demonstrations and training on the continuum of assistive technology devices and services to families, educators, therapists, clinicians, and professionals; including presentations at local and national technology conferences to promote community awareness. She also provides AT consultations and evaluations to individuals with disabilities of all ages. Nicole has spent many years teaching students with special needs in the classroom as well as helped them to develop and improve their skills through the use of assistive technology. She has provided ongoing support, mentoring, and guidance to her students while promoting innovative approaches for their employment, independent living and community needs. A Master’s Degree in Assistive Technology from Southern CT State University has also allowed her to provide professional development and assistance to educators in K–12 settings.

Kelly Fonner has been a teacher, para-educator, instructional media specialist, assistive technology specialist in early education, school & university settings. In addition to her positions in direct instruction with students, she has been in consulting positions for a statewide AT project, federal AAC & AT grants at universities and has been an instructor in university courses.

Kate Grandbois, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA, LABA, is a dually certified SLP and BCBA with 12 years of clinical experience working in private practice, outpatient clinics, outpatient hospital settings, and consulting to private schools and legal teams.  She specializes in Augmentative Alternative Communication, autism and associated disorders, language development, and integrating AAC into the educational / vocational programming of persons with behavioral needs.  She runs a private practice focused on multi-disciplinary treatment and collaboration, served as an advisory board member for the HP Hacking Autism Initiative, served as adjunct factually at Northeastern University, and is the former president and co-founder of The Speech and Language Network, Inc.

Joan L. Green, SLP, AT Specialist is a nationally known speech-language pathologist, tech tutor author, & presenter.  After receiving her formal education at Northwestern University, she has provided therapy for 30+ years in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools and homes helping children & adults with subtle to severe challenges. Joan is the founder of Innovative Speech Therapy, a private speech therapy practice in the Washington, DC area with a mission to help people of all ages with neurogenic and developmental communication, cognitive, literacy and learning challenges. Joan provides unique therapy, consultation and training programs using affordable cutting-edge technologies. She specializes in integrating everyday technologies such as the iPad, Smartphones, Google Chrome apps and extensions and other software and devices into activities to promote communication and learning. Joan offers local and online technology-based training, consultation and coaching for professionals, schools, rehabilitation and educational programs and families. In addition to providing individual therapy sessions and online training, Joan has authored 4 books. Her most recent book, Assistive Technology in Special Education. 3rd edition: Resources to Support Literacy, Communication, and Learning Differences was published by Prufock Press May, 2018.

Ken Hackbarth is the president of Volksswitch.org – an organization devoted to the democratization of assistive technology by leveraging the power and promise of 3D printing. Prior to his current position he worked for almost three decades as a systems architect for AT&T Bell Laboratories and its subsequent divestitures. He has a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona and a Master of Education in Special Education, with a concentration in assistive technology, from Bowling Green State University.

Nerissa Hall, PhD, CCC-SLP, ATP is co-founder of Commūnicāre 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 an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest 12 and SIG 18, Telepractice. She has presented on AAC/AT at the National and International Level.

Hannah Hatton is a student at Wells College with a major in History, and minors in Museum Studies and Childhood Education. She has worked at a summer camp and participates in a large digitization project in the Wells College Archives.

Raymond T. Heipp, PhD is a 30+ year veteran of administration and classrooms for special needs students. He has designed many support programs as well as sensory rooms for various schools and facilities. His expertise in assistive technology, both low-tech and high-tech, has enabled him to create updated approaches when working with students and educators. Dr. Heipp firmly believes that everyone, no matter what their ability, has a voice (or spirit) and deserves a chance to succeed. He suggests that we never doubt their abilities!

Karen Jacobs is a clinical professor at Boston University with 40 years of experience. Her current research interests include the use of technology to enable social participation among various populations of persons with disabilities. 

Karen Janowski is an Assistive & Educational Technology Consultant, and Adjunct Professor at Simmons College in Boston, MA. She presents both locally and nationally about the importance of using ubiquitous technologies which remove the obstacles to learning for all students and is a passionate advocate of Universal Design for Learning. She is an EdCampBoston and EdCampAccess organizer and co-moderates #ATchat on Twitter, and has blogged at http://teachingeverystudent.blogspot.com since 2005. She is the President and owner of EdTech Solutions, Inc in Reading, MA, which provides AT and AAC professional development, coaching, consultations, and assessments throughout the Greater Boston area.

Hillary Jellison, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP is an Augmentative Communication Specialist and Assistive Technology Practitioner. She is co-founder of Commūnicāre, LLC., a company specializing in augmentative and alternative communication and innovative therapeutic services. Hillary provides specialized consultation, intervention, and training services in the state of Massachusetts. Hillary is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and 18, Telepractice.

Adam Kosakowski is an assistive technology specialist who recently earned his ATP in late 2018. He has a broad range of knowledge in AT and dives into everything he can get in hands into. However, his two favorite areas of AT are digital accessibility and adaptive gaming. He wants everyone to be able to consume digital data on an equal playing field and be able to play games together regardless of ability.

Rachel Kuberry is currently the Assistive Technology Specialist for Lexington Public Schools in Massachusetts. She began her career in special education over fifteen years ago working as a severe special education teacher. In this role, she developed a passion for assistive technology and providing access to the curriculum for all students. In her current role as AT Specialist for a public school system, Rachel now supports students with a wide range of special needs. Though she still enjoys her work with students, her current passion is AT Implementation and professional development of school-based teams.

