Christopher R. Bugaj, MA CCC‐SLP is a founding member of the Assistive Technology Team for Loudoun County Public Schools. Chris co-hosts the Talking With Tech podcast featuring interviews and conversations about augmentative and alternative communication and has hosted The A.T.TIPSCAST; a multi‐award winning podcast featuring strategies to design educational experiences. Chris is the co‐author of The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and has designed and instructed online courses for ISTE on the topics of Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning. Chris is also the author of ATEval2Go, an app for iPad that helps professionals in education perform technology assessments for students. Chris co-authored two chapters for a book published by Brookes Publishing titled Technology Tools for Students with Autism.
Elena Fader leads a prestigious, powerhouse team of AT and AAC Specialists who each contribute unique areas of expertise to the local, national, and global communities. Promoting AT/AAC awareness and guiding advocacy efforts within these communities lie at the heart of Elena’s career, and are evident within the evaluation, consultation, and training services that she oversees. With an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an Assistive Technology Certificate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, she is driven by the ways that technology can empower and create opportunities for those with different abilities across the lifespan. Elena can be reached at: Email at Elena.Fader@OakHillCT.org. Follow Elena on twitter to see where she is presenting and what AT she is passionate about! @NEATWithElena.
Kelly Fonner is a self-employed consultant and trainer in assistive and educational technology. Since 1986, she has presented to schools, universities & families in 48 US states & internationally in Australia, Canada and South Africa. She presents on a wide range of topics including technology integration, augmentative communication, computer access, literacy, electronic writing, organizers, assistive technology assessment and implementation strategies. ; Donna McNear, M.A., COMS, is an independent educational consultant specializing in services and supports to children with visual impairments. She provides on-going technical assistance and training to educational agencies, organizations, and families nationally and internationally. She is an author, researcher, and frequent presenter at workshops/conferences. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Council for Exceptional Children.
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.
Ramón Hernández is a new Assistive Technology Specialist at NEAT. He has a background in Special Education, business, marketing, IT, and videography/digital arts.
Crystal Rose Hill-Farrell has been the Accessibility Specialist at Wesleyan University since July of 2016. Working in the Student Academic Resources department, her area of focus is to provide assistive technology consultations and training to individuals and groups on campus; she also started a Peer Technology Specialist program on campus. Her primary purpose is to assist others in learning how to use technology to their advantage, especially the free tools that are built into everyday devices. Crystal Rose has been a professional in the Disability Services field in higher education since 2010; she also worked in the field during her graduate and undergraduate programs. During this time, she has been an active member of CT AHEAD, and served on the Board for the 2019-2021 term. Crystal Rose holds a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor of Arts in the same from Eastern Connecticut State University.
Margie Hislop is a Speech-Language Pathologist working with NEAT. She provides Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) consultations and evaluations for individuals of all ages with complex communication needs and related disabilities. Margie also offers trainings and workshops to families, caregivers, and professionals to promote community awareness of technology to support communication and independence. She attended Susquehanna University (B.S. in Psychology) and the University of Connecticut (M.A. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences). She is a member of ASHA Special Interest Group 12 (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) and is licensed in the state of Connecticut, as well as by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Margie can be reached at: Email at: Margaret.Hislop@OakHillCT.org Follow Margie on Twitter @NEATwithMargie
Elisabeth Hubbard has been a Staff Attorney at Disability Rights Rhode Island since 2004. Ms. Hubbard obtained her B.A. degree from Smith College and her J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School where she was a recipient of the Sparer Public Interest Fellowship and participated in Brooklyn Law School’s Federal Litigation Clinic. Elisabeth practices diverse areas of law at Disability Rights Rhode Island including employment rights, housing discrimination, special education and access to public accommodations. Her systemic work is concentrated on assistive technology and employment issues, but she also works on the Voting Rights and Vocation Rehabilitation grants. Elisabeth also serves as a member of the Rhode Island Council on Assistive Technology, an advisory group to the state’s AT Project that helps inform the public about assistive technology and their rights regarding assistive technology. Recently the Council advised Ms. Hubbard on the development of an Assistive Technology Lemon Law Kit, now published by DRRI.
Karen Janowski, MS Ed, is an Inclusive and Assistive Technology Consultant and is President and owner of EdTech Solutions, Inc in Reading, MA which provides comprehensive AAC and AT Services in the Greater Boston area. Karen presents both locally and nationally on innovative technologies to reach all learners. She is an EdCamp Boston and EdCampAccess organizer, co-moderates #ATchat on Twitter and maintains a blog at http://teachingeverystudent.blogspot.com. Karen is a co-author of Inclusive Learning 365: EdTech Strategies for Every Day of the Year.
Tom Keating, Ph.D. is founder and CEO of Cognitopia, home of the Cognitopia Platform for Self-Determination, a suite of web-based tools for person-centered planning, self-direction, goal management, task analysis, and support coordination. Dr. Keating has been focused for more than twenty years on research and development of applications for self-management, employment, and community living for individuals with cognitive disabilities and has been principal investigator on over twenty-five federally-funded technology development projects. He is also a Courtesy Research Associate in the Computer and Information Sciences Department of the University of Oregon. Dr. Keating’s perspective in all of his work has been strongly influenced by his experience of 31 years as primary supporter for a brother who experienced autism.
