Virtual Mini 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 30 speakers bring a wealth of experiences and insights to share with participants.
Below is an alphabetical listing of the conference presenters. Click on the plus sign next to the name to for the speaker’s biography.
Lindsay is the Sexual Violence Response Manager with the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.
Gayl Bowser, M.Ed. is an independent consultant who focuses on the creation of effective, legal, and high quality service systems that encourage integration of technology into educational programs for students with disabilities. Formerly the Coordinator of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) and the State of Oregon’s Specialist in Assistive Technology, Gayl currently provides consultation, training, and technical assistance throughout the United States and internationally. Gayl Bowser, M.Ed. is a teacher by training and a founding member of the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology (QIAT) Consortium and serves on the QIAT Leadership Team. Her most recent book, with Penny Reed, is Leading the Way to Excellence in AT Services.
With over 29 years of experience, Mo Buti is a practiced professional in the field of special education providing services and support to those with disabilities and their families. She served as Director of Program Development for Neumann Family Services. Prior to Neumann, she managed autism programs and services for over 6,000 students as Director of Autism and Intellectual Disabilities at Chicago Public Schools. Mo’s additional experience also includes special education teacher, autism itinerant, and special education administrator. Mo Buti possesses a M.Ed-BD, M.Ed-ADMIN, QIDP certification, Director of Special Education degree/certificate from Illinois and her Type 75 Administrator certification.
Wayne Dagel, first generation descendant of the Blackfeet Tribe, has over 20 years of experience in the VR world. Wayne had the opportunity to work as the program director for Northern Cheyenne TVR program. He has experience developing a Community Rehabilitation Provider program from the infrastructure to the implementation of services as an employment specialist assisting individuals with disabilities in obtaining community employment. He has been a technical assistant consultant and trainer for AIVRS programs since 2011, including the current AIVRSTTAC project.
Brenda Del Monte is a speech language pathologist and an assistive technology evaluator and facilitator. She worked as an SLP in Washington State public schools for 7 years. She is currently a private practitioner in Arizona at Advanced Therapy Solutions, where she does home based therapy, as well as AAC evaluations and trainings. Brenda has presented her knowledge at Closing the Gap (2016, 2017), her collaborative research on accessing AAC at ATIA 2019) and a variety of topics at AZTAP over the years. Brenda Del Monte is a co-founder of Believe Beyond Ability, a non-profit organization that evaluates, determines, provides, and trains those with multiple disabilities on assistive technology to increase independence.
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 Southern Arizona. She graduated in 1980 with her BS in Physical Therapy from Daemen College in Amherst NY. Prior to joining 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 worked with students with both low-and high-Incidence disabilities from preschool to post-secondary educational settings.
Elizabeth Freund is a Speech Language Pathologist and an Arizona local. She has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University as well as her Masters in Communication Disorders from Arizona State. She specializes in working with children who use communication devices in the home and clinic settings, as well as providing AAC trainings. Elizabeth is passionate about early access to language and working from a team-based, child-centered approach. She is also currently a board member for Believe Beyond Ability, a non profit helping those with disabilities increase independence through assistive technology.
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, with 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.
White Otter Goggles is a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Pocatello, Idaho Area.
Gina Griffiths serves as the Director of Programs at The Opportunity Tree, a nonprofit providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities for over 55 years. Gina has spent her career working with individuals with special needs whether by being an advocate, volunteer, direct service provider, DDD support coordinator, or non-profit program manager. Gina also serves on the board of Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH); as an officer for the Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities (AAPPD); on the Employment First Core Committee; and on the Sexual Violence Prevention & I/DD Collaborative.
Gina has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Northern Arizona University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. She is the proud mom of three energetic and active boys. She and her husband love to take the kids camping and traveling.
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. 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 coordinates the Technology Pavilion for the annual EdRev Expo in San Francisco, and teaches an online course for UCSC Extension,”Assistive Technology for Learning Differences”.
