ATIA 2018 Strand Advisors

The ATIA 2018 strand advisors are each recognized experts in their respective session strands. Under the guidance of Educational Program Chair Joy Zabala, the strand advisors play a critical role in curating the conference education program, ensuring each education session meets the unique and varied needs of conference attendees.

Educational Program Chair

Joy Zabala, CAST


Headshot of Joy ZabalaJoy Smiley Zabala, Ed.D., is a general and special educator who has worked with students, families, education agencies and others across the U.S. and abroad for more than 25 years to expand the use of assistive technology to increase the communication, participation and productivity of people with disabilities. She is the developer of the SETT Framework, a former president of the Technology and Media division of CEC, a founder of QIAT, and the facilitator of the QIAT List. Dr. Zabala is the Co-Director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning at CAST. She is a strong supporter of Universal Design for Learning as the foundational support for the education of all students and of accessible technologies and materials as complementary supports for those students who require them for active participation and achievement in UDL environments.

Contact Dr. Zabala at


Supporting Partner:International Association of Accessibility Professionals

Chris O’Brien, Accessibility Officer, Accessible Media Inc (AMI)


Photo of Chris O'BrienChris is the Accessibility Officer for Accessible Media Inc (AMI), a national not-for-profit broadcaster in Canada committed to making Accessible Media for all Canadians. Chris is the Chair of the Described Video Best Practices committee in Canada, Invited Expert for the W3C Web and TV Interest Group, member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) Video Programming subcommittee, and member of the Mohawk College Program Advisory Committee (PAC).

Contact Chris O’Brien at

Adult Living and Workplace

Supporting Partner:Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

Teresa Goddard, Senior Consultant, Job Accommodation Network


Teresa joined the JAN staff as a program assistant in March 2008 and joined the Motor Team as a consultant in August 2008. As she has now transitioned to JAN’s sensory team, Teresa fields questions from employees and employers regarding their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and assists in identifying accommodation solutions for employees with sensory impairments.

Teresa’s professional experience includes work as an educational speech-language pathologist and as an EFL instructor in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, where in addition to classroom teaching she led continuing education workshops on collaborative instructional techniques and cross-cultural understanding.

Teresa holds a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology and a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from West Virginia University’s College of Human Resources and Education. She has earned 45 hours above the master’s level with elective course work in augmentative and alternative communication, behavior disorders and reading. Teresa’s research interests include assistive technology and cross-cultural perspectives on disability services.

Contact Teresa Goddard at

Assistive Technology for Improved Function (ATIF)

Supporting Partner:  American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

Sandy Hanebrink, OTR/L, Executive Director, Touch the Future. Inc., representing Technology SIS, American Occupational Therapy Association


Headshot of Sandy HanebrinkSandy Hanebrink, OTR/L, is the executive director of Touch the Future, Inc. Ms. Hanebrink is an occupational therapist who has developed a practice niche in advocacy, assistive technology, and networking individuals with disabilities and service providers to the necessary resources and funding to achieve individual life goals. She has multiple presentations and publications at the local to international levels, including topics on effectively educating and employing individuals with disabilities, reasonable accommodations, disability laws, disabled sports, and assistive technology. Ms. Hanebrink has received many awards and recognitions for her work.

Contact Sandy Hanebrink at

Robin Jones, Director, Great Lakes ADA Center, representing Technology SIS, American Occupational Therapy Association


Headshot of Robin JonesRobin Jones is the project director of the Great Lakes ADA Center located at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Robin has served as the director of the Center since its inception in 1991. The Great Lakes Center is one of 10 regional federally funded technical assistance centers on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The Center serves the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Robin’s academic preparation includes degrees in public administration and occupational therapy. She is an instructor within the Department of Disability and Human Development, teaching courses in disability policy, community integration, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Robin is actively involved in providing training, consultation, and technical assistance on the provisions of the ADA and related laws to businesses, employers, government and educational entities, architects, social service organizations, and people with disabilities and their families.

