AT Story from Pre-Conference Speaker Rachael Sessler Trinkowsky, Ph.D., CRC, CATIS
My name is Dr. Rachael Sessler Trinkowsky, and I’m looking forward to working with you at the pre-conference session at ATIA 2018 titled, “Practitioner’s Handbook on Technology Implementation for People with Visual Impairments” (PRE-13W). We will explore a number of intermediate to advanced topics to help with ideas and options for expanding services, including: Remote assistive technology training and support, AT solutions to meet the needs of people with visual impairments and other disabilities, configuring computers for compatibility with AT, built-in and free AT solutions, as well as Google accessibility.
My educational background includes a B.A. degree in Special Education and a Master of Health Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Florida. I have also earned an Educational Specialist and a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University’s College of Engineering and Computing. My dissertation topic focused on accessibility awareness and practices in online learning environments.
Sessler Trinkowsky, R. (2015). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Accessibility Awareness Among Faculty in Online Learning Environments. Retrieved from: NSU Works Dissertation Resource.
I am very proud to be the recipient of the Florida Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Florida FAER) award for Outstanding Rehabilitation Professional for the Blind Award (2017). I have worked in this field since 1999. I was honored to be a member of the subject matter expert committee for the development of the new and much needed specialization, called Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist for People with Visual Impairments (CATIS) through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP). I am also currently on the CATIS Study Guide Committee.
I am a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and I worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor with the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS), as well as an assistive technology sales and training representative for Florida Vision Technology. As time went on while I was working as a VR Counselor at DBS, I became more involved with assistive technology. I was the representing VR Counselor on an assistive technology focus group, whose purpose it was to recommend statewide standards for the provision of assistive technology training for people with visual impairments throughout Florida. I currently work for the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches as the Technology Training and Vocational Coordinator, where I oversee services for a 5-county territory. We teach a variety of assistive technology, including: screen readers, screen magnification software, low vision devices, braille technology, smart phone and tablet accessibility, optical character recognition (OCR) options, and many different types of specialized devices. Additionally, I work as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass), where I am currently teaching and preparing curriculum in the area of assistive technology for people with visual impairments.