Dr. Raymond T. Heipp is a 30+ year veteran of administration and classrooms for special needs students. He has designed many support programs for various schools and facilities. And, his expertise in assistive technology has enabled him to create updated approaches when working with students and educators. Dr. Heipp firmly believes that everyone, no matter what their ability, has a voice (or spirit) and deserves a chance to succeed. He suggests that we never doubt their abilities!
Brande Kitzberger is from Tucson, AZ and has been working in education for over 20 years. Bulk of time was spent working in special education and employment. She has worked in high schools as a Life Skills teacher and then as a TSW (Transition from School to Work) Coordinator utilizing hands on practices and employability skills. She worked for Pima JTED as the Project SEARCH instructor at Banner South Hospital collaborating with area high schools and agencies providing job development training and support. She also earned her National Board Teaching and Master Teacher certificates. Wanting to expand her language skills and understanding of diverse cultures, she moved to Panajachel, Guatemala where she worked as a Curriculum Director.
Sam Klein is a Secondary Transition Specialist for the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services. She has worked in the field of transition and disability services since 2013 in both North Dakota and Arizona. She has served in a variety of roles such as Direct Care Worker, Job Coach, Transition Specialist, and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. She obtained her graduate degree in Interdisciplinary Transition Services from George Washington University in 2018. Sam is passionate about bringing creativity and evidence-based practices to professional development and technical assistance on transition planning.
Sean Kugler is the Accessibility Analyst at NAU. Working to ensure that NAU’s digital presence is accessible by individuals with disabilities. Sean has spent over 20 years working in information technology, assistive technology, and education. He has also been public speaking about disability related topics for over 15 years. Sean has worked for the State of Arizona, Flagstaff Unified School District, and NAU during that time. Sean is fortunate enough to have spent most of his adult life in Flagstaff, while being married to highlight of his existence, Gina, for over 20 years. He is very proud of his two children. He enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, hiking, camping, and looking at the deer that visit his backyard.
Jeremy earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Speech and Hearing Science at Arizona State University in 2003. He
completed his Master’s Degree in Clinical Speech-Language Pathology at Northern Arizona University in 2005,
and his Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology in 2013. Prior to joining PRC in November of 2014,
Jeremy was assistant director at FDH in Gilbert, AZ. Jeremy holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in
Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a state
license in Speech-Language Pathology from the State of Arizona, is a member of the Arizona SpeechLanguage-Hearing Association (ArSHA), and is a member of ASHA’s Special Interest Division 12 (AAC Division).
Shawn Malcomson is the Access Support Coordinator for PRC
Jonathan Martinis is the Senior Director for Law and Policy for the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. In 2013, Jonathan represented Margaret “Jenny” Hatch in the “Justice for Jenny” case – the first trial to hold that a person has the right to use Supported Decision-Making (SDM) to make her own life choices instead of being subjected to a permanent, plenary guardianship. Since then, Jonathan has led SDM projects in several states and educated thousands of people with disabilities, families, and professionals across the country about the Right to Make Choices and the benefits of SDM.
Dr. McFadden has more than 20 years of experience working with various nonprofits in the disability field, including as counselor, consultant, educator, researcher, grant writer, lobbyist, marketer, and executive director. Most recently, she served as Senior Policy Analyst at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, where the majority of her research focused on addressing disability policy issues in Arizona, specifically in education and employment. She holds a PhD in Public Administration and Policy from ASU, an MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University, and dual bachelor’s degrees in business administration and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin.
Ramona Medicine Horse is the SBVR Director at Shoshone-Bannock Tribes at Fort Hall, Idaho
Jon Meyers is Executive Director of The Arc of Arizona, a position he has held since 2013. Jon’s background in the non-profit sector spans nearly 30 years and ranges from the arts and education to social services and animal welfare. Prior to joining The Arc he held development and executive positions with, among others, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Arizona State University/ASU Foundation; Thunderbird School of Global Management; and Ronald McDonald House Charities. He began his professional career in the External Relations office at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
Jon is a graduate of Santa Clara University with degrees in Theatre Arts and History. He lives with his wife and three sons in Anthem, Arizona.