Contact Robin Jones at

Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FAOTA, Assistive Technology Trainer, Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn, Virginia; representing Early Intervention & School & Technology Special Interest Sections, American Occupational Therapy Association


Judith Schoonover is an occupational therapist and former elementary school teacher. She is certified as an assistive technology professional (ATP) by RESNA and is a founding member of the Loudoun County Public Schools Assistive Technology Team. Judith has worked in schools for more than 40 years. She has authored articles and chapters and has presented on the topics of school-based occupational therapy, transition, literacy, and assistive technology nationally. She is the former vice president of the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association and has served as the communication liaison for the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Early Intervention and School Special Interest Section. She has participated on several National Association of Directors of Special Education (NASDE) work groups pertaining to 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 participates on AOTA’s Transition and RtI Work Groups.

Contact Judith Schoonover at

AT and College and Career Readiness Standard

Karen Erickson, representing the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, with projects supported by the U.S. Department of Education and


Headshot of Karen EricksonKaren Erickson, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, a professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, and the Yoder Distinguished Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, School of Medicine, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research addresses literacy assessment and instruction for struggling readers of all ages, including those with significant disabilities. Karen is co-developer of the Tar Heel Reader online library of accessible books for beginning readers, as well as several other assistive and learning technologies. Currently, Karen is the principal investigator of Project Core, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education to build an implementation approach to use core vocabulary as an approach to AAC with students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Contact Karen Erickson  at

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Supporting Partner:United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) logo

Amy Goldman, United States Society for AAC (USSAAC)


Headshot of Amy GoldmanAmy S. Goldman is one of three national technical assistance specialists for the national Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training Center (AT3).  She previously was the co-executive director of the Institute on Disabilities, University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Temple University where she directed Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology, the Commonwealth’s “Assistive Technology (AT) Act” Program and other statewide assistive technology-related programs.  A licensed speech-language pathologist, Amy’s career has focused on the area of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and especially, access to AAC for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Amy is a member of the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (“NJC”) representing the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is  the Vice President for Finance of the United States Society for AAC (USSAAC).

Contact Amy Goldman at

Carole Zangari, Professor, Nova Southeastern University


Carole Zangari headshotCarole Zangari, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a faculty member in the Speech-Language Pathology department in the College of Health Care Sciences at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and the executive director of the NSU Satellite of the University of Miami-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). She is a licensed, certified speech language pathologist and provides clinical supervision to graduate student clinicians serving children and adults with AAC needs. Dr. Zangari also directs the AAC Lab and is the lead instructor for AAC courses at the master’s and doctoral levels. Dr. Zangari is past coordinator of the ASHA Special Interest Division on AAC and has presented numerous times at national and international conferences. She is co-editor of the book “Practically Speaking: Language, Literacy, and Academic Development of Students with AAC Needs” and blogs at www.PrAACtical Dr. Zangari combined her interests in core language and literacy development to co-author the “TELL ME Curriculum: Teaching Language and Early Literacy through Multimodal Expression” for preschool children with AAC needs.

Dr. Zangari can be reached through her blog or other social media venues including Twitter (@PrAACticalAAC), Facebook (, Pinterest (, and Instagram (@praacticalaac).

Contact Dr. Zangari at


Kirk Behnke, M.Ed., ATP, Behnke Consulting, Education and Technology Consultant


Headshot of Kirk BehnkeKirk has his own consulting company, Behnke Consulting, LLC., where he offers and delivers learning opportunities regarding assistive technology devices and services, accessible technologies and Universal Design for Learning within the United States and internationally. His passion is helping to facilitate excellence in learning for all, whether it is in a classroom, lecture hall or presentation room. He has lead the Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) and is currently the Assistant Director of Technical Assistance for the National AEM Center at CAST. His greatest accomplishment was the development and implementation of the “Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP)” at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Kirk holds a Master’s degree from Temple University in Education/Special Education, a credential as an Assistive Technology Professional from the Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) and a Certificate in Assistive Technology Applications from the University College of Dublin, Ireland.

