2022 IHD Evidence for Success Hybrid Disability Conference logo

Conference Presenters

Featuring both nationally recognized speakers as well as local and regional experts in the fields of assistive technology and innovative practices in disability disciplines, our 75+ speakers bring a wealth of experiences and insights to share with participants.

Below is an alphabetical listing of the conference presenters, with each speaker’s biography.

Anderson, Nikkol

Nikkol Anderson

Nikkol Anderson, M.A., OTR/L, ATP is program manager for the NAU AAC Evaluation and Training Program and program coordinator for NAU’s Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology. She has over 20 years of experience working with individuals of all ages who utilize assistive technology and augmentative and alternative communication for home, community, school, and vocational engagement.

Axelrod, Jamie

Jamie Axelrod, M.S. is the Director of Disability Resources at Northern Arizona University and a past-president of AHEAD. Jamie presents regularly on topics related to disability access and higher education, having expertise in disability law and policy, communication and information technology (ICT) access, and the reasonable accommodation process. Jamie has served as co-chair of Northern Arizona University’s Commission on Disability Access and Design, AHEAD’s Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Disability Access in Heath Science Education.

Brandt, Jack

Jack Brandt

Jack Brandt is a Program Specialist with the U.S. Administration on Community Living since 2021. A native of Harrisonburg, Virginia, he was the Disability Policy Specialist at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University from 2010 to 2021. At the Partnership, Mr. Brandt worked on various projects related to disability leadership and coordinated the Undergraduate Disability Studies program. Mr. Brandt was a Disability Rights Advocate at the Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy from 2008 to 2010, and a Disability Policy Consultant for the State of Virginia from 2006 to 2008. He was also a Virginia Governor’s Fellow at the Office of Community Integration for People with Disabilities in 2006. Mr. Brandt was appointed as a member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2010 and was later appointed Chairman in 2016. In 2016, he was elected as Co-Chair of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Council on Leadership and Advocacy. He has received the Jackie Crews award from the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, the National Advocacy Award from the Arc of the United States, the Colorado Award from the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, and the Young Professional Award from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Mr. Brandt received a B.A. from James Madison University and an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Bries, Lisa

Lisa Bries has a Masters in physical therapy and has worked in Peoria Schools since 2000. She worked in neuro rehab for 2 years but primarily focuses on pediatrics in the school setting. Lisa serves as an evaluating PT for a home health pediatric company. Lisa’s role includes servicing & supporting all school staff regarding the role of school-based physical therapy on how to “play” with children, benefit of therapy, & how to support school children and their mobility limitations. Lisa had the amazing opportunity in February 2020 to be part of a mission group that went to Kenya, Africa to speak with teachers regarding inclusion, educating, & servicing children with special needs. She continues to consult with Peoria Parks & Recreation.

Brown, Brooke

Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown is Ms. Wheelchair Arizona 2022. She earned a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University where she received the Walter Cronkite Outstanding Undergraduate Award. She is the author of The Little Butterfly Girl, the Transforming the Heart of YOUR Story workbook, and a devotional titled ADAPT. In addition, she is an ambassador for United Cerebal Palsy of Central Arizona and also a ministry partner with Joni and Friends Arizona. Brooke has been asked to speak at many community events, sharing her life experiences with cerebral palsy to inspire others who are facing profound life challenges, using an augmentative communication app on

Buti, Mo

Mo Buti

With over 31 years of experience, Mo is a practiced professional in the field of disabilities providing services and support to those with disabilities, their families & schools. 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, behavioral strategies, educational strategies, & more!

Callahan, Korina

Korina Callahan

Korina has a background in teaching students with special needs and coaching Positive Behavior Intervention Supports in pre-school through secondary education. She is an Arizona licensed behavior analyst and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Her passions focus on training, coaching, evaluation, and sustainability of multi-tiered systems of behavior support, specifically in early childhood. She has presented at multiple state conferences and regularly trains early childhood personnel in the Pyramid Model of positive behavior supports.

Carreon, Adam

Adam Carreon is an assistant professor of special education in the Department of Elementary and Special Education at Georgia Southern University. He specializes in instructional design, technology, and innovation for the classroom. Carreon’s research interests include the use of emerging technology to provide effective instructional, adaptive and social emotional intervention and assistance. Specifically, the use of augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, and extended reality to enhance the classroom for students with disabilities.

Carreon’s experiences range from elementary to secondary special education, as well as the college classroom.

Chipley, Brittaney

Brittaney Chipley

Brittaney M. Chipley, MPA, Executive Director, AZ ABLE – Prior to her appointment, Brittaney was the Probate & Mental Health Deputy Court Administrator for Superior Court in Maricopa County and the North Regional Manager for the Division of Child Support Services with Arizona Department of Economic Security. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her husband and two young daughters (3 & 6 years old), watching football (Go Washington Commanders!), and overseeing her and her husband’s grant-funded youth football and girls’ basketball teams in South Phoenix.

Clancey, Sara

Sara Clancey, PhD, MOTR/L, IMH-E® is the Assistant Director of Community Services at the Institute for Human Development at NAU. She has worked as an occupational therapist in early intervention for the past 15 years throughout Northern Arizona and the Navajo Nation. Sara specializes in working with children who were substance exposed and uses her training in Infant Mental Health to support the families she serves.

