ATAC of DRNJ : AT Summit 2017
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AT Summit 2017

Assistive Technology Summit 2017

September 19, 2017

Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Location: The Conference Center at Mercer Community College




ATAC is pleased to announce that this event is now free of charge for everyone!


Join consumers and professionals for a day of learning and sharing about all areas of Assistive Technology.

Our Keynote Speaker will be Bill Binko from!

Registration is Open!

Visit the Eventbrite page to secure your ticket


Sessions will include:

Session 1 (9:45 – 10:45)

Proloquo2Go 101 Different Ways; Tracy Lee, Michele Gunnello; The Gramon Schools

Description: The Proloquo2Go AAC application offers extensive options when selecting and designing user areas to support various language levels. Core and fringe vocabulary sets will be explained with an emphasis on technical features within Proloquo2Go to enhance variety of message generation. Numerous out-of-the-box and custom user areas within Proloquo2Go will be highlighted. This is not a technical how-to workshop.

Speaker Bio: Tracy is certified as a Speech-Language Pathologist and credentialed as an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) through the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America. With over 19 years of experience working with individuals with developmental and acquired disabilities, she is currently a member of the Gramon Family of Schools team. Tracy is an experienced clinician who specializes in augmentative and alternative communication and assistive technology. Tracy has presented at professional conferences on various topics and has conducted research on skills related to the development of communicative competence by AAC users. Her research findings have been published in professional journals and texts.

Michele is a certified as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She is the Coordinator of Speech-Language Therapy Services at the Gramon Family of Schools. Over Michele’s 12 years of experience working primarily with students on the autism spectrum, she has honed her expertise in AAC clinical services. She provides AAC consultation and assessment services, as well as being the school-wide resource for AAC clinical and technical needs. Michele is a member of ASHA’s Special Interest Group 12 AAC and has a passion for helping students with special needs find their voice, as well as supporting their families and loved ones.

Solving Learning Challenges With a Voice-Enabled Classroom; Brian Friedlander, The College of St Elizabeth

Description: In this session, you’ll learn how to use speech (Amazon Echo) as the sole method of input to assist students within classrooms, from searching the web to setting timers to reading books to controlling the environment.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Friedlander is a school psychologist with expertise in assistive technology. Dr. Friedlander is an Associate Professor of Education at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J., where he coordinates Graduate Programs in Special Education and teaches graduate courses in assistive technology. He maintains a consulting and private practice in the area of assistive technology working with schools and parents to find innovative solutions to support student learning. Dr. Friedlander is the author of the following assistive technology reference guides which are available from National Professional Resources, Inc. : Chromebooks in the Classroom: Changing the Landscape of Education & Co-Teaching & Technology: Enhancing Communication.

Let’s Make Art and Music: Accessible Tools; Adam Krass; Adam Krass Consulting

Description: Art and music make life more interesting! This session will present a variety of accessible tools and techniques which people with disabilities can use to create art and music with increased independence. Audience participation (including sharing experiences, techniques and technologies) is strongly encouraged.

Speaker Bio: Adam Krass, MS, ATP, president of Adam Krass Consulting, LLC, has over 25 years of experience providing assistive technology services to children, adults, and senior citizens with disabilities in school, work and home settings. Having worked in non-profit organizations, K-12 schools, universities, equipment manufacturers and, now as a consultant, Adam has extensive experience with all phases of assistive technology from evaluations to teacher training. Adam is also an adjunct professor at Kean University in Union, NJ, and a NJCART board member. Adam’s mini e-book on assistive technology, The Teacher’s Technology Toolkit: Pre-Writing and Idea Organization is available on

Transition and Access to AT Devices and Services; Amy Goldman; National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training Center (AT3)

Description: This session will highlight considerations in planning for AT during the transition process, including finding and “owning” AT after graduation, identifying and funding AT services and supports in the community, developing skills for maintaining one’s own AT devices, and identifying AT-related advocacy skills needed by transitioning youth.

Speaker Bio: Amy S. Goldman, MS, CCC is technical assistance specialist with the national Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training Center (AT3). Amy has specialized in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) services, pre- and in-service training about AT and AAC, and has been a vigorous advocate for people with complex communication needs throughout her long career. She is past chair of the steering committee of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Special Interest Group on AAC and represents ASHA on the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC).

Preparing for College Success: AT and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; Kristen Russell, Advancing Opportunities & Krista Lope; Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Description: This session, presented jointly by a DVRS Counselor and an AT Specialist, will provide information regarding services DVRS and Advancing Opportunities can provide college students. Case studies of college students successfully using AT at college will be shared, as well as ideas to help prepare high school students with disabilities for success in college by using assistive technology tools.