Contact Kirk Behnke at

Kelly Fonner, Fonner Consulting, Assistive/Educational Technology Consultant


Headshot of Kelly FonnerKelly Fonner, MS, is a self-employed consultant and trainer in assistive and educational technology. She has a BS in special education from Millersville University and an MS in educational technology with emphasis in rehabilitation/special education technology from The Johns Hopkins University. Her continuing education and research has been in the area of adult education and special education technology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She holds an Assistive Technology Applications Certificate of Learning from California State University – Northridge. Kelly has been a teacher, para-educator, instructional media specialist and assistive technology specialist and is currently a self-employed consultant in assistive and educational technology. In these roles, she has worked for the public school system as well as private, non-profit organizations, a statewide AT project and has been an instructor in university courses on AT. Kelly is also the family member of individuals with disabilities.

Since 1986 Kelly has presented at schools, conferences and to families in 48 states and internationally in Australia, Canada and South Africa. She speaks on a wide range of topics including assistive technology assessment and implementation strategies, augmentative communication, computer access, electronic literacy and study skills. Each year she works with approximately 50 school-based teams supporting students and their teams in the implementation of AAC and electronic literacy in the classroom. She is available to do seminars, webinars, consultations and workshops. Her website is

Contact Kelly Fonner at

Everyday Technology

Mike Marotta, ATP – AT Specialist; President, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC; ISTE Inclusive Learning Network’s 2017 Outstanding Educator Award Recipient


Headshot of Mike MarottaMike Marotta is a RESNA-certified assistive technology professional who has been providing direct services to individuals with all disabilities for over 25 years. He runs his own technology consulting firm, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC. As an evaluator, Mike works collaboratively with teams in all environments (school, workplace and community) to effectively match the individual’s needs to technology supports.

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 California State University, Northridge, where he teaches a course in the Master’s of Assistive Technology Program titled “Current and Future Trends in AT,” and at Felician College in New Jersey, where he teaches pre-service teachers a course titled “Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology.” Mike is also a member of the faculty at the Center on Technology and Disabilities and presents on an array of topics.

Contact Mike Marotta at


Diana Carl, Independent Consultant


Headshot of Diana CarlDiana Foster Carl, M.A., with a background as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, has more than 35 years’ experience in various capacities in public education. Diana is a former Director of Special Education Services at Region 4 Education Service Center in Houston, Texas, where for 12 years she served as the lead of the Texas Assistive Technology Network. Currently, Diana contracts with CAST as the Special Projects Coordinator for the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials.

Diana’s accomplishments include assistive technology leadership roles in national, statewide, and regional organizations including service on many advisory boards. She is a founding member of the Quality Indicators in Assistive Technology (QIAT) Consortium and a co-author of Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology: A Comprehensive Guide to Assistive Technology Services. She is a frequently invited speaker at national, state, and local conferences.

Contact Diana Carl at

Denise DeCoste, AT Consultant, Accessible Technology Consulting

Denise Decoste HeadshotDr. Denise DeCoste is an occupational therapist and a special educator with 30 years of experience in the field of assistive technology. She led two AT teams (InterACT and HIAT) in Montgomery County Maryland Public Schools for 22 years. She received her doctorate in education and human development in 1993 with a dissertation focusing on using assistive technology to improve the spelling and writing development of students with severe speech and physical disabilities.

Denise is the author of numerous books and chapters on assistive technology, most recently a chapter on best practices in assistive technology for the American Occupational Therapy Association. She presents at national conferences and provides consultation and professional development to school districts across the country on assistive technology to support reading and writing, and on improving AT service delivery. She was instrumental in building awareness of universal design for learning across her district and in the systematic implementation of UDL in MCPS schools.

Dr. DeCoste was the chair of the Maryland UDL Task Force, resulting in a report entitled “A Route for Every Learner” which led to the establishment of State DOE regulations requiring the incorporation of the UDL framework into the curricula in Maryland public schools.  Denise is the vice chair of the UDL Implementation and Research Network ( and provides professional development on upgrading assistive technology service delivery, and on AT to support reading and writing.