Colavito, Skylar

Skylar Colavito

Skylar Colavito, Esq, is an Arizona Disability Law Center staff attorney. A graduate of the University of Arizona James E Rodgers College of Law, she previously served as an Assistant Attorney General. Skylar is passionate about Civil Rights and served as Vice President of her law school’s chapter of the ACLU, first-year representative for Pride Law, and after she was admitted to practice law, offered volunteer services to the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance. Since beginning work at the Arizona Disability Law Center she had assisted clients with employment disputes and is passionate about the intersection between civil rights and employment law.

Danielson, Priscilla

Priscilla is an advocate for Assistive Technology (AT) within her full-time position as an Assistant Professor within the MED SLP graduate program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP and her private practice.  Prior to moving to Utah, Priscilla taught UDL, High Incidence Disabilities, and Assistive Technology courses as adjunct faculty at Temple University and University of Delaware.  She also maintained a private practice providing consultation and therapeutic support to school districts, legal firms and individuals in the areas of AT and AAC.  Priscilla continues to provide AAC therapy via her private practice.  She is working within RMUoHP to build an AAC presence in the Provo, Utah areas supporting families and individuals using AAC.  Priscilla has presented at state, national, and international conferences in the areas of AT/AAC tools, practices, vocabulary, therapy and family/educational support.  Currently, Priscilla is engaged in research in the intersection of  vocabulary, gender and sexual Identity and preferences, and AAC.

Davenport, Alexander

Formal photo of Alex Davenport

Alexander Davenport is the founder of Northern Arizona Adaptive Sports Association. He worked for the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University as an adaptive sports consultant from 2020-2022. At his core he is an educator who loves making connections with people and sliding on snow. He is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and holds a Rocky Mountain Trainer Accreditation from Professional Ski Instructors of America. Davenport played an integral role in creating accessible, therapeutic adaptive and inclusive experiences in northern Arizona and continues to dedicate himself to inclusive recreation expansion in his community. Before discovering this path he was honorably discharged as an E-5 from the USMC.

Dietrich, Asim

Asim Dietrich

Asim Dietrich has been an attorney at the Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL) since 2011. He advocates for the legal rights of individuals with various disabilities. His work includes the representation of individuals who have experienced abuse, neglect and discrimination due to their disabilities and individuals who have been denied medical and mental health care services. Asim presently serves as the Supervisory Attorney for Investigations, Monitoring and Accountability; and coordinator of ACDL’s Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness program. Asim was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 2010 after earning his law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Duncan, Austin

Austin Duncan

Dr. Austin Duncan is a Disability and Medical Anthropologist whose work focuses on the social elements of cognitive and neurodevelopmental disabilities. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington and a Doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. He currently serves as a postdoctoral scholar working jointly with the Sonoran UCEDD and Department of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona, working on projects related to Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the state of Arizona.

Egan, Margaret

Margaret Egan

Margaret Egan is a Physical Therapist working at the Arizona Department of Education as an Assistive Technology Specialist. In this position she supports the assistive technology needs of public and charter schools in Arizona. She graduated in 1980 with her BS in Physical Therapy from Daemen College in Amherst NY. Prior to joining the Arizona Department of Education, she worked in the public schools as a Physical Therapist for 28 years. Most of those years were spent supporting special education students, teachers and staff using a variety of assistive technology tools and strategies. She began her career working in an acute care hospital, and has continued to work with adults in skilled nursing facilities.

Engelthaler, David

Dr. David M. Engelthaler, PhD, MS, is a Professor and the Director of Microbiome Division at The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). His area of focus is pathogen genomics.

Fischer, Linda

Linda Fischer has been an advocate at the Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL) for twenty-eight years. Linda assists applicants and clients of Arizona’s Rehabilitation Services Administration with problems or disagreements they have with the agency’s Vocational Rehabilitation program.

Fowler, Renaldo

Renaldo brings 35 years of experience in disability rights and advocacy and currently serves as the Senior Staff Advocate with the Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL). Renaldo provides training and advocacy for individuals in the area of special education and possesses an in depth knowledge and understanding of policies, Arizona State laws, and federal laws pertaining to students with special needs. Renaldo specializes in developing and implementing important community outreach presentations, conferences, curriculum, programs, and training. He is the co-creator of the premiere national and local African American Conference on Disabilities in Phoenix, Arizona and has developed outreach strategies to Native American, African-American and Latino communities throughout the state of Arizona. Most recently, Renaldo has helped to coordinate The Help Americans Vote Act and is responsible for advancing protection and advocacy activities, specifically ensuring people with disabilities participate in the electoral process which includes registering to vote, casting a vote, and accessing polling places.

Renaldo is a part of the University of Arizona’s Sonoran University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and Northern Arizona University’s Institute for Human Development where I serve as the delegate for Community Advisory Committee.

Galloway, Floyd

Floyd Alvin Galloway

Floyd Alvin Galloway, is a true bridge builder; building relationships between people, communities and solutions. A native of Illinois, he is a long time Arizona resident.  Galloway is a freelance reporter, photographer, and entrepreneur.  He is also the host/producer of The Alvin Galloway Show and contributor to Minority Engineer Magazine, Arizona Informant Newspaper, Trice Edney News Wire service and other media outlets.

A community advocate, he has served in leadership positions in civil rights and community organizations. He is the past Board treasurer of the Arizona Center for Disability Law and continues to serve on the ACDL board. Galloway is very active in his church, serving in numerous auxiliaries including Trustee Board, Jubilee Choir, Boy Scouts, Men’s Day and others.