Speaker Bio: Kristen is an Assistive Technology Specialist at Advancing Opportunities with a background as an Occupational Therapist. She is certified by RESNA as an Assistive Technology Professional and provides assistive technology evaluations and trainings to consumers with all types of disabilities through a variety of agencies including the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, School Districts, Veteran’s Administration, and Division of Developmental Disabilities. Her passion is to help people with disabilities become more independent and achieve their goals.

Krista is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor II with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services with the State of New Jersey. She has been working in the field for seventeen years and works on helping people overcome their barriers to employment so they can return to work. Krista often times is thinking outside the box and ahead of the current situation to be able to assist her consumers with their long term goals. Krista’s passion is to help people with disabilities to return to work.

Session 2 (11:00 am – 12:00 am)

Tool Talk! An Edcamp Style Conversation about Apps Facilitated by Mike Marotta, Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center, Disability Rights New Jersey

We have become overwhelmed with apps available to use with our students. How do we keep up? Which ones are “good”? What does “good” even mean with regards to apps? Come join this edcamp-style conversation session where we will talk about all things apps in the classroom. Have a question? Want to share a success story? We will focus on the FEATURES of these tools and how they can benefit students! Session notes will be collected in digital format to keep the learning going even after the session.

The goal of this session is to engage all the participants in an edcamp – style sharing session. Everyone comes to a conference with great ideas to share – this can be their chance! I will facilitate the discussion by outlining areas of conversation. I will come prepared to demonstrate / discuss solutions related to Chrome but the hope is that the audience will do most of the talking and sharing. Even if that sharing is just asking questions – it will still generate discussion and problem solving.

New Jersey Tiered System of Supports; Saskia Brown, New Jersey Department of Education

Description: New Jersey Tiered System of Supports (NJTSS) is a framework of supports and interventions to improve student achievement, based on the core components of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and the three tier prevention logic of Response to Intervention (RTI). With a foundation of strong district and school leadership, a positive school culture and climate and family and community engagement, NJTSS builds on I&RS and gives schools structure to meet the academic, behavioral, health, enrichment and social/emotional needs of all students.

Speaker Bio: Saskia Brown, Ed.D. Saskia Brown’s professional commitment is a reflection of her personal conviction that a quality education is a right that belongs to all children. She has commitment over 10 years of service in the field of education. Saskia has previously served as a general education and special education teacher, school program coordinator, director, district administrator, and adjunct professor. At the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) she has served as a fiscal and policy specialist and special education consultant. She currently serves as the project manager for the New Jersey Tiered System of Supports Early Reading (NJTSS-ER) initiative at the department.

‘I Got Him a ‘Thing’: Person Centered Planning and AT; Jessica Stover; Networks for Training and Development, Inc.

Description: “…I Got Him a ‘Thing’” is likely a statement you, as an Assistive Technology practitioner, teacher, professional, family, friend, or supporter has heard people say when talking about an exciting new and sexy piece of technology on the market. Join us for a lively, interactive session where we will learn (or re-learn!) Person Centered Planning, explore assessment processes, and thinking through how to make our practice and implementation of assistive technology person centered!

Speaker Bio: Jessica Stover, M.S., A.T.P., CESP is the Director of Training and Consultation for Networks. She has been a member of the Networks’ team since 2006, and is a RESNA (Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America) certified Assistive Technology Practitioner (A.T.P.). With experience in low to high technologies, Jessica continues to assist people to live the lives they wish at home, work, school, or play. Jessica has a special interest in switch access as related to body mechanics and movement and has studied and practiced in a variety of methods pertaining to AT. She has presented and co-presented at national, regional, and local conferences and trainings to assist people and their teams to hear and recognize communication, live their dreams, uphold the mantra “Everyone Communicates!” and assist people to “notice what you notice” through innovative (and sometimes very easy and simple) supports and systems of AT.

The Smart Apartment: an Evaluation e-Residence for All Abilities; Eddy Ehrlich; CRT The Center for Rehabilitation Technology at Helen Hayes Hospital

Description: The Smart Apartment has been keeping up-to-date with new home automation technologies and integrating them into our unique clinical evaluation center. Learn how people of all abilities can increase their home independence and control through a combination of consumer technology and assistive technology.

Speaker Bio: Eddy Ehrlich is an expert in Assistive Technology, specializing in computer access, environmental control, and augmentative communication. He has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Occupational Therapy. He’s been a licensed Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) since the credential’s inception by RESNA in 1998. Eddy is dedicated to assisting people with disabilities maximize their independence. He’s been at Helen Hayes Hospital’s Center for Rehabilitation Technology since 2007. He was instrumental in bringing the Smart Apartment project from design to reality. He brings 20 years of extensive experience of evaluating, finding solutions and supporting AT use with patients in clinical practice.