Contact Dr. DeCoste at


Anya Evmenova, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University, representing the Technology and Media division (TAM) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)


Headshot of Anya EvmenovaAnya Evmenova, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. She teaches master and doctoral courses in assistive technology, special education, and research methods. She is an active contributor to the field of special education and assistive technology regularly publishing and presenting at national and international conferences. Design and research of technology-based interventions in academic settings is the primary focus of her work. She is currently a PI on the Stepping Up Technology Implementation project titled Project WeGotIT!: Writing Efficiently with Graphic Organizer – Teachers Integrating Technology! Dr. Evmenova’s research interests include the use of assistive and instructional tools for improving access to general education curriculum for students with various abilities and needs, Universal Design for Learning, online teaching and learning, as well as advances in the field of single-subject/case research methods.

Contact Dr. Evmenova at

Lori Geist, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Photo of Lori GeistLori Geist, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lori has worked in direct service, consultation, and product development related to augmentative and alternative communication, language and literacy intervention. She is currently project director for Project Core, funded through a Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Stepping Up Technology Implementation grant.

Contact Lori Geist at

Heidi Koester, Ph.D., President, Koester Performance Research, representing the RESNA Research Committee


Headshot of Heidi KoesterHeidi Koester, Ph.D. is the President of Koester Performance Research. Heidi has over 15 years of experience as a principal investigator in assistive technology research, with a consistent focus on using evidence to enhance outcomes for computer users who have disabilities. Her development projects have resulted in the commercial release of Compass, Keyboard Wizard, and Pointing Wizard, complex software products that help individuals find the right access system for their needs. Her research projects have provided important information about adaptive techniques, measurement methods, and evidence-based practice in assistive technology. This research and development experience is complemented by 6 years of direct work providing assistive technology services to individuals with disabilities.

Contact Heidi Koester at

Sensory Impairment

Ike Presley, National Project Manager, American Foundation for the Blind


Headshot of Ike PresleyIke Presley is the national project manager at the American Foundation for the Blind in Atlanta. During the past ten years with AFB he has developed professional development courses, authored articles and books, and presented at numerous conferences. Previously he served as an AT specialist for the Georgia Project for Assistive Technology and as a technology instructor with adults experiencing vision loss at the Georgia Sensory Rehabilitation Center. After receiving his master’s degree from FSU in 1978, Ike worked as a teacher of the visually impaired in the Atlanta area for the first 11 years of his career.

Contact Ike Presley at

Carmelina Hollingsworth, Project Director, Resource Materials and Technology Center: Deaf/Hard of Hearing (RMTC-D/HH)


Carmelina Hollingsworth is the Director for the Resource Materials and Technology Center for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (RMTC-D/HH) project. She directs the project to support Florida districts and schools based on the impact of initiatives on students with sensory loss. Carmelina serves as a member of the Florida’s Response to the National Deaf Agenda Team, the AIM/AT/UDL Oversight Team and the Statewide Technology Advisory Committee. As the mother of a high school son who learns differently, she is able to view the processes within the field from both professional and personal perspectives.

Contact Carmelina Hollingsworth at

State Assistive Technology Programs

Kathleen Laurin, Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) Center


Kathleen Laurin, Ph.D., is one of three national technical assistance specialists for the Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) Center. She has over 25 years of experience in disability services and over 17 years of experience with State AT Act Programs. She is recognized for her expertise in AT and outdoor accessible recreation, workplace accommodations, transition to postsecondary education, aging in place, and home modifications for safety and functioning. She has presented nationally and has provided training and technical assistance for assistive technology, accessible environments, ADA, and other disability-related issues. She holds a bachelor’s in Human Services, a master’s in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Doctorate in Human Rehabilitation. She also has an executive Certificate in Home Modifications and more than ten years of experience in the construction and remodeling industry.

Contact Kathleen Laurin at

Member Directory