He is the recipient of several awards including inaugural Si Se Puede – Cesar Chavez Community Service award in 2001, the East Valley NAACP President’s award recipient twice, African Methodist Episcopal Man of Thunder award 2013, the National Council of Negro Women- Metropolitan Phoenix Chapter’s Man of Valor awardee in 2013, Hon. Coy C. Payne Man of the Year award 2015, which is named after his mentor Mayor Coy C. Payne, Arizona’s first elected African American Mayor. He was also a recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists Sun Valley Chapter – Silver Key award and other awards.

The father of Jessica Nia Anne, and the grandfather of Jordynn, his granddaughter and grandson Elias, they are the joys of his life. Galloway’s motto is: “It’s a great day to make somebody’s day great!”

Galbraith, Mitch

Mitch Galbraith is an occupational therapist currently working at the Arizona Department of Education as an Assistive Technology Specialist. In this position he supports the assistive technology needs of public and charter schools in central Arizona. Prior to joining the department, he worked in the public schools as an occupational therapist for 17 years, including several years as an assistive technology consultant. He has worked with students with both low-and high-incidence disabilities in all kinds of educational settings. Mitch has always had a keen interest in assistive technology and has seen the many positive outcomes of its use both in school and at home for children with disabilities.

Garciaguirre, Rene

My name is Rene Garciaguirre, Campus Coordinator with SIP-C through the Institute for Human Development @ Northern Arizona University (NAU). As a student services professional, I have had several roles, each with a focus on student success and achievement: Academic Advisor with CC2NAU, Graduate Assistant with Indigenous Student Services @ NAU, Academic Advisor with the College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences @ NAU, and most recently, Academic Advisor II in the College of Science @ UofA. My academic interests center on Mentorship, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts in higher education. I have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a Master of Arts from NAU.

Gaseoma, Lee

Lee Gaseoma

Dr. Lee Gaseoma, a member of the Hopi Tribe, is responsible for the AIVRTTAC Traditional Cultural Guidance and Support component. Dr. Gaseoma received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and has worked with tribal vocational rehabilitation projects for 30 years providing training and technical assistance to improve overall project performance and increase tribal VR participants’ employment outcomes.

Gibson, Kristy

Kristy Gibson, M.A., CCC-SLP/L has many years of combined experience as educator, assistive technology provider and speech-language pathologist & previously provided AAC evaluation, therapy and consultation services for individuals across the lifespan. She is currently supporting individuals with communication needs as a Consultant for Tobii Dynavox.

Gode, Amy

Amy is the Assistant Director of the Disability Resource Center. She has a B.A., Psychology & Sociology and an M.A. Ed., Educational Leadership and Administration. A native of Minnesota, she has a background as a licensed P/HD Teacher (Physical/Other Health Disabilities/ Traumatic Brain Injury Teacher), assisting students from age two through twenty-one. Most of her time involved collaborating with students and instructional staff on how to use various learning strategies and assistive technology to complete written work, stay organized, and participate in all aspects of the school experience.

Gomez, Omar

Omar Gomez, MPH, is a Research Coordinator at the Center for Health Equity Research, Northern Arizona University. His area of focus is Long Haul Covid.

Granger, Lisa

Lisa Granger is a Physical Therapist working for the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University.

Greenwood, Alexandra

Alexandra Greenwood has over 6 years of experience working with assistive technology and augmentative/alternative communication, and over 20 years of experience working in the customer service industry. Currently she works with Therapy One to provide assistance to families seeking AAC evaluations and trainings throughout Arizona. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Education. She is a native of Arizona.

Guffey, Clayton

Clayton Guffey

Clayton joined AzTAP as an Assistive Technology Specialist in 2007 and in August 2020 he became the AzTAP Program Director. Clayton has a Masters Degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. He also holds certifications as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) and as a Certified Environmental Accessibility Consultant (CEAC) from Accessible Home Improvement of America.

Hansen, Mia

Mia Hensen

Mia Hansen is the Founder of Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports (SAAS) serving the community through the provision and promotion of fitness, recreation and competitive sports opportunities for people with disabilities. SAAS offers handcycling and wheelchair sports including basketball, softball and tennis. SAAS CARES provides donated wheelchairs and supplies to people in need. Mia serves on The City of Tucson Commission on Disability Issues, the Pima County Health Department Ethics Committee, and The Chuck Huckleberry Loop Advisory Committee advocating for the disability community.

Mia is a Festival & Event producer. She has produced performance art, cultural and sporting events in 25 countries including two Super Bowl Halftime Shows. In 2010 Mia became the first Executive Director of Tucson Meet Yourself, building management capacity and growing Tucson’s iconic folk life festival to a sustainable model through its 40th year. Mia consults to the festival and event industry, producing concerts, festivals, cultural events and spectacles of all sizes.

She volunteers with refugees resettled in the Tucson area from war-torn countries and has coordinated Tucson World Refugee Festivals. She is a Cultural Frontrunner for the Embassy of Denmark. Mia served on the Tucson Pima Arts Council Grants Committee as well as the Boards of Ballet Tucson, Up with People International Alumni Association and was a co-founder of the Festivals & Events Association of Tucson & Southern Arizona (FEATSAZ).

Mia graduated with honors from the University of Oregon with a dual degree in Dance and Recreation and Park Management. She enjoys cycling, dancing, cooking, traveling, and most of all, continuing her pursuit of lifelong learning by being involved in a variety of projects and community service duties.

