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ATAC of DRNJ AT Summit 2018

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The Conference Center At Mercer

1200 Old Trenton Road

West Windsor Township, NJ 08550

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Join consumers and professionals for a day of learning and sharing about all areas of Assistive Technology. Last year's event was attended by over 175 individuals and featured over 25 concurrent sessions focused on all areas of Assistive Technology. This year's event will be even bigger and better!



Accepted Sessions Include:

Communication: Key to Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Amy Goldman, AT3 Center

The United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC)

Disaster Relief Committee (DRC), initially formed in response to Katrina, was re-activated to address the needs of AAC users of all ages affected by hurricanes, floods, and fires in 2017. USSAAC’s DRC noted issues experienced by survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma who use AAC. Stories “from the trenches” will illustrate barriers and potential solutions as well as action steps and resources.


Considering Assistive Technology Within the Student’s IEP An Introduction to the entire process

Norman Rothstein, Advancing Opportunities

Vanessa Lombardo, Advancing Opportunities

Navigating Assistive Technology solutions in order to obtain devices and services for your student can be quite a challenge. How do I obtain the best devices and support services for my students? How can I recommend supports for students if I don’t know what kind of devices/solutions are available? This presentation will provide an overview of the content areas of Assistive Technology and will also discuss how to navigate the process to receive Assistive Technology solutions that best meet your students’ needs. We will discuss the differences between available service options based on each student’s future plans. Participants will leave with a guide for state services along with a tool for categorizing and considering assistive technology.


Language for a Lifetime: An Introduction to PRC

Kirk Behnke, Prentke Romich Company

Come learn about the Prentke Romich (PRC) line of augmentative and alternative communication devices has to offer, including access methods such as eye gaze and head tracking, as well as various language software options. Resources on product training and implementation will be reviewed.


AAC: Understanding Core Vocabulary, Aided Language Instruction and LAMP

Catherine Fredericks, Wayne Board of Education

Participants will learn about the importance of using Core Vocabulary within an AAC system, how to provide Aided Language Instruction, and the Language Acquisition through Motor Planning Approach (LAMP). Photos and Videos will be shown to illustrate use of AAC within a public school setting.


Accessible Tools & Strategies in Office 365

Brian Friedlander, AssistiveTek, LLC

Learn about new accessibility tools that Microsoft has developed in Office 365. Learn about speech recognition, word prediction, and text to speech support that's built into Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote .


More Than Words: Comprehensive AAC Treatment Plans

Tracy Lee, Gramon Family of Schools

Michele Gunnello, Gramon Family of Schools

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems provide any avenue for individuals with speech and language difficulties to communicate in a variety of ways. The field of AAC has significantly evolved in recent years. Accordingly, the definition of communicative competence has also been updated. This session will address research-based examples of the range of skills to become an effective communicator using AAC.


Assistive Technology Provision

Laurie Schaller, National Disability Institute

Paulette Knarr, NJ Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Amy Taklif, Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund

Learn how 3 distinct programs are working to meet the need for assistive technology by helping people to complete their educations, work, reduce expenses, remain in their communities and accesses affordable lending as an alternative to predatory lending.


Using Amazon Alexa in the Classroom and in the Home to Support All Learners

Brian Friedlander, AssistiveTek, LLC

Adam Krass, Adam Krass Consulting, LLC

In this session you will learn how Amazon Alexa is being used to support students in the classroom as well as in their homes. Come to this session and learn how individuals are using Amazon Alexa for learning as well as for environmental control. In this fast paced session we will show you how students are using Amazon Alexa in the classroom, as well as using this device at home for leisure, recreation and learning. Find out about all the tips and tricks to use Amazon Alexa to support students.


AAC and Telecommunication: Going Mobile!

Kathryn Helland, Temple PIAT Tech Owls

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can be used for face to face communication, but what about distance communication? Did you know that AAC can also be used to send emails, texts, and to post to social media? This has important implications for the independence of people with disabilities.


Increasing Independence & Academic Success: Apps for Middle School & Beyond

Ellen Farr, The College of New Jersey

The goal of this presentation is to help teachers, parents, disability support personnel, youth with disabilities, and consumers find and use assistive technology tools that will move people with disabilities closer to their goals of independence, inclusion, and participation in all aspects of life.


Emergency Preparedness Considerations for AT Professionals

Jamie Prioli, Ocean County College

Individuals with disabilities and professionals can take steps now to help prepare for an emergency and cope if an emergency, such as a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or disease outbreaks happens. It is important for everyone to realize there are special considerations before, during and after an emergency. This session will discuss resources and tools to effectively prepare for and respond to an emergency.


