Assistive Technology Expo 2014 Speaker Bios
LeAnne Alewine is a Level III speech-language pathologist in the Outpatient Brain Injury and Young Stroke Program at Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Center-Downtown. She has 14 years of clinical experience in the areas of pediatric and adult outpatient rehabilitation. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is trained as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS). She obtained her B.A. in English from Furman University and her M.A. in Communication Disorders from the University of Tennessee. Her current duties include assessment and treatment of patients with brain injury, program development, and team training.
Mark Armstrong has many years of experience as a public educator, blind rehabilitation specialist with expertise in vision rehabilitation and adaptive technology. Deborah Lovell has over 25 years of experience in the field of vocational and blind rehabilitation. She is a Certified VRT and has led groups.
Dot Colson suffered a T-12 spinal cord injury in 2003 but hasn’t let that slow her down. She has been snorkeling, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, kayaking, boating and has played wheelchair tennis since her accident. She currently works out at the YMCA and participates in yoga and wheelchair aerobics. Dot works part-time as a Project Manager for Denny’s Corporate Headquarters. She formed a peer support group for people with spinal cord injury in Spartanburg and is currently the leader of the Spartanburg Breeze Group. She is the treasurer and board member for the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association and is the past Chair for the Spartanburg Mayors Committee for People with Disabilities. She is also a Peer Mentor for the Christopher Reeves Foundation.
Mark Daniels has worked in the field of Assistive Technology as a dedicated Assistive Technology Specialist for approximately 10 years. He served as a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor for 12 years with a specialized caseload made up of individuals with TBI, SCI, and other orthopedic impairments. He has worked with both student and adult populations. He has years of experience with classroom observations/consultations for AT use, and building AT teams across district lines.
Michelle L.W. Dawson, MS CCC-SLP, works with JumpStart Pediatrics. She specializes in pediatric feeding disorders and speech/language acquisition with the medically fragile population. She earned her BS in Speech Language Pathology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and her MS in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.
As Chair of the SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee, Mark has had eight years experience with web and IT accessibility issues within our state. He has been involved in video production for seventeen years and directly involved in video captioning for twelve years. He is employed by the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department.
Val Gioia is an AT Specialist and Autism Consultant for the SC Department of Education. She helps school districts develop AT teams and build capacity. She presents throughout the state on various technologies that can improve student performance in all academic areas. She received her Bachelors in Elementary Education and Special Education and has graduate degrees in Education Technology and Administration. She attended CSUN and obtained her certification (ATACP) in AT. She is also a member of Microsoft Partners in Learning and a Certified Microsoft Instructor.
Catherine Leigh Graham has worked in the rehabilitation and AT field for 20 years. She is the Executive Director of the SC Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund as well as a consultant rehabilitation engineer for the USC Arnold School of Public Health working to improve the health and prevent secondary conditions for people with disabilities. She continues to work with the SCATP on AT reutilization.
Preston Clay Hadden, MS CCC-SLP received his Masters in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently works at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center and specializes in working with children with autism spectrum disorders.
Kathleen Heiss is an AT Specialist for the SC Department of Education. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Ball State University, an M.S. in Educational Administration/Director of Exceptional Needs from Purdue University, and an M.S. in Instructional Technology from Purdue University. She is also a certified AT Professional (ATP) through the Rehabilitation Engineering and AT Society of North America (RESNA).
Alex Jackson was born in Charleston, SC. He was injured in a motor vehicle accident when he was nine months old, when he acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. At 26 years old, he doesn't let his disability deter him from achieving goals and enjoying my life. A graduate student at the College of Charleston, his undergraduate degree is in broadcast journalism. Alex writes a blog, Tuesday Talk with Alex.
Mr. Jeffcoat serves as the Access Technology and Project Magnify Coordinator in the South Carolina School for the deaf and the Blind Vision Outreach Program. He provides consultation and direct instruction to students, teachers and professionals in the use of Access Technology statewide. Mr. Jeffcoat currently consults with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind Braille Production Center located at Leath Correctional Facility in Greenwood where he provides training and technical assistance with the sophisticated equipment used to produce Braille. He has taught Access Technology for Teachers of the Visually Impaired for the University of South Carolina Upstate.
As Coordinator of Project Magnify, Mr. Jeffcoat is responsible for scheduling low vision exams through MUSC as well as the ordering and distribution of prescribed low vision devices. He also schedules certified Low Vision Therapists to work with students in the proper care and use of their prescribed devices. Evaluations of reading rates using large print at the beginning of the year and evaluations using regular print and the student slow vision devices at the end of the year are conducted to assess the improvement of reading accuracy, comprehension and reading rate.
Mr. Jeffcoat also has participated in the Web Tester Pilot program through the SC Assistive Technology Project. He is a graduate of USC with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA. He is a member of the Computer Science and Technology Division of the National Federation of the Blind of SC as well as chairs the Talking Book Services Advisory Council for the South Carolina State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. In his spare time, Mr. Jeffcoat enjoys antique radio restoration and spending time with his family.