Hartke, Ceci

Ceci Hartke

Ceci Hartke is the Director of Programs – Habla Español at Raising Special Kids. She first reached out to Raising Special Kids in 2008 as a parent of a son newly diagnosed with autism. In 2017, she became a Parent Leader with Raising Special Kids with a real passion to help support other families with the same measured guidance she’d received when her family needed it most. In 2019, Ceci joined the Raising Special Kids team. Ceci truly believes in the parent-to-parent model and is dedicated to helping families know they are not alone in their journey.

Haven, Shelley

Photo of Shelley Haven

Shelley Haven is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and Rehab Engineering Technologist (RET) who specializes in matching students with appropriate technology. Her consulting firm, 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 35 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”.

Hegebush, Christy

Christy Hegebush

Christy Hegebush is the Autism and Low Incidence Specialist for the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services. She has worked in the field serving students with Complex Support Needs and Autism for over 20 years as a Special Education Techer. All of her time in the classroom was spent in Arizona. Christy has her Undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University in General and Special education, as well as a Masters of Legal Studies from Arizona State University. Christy is passionate about serving all students to ensure they receive the best education possible.

Heipp, Raymond

Raymond Heipp

Dr. Raymond T. Heipp, is a 35+ year veteran of administration and classrooms for general education and special needs students. He has designed many support and transition programs for various schools and facilities. His expertise in assistive technology and creating holistic spaces has enabled him to design updated approaches when working with students of all abilities and educators. He currently works with schools and other institutions in classroom, sensory room, and specialized room design as well as consulting on how to best support all individuals in education and work spaces through the use of products which might be most appropriate in various situations.

Hughes, Peter

Peter Hughes

Peter Hughes currently serves as the Athletic Director at the University of Arizona. He received his Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Western Australia where he was first introduced to adaptive sports as an athlete Pete has traveled the world playing with some of the best wheelchair basketball players in the world. He founded the Non-profit Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide which aims to promote social change by providing sports equipment and coaching in developing countries. As a coach, Pete has coached numerous Paralympians and helped lead his teams to two national titles. The University of Arizona has the largest adaptive sport program in the United States.

Jacobs, Jill

Jill Jacobs was appointed Commissioner of ACL’s Administration on Disabilities on Feb. 14, 2022.
Ms. Jacobs has more than two decades of professional experience managing disability services organizations. She also has been an active grassroots organizer, leading campaigns to depict President Franklin D. Roosevelt seated in his wheelchair in the national monument in Washington, D.C. She brings to the role the lived experience of her own disability and as the mother of two disabled adults. Executive Director of the ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia (ECNV), a center for independent living. For advancing rights/access of disabled military family members as an Army spouse, she was awarded the Dr. Mary E. Walker Medal of Honor. 

Jenson, Ronda

Ronda Jenson

Dr. Jenson is the Research Director at the IHD and Associate Professor with joint appointments in the College of Social and Behavior Sciences and College of Education at NAU. She is currently leading multiple projects focused on including students with disabilities in STEM education. Her research areas are access to education, effective models of professional development, and inclusive practices.

Kaufmann, Thomas

Thomas Kaufmann

Thomas Kaufmann is the founder and chief technology officer of OTOjOY, whose inventions have been honored with a CES Innovation Award and an Edison Award. Thomas holds advanced degrees in physics and chemistry and focuses his time on improving the lives of people with hearing and other disabilities and creating a better listening experience at venues of all types where sound would traditionally be played through loudspeakers. After leaving his native Germany for graduate school at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he now calls Arizona’s desert his home.

Thomas lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Keeney, Mary

Mary Keeney has been working in Assistive Technology in the K-12 setting for more than 35 years. Mary is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Specialist and holds graduate certificates in AT from NAU and CSUN. Prior to joining the Arizona Department of Education, she worked as a school-based SLP for 18 years, where she worked with students with both low- and high-incidence disabilities in all kinds of educational settings. Mary has also provided instruction and clinical supervision of SLP students at the university level.

Ladau, Emily

Emily Ladau

Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights activist, writer, storyteller, and digital communications consultant whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. Her writing has been published in outlets including The New York Times, SELF, Salon, Vice, and HuffPost and her first book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally, was published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in 2021. Emily has spoken before numerous audiences, from the U.S. Department of Education to the United Nations. Central to all of her work is harnessing the power of storytelling as a tool for social justice.

LaZear, Gus

Gus LaZear

Gus LaZear currently serves as Ability360’s Vice President of Operations and the Sports and Fitness Center for persons with Disabilities.

LaZear, whose background includes more than 29 years of experience managing major programs and initiatives in rehabilitative medicine, recreational therapy, outdoor adventures and other adaptive programming for people with disabilities. Prior to Ability360, LaZear handled responsibilities as lead therapeutic recreational therapist at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Before joining St. Joseph’s, LaZear had been with Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in Pomona, CA working on the Outdoor Adventure team that organized over 180 days of activities per year.

Lee, John

John has 22 years of experience as an assistive technology professional. He has earned certifications as a RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) and IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC). John currently provides assistive technology (AT) consultations and training to students registered with the Disability Resource Center at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. In addition, he consults with Cal Poly faculty and staff in the area of digital accessibility, ensuring that all campus members have equal access to electronic documents, audio/video, websites, and electronic products. He is passionate about promoting disability as diversity and accessibility as inclusion.

Legaspi, Jeremy

Formal headshot of Jeremy Legaspi

Jeremy Legaspi is an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) and Regional Consultant for  PRC. He received his B.S. from Arizona State University in 2003, his M.S. from Northern Arizona University in 2005, and graduate certificate in Assistive Technology from Northern Arizona University in 2013. Jeremy is the Central and Northern Arizona regional consultant for Prentke-Romich Company. He also teaches an Augmentative and Alternative Communication graduate class for Northern Arizona’s Assistive Technology Certificate Program. He is licensed by the state of Arizona and is a member of ASHA, ArSHA, and ArSHA AAC Committee member. Jeremy has extensive experience assessing and treating children with a variety of complex communication needs.