Showcasing Apps for Transition Planning; Amy Dell & Ellen Farr; CATIES at The College of New Jersey

Description: We will provide demonstrations of apps to assist youth with disabilities prepare for transition and improve self-advocacy skills. iPad apps that can help with pre-employment skills and success in post-secondary education can make text accessible to struggling readers, improve writing skills, address appropriate workplace behavior and interview techniques, and help with executive functions.

Speaker Bio: Amy G. Dell, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Special Education, Language and Literacy and Director of the Center on Assistive Technology and Inclusive Educational Studies (CATIES) at The College of New Jersey. She is lead author of the textbook Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Enhancing the School Experiences of Students with Disabilities – 1st, 2nd & 3rd Editions, published by Pearson.

Ellen Farr, M.S., is the Project Coordinator of the Center on Assistive Technology and Inclusive Educational Studies (CATIES) at The College of New Jersey. She holds a M.S. degree in Educational Technology, and teaches courses on assistive technology and collaboration at TCNJ.

Session 3 (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm)

Low & High Tech Solutions = Longevity on the Job; Michelle Sparling, Andrew Vizuete, Networks for Training and Development, Inc.

Description: Assistive technology and accommodations hold the key that can make a difference when it comes to longevity on the job! This session will highlight low and high tech solutions that can lead to job independence and success, highlighting the work of Andrew Vizuete, who uses technology every day to be productive, efficient and as independent as possible on the job.

Speaker Bio: Michelle Sparling began her career as a job coach, and has worked with Networks for Training and Development, Inc. since 1995. Her area of expertise is in employment training and support, with an emphasis in customized employment, career planning, job development, assistive technology and accommodations, on-the-job support and organizational development. Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Holy Family University and Master of Education in Adult and Organizational Development from Temple University. She is a founding member and certified coach, speaker and trainer with the John Maxwell Team and is a Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP).

Andrew Vizuete is the IT Support and Service Specialist for Networks for Training and Development, Inc. He helps design Networks’ many marketing materials, helps maintain Networks’ training database, which includes registering people for training and tracking attendance. Andrew also assists trainers with presentations, demonstrating his use of various Assistive Technologies. He has many interests such as watching sports, TV and movies, listening to music, and having fun. He is currently working on the development of his life story with regards to his use of Assistive Technology and getting a job for training presentations and to inspire others.

AAC Software and Hardware – the latest from Tobii Dynavox (Vendor Session); David Goldberg; Tobii Dynavox

Description: This presentation has three points to discuss: 1) Tobii Dynavox is releasing new software come approximately this March – April 2017. This is all that can be said about at this time. More to follow upon its release. 2) Tobii Dynavox will have hardware, AAC devices, with this latest software, available for SLP evaluators to trial with their clients. 3) the funding process to obtain AAC devices (aka SGDs) has seen considerable changes in the last two years.

Speaker Bio: Regional Service Consultant for AAC and AT since 1988, representing Tobii since 2004 and Tobii Dynavox since 2008. RESNA, ATP. SUNY Buffalo, BA, Pyschology, 1970 PINY Brooklyn, MS, Env Health Science, 1980

AT for Independence: Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities; Fred Tchang, Garth Heid; Advancing Opportunities

Description: Come learn about supports available to children and adults with developmental disabilities to help them be independent in the home. This includes everything from home accessibility (ramps, bathroom modifications, lifts), to aids for daily living (using the phone, eating, learning how to do your laundry), to aids for taking medications and safety for those who wander.

Speaker Bio: Director of Assistive Technology Services, Advancing Opportunities Fred and his staff help consumers with all types of disabilities understand, experience, and implement assistive technology in their everyday lives. The Assistive Technology Services staff of 20 cover the state of New Jersey, working with all funders including the Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Commission for the Blind, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Veterans Administration, the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, The Department of Children and Families, and school districts throughout the state. Fred’s work on accessibility initiatives includes supporting New Jersey’s One-Stop Career Centers (OSCC) in their development of accessible workstations, training OSCC staff to conduct self-evaluations for ADA accessibility, and working with consumers to assess the accessibility of New Jersey voting systems. His formal training is in product design and rehabilitation engineering technology. With a great interest in coalitions, he has been active with such groups as RESNA (the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America), NJ CART (New Jersey Coalition for the Advancement of Rehabilitation Technology), and NJ CIE (New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education). Currently, Fred serves on New Jersey’s State Special Education Advisory Council (NJSSEAC).

Garth Heid, Assistant Director of Assistive Technology Services, has over twenty five years of experience working in the field of assistive technology and direct client services. He has provided services encompassing all aspects of technology designed for people with disabilities at home, school, and in the work place. Garth was one of the first Advancing Opportunities, Inc (Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey) staff certified as an Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) by the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA).