Janet Jendron has been with SCATP for twenty years, where she manages the AT reuse program, administers the web page and three listservs. She is also Chair of the Web Accessibility Committee for the SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC), for which she administers the SC Web Testers Program, training and supervising assistive technology users in evaluating web sites for accessibility and disability, and reporting to state agencies. She has written articles and directed and wrote the CD ROM “SC Curriculum Access through Assistive Technology.”
She presents on equipment reuse, AT, systems change, web and IT accessibility on the national, regional and state level. She has thirty-five years of administrative experience with local, national and international non-profits.
Mike Leonard is a System Engineer at EMC Corporation designing and implementing cloud storage for internet service providers and large corporations. He is completing his M.Ed. degree in Educational Technology at the University of South Carolina specializing in assistive technologies. He runs a non-profit organization that provides small libraries of Spanish children's books to isolated communities in Central America.
Cali McLeod is 17 and is a tenth grader at Blythewood High School in Blythewood, SC. Her favorite subject is math. Medical issues at birth led to delayed expressive language skills. Cali has had traditional speech, tried learning sign language, and has used different types of augmentative speech devices. She began speaking at age 8, but is only understood by a few familiar listeners. Cali also uses an iPod with a speech to text communication app to communicate. When she graduates from high school, she wants to be employed as a child care worker. Alexis is Cali's mother.
Barbara Oswald has worked extensively with schools, school districts, and the SC Department of Education on developing effective Adaptive Physical Education programs in an inclusive setting, with sport development used as a strategy for developing fine and gross motor schools while successfully engaging children with intellectual disabilities in healthier, active lifestyles.
Carol Page is the Program Director of the SCATP, USC School of Medicine, Center for Disability Resources, Department of Pediatrics. She supervises and mentors students from speech-language pathology masters and undergraduate programs who perform tasks of the device loan and demonstration programs and provides trainings at a local, state and national level on AT. Dr. Page received her PhD degree in speech-language pathology from the University of SC and her AT practitioner certificate from the Rehabilitation Engineering and AT Society of North America (RESNA).
Hannah is an 11-year-old student at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts. Her favorite subjects are ELA, science and social studies. Hannah enjoys baking and spending time with her friends. Hannah was born with cerebral palsy and is nonverbal. She has had traditional speech therapy, low tech boards, and used an electronic Vantage Lite. She currently uses a Tobii C-12 Eye Tracking AAC device to communicate. Stephanie is Hannah's mother.
Madalina Tudora is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional and Special Education Teacher, currently serving as a member of the Lancaster County School District Assistive Technology Team. She conducts assistive technology trainings at the district level, and speaks at various conferences with a focus on technology. Her undergraduate degree is in Exceptional Education, and her graduate degree is in Psychology. For over 10 years, she worked with students with various types of disabilities (intellectual disability, autism, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, speech impairment, orthopedic impairment, etc.), with an emphasis on assessing, generating solutions, delivering, monitoring progress and documenting assistive technology services as an integral part of the educational process.
Todd Turansky has over 30 years of experience in the field of blind rehabilitation as an instructor in Orientation & Mobility, Low Vision, program management, consultant, mentor and preceptor.
Michael and Shelly have a combined 43+ years of experience in leading teams. They both helped to create a non-profit organization in North Myrtle Beach for people with physical disabilities and visual impairments. The vision behind their organization (Coastal Carolina Adaptive Sports & Recreation) is to connect people with disabilities with sports in an effort to enhance their quality of life physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. Together, they have helped to raise thousands of dollars to help other non-profit organizations important to their lives, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As a team, they completed a 300 mile bike ride in 3 days for MAW Michigan. Shelly has also been heavily involved with Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise money for people dealing with blood-borne cancers. She has completed multiple marathons, half-marathons and other races as a participant, mentor and coach. Michael has overcome many obstacles and challenges in his life, most significantly a C-5 spinal cord injury he suffered in 1995 from a car accident. He also was diagnosed with Epilepsy in high school and has worked at adapting his life to overcome these challenges with sport, fitness and nutrition. They currently run their own business in the health and wellness industry as Network Marketing Professionals with MonaVie.
Kevin Williams is a dynamic speaker with Cerebral Palsy who has been using AAC for over 30 years. He currently uses a Prentke Romich communication device. As an Ohio transplant living in Charlotte, NC, most of his time is dedicated to developing websites and promoting a healthy lifestyle for people with disabilities through physical activity and self-advocacy
Sponsored by the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program at the USC School of Medicine Center for Disability Resources, the SC Developmental Disabilities Council, and the SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee, Division of State Information Technology (DSIT), AbleSC, and the SC Budget and Control Board