Conference (in-person)
Wednesday, June 21 – Thursday, June 22, 2023

Pre-Conference Workshops (in-person)
Tuesday, June 20, 2023

We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center, Ft. McDowell, AZ

Come learn, grow, and connect at our in-person 2023 disability conference!


Assistive Technology

Innovative Practices in Disability Disciplines

American Indian / Alaska Native Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment


Listen to Featured Keynote Speakers Tawara Goode and Laura Nadine Dooley

Choose from 65+ breakout sessions – all focused on today’s hottest topics in disability and assistive technology

Learn from nationally known speakers & local experts


Delve into Generative AI, Customize Employment, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in double sessions led by specialists in those fields

Participate in (optional) hands-on preconference workshops, making DIY Assistive Technology or learning to create accessible ICT documents


Visit our vibrant Exhibit Hall, featuring Assistive Technology Companies, Government Agencies and Disability Organizations

Earn up to 18 CE Credit Hours (12 contact hours for general conference; 6 contact hours for preconference workshop)

Enjoy our expanded Networking Reception, featuring magician and disability advocate Cody Clark

Customize the program to match your interests, have fun learning alongside 300+ participants, and win prizes too!

Affordable Pricing

  • $299: General Conference Registration (Wednesday-Thursday, June 21-22, 2023)
  • $175: Preconference Workshop (Tuesday, June 20, 2023)
  • $399: Bundled Discounted Rate for Preconference + Conference Registration (Tuesday-Thursday, June 20-22, 2023)

Special discounts are available for school-based staff, consumers/family members and full-time college students.

NOTE: AIVRS staff are also invited to join us for an AIVRS Self-Employment/Subsistence Training which will take place in the same venue on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. There is no charge for this program.

Room rate is $99 / night until May 20th, 2023 (inclusive of resort fees). Get Hotel Information

Featured Speakers

Opening Speaker: Tawara Goode

Tawara Goode

A nationally recognized leader in the field of cultural and linguistic competence, Tawara Goode is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She is the director of the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD) as well as the Deputy Director of the GUCCHD’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.  

Professor Goode serves as a principal investigator for federal and private sectors/contracts focused exclusively on the development and implementation of programs and initiatives to advance and sustain cultural and linguistic competence and national and international recognition as a thought leader in the field. Her research interests involve the role of cultural and linguistic competence in addressing health and health care disparities among racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse populations, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Closing Speaker: Laura Nadine Dooley

Laura Nadine Dooley

Accomplished musician, educator, and autism advocate Laura Nadine Dooley understands firsthand the struggles and triumphs of living with autism. She has spent over 15 years advocating for a neurodiverse educational model after she and her son were diagnosed with ASD in 2006. She developed an approach for teaching music to students with various learning profiles and invented a MusicBoard, inspired by facilitated communication, to make composition and music theory accessible to non-speaking students.

Laura runs Enlightened Audio, an online and in-person hybrid music school with a mission to make music education accessible. She has self-published two books, recorded various albums, and was the main subject of the biographical documentary, The Shadow Listener: A Voice for Autism, directed by John Schaefer. She also composes music for films, including the Astoria Zuker Award-winning documentary LISTEN. Laura continues to post on her blog, The Shadow Listener, at, where she provides the layered perspective of someone living with autism, teaching autistic students, and raising a son with autism––what she calls a ”3 Shoes Perspective”.

Preconference Workshop A: Judith Schoonover

Judith Schoonover

Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FAOTA is an OT and former teacher. A nationally and internationally recognized speaker, Judith presents on school-based occupational therapy, transition, literacy, play, and assistive technology, and has authored numerous articles and chapters. She is passionate about creating accessibility solutions from easily found materials. Judith serves on the National Joint Committee (NJC) for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities; she is a Strand Advisor for The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) and is a managing editor for the Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits Journal. Judith is a recent recipient of the Joy Zabala Spirit Award.

At IHD’s 2023 Evidence for Success Disability Conference, we are fortunate to have Judith Schoonover lead an AT Make & Take preconference workshop as well as present during a breakout session at the main conference.

Preconference Workshop B: AbleDocs, Inc.


AbleDocs, a leader in the field of document accessibility, has partnered with AzTAP (the Arizona Technology Access Program) to launch a series of trainings that focus on ICT (or digital) accessibility standards and best practices.

At our 2023 IHD Evidence for Success Disability Conference, AbleDocs President and CEO Adam Spencer will lead a hands-on ICT skill-building in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint preconference workshops, as well as present a breakout session focusing on user experience to demonstrate some challenges presented by documents that are not fully accessible.