Ask the Advocate: A Panel Session; Staff Members, Disability Rights New Jersey

Do you have questions related to special education, employment, social security, and other services related to individuals with disabilities? This panel of Advocates from Disability Rights New Jersey can advise and assist persons with disabilities, family members, attorneys and guardians in obtaining and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Emergency Preparedness for AT Users – What You Need to Know; Jaime Prioli; Ocean County College

Description: Emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice and during a disaster or an emergency situation, people with disabilities may need additional assistance to obtain the services they need. Planning ahead is required to protect yourself and your AT when emergencies occur. This session addresses common terminology used during an emergency situation, how to prepare for emergencies and unique considerations for AT users.

Speaker Bio: Employed as an AT Specialist at Ocean County College, Ms. Prioli has over 25 years’ experience working with individuals identifying AT solutions to overcome barriers and increase independence. She serves as a regional and national subject matter expert on emergency preparedness for individuals with access and functional needs, especially for those who use AT and durable medical equipment. Ms. Prioli received her bachelor’s degree from West Chester University and holds an Assistive Technology Professional Certificate (ATP) from RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America) and is contributing member of the RESNA Standards Committee on Emergency Stair Travel Devices.



Session 4 (2:30 pm – 3:30 pm)

How to Implement AT in Your School; Vanessa Lombardo; Advancing Opportunities

Description: In this presentation, ideas and strategies will be shared to most efficiently and effectively implement Assistive Technology in to school districts. A case study of a school district in Southern NJ will be discussed of successes and challenges.

Speaker Bio: Vanessa is trained as a Special Education teacher and has worked in the classroom, as well as in the role of AT Specialist. She primarily works in Ocean and Atlantic counties. In her current position as Assistant Director, she oversees a contract with NJ Commission for the blind and Visually Impaired as well as school district contracts.

Scalable and Sustainable Framework for Employment of Individuals With Autism; Nish Parikh, Rangam Consultants, Inc.

Description: This session will address common misconceptions and challenges related to achieving and sustaining a diverse workforce. The presentation will also focus on technology that supports the development of a sustainable, diverse workforce. Scalable, data-driven applications, life skills tools, unique support capabilities, and innovative workforce solutions for differently-abled individuals will be discussed in length.

Speaker Bio: Nish Parikh is the co-founder and CEO of Rangam Consultants Inc., a New Jersey-based company specializing in developing a range of innovative solutions for special needs education and inclusive employment. He is also the founder and executive director of LetUsConnect™, an employment research park designed to identify and implement sustainable self- and community employment practices for the disabled. Nish serves on the external executive board of the Undergraduate Research and Innovation programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. With a degree in Instrumentation and Control Engineering, Nish always has a keen interest in utilizing technology to mitigate societal challenges.

Asset Building Through Assistive Technology; Laurie Shaller; National Disability Institute

Description: Join National Disability Institute to explore how the need for assistive technology and access to affordable, non-traditional lending, can help individuals to build assets and develop positive credit for their future financial independence and well-being.

Speaker Bio: Laurie Schaller is a Manager of Financial Empowerment at National Disability Institute (NDI). Laurie manages the NDI Assistive Technology Loan Program in New Jersey and New York. In addition, she serves as a subject matter expert on the public workforce system, Social Security Disability benefits planning, financial education and financial coaching. Prior to joining NDI, Laurie served as a credit and housing counselor and directed a micro-lending program. Laurie is a certified Community Work Incentives Counselor, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community and Human Services from Empire State College. Laurie plays the violin in several community orchestras and ensembles.



Build Your NJ AT Network; Members of the NJCART Executive Board and Staff from Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center

Description: This session will highlight the Assistive Technology resources available throughout New Jersey to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. Learn about the New Jersey Coalition for the Advancement of Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology (NJCART), a non-profit organization established in 1987 to promote the appropriate applications of technology for individuals with disabilities, assure access to resources and provide continuing education to its members and the community at large. Also, learn how to connect to the larger AT community to continue to learn and grow.


The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) of DRNJ is a comprehensive statewide program of technology related assistance designed to increase access to assistive technology for people with disabilities of all ages.

Disability Rights New Jersey or DRNJ is a private, non-profit, consumer-driven organization designated as New Jersey’s protection and advocacy system for individuals with disabilities established to:


  • Advocate for and protect the human, civil and legal rights of citizens of NJ with disabilities.
  • Promote public awareness and acceptance of persons with disabilities as equally entitled members of society.
  • Advise and assist persons with disabilities, family members, attorneys and guardians in obtaining and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.
  • Provide education, training and technical assistance to persons with disabilities, the agencies that serve them, attorneys, professional persons, courts and others regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities.


Member, National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities

Disability Rights New Jersey
210 S Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
1.800.922.7233 (in NJ only) • 1.609.292.9742 (Voice)
1.609.777.0187 (Fax) • 1.609.633.7106 (TTY)
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