Leibowitz, Naomi

Naomi is an Assistive Technology Specialist who has evaluated and prescribed interventions to support clients’ goals in varied settings such as, community, education and employment for over 20 years. Naomi has also provided leadership to Temple University to ensure that students with a disability had full access to the university experience. Naomi has been an educator in the areas of AT for everyone and and advocate for UDL. She has presented at various national conferences including CSUN, AT Summit and Pacific Rim on how assistive technology benefits all individuals. She has conceptualized and submitted grant applications to support and promote Assistive Technology initiatives supporting UDL across the university community.

Lervik, Heidi

Heidi Lervik

Heidi L. Lervik is an Assistive Technology Specialist for the Arizona Technology Access Program (AzTAP) who has many years of experience working with individuals with various disabilities. Heidi spent 20 years working for Rehabilitation Services Administration and the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. She also worked for seven years at Cochlear Americas, first as an Outreach Specialist and then a Surgical Representative. Her education includes Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Arizona. She is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRC).

Lindly, Olivia

Olivia Lindly

Olivia Lindly joined the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Department of Health Sciences as an Assistant Professor in fall 2019. Her research broadly focuses on advancing maternal and child health equity, especially for children with special health care needs including autism. Prior to NAU, she completed the postdoctoral Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship program based at Massachusetts General Hospital. Olivia earned a Ph.D. in public health concentrated in health promotion and health behavior from Oregon State University, an M.P.H. concentrated in child and adolescent health from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in psychology from Reed College.

Livesay, Lisa

Lisa Livesay is a Secondary Transition Specialist for the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services. Since 2009, Lisa has worked to support individuals with disabilities, primarily transition-aged youth and adults with significant behavioral health needs, in pursuing independence through education, work, and other meaningful areas of life. Her experiences serving populations in Pennsylvania and Arizona include roles as an in-patient Transition Specialist, Behavioral Health Specialist, Mental Health Advisor, Case Manager, Rehabilitation Specialist, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, and Policy Specialist. Lisa is passionate about the resiliency and empowerment of Arizonan youth/young adults.

Lovato, Corey

Corey Lovato grew up in Colorado before moving to California for law school then settling in Phoenix in late 2016. He worked at a nonprofit serving low-income veterans before joining ACDL in the summer of 2018 and is passionate about utilizing his law degree to make a difference for the underserved and underprivileged. When he is not working, Corey can be found at the gym or out exploring Phoenix. He enjoys using his free time to explore new places and try new things, whether that means getting lunch at a new restaurant or booking a trip to wander the streets of Hong Kong.

Magdelano, Heather Joy

Heather Joy Magdelano has been a Family Engagement Coordinator for the AZ Deaf Blind Project and is the parent of 2 children with Deaf Blindness. She has been described as a visionary, advocate, mother and healer. You can read more about her support of families and mindfulness at https://kjzz.org/content/1215666/space-arizona-moms-children-disabilities-do-nothing.

McDonald, Charles

Charles McDonald is a community member, family advocate and a retired veteran (Transportation).

McDonald, Sakénya

Sakénya McDonald, PhD is the Assistant Director of Academic Programs at Northern Arizona University’s Institute for Human Development.

McFadden, Erica

Erica McFadden

Erica McFadden is the Director of the Office of Independent Living Programs at the Administration for Community Living of the US Department of Health and Human Services. With more than 25 years of experience with advocacy in the disability community; most recently, she served as the Director of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. She has presented at numerous conferences and published academic articles, book chapters, policy briefs and reports on disability with a special focus on governance and empowerment. She holds a PhD in Public Administration & Policy from Arizona State University, an MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and dual bachelor’s degrees (Business Administration and Spanish) from the University of Texas at Austin. She also has cerebral palsy.

McLaws, Anthon

Anthon McLaws is an occupational therapist with over 24 years of experience working with assistive technology and augmentative/alternative communication. His company, Therapy One, provides AAC evaluations and trainings throughout Arizona. He started the Flagstone AZ Foundation, which funds and supports the Out and About program, a community group for AAC users. He is proud that both of his sons know how to adapt battery-operated toys for individuals who use switches. He is a native of Arizona. 

Monteleone, Rebecca

Rebecca Monteleone

Rebecca Monteleone is an assistant professor of Disability Studies at the University of Toledo. She works at the intersection of critical disability studies and science and technology studies with a particular emphasis on cognitive accessibility, technology, and participatory and emancipatory research and design practices. She has more than 10 years experience in plain language and cognitive accessibility, having worked with disability services, arts organizations, news outlets, activists, and more to develop plain language, easy read, and other accessible materials.

Mosher, Maggie

Maggie Mosher

Maggie Mosher, Ph.D. ABD, is the Social Skill Content Strategist for VOISS. She specializes in social-emotional development, assistive technology, multisensory instruction, tiered systems of support, and Universal Design. Passionate about fully including all learners in a variety of school systems, Mosher worked as a special education teacher from 2001-to 2007 in the public school system and from 2007-to 2017 in the private school system where she was a school administrator. Mosher went on to become the Executive Director of the nonprofit EMBRACE. She was awarded the Horizon Award, KS Intervention Specialist of the Year, TASN’s Special Educator Award, University of Kansas Chancellor’s Fellowship, and the Grace M. Phinney Scholarship.