Rebecca Khurshid leads the Collaborative and Integrative Robotics (CAIR) Laboratory.  The CAIR Laboratory is part of the Boston University Robotics Laboratory. Rebecca received a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2010 and MSE and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania with the Haptics Group of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Rebecca’s research seeks to create robotic technology that allows humans and robots to work together to accomplish tasks that were previously impossible for human-robot teams.

Dr. Gerri Light is a professor of Information Technology at Western Governors University, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Walden University, and special lecturer at University of Pennsylvania. Receiving her Walden University Doctor of Information Technology, her career is focused on information technology acceptance, information technology education, enterprise architecture, and STEM education. She provides pro bono technology support for schools in Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi. She recently collaborated on a manuscript with a colleague presenting research complied over five summers spent in rural areas of Rwanda implementing technology resources. Additionally, she has recently presented work related to STEM education and drone technology.

Mike Marotta is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), and the 2017 ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator, with 30 years experience in the field of Assistive Technology, providing direct consumer services and professional learning experiences. He trains AT professionals nationally and internationally and is an adjunct professor teaching courses about Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology.

Jamie Martin is an Assistive Technology Specialist at the New England Assistive Technology Center (NEAT) in Hartford, CT. He specializes in finding AT solutions for students and adults with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. He is also a consultant for Understood.org, a leading website for learning and attention issues.

Nathan Mozian received his Bachelor’s degree in Media Communications from Eastern CT State University in 2014. Following graduation, Nathan worked as a teacher and coach and then began working for Crick Software as an Education Sales Consultant in 2018. He now travels frequently to demonstrate the effectiveness of Crick’s literacy products to educators and therapists and works with administrators to implement software and apps in various school districts.

Nicole Natale, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP With over 16 years as a speech-language pathologist and assistive technology practitioner, Nicole has focused her work with school districts on building capacity of teams in providing AT supports and services to students with disabilities. She also provides professional development, technical assistance, and training on a variety of topics regarding AT, inclusion, and adaptations for students with disabilities and Universal Design for Learning. She completes evaluations for students who require AT to access the general education curriculum, as well as for students who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Jennifer Neal, Ed. S. CCC-SLP, BCBA, LABA is an SLP and BCBA. She is the Director of Therapy Services for the Evergreen Center where she helps to integrate therapy services into the educational and residential programming for individuals with special needs and challenging behaviors. Jen teaches courses on language development and disorders to early childhood educators through Cambridge College. She has worked with families and educators to teach functional communication and life-skills for over 15 years in a variety of settings, including early intervention, home programs, and private schools.

John F. O’Sullivan is a Librarian, an Assistive Technology Specialist and an author of several books on educational technology. His books include The Educational Technology Guide 2018, The UDL Educational Technology Guide 2018, UDL Technology, The Teacher’s Awesome App Guide, and Teaching Projects with Computers. John currently holds four certifications in education and has taught under each. He has worked in the past as a Special Education Teacher and Technology Integration Specialist. John works for Chelmsford Public School at Chelmsford High School.

Kassi Rollins, MS CCC-SLP earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications of Sciences and Disorders, and her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Utah. Kassi is passionate about helping all individuals find their voice and having access to communication. Prior to joining PRC in June 2018, Kassi provided therapeutic speech and language services in a variety of settings, including private practice, preschool, elementary and secondary schools, schools for students with special needs, and to individuals in their home environments. In her most recent position, she provided training for families, caregivers, and support staff on how to customize and implement communication devices in order to encourage the communication and language skills of their loved ones. Kassi holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), a state license in Massachusetts, and is a member of the Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association, as well as ASHA’s Special Interest Division 12 (AAC Division).

Mary Sagstetter dedicated 11 years to teaching students with disabilities in Minnesota School Districts. She advanced the district’s classrooms to move from a self-contained model to an inclusive model of education. 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 30 years of experience serving in the field of Special Education, the last 19 of which have been with AbleNet Inc.

Abigail Schoenfelder is an Inclusive Childhood education major with a minor in history at Wells College. She is also a teacher’s assistant at Peachtown Elementary. She also teaches swim lessons in the summer.

Susan K. Lewis Stokes, MA, CCC-SLP has specialized in the area of ASD as both a speech/language pathologist and autism consultant/trainer for 30 years. She has presented at many state and national workshops/conferences, and frequently provides trainings and student support to various groups and school districts across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Mark Surabian is an instructor on assistive technologies at New York University, Bank Street College, Pace University, and St. Joseph’s College. He also operates ATHelp.org, a free AT clinic that has served over 3500 children and adults with communication, vision, learning, and physical challenges, and ATTrain.org, a free AT professional training program for schools and agencies across the greater NYC area. He has utilized assistive and instructional technologies to directly serve the educational and vocational needs of thousands of individuals with disabilities for over 30 years. He has collaborated on numerous research projects around the use of AT for learning, communication, and accessibility.

Ian Sutherland is a second-year occupational therapy student of Boston University’s occupational therapy doctoral program. Since beginning the program, he has developed special interest in 3D printing technology and its potential for application in occupational therapy practice.

Karen Waddill 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.

Amy Wonkka, M.A., CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist who is currently employed by the Lexington Public Schools as an AAC Specialist. Prior to receiving her masters in speech language pathology in 2005, she worked for 7 years as a 1:1 paraprofessional in an ABA -based public school program, including provision of home services. Amy has worked in a variety of settings in Ohio and Massachusetts including outpatient, public school, and private school placements. She has worked closely with BCBAs and other professionals, taken graduate level coursework in ABA, and feels strongly that effective interdisciplinary collaboration results in high quality services for students. Amy has presented locally and nationally on AAC and on interdisciplinary collaboration.