“Teamwork, Technology and Tenacity: Reflections on a Journey of a Lifetime”
PRESENTER: Liz Persaud, Training and Outreach Coordinator, Tools for Life – Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program | AMAC Accessibility | Georgia Institute of Technology
Liz Persaud is a nationally recognized keynote, public speaker, and advocate addressing the need to build bridges to solidify the gaps between individuals living with and without disabilities. Liz is the proud recipient of the 1999 and 2005 Muscular Dystrophy Association Personal Achievement Award in Georgia. Liz has dedicated her life to increasing independence for individuals with disabilities by educating on self-determination and advocacy with a focus on technology and disabilities.
Accessing Your World: Exploring Environmental Control Technologies
Presenter: Liz Persaud, Training and Outreach Coordinator, and Benjamin Jacobs, Accommodations Specialist, Tools for Life – Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program| AMAC Accessibility | Georgia Institute of Technology
This session will explore affordable options for environmental control for individuals living with disabilities. The world of environmental control is constantly expanding with existing technologies adding more features to their repertoire, and new products coming to market everyday. The session will share the benefits of some mainstream products, including Google Home and the Amazon Echo family as well as telepresence robots and assistive technologies for computer access. Best practice examples of implementations of these solutions will be provided and will highlight how these technologies can be utilized together to further increase independence.
Accessible Digital Documents
PRESENTER: John E. Brandt, Training Coordinator, Maine CITE
Today’s digital environment involves the use of materials taking many forms. Word processed documents, presentation applications (PowerPoint), PDFs and images, are the norm. However, to comply with laws and policy we need to ensure all digital materials are fully accessible to everyone.
In this presentation (60-minutes), the issues and methods related to the creation of accessible digital documents will be discussed. Procedures for assessing content for accessibility and team work-flows that can ensure your digital content successfully meets accessibility standards will be examined.
American Job Center Update: Linking Assistive Technology in our Service Delivery
PRESENTERS: Jill Larmett, Disability Resource Coordinator, Capital Workforce Partners and Karen Quesnel, Operations Coordinator, CT Department of Labor
Learn about the Integrated Resource Team service delivery approach and an A.T. lending library pilot will boost effectiveness for job seekers with disabilities in the Hartford and Waterbury American Job Centers.
Apps and AT Across the Curriculum-Supporting Diverse Learners & UDL with Google and iOS
PRESENTER: Diana Petschauer, ATP, Consultant, Founder, Manager, AT for Education
Many schools are now implementing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or 1:1 Tech programs for learners. Some are Going Google with Chromebooks and GSuite, some are using iPads and tablets, and ALL students are using their smartphone! How do you support diverse learners on All devices, across curriculum, using free & low cost Apps & AT solutions? AT makes UDL Possible! AT solutions to support diverse learners will be explored including those with learning disabilities (including Dyslexia), physical disabilities, low vision/ blindness, and difficulties with executive functioning, literacy and math. Personalize Education- Engage & Include All learners. You will have a powerful toolkit for fostering access & success across all devices & subjects!
Assistive Technology to Support Executive Function
PRESENTER: Mike Marotta, Director Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center at Disability Rights NJ
We are using more technology than ever. But for individuals struggling with executive functioning skills, more technology does not automatically lead to greater productivity. Let’s explore an array of mobile device apps and Chrome based apps and extensions focused on providing support for organization and executive function. Areas of focus include: organization, scheduling, task completion, time management and more.
Cutting to the Core with AAC
PRESENTERS: Carolann Cormier, Education Specialist, Speech/Language Pathologist, CREC and Nicole Natale, Interim Supervisor: Special Services Support Team/Education Specialist Expert Solutions, CREC
Have you ever wondered why your students that use AAC are competent at requesting, but perhaps are not able to use their AAC systems to communicate other messages? Do you feel frustrated that despite large amounts of time spent programming or preparing your student’s AAC system that they still are not competent communicators? This fast paced workshop can help you understand why and will give you strategies to implement once you go back to your classroom, home or any other setting. Together we will: define core AAC vocabulary, discuss research on why we use core AAC vocabulary, demonstrate and role play how to use core AAC vocabulary, explore AAC core resources and develop a plan to implement core AAC vocabulary with the individuals you serve
Dynamic Tools for Individuals with SLD/Dyslexia
PRESENTER: Lisa Fiano, Education Specialist, Capitol Region Education Council
Students with SLD/Dyslexia can be highly successful in a rigorous academic environment with carefully designed curriculum and assistive technology. This session will share tools for both iOS and Chrome for reading, writing, organization and content creation. Participants will have the opportunity to compare features between tools that are on different platforms. Some handheld devices will also be demonstrated in this session.
Embracing Technology and Independence
PRESENTERS: Stephen Tarca, President and Co-Founder The Be Thoughtful Movement, Inc (a non-profit); Susan Johnson, Co-Founder, The Be Thoughtful Movement, Inc; Harold Johnson III, Co-Founder, The Thoughtful Travelers, LLC
Come hear the story of this “Thoughtful” family and how they have learned to embrace technology as they look for ways to make life more independent for Harold who lives with Cerebral Palsy and recently started a travel agent business called The Thoughtful Travelers.