Musgrove, Jeremy

Mr. Musgrove is a Student Development Coordinator and Educational Coach with the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University (NAU) for SIP-C. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Sciences and Modern Languages (Spanish emphasis) from NAU. Mr. Musgrove brings to this role two years of peer mentoring experience in which he promoted self-advocacy and supported veterans transitioning from military service to higher education. Additionally, Mr. Musgrove works as an adaptive snowboard instructor with the Northern Arizona Adaptive Ski Association (NAASA) where he directly supported persons with disabilities by adapting traditional snowboard techniques to enable the student to engage in outdoor recreation.

Noonan, Patricia

Patricia Noonan

Pattie Noonan, Ph.D. is an associate research professor at the University of Kansas where she centers her work on providing and evaluating professional development related to improving education for all students. She holds a firm belief in the capacity of students with and without disabilities to achieve positive post-school outcomes through college and career readiness. Much of her work entails providing schoolwide professional development and coaching to trainers, leadership, instructional coaches, and educators while working in close collaboration with state departments of education. Throughout this process, Dr. Noonan continually improves her interactive, adaptive professional development practices.

Nunez, Ana

Having worked in the field of secondary transition since 2000, Ana has served in a variety of roles. She spent a few years teaching in the classroom, but also has experience as a High School Transition Specialist and as an Employment Specialist supporting direct service provision. She has also been employed by the AZ Rehabilitation Services Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation Program in various capacities; she worked as a Transition VR Counselor, VR Unit Supervisor, and Statewide Transition Coordinator. Currently, Ana is employed by the AZ Department of Education as the Lead Secondary Transition Specialist providing professional development and technical assistance based on best practices for transition planning.

Odell, Nanette

Nanette Odell

Nanette Odell, Ed.D. has over 35 years’ experience in the disability fi eld, including 17 years in Government. As Co-founder of the Arizona ADA Coordinators Coalition, Dr. Odell actively mentors others in the fi eld to help support their efforts towards breaking down physical and attitudinal barriers. She has a unique perspective on how to work towards achieving compliance, accessibility, and inclusion, based on a life of experience living, working, and recreating with individuals with diverse abilities. She is a problem-solver and is known for producing unique and cost-effective solutions to barrier removal and accommodations. Dr. Odell is an out-of-the-box thinker who is both passionate and practical.

Odom, Jane

Jane Odom

Jane is the AAC Language Lab Training & Implementation Specialist for PRC-Saltillo. Jane represents PRC-Saltillo at regional, national and international conferences, and she works regularly with SLPs, OTs, educators and family members to address the needs of people with speech, language and cognitive disabilities. She is responsible for focusing nationally on increasing our knowledge of the education segment and creating innovative approaches to implement PRC and Saltillo devices incorporating a variety of language systems. Jane also runs the AAC Language Lab website and develops all content for the site.
Jane Odom, M. Ed. earned her B.S. and M. Ed. Degrees from Temple University and has over 13 years of teaching experience in the field.

Palm, Erika

Erika Palm has practiced as a Speech-Language Pathologist since 1999 and an Early Interventionist on the Navajo Nation since 2016. Autism is an area of specialty for Erika, and she is currently a PLAY Project Consultant in training. A PhD Candidate in Northern Arizona University’s Interdisciplinary Health Program, her areas of focus are disability and health equity.

Parent-Johnson, Wendy

Wendy Parent-Johnson

Dr. Wendy Parent-Johnson is Executive Director of the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities and Professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine at the University of Arizona. She has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Doctorate Degree in Education with an emphasis on Transition for Individuals with Severe Disabilities, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Parent-Johnson has thirty seven years’ experience in the areas of supported and customized employment, transition from school to work, and Employment First policy and practice.

Plummer, Laura

Laura Plummer

Laura Plummer, MA, CRC, ATP is the Assistive Technology Program Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. In this position she oversees Wistech, Wisconsin’s Assistive Technology Act program, the iCanConnect program, and collaborates with program partners to ensure comprehensive AT programs are available for individuals with disabilities. Her experience includes conducting assistive technology assessments in the areas of hearing loss, vision loss, and communication. She provides technical assistance to stakeholders, connects consumers to programs and resources and conducts trainings on assistive technology at the local, statewide, and national levels. Ms. Plummer has both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Deafness Rehab.

Predebon, Sheri

Sheri Predebon

Sheri Predebon is a licensed Speech-Language-Pathologist who works for Saltillo Corp. as a technologies consultant for Central and Northern Arizona.  With 20 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist and having owned her own private practice for eight years, Sheri has a wide variety of knowledge in her field including evaluation of speech and language abilities, application and implementation of language based and communication activities, vast experience with augmentative and alternative communication and a strong ability to problem solve and find the best possible plan of action for her clients.  Allowing her clients to participate in the planning and creating of their own goals is an area that Sheri feels very strongly about.

Sheri has been an active participant in several programs and research projects involving the implementation of AAC devices and promoting communication in both classroom and personal settings. She has spoken for such venues as ASHA, CSUN, various state conference as well as providing accredited trainings for school districts, private clinics and medical facilities.

Sheri holds a Master of Arts in speech language pathology from Saint Xavier University in Chicago and also has her Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA.