AIVRS Training: Dr. Catherine Ipsen

Dr. Catherine Ipsen

Dr. Catherine Ipsen has a PhD in Multidisciplinary Studies and an MA in Economics from the University of Montana. She is the Principal Investigator on the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural), a large grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Ipsen’s research interests primarily focus on Vocational Rehabilitation service delivery and employment strategies to serve consumers in rural communities, including self-employment as a strategy to overcome gaps in rural employment opportunity.

Mo Buti

Mo Buti in a beige turtleneck and blue jacket

A favorite with our conference attendees every year, Mo is a practiced professional in the field of disabilities providing services and support to those with disabilities, their families & schools with over 32 years of experience. She managed autism programs/services for over 6,000 students as Director of Autism & Intellectual Disabilities at Chicago Public Schools. She was also a special education teacher, autism itinerant, and special education administrator. Mo possesses a M.Ed-BD, M.Ed-ADMIN, QIDP certification, Director of Special Education degree/certificate from Illinois and her Type 75 Administrator certification. Mo is a dynamic, international speaker and well-respected authority on autism, intellectual disabilities.

Mo Buti will be leading a number of different breakout sessions at our 2023 conference.

Marc Gold & Associates

Marc Gold & Associates: The People Who Try Another Way

Marc Gold & Associates (MG&A) is a training organization specializing in employment and community participation for persons with significant disabilities. We are delighted to have two key MG&A team members join us to present a 2-session workshop at our conference:

Therese Fimian has worked in the disability employment field for 20+ years, overseeing national workforce, education, and demonstration programs to increase access to employment and economic empowerment for individuals with disabilities. Therese directed a national initiative that created several hundred customized employment positions established partnerships with businesses. She works with national, state and local organizations to develop and improve strategy, policy and practice to increase access to resources that result in employment for individuals with disabilities. Therese joined MG&A in 2019 and became president of the organization in 2022.

Randy Dicks‘ work in the human service field ranges from working with the homeless, to working in a rape crisis center, to working with people with criminal histories, as well as with those who experience mental health, physical, and intellectual disabilities. Randy has found that Customized Employment truly is a way for people with significant barriers to employment to find meaning and purpose through a job making real wages. Randy joined MG&A in 2013. His areas of focus are Discovery and Customized Job Development. Randy is the Certification Manager and is responsible for leading the Mentors-in-training process for MG&A.

Shelley Haven

Shelley Haven, a woman with dark heir and a turqouise shirt.

A highly prized presenter at our conferences annually, Shelley Haven is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), Rehab Engineering Technologist (RET), and former engineer who specializes in matching students with appropriate technology. Her consulting practice, Technology to Unlock Potential, serves families, educators, and schools both online and in person with a focus on learning differences, ADHD, and executive functioning. During her 36 years in assistive technology, Shelley previously directed AT for Stanford University’s Office of Accessible Education and helped create the Schwab Learning Center at Stanford for students with learning differences and ADHD. She also teaches an online college course for UCSC Extension titled “Assistive Technology for Learning Differences”.

Investigating the hot topic of generative AI (artificial intelligence), Shelley will present a 2-part hype-free discussion explaining what artificial intelligence is, what makes ChatGPT ground-breaking, and exploring applications for enhancing learning at this year’s conference.

Chris Lanterman

Chris Lanterman

Chris Lanterman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Specialties at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Lanterman began his teaching career as a special education teacher at Rough Rock Community School on the Navajo Nation and at Coconino High School in Flagstaff. Chris is a blind educator whose teaching and research focus on inclusive practice. His primary areas of expertise are in universal design for learning and disability studies. Chris has been a member of the faculty at Northern Arizona University since 2002.

At the conference, Dr. Lanterman will highlight Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with a double session designed to provide participants with an overview of the tenets of UDL, the strengths and challenges for effective implementation, and well as the opportunity to apply the principles to hypothetical and actual learning contexts.

Mike Marotta

Mike Marotta

Mike is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology (AT) Professional who has been providing direct services to individuals with all disabilities for almost 30 years. Mike is the 2017 ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator. 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 AT. In addition, Mike is an adjunct professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey (NJ) where he teaches Masters level educators in AT and Universal Design for Learning. Mike is the Director of the Richard West AT Advocacy Center at Disability Rights New Jersey and serves on the CAST Accessible Educational Materials Advisory Board and is a member of the Faculty at the Center on Technology and Disabilities.

Magic Performance: Cody Clark

Cody Clark

During our networking reception on Wednesday evening, magician and disability advocate Cody Clark will be preforming.

Using his experience with autism, Cody takes a personalized approach to his shows to ensure everyone feels included, combining the art of magic with a message that our differences are nothing to be scared of, but simply a different way of thinking.