Adam Kosakowski has been an Assistive Technology Specialist at NEAT for over three years. He has a background in math education, disability services in higher education, and being a huge gaming geek.
Mike Marotta is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional who has been providing direct services to individuals with all disabilities for almost 30 years. Mike is the 2017 ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator. Mike is the Director of the Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center at Disability Rights New Jersey, the Federally funded statewide Assistive Technology Act Program. Mike is a nationally and internationally recognized presenter who was previously a trainer for California State University at Northridge (CSUN), providing practical and in-depth training to professionals interested in specializing in assistive technology. In addition, Mike is an adjunct professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey (NJ) where he teaches Masters level educators in Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning.
Jamie Martin is an Assistive Technology Specialist at New England Assistive Technology (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.
Donna McNear, M.A., COMS, is an independent educational consultant specializing in services and supports to children with visual impairments. She provides on-going technical assistance and training to educational agencies, organizations, and families nationally and internationally. She is an author, researcher, and frequent presenter at workshops/conferences. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Council for Exceptional Children.
Nicole Natale is a Senior Education Specialist for the CREC Resource Group. Nicole joined CREC in 2007 and leads CREC’s work in assistive technology (AT). With over 17 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).
Edna-Jo “EJ” Piccirillo is an Education Specialist with the Capitol Region Education Council Resource Group. In this role, EJ focuses her work on support for educators who work with students with disabilities that use and benefit from technology to access the curriculum. Prior to joining CREC as an Education Specialist, EJ spent four years in the schools as a speech and language therapist. Her experience ranges from pre-K students to age 21, and she has clinical practice working with students and families with complex communication needs. Her areas of professional interest include alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, and other reading/literacy disorders. She holds a Master’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University, as well as a Department of Public Health license (061) and a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
Beth Poss is a speech/language pathologist, educational and technology consultant and former assistant principal. She is currently the Director of Educational Programs for LessonPix. Beth is passionate about designing educational environments that support all students in accessing a rigorous curriculum and meeting educational outcomes. In her work with school districts, universities and national and state level organizations she focuses on how UDL is an essential component in designing equitable and inclusive learning environments. Areas of special interest include the Use of Technology in Early Childhood, Designing Inclusive Learning Environments, Supporting Social-Emotional Learning to Promote Academic Success, and Culturally Responsive Teaching. She is one of the authors of Inclusive Learning 365: EdTech Strategies for Every Day of the Year.
Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FAOTA is an occupational therapist and former elementary school teacher. She is certified as an assistive technology professional (ATP) by RESNA and was a founding member of the Loudoun County Public Schools Assistive Technology Team. Judith has provided direct services in schools for more than 44 years and is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker presenting on the topics of school-based occupational therapy, transition, literacy, and assistive technology. She has authored numerous articles, and chapters in Early Childhood: Occupational Therapy Services for Children Birth to Five, Occupational Therapy for Children (6th-8th eds.), Best Practices in School Occupational Therapy, Assistive Technologies, and Occupational Therapy and Transitions: A Cross-System Perspective. She participated in National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) workgroups addressing response to intervention (RTI), transition, and virtual schools. Currently, Judith represents AOTA on the National Joint Committee (NJC) for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities and serves on the editorial board of the Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits (ATOB) Journal.
Deborah Schwind is a school-based occupational therapist with over 30 years of experience. She completed her doctoral dissertation from Drexel University with her research focused on developing job skills, work behaviors, social skills and self-determination skills through a school-based Community Based Instruction (CBI) program for students with autism in elementary school. She received an Innovator Award from NBCOT related to this program in 2021. She has presented nationally on transition skills, community-based instruction, IADL interventions, accessible curriculum using UDL principles, and adapted art tools. She has been published on these topics and has co-authored a chapter in the Best Practices in School Based OT and is currently working on co-authoring a book with AOTA Press. She graduated from East Carolina University where she completed internships at Duke University and Johns Hopkins University. She received her graduate degree from Old Dominion University in educational administration. She has worked in pediatric rehab, early intervention, home health, and inpatient (including NICU) and outpatient settings. She is an active member of the AOTA Community of Practice-Transition work group
Mark Surabian has utilized AT to directly serve the educational and vocational needs of thousands of individuals with disabilities for over 34 years. He currently operates ATHelp.org, a free AT clinic that has served over 4300 children and adults with learning, communication, sensory, and physical challenges over the past 14 years, and ATTrain.org, a free professional training program that has served over 60 schools and agencies across the greater NYC area in the past two years (and currently providing remote support across the globe). He is an instructor on assistive/educational technologies for NYU’s Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy, and within the Education Departments of Bankstreet College and St. Joseph’s College. He is published, and collaborates on research projects around the use of AT for learning, communication, and accessibility. He can be contacted at ATHelp@me.com or through his LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marksurabian/