Press, Matthew

Matthew Press

Matthew Press is an occupational therapist and assistive technology practitioner. He has practiced in the field of occupational therapy since 1999 and has focused in assistive technology since 2002, earning his ATP credentials along the way. Matthew regularly presents at state and national conferences. He has taught courses in assistive technology at Adventist University, Northern Arizona University, AT Still University, and the University of Florida. He has served as an Assistive Technology Specialist for the department of education in both Florida and Arizona. He currently works in the Peoria Unified School District as a full-time member of the Assistive Technology team.

Rambeau, Nicole

Nicole Rambeau, MOTR/L is an occupational therapist working in an early intervention setting on the Navajo Nation and specializes in feeding and sensory processing skills in toddlers. Nicole is also a LEND trainee. She is employed through the Institute of Human Development at NAU.

Reed, April

April Reed

April Reed is the Vice President of Advocacy and Designated Legislative Lobbyist at Ability360.  Reed received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. She creates programs that empower individuals with disabilities and their families through advocacy-related workshops, one-on-one mentoring, facilitating wellness groups, providing technical assistance to develop consumer-driven initiatives and developing community partnerships to address barriers to consumer choice, equal rights and self-determination.

Reed supervises several programs including the 65-member peer mentor volunteer team; Benefits 2 Work Program for Social Security beneficiaries working or seeking employment; This is MY Life self-advocacy educational program for individuals receiving services through the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities: the Ability360 Employment Network, the Arizona Education and Empowerment Initiative; and the 360Youth Program.

Reed, Eric

Eric Reed

Eric Reed was born in Lafayette Indiana, a fifth-generation descendent of John Fields, a self-emancipated man who fled slavery at the age of 16. Eric moved to Phoenix in 1985 and is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard. At age 21, Eric became an officer of the Phoenix Police Department, eventually obtaining the rank of Sergeant. After 26 years of dedicated service, Eric retired and pursued work with the Biltmore and Ritz Carlton hotels and, post-9/11, returned to active duty as an officer for the Arizona State Capitol Police and the State of Arizona Tobacco Enforcement Unit where he earned the rank of Lieutenant.

In 1995, Eric became a member of a Buffalo Soldier reenactment group and learned about the rich history of The Buffalo Soldiers and the significant ways The Buffalo Soldiers served their communities while working to advance messages of equality and justice.  Over the course of a 27 year period, Eric has amassed nineteen life size uniform period dress mannequins representing The Buffalo Soldiers; six of which were donated to the Air Museum in Mesa.  He and his wife of 48 years have two children. Eric’s message is, “If you do not know what you have done, you will not know what you can do”.

Rice, Sydney

Sydney A. Rice, MD is the Division Chief, a Professor of Pediatrics,  and the Public Health Director at the University of Arizona LEND Program.  Her specialty and area of focus is pediatrics and children.

Rivas Parker, Karla

Karla Rivas Parker

Karla Rivas Parker works for AzTAP as an Assistive Technology Specialist. She brought 25 years’ experience and a lifelong passion and advocacy work in the field of disabilities.
Karla is the proud recipient of two Fulbright Scholarships which allowed her to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Chico in 1990 and a master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University in the year 2000. Highly credentialed, Karla also earned a second master’s degree (in Education and Vision Studies) from the University of Massachusetts, is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), a Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist (CATIS), and she is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT).

Rivera, Ivan

Ivan Rivera

Ivan L. Rivera is Program Manager for Benefits 2 Work which is funded by Social Security. We provide Work Incentives Planning and Assistance to individuals with disabilities. He has been with Ability360 for over eight five years. Prior to Ability360 Ivan worked as a counselor for The Salvations Army Rehabilitation Center, counseling drug/alcohol dependent individuals and those with mental health issues. Having a disability himself, he understands the need for self-advocacy and the right to live independently. As a Certified Financial Coach, he also educates youth and adults encouraging continuing education, employment, and healthy financial habits that help them to create more financially sound lives for themselves and their families.

Rodriguez, Christopher

Christopher Rodriguez

Christopher Rodriguez is the President & CEO of Ability360. He has an extensive history advocating alongside and on behalf of individuals with disabilities on the local, state, and national levels. Before joining Ability360, Rodriguez served as the Executive Director of Disability Rights Louisiana (DRLA), an organization that aims to empower and advocate for the human and legal rights of people with disabilities. In addition, Rodriguez has held several other positions in the disability advocacy community, including Director of Public Policy for National Disability Institute, Director of Governmental Affairs and Media Relations for the Michigan Protection and Advocacy, and Director of Chapter Services at The Arc of Texas.

Rodriguez received his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his graduate degree in Public Affairs at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. Rodriguez also holds a graduate minor in Disability Studies. Rodriguez’s passion for advocating comes from his experiences as the younger sibling to a person with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Running Bear, Candi

Candi Running Bear

Candi Running Bear is a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum and Instruction program with an emphasis on culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional education students at Northern Arizona University. She has a BS in psychology from Brigham Young University, and an MA in special education from the University of Arizona. She has 12 years of experience as an educator in early childhood special education on the Navajo Nation where she resides.

Sakiestewa, Noreen

Dr. Noreen Sakiestewa is the Director of the Department of Education for the Hopi Tribe.  Programs under her direction include the Higher Education programs which include the (Hopi Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Adult Vocational Training Program, Hopi Tribe Grants & Scholarship Program, Workforce Innovation Opportunity Program); Early Childhood programs (Head Start and Child Care); Library and Computer Laboratory programs; and the Hopi Family Assistance Program, also known as TANF.  In addition, she provides technical assistance to seven (7) schools on Hopi.