Engineering AAC into the Modern Home
PRESENTER: Elena Fader, SLP/AT Specialist, NEAT Center at Oak Hill
Communication happens everywhere. Within a home, people communicate with one another for essentially all possible functions – requesting, commenting, arguing, joking, and more! Communication enables individuals to meet functional needs, achieve independence, and attain social connections. AAC users require unique support in order to reach an equal level of communication success. This presentation will focus on ways to provide such support by naturally embedding AAC tools into a home. Using NEAT’s Smart Home as a model, the presentation will describe ways to use low-, mid- and high-tech AAC in specific locations. A demonstration of ways to pair AAC with smart home technology will show innovative possibilities for supporting independence.
Hot Trends in Assistive Tech: It’s impact on EVERYONE!
PRESENTER: Nicole Feeney, Director of AT Services, NEAT Center at Oak Hill
Join Nicole for an exciting, fast-paced presentation that exposes many of the cutting-edge tools and devices in assistive technology (AT). You’ll see the latest in trends across the AT continuum including super cool gadgets, apps, hardware and software. Your enthusiasm for technology will naturally be inspired as you plan to provide services to students and individuals with disabilities.
Intro to AAC Implementation: Basic “Talker” Training
PRESENTER: Ann Bedard, Assistive Technology Specialist, Speech Language Pathologist, EASTCONN and Joanne Lambert, Assistive Technology Specialist, Speech Language Pathologist, EASTCONN
In this session, we will discuss the difference between modeling and prompting. Modeling is referred to in the research as “Aided-Language Input, Partner-Augmented Input,” and “Aided Language Stimulation.” Often times these research-based strategies are not utilized to their fullest or at all. This results in device abandonment. The communication partners natural instinct is often to prompt, especially using verbal prompts. We will discuss the appropriate hierarchy for prompting, which is completely silent. This in addition to modeling can significantly increase an AAC user’s “buy-in” to spontaneous usage of their device.
Journey to Independence
PRESENTER: Steve Famiglietti, Blind Services Vocational Manager, NEAT Center at Oak Hill
Join us as we present case studies of individuals with visual impairments and their journey to independence. We will take you through the consideration process of assistive technology supports for these individuals and their needs, as well as identify the impact it has had on their professional and personal lives. With no prior assistive technology experience, these individuals have pushed through barriers and pursued work and life with a new outlook and skill set
Successful Transition to College: AT, Accommodations & Advocacy
PRESENTERS: Diana Petschauer, ATP, Consultant, Founder, Manager, AT for Education and Alyssa Marinaccio, ATP, AT Coordinator UConn & AT Consultant, AT for Education, UConn Disability Services and CSD Tech
Transition from high school to college is a significant and critical time in a student’s life & educational career. This session will inform participants of process, strategies, technology & resources to help ensure that the transition is a successful one! Topics include: Assistive Technologies (Laptop, Chromebook, iPad, smartphone), Supportive Accommodations, Differences between High School & Post-Secondary Laws; Admission process; How to Access and Use your Accommodations, & The Importance of self-advocacy. Assistive Technologies will be demonstrated including support for literacy and math, note taking, executive function, sensory & physical disabilities. Many Resources shared for participants to refer back to & use immediately.
UDL 2.0 in the K-12 Setting
PRESENTER: Lauren Tucker, Assistant Professor, Southern Connecticut State University
Wondering what assistive, educational, and instructional technology tools could help you facilitate Universal Design for Learning your K-12 classroom? Participate in an interactive workshop to investigate the new UDL guidelines and align a variety tools to the updated framework. Tools presented will be compatible with iPads, SmartBoards, and Chromebooks – there’s something for everyone! We will explore examples of student tools to access learning through interactive videos, behavior supports for teachers to increase student engagement, whole class technology integration activities to give your lessons that little extra, and more!
Using AT to Support Inclusive Employment Practices
PRESENTER: Mike Marotta, Director Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center at Disability Rights NJ
Join us as we discuss how to apply the principles of Universal Design to create Inclusive Employment Practices (IEP). While businesses sometimes encounter serious challenges as they seek to implement inclusion strategies for people with disabilities, as AT practitioners, we can assist them in overcoming those hurdles with robust and creative practices. This session will highlight successful strategies and give real-life examples that can be implemented by businesses of all sizes to create more inclusive workplaces.
Utilizing Smart Technology to Combat Social Isolation
PRESENTER: Kristopher Thompson, Coordinator, Oak Hill’s NEAT Center
The ability to connect with others is crucial. Whether it be someone facing health challenges, disabilities, or aging in place, it is important to have a plan and find creative ways to combat social isolation. 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 discover powerful smartphones & tablets and the exciting apps that provide easy access to information, enhance one’s communication, connecting to other’s through text or video, or joining friends and family on social media. An exploration of voice-controlled technologies will illuminate the powerful impact it has on creating a more connected independence.
Your Right to AT under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
PRESENTERS: Gretchen Knauff, Executive Director, Disability Rights Connecticut and Linda Mizzi, Lead Advocate, Disability Rights Connecticut
The ADA is the most comprehensive piece of civil rights legislation for persons with disabilities. Did you know that the accommodation requirements of the ADA may entitle a qualified person with a disability to receive AT in employment, state and local governments programs and places of public accommodation. Know your rights!