Project TechVet: Technology Solutions for Ocean County Veterans and Service Members

Jamie Prioli, Ocean County College

Gina Zippo-Mazur, Ocean County College

Ocean County College’s "Project TechVet" assists New Jersey student-veterans with a disability, as well as non-student veterans with a disability, their families and caregivers through demonstration of assistive technology devices and services available to enhance independence and productivity in the community, education and employment. This session will provide an overview of grant funded activities which are supported by ATAC/DRNJ.


Living and Aging-In-Place: Can your Home Handle It?

Garth Heid, Advancing Opportunities

Mike Lozinski, Advancing Opportunities

Come learn about supports available to children and adults with developmental disabilities and their caregivers to help them be independent and safe in the home. This includes everything from home accessibility (ramps, bathroom modifications, lifts), to aids for daily living, and Smart Home Technology. Funding will also be discussed.


AT Tools for Transition: Helping Students Be Prepared for the Next Step

Kristen Russell, Advancing Opportunities

Jason Resnick, Advancing Opportunities

This session will provide an overview of AT tools that are relevant for students transitioning from high school to college/vocational training. AT tools to increase independence and success in reading, writing, note taking, and daily living will be shared. Case studies and videos will help attendees get a real-life picture of how these tools can be used by students.


Parent and Educator Collaboration in Assistive Technology Considerations

Nicole Pratt, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)

Parents are valuable allies that provide important information to school staff about their child. This presentation will share evidence-based, adaptive approaches to more effectively engage parents and professionals in collaborative activities regarding Assistive Technology considerations.


Hearing Loss Technology and Communication Accessibility in the Healthcare Setting

Sally Wood, Audio Directions

Daniela Bardesio, Easterseals NJ

This presentation will highlight the Assistive Technology resources and products available through Audio Directions, to meet the needs of individuals with Hearing Loss in the healthcare field. Get in the "loop" of what's available to make your experience in any healthcare setting a better one!


A Voice Recognition Odyssey: a 9-year Journey to Success

Eddy Ehrlich, Helen Hayes Hospital CRT

J is a 44-year-old man who had a traumatic brain injury when he was 20 years old. J always wanted to be a writer, but was now stymied by slow typing speed and dysarthric speech. I first evaluated J in 2009 and noted that "voice recognition accuracy was 25% at best". Dogged determination, speech therapy, and improvements in technology have now made recognition accuracy of 96% a reality. One of the breakthrough moments was when the voice recognition software understood J better than I did.

This presentation will review J's progress from an unsuccessful and frustrated user of voice recognition software to an optimistic man hoping to finally achieve a long-term goal.


Utilizing the Google Apps and Tools for Community Based Instruction and Data Collection for Students with Disabilities

Lindsey Releford, Spectrum360: Academy360 Upper School

This presentation will take the audience step-by-step to move from the obvious paper-based and clip-board based data collection methods for Community Based Instruction for students with special needs, to discreet and digitally based Community Based Instruction Data Collection Methods utilizing the Google Apps and Tools via Smartphone and Tablets. This will include Google Forms and Google "My Maps".


Pi for Everybody: An AT+Edu Partnership

Mike Marotta, Assistive Technology Advocacy Center, Disability Rights New Jersey

Keri Hennessy-Wilson, Asbury Park School District

Come learn how the New Jersey AT Act Project partnered with local school districts to create Raspberry Pi Assistive Technology solutions in order to increase independence for residents across NJ. Staff also collaborated to raise awareness in local schools about people with disabilities and the power of AT.


Brain Computer Interface Controlling AAC software

David Goldberg, The National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies at the Wadsworth Center, Albany, NY - A division of the NYSDOH – NY State Department of Health

Certain combinations of severe communication and eye disorders may preclude people from using eye gaze to access AAC and computer functions. BCI - Brain Computer Interface, may be an option. We examine the use of surface electrodes placed upon the scalp to accomplish this, a system developed through the Wadsworth Center, part of the NYS Dept of Health.



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The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) of DRNJ is a comprehensive statewide program of technology related assistance designed to increase access to assistive technology for people with disabilities of all ages.

Disability Rights New Jersey or DRNJ is a private, non-profit, consumer-driven organization designated as New Jersey’s protection and advocacy system for individuals with disabilities established to:

  • Advocate for and protect the human, civil and legal rights of citizens of NJ with disabilities.

  • Promote public awareness and acceptance of persons with disabilities as equally entitled members of society.

  • Advise and assist persons with disabilities, family members, attorneys and guardians in obtaining and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Provide education, training and technical assistance to persons with disabilities, the agencies that serve them, attorneys, professional persons, courts and others regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities.

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Date and Time

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The Conference Center At Mercer

1200 Old Trenton Road

West Windsor Township, NJ 08550

View Map

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