Noreen, also known as Qötsaqa’ömana  (White Corn Girl), has served as consultant to the Navajo and Hopi Tribes.  From 1977 to 1995, she worked as a teacher and school administrator on Navajo and Hopi.  From 1998 to 2003, she worked part-time at the Northern Arizona University, Center for Excellence in Education as an Assistant Professor, and faculty liaison working on issues of Indigenous education and special assignments.

In May of 2002, she received her Educational Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.  Noreen looks forward to using her zeal for education and leadership to benefit all children.

Samsel, James

James L. Samsel is a speech/language pathologist working for the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona Universith.

Shoaff, Truman

Truman joined the Navy at 18, where he served for 5 years. After an honorable discharge, Truman returned to his home town of Flagstaff, where he studied and received his bachelor’s degree in Parks & Recreation Management with an emphasis in community and commercial recreation and tourism.

Truman currently sits on the Parks and Recreation advisory committee for NAU.

Truman is a level 2 PSIA certified adaptive ski instructor. And has been serving individuals with disabilities in the outdoors for the past 5 years.

Smith, Sean

Sean Smith

Sean J. Smith, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. He is also the Past-President of the technology division for the Council for Exceptional Children, Innovations in Special Education Technology (ISET), and a member of the Board for the National Down syndrome Congress. Dr. Smith’s research interests focus on innovations and technology solutions to support struggling learners and those with disabilities, particularly interventions aligned with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework. At present, Dr. Smith is the Principal Investigator on a federally funded project exploring the impact of virtual reality on struggling learners in the area of social-emotional development.

Spencer, Adam

Adam Spencer

Adam Spencer has been a global leader in the document accessibility field for over 10 years. He specializes in PDF accessibility, accessibility standards, and document usability by adaptive technology users. Adam is also the Vice-Chair of the Standards Council of Canada, which is responsible for the authoring of the ISO Standards for PDF and PDF accessibility. Adam volunteers on several Accessibility Advisory Committees, and is a speaker at conferences around the world, sharing his experience and expertise.

Stampfel, Danika

Danika Stampfel, M.S., CCC-SLP/L is a practicing speech language pathologist and an evaluator with the Institute for Human Development (IHD) at Northern Arizona University. She has also supported AZ residents with her expertise as a member of the ARSHA AAC Committee.

Stokes, Michele

Michele Stokes

Michele Stokes is the Owner of RBK Consulting Services. She has 30 years of experience providing access and inclusion in government, business, employment, and recreation. She served for six years as Tempe’s ADA Compliance Specialist. She translated the city’s ADA Transition Plan Reports and other documents into Plain Language and other formats.

That is where the idea for RBK Consulting Services, a ‘one-stop accommodation shop’ began. She is a member of the “Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN), and other Plain Language networks. She serves on the board of the Arizona Center for Disability Law and the Arizona ADA Coordinators Coalition. She earned her BS in Journalism/Public Relations & minor in English at ASU.

Thompson, Virginia

Ms. Thompson is the Director of Cross Disabilities and Technology at the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ACBVI). ACBVI provides comprehensive rehabilitation services for the Combined Vision and Hearing Loss (CVHL), DeafBlind (DB), and the Blind/Visually Impaired. Ms. Thompson has been working with the CVHL and DB community in providing a wide range of services including assistive technology evaluation and training for over 10 years. 

Thorne, Michele

Michele Thorne, is the Executive Director of Care 4 the Caregiver.

Tosca, Victoria

Victoria Tosca is a Campus Coordinator and Educational Coach for Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) SIP-C program. Victoria works with students transitioning to college across Northern Arizona and specializes in the Northwest region of the state. Victoria is an NAU Alumni, holding a BA in Psychology and a BA in Spanish, and has a professional background in community behavioral health services and vocational services. Being born and raised in Arizona, Victoria loves the Northern Arizona region and has a passion for fostering connection and inclusion across local communities. She is honored to continue to serve Northern Arizona through the SIP-C project and share her knowledge with others.

Wagoner, Michelle

Michelle Wagoner is a physical therapist, who earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009. She has spent the majority of career focused on pediatrics in the school setting. Michelle regularly provides guest lectures at a variety of universities in AZ. She also coordinates ongoing collaborations with school based Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists throughout the state of AZ to build, share, and grow knowledge for school-based therapists. Michelle was a contributing member to the AZ-TAS: Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy document, which outlines the best practices for school-based therapy. She currently works as the OT/PT Department Lead in the Peoria Unified School District.

Wooten-LaFranier, Laura

Laura Wooten-LaFranier joined the Arizona Department of Education as an Assistive Technology Specialist in 2020. She started her career in education 21 years ago. She first taught as a general education teacher, and later received her master’s degree and certification in special education. After leaving the classroom, she pursued her goal to obtain a certificate in assistive technology and later provided public school services in the East Valley as an Assistive Technology Specialist.

Wright, Mares

Mares Wright was born in Minneapolis MN and is a seven year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. After retiring from 30 years as a Vice President , American Express Credit Card Operations, Mares joined Sun Sounds of Arizona, initially as a volunteer , and then moving on to her current position as Outreach Coordinator.

Mares’ primary duties as Outreach Coordinator include growing the Sun Sounds listener base, going out into the communities to conduct presentations to Assisted and Independent Living Facilities, Senior Centers, Low Vision Support Groups, Memory Care Units, Conventions and Health Fairs.

Mares also conducts Ambassador Training to Sun Sounds Volunteers so they can also represent Sun Sounds in their communities.

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