Having worked in the field of transition since 2000, Ana Nunez has served in a variety of roles. She spent a few years 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 Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation Program in various capacities; she worked as a Transition VR Counselor, a VR Unit Supervisor, and as the Statewide Transition Coordinator. Currently, Ana is employed by the Arizona Department of Education as a Transition Specialist providing professional development and technical assistance on transition planning and participating with local, state, and national efforts.
Nanette Odell, Ed.D. has worked with individuals with disabilities most of her life and in a professional capacity for over 35 years. This foundation helps her effectively speak to businesses about, not only what is required for ADA compliance and how to achieve this over a period of time, but why it’s so important. This is the fastest growing minority population in the world and accessibility attracts not only people with disabilities but their family and friends, which expands the potential market exponentially. While attending Northern Arizona University, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling. She completed her Doctorate in Adult Education from Nova Southeastern.
Jane is the Director of Implementation Resources for the Prentke Romich Company. Jane represents PRC at
local, regional, and national 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 devices and Unity.
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 of Special Education. She also was the Language Instructor for the ACES
(Augmentative Communication and Empowerment Seminar) at Temple University.
Ivan Rivera is Program Manager for Benefits 2 Work which is funded by Social Security. We provide Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Services (WIPA) to individuals with disabilities. He has been with Ability360 for over five years. Prior to Ability360 Ivan worked as a counselor for The Salvation 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.
Dr. Max Ryser is Tempe’s BEST Program Coordinator. Max has worked with individuals with disabilities who were either deaf/hard-of hearing for over 20 years. He has held positions in vocational rehabilitation, psychiatric rehabilitation, and executive management. Max has held past certification and licensure as a counselor. Max has degrees in psychology, counseling, and health sciences. He has done doctoral research on informed choice among deaf and hard-of-hearing vocational rehabilitation clients. In his personal time, he loves to paint with oils, tinker with computers, and spend time with friends/family.
Originally from N.Y., Marta has been providing individualized Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Services (WIPA) to individuals with disabilities concerned with effects of work activity on Social Security Insurance Benefits, Supplemental Security Income Benefits, Medicaid, and Medicare for over 15 years. She attended The International Institute of Buffalo which earned her certificates in Spanish Interpreting/Theory and Practice and in Spanish Court Interpretation. In addition, she earned a Paralegal Degree from the National Academy for Paralegal Studies.
Michele D. Stokes, ADA Compliance Specialist, has been engaged in facilitating access and inclusion, addressing requests for accommodations to facilitate ADA and 504 compliance for over 30 years in the Valley of the Sun. Profoundly deaf/oral, Michele is always seeking new approaches, technology and strategies to increase inclusion and access for people with disabilities or functional needs. She staffs the city’s Commission on Disability Concerns; liaisons with city departments and the community to resolve disability concerns. She coordinates grants and resources to facilitate pilot projects affecting access. The most recent is a Disability Cultural and Linguistic Competency change to support Tempe’s BEST Program.
Emily Wallace received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Psychology with a minor in Education and her Master of Arts in Teaching, Curriculum and Instruction, from Columbia University Teacher’s College. She is the Curriculum Specialist at Inclusive TLC. Her job includes creating resource guides for teachers providing ideas for how to use AT resources in the classroom, creating shareable activities for educators to use with students, writing blog posts on specific topic areas, and creating newsletters providing ideas for how to use a variety of different AT resources to teach the same topic in differentiated ways. Previous speaking experience includes professional development days and international conferences.
Vanessa Zuber has been the Director of Employment Services for UCP of Southern AZ since 2013. She created and developed an innovative employment services program for youth and adults with disabilities called WorkAbility. Since 2014, Zuber has been on a variety of boards including the Autism Society of Southern Arizona, the University of Arizona’s RSA Advisory Board, and currently the Panel of Professional Advisors for the Autism Society of America and a founding board member of the Arizona Chapter – Association of People Supporting Employment First. Zuber is involved in a variety of local projects that promote independence and self- advocacy. She chairs a Community of Practice on Transition and has a brother with autism.