Conference Sessions

All sessions are on a first come, first come basis. Please feel free to BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices). Free Wi-Fi will be available.

Presented by: Sarah Biglow, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination

Sarah Biglow works as a Compliance Officer for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in their Boston, MA office. She investigates claims of employment discrimination and discrimination in places of public accommodation. Sarah is a licensed attorney and in her free time is also a novelist. She graduated with a BS in History from Susquehanna University (’09).

Sarah will be providing opening remarks.

Track: All

Chrome as Assistive Technology
Presented by: Mike Marotta, AT Specialist, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC.

More and more schools are moving to the Google Chrome cloud based learning experience. With this paradigm shift, more classroom activities are being completed using technology. What does this shift mean for struggling students and Assistive Technology? How do educators ensure they are maximizing the use of this technology to support the instruction, not drive the instruction?

This hands on learning experience will explore the Chrome Operating System, the Chromebook platform, the Google Apps for Education suite of tools as well as the built in accessibility features of Chromebooks.

Participants will experience an array of Google Chrome apps and extensions that could be used as Assistive Technology supports to benefit ALL learners. By leveraging the power of this common browser, we can make significant customization to meet the needs of struggling students.

In order to maximize learning, participants are strongly encouraged to bring a Chrome equipped computer to the training (Chromebook, PC or Mac).

Track: Education

If We Knew Then What We Know Now … Implementing AT System-Wide
Presented by: Nicole Feeney & Katie Hanley, New England Assistive Technology Center (NEAT)

Lessons learned from a small-scale preliminary project designed to help people with I/DD find, get, and keep competitive employment. Although the focus of this pilot study was on iPad technology in work environments, we believe findings can be generalized to various types of assistive technology and therefore, be useful for any practitioner trying to bring AT to the community on a large-scale.

Track: Education, Employment, Independent Living

Person Centered Technology Evaluation for Transition
Presented by: Michelle Laramie, Rehabilitation Technologist, Bureau of Education Services for the Blind (BESB)


This session will provide a general model and an instrument for documenting tasks that need to be accomplished academically, vocationally and/or for independent living. People with disabilities and all of the members of their ‘teams” have a vital role to play in making a technology assessment successful.  Participants will learn to focus on the people to gain maximum benefit from the products.

Track: Employment, Education, Independent Living

The ADA and Transition-Aged Youth Seeking Employment
Presented by: Stacy Hart, ADA Trainer, Information and Outreach Specialist, New England ADA Center

Graduating from high school is a rite of passage that is both exciting and scary. To help smooth the transition from high school into employment there are important differences between the ADA and IDEA that young people need to know and talk about. We will discuss disclosure and asking for a reasonable accommodation on the job. It can feel tough to talk about a disability for the first time in a new environment, so it can help to think about the accommodations you need to do your job beforehand.

Track: Employment

AT and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) to Support Learning
Presented by: John E. Brandt, Maine CITE Coordinating Center, Augusta, ME Training Coordinator

As supported by IDEA, many students use Assistive Technology (AT) and Accessible Instructional/Educational Materials (AIM-AEM) to learn, communicate, navigate and access information and content from their schools. From children with physical disabilities to those with learning disabilities, many students need AT devices and AEM services to be able to fully participate in their education. In this presentation, we will discuss the common types of AT being used in Maine classrooms and review how to Identify students, and Select, Acquire and Use AIM/AEM.

Track: Education

Transitioning with Technology: Student Perspectives
Presented by: Kim Manalus, Audray Bastien, Kyle Wilson, Troy Emery & Toni Fowlks, EASTCONN Regional Transition Services

In this session a small group of 18-21 year old students will share their stories about how they use technology to assist them throughout their day.  Each student will talk about the tools that they use as they participate in a variety of activities from working to shopping and from taking public transportation to preparing for their day.  In addition, the role of technology in building self-advocacy skills will be discussed with input from students as well as staff members.

Track: Education

Free Assistive Technology Tools to use with Individuals with ASD
Presented by: Carolann Cormier, MA, CCC-SLP, & Nicole Natale, MS, CCC-SLP, ATP, Education Specialists at CREC

This fast paced workshop will highlight a wealth of free tools that can be used with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and/or with other special needs in a variety of categories including reading, writing, communication and social skills. Participants will be provided with access to a resource handout including the highlighted tools as well as other tools and resources. The tools will include those that can be used on the computer, iOS devices or printed out to use off the computer.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own personal devices to this workshop.

Track: Education

MaximEYES Your Vision – Learn What’s Really Holding You Back
Presented by: Charlie Collins, author and owner of Vision Dynamics

“We don’t see with our eyes, we see with our brains.” Join International Transformational Speaker, Certified Professional Success Coach, and best-selling author, Charlie Collins in this dynamic presentation where you will learn how to identify the behaviors that keep us from achieving our goals, personally and professionally. Discover that with a clear mind, anything is possible. You will leave with a set of tools that you can immediately put to work for you.

Track: Employment, Education, Independent Living

My Employment Journey
Presented by: Steve Famiglietti, Blind Services Vocational Manager, NEAT Center at Oakhill

This presentation will focus on Steve’s employment journey through a variety of stories about how being employed allowed him to embrace his own disability. Once Steve accepted his blindness, he began to learn how to use technology. Once he accepted technology into his world, he was excited about all he was able to do!

Track: Employment

From Donuts to Marshmallows: Android Sweet Android!!
Presented by: Amy T Norton, M.Ed., ATP, EASTCONN

In this session, participants will learn what makes Androids such sweet devices. This platform comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and flavors to meet the needs and interests of all different users. We will explore a variety of device options and dig into a tasty treat of accessibility features. As a final indulgence, apps to provide assistance across career, community and educational settings will be demonstrated.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own personal Android devices to this workshop.

Track: Education, Employment

Using Assistive Technology in Recreation!!
Presented by: Gretchen Knauff, Assistant Director, Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities & Jennifer Baker, Ph.D., ATP, Coordinator of Oak Hill Centers, NEAT Center

Everyone needs to relax and have fun. Come explore some assistive technology, adaptations and venues that make sports, fitness and recreation accessible for everyone.

Track: Independent Living