Featured Workshops and Sessions

Preconference A: “Making” ParticipATion Possible with DIY Supports for Play and Learning

“Making” does not mean making do. Not all assistive technology is complicated or expensive. It is possible to create AT for play and learning from easily found items as part of a continuum of options for young children or those with exceptional needs. This make-and-take workshop will provide the opportunity to produce practical, versatile, and cheap assistive technology from items found in hardware stores (including PVC pipe, joints, and cutters), discount stores, or around the house that can be assembled in minutes, and to make simple manipulatives for physical access and learning. Discussion and exchange of ideas will be encouraged throughout the session. Participants will leave with tangible tools to use the next day and with a digital file of additional resources and directions.

This Make & Take preconference workshop is led by Occupational Therapist/Assistive Technology Professional Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FOATA. Participants will earn 6 education credit (CE) hours. There is an additional charge for participating in this workshop.

Preconference B: Making Accessible Content with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint

Join Adam Spencer as he walks participants through how to create accessible documents using Microsoft Word as well as accessible presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint. Participants will learn:

  1. Learn how create structure hierarchy within a documents and presentation decks, along with why this is important for assistive technology.
  2. Understand and learn how to create proper colour contrast and incorporate alternative text to simple and more complex graphics.
  3. Will learn how to create proper tables and lists to ensure a more seamless end-user experience for those using assistive technology.

Customized Employment: Customized Employment and Discovery (2-session series)

Part 1: Introduction to Customized Employment and Discovery

In Part 1 we will provide attendees with information on the foundational concepts and Essential Elements of Customized Employment and Discovery, and the distinction with traditional services.

Part 2: The Journey of Discovery: How It Can Be Used to Achieve Dreams and Ambitions

In Part 2 we take a deeper dive into the principles and activities of Discovery. Presenters will provide examples of how we can look into the daily life of an individual and translate possibilities to move to employment that meets their personal goals.

Whether attending as a counselor, administrator, parent, or other role, the information and impact stories will increase your understanding of and relatability to the valuable concepts of Customized Employment and Discovery.

This double session workshop will be led by two key team members from Marc Gold & Associates, a nationally recognized, pioneering leader in field of Customized Employment: President Therese Fimian and Certification Manager Randy Dicks.

Generative AI (artificial intelligence): A Hype-free Discussion of Generative AI(2-session series)

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been part of our daily lives for decades (think speech recognition, Netflix recommendations, contextual grammar checkers, and GPS navigation). The recent hype – and angst – about AI in education centers on so-called “generative AI” such as ChatGPT that can create novel content and both understands and responds using conversational language. As this emergent technology raises more questions than it answers, educators should understand how to harness its capabilities and make sound decisions about its use.

Part 1: A Hype-free Discussion of Generative AI: What It Is, How It Works, Opportunities, and Challenges

In Part 1 of this informative and thought-provoking double session, AT consultant Shelley Haven will explain:

  • What artificial intelligence is (and isn’t)
  • What makes ChatGPT unique and ground-breaking
  • How ChatGPT can support teaching and learning
  • Challenges that must be addressed to ensure responsible use.

Part 2: A Hype-free Discussion of Generative AI: Brainstorming Applications, Issues, and Best Practices

In Part 2 of this double session on generative AI (and specifically ChatGPT), AT consultant Shelley Haven will lead a guided interactive discussion to brainstorm various ideas and issues:

  • Propose applications for generative AI to enhance teaching and learning
  • Identify significant issues that impact using generative AI in education
  • Suggest best practices that encourage responsible and ethical use.

This workshop will be led by AT consultant Shelley Haven, one of our attendees’ most respected presenters.

Universal Design for Learning: Helping You and Your Students Achieve Your Goals through UDL (2-session series)

Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework based on neuroscience that is intended to foster the development of learners who are purposeful and motivated, knowledgeable and resourceful, and strategic and goal directed. Further, understanding the relationship among learning goals, assessment, methods and materials, and applying the UDL framework with fidelity is central to supporting effective learners and learning.

This session will provide participants with an overview of the underlying tenets and guidelines of UDL, a rationale for its implementation in P-20 education, a discussion of common critiques, and an opportunity to apply the principles to hypothetical and actual learning contexts.

This session will be presented by Dr. Chris Lanterman, an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Specialties at Northern Arizona University whose primary areas of expertise are in universal design for learning and disability studies.

“I learned SO much that my brain is spinning. I just loved the camaraderie, productive/clarifying discussions with experts, and meeting so many people with mutual love of service and interests. I would love to attend another conference in the future!”

2022 Conference Participant