2015 AT Conference - Bringing Access to Life

Thank you to all who attended the 2015 AT Conference On Thursday, November 19th and/or Friday, November 20th, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It was another successful conference with nearly 500 persons in attendance and 47 vendors demonstrating new technology.

Thirty-one presentations were held throughout these two days. There were also User Presentations throughout the day given by people who use technology in their everyday lives. If you missed this years' event, you'll see you missed a lot of great information!

Elizabeth M. Dalton Award

Madalaine PuglieseIn 2010, the Rl Assistive Technology Access Partnership (ATAP) established the "Elizabeth M. Dalton Assistive Technology Award" recognizing the contribution of Dr. Dalton over the years to the field of assistive technology and to the establishment of the Rl Statewide assistive technology conference (now ATCNE), TechACCESS of Rhode Island, and ATAP -the Rhode Island TechAct Project. Recipients of this award may be professionals and/or assistive technology users who have had significant impact on the field of AT, or for whom AT has provided the means for them to significantly impact the community and/or the AT field. Nominations for this award are open to the community-at-large.

At this years' welcome breakfast, Dr. Elizabeth Dalton presented the Elizabeth M. Dalton Assistive Technology Award to Madalaine Pugliese. Madalaine is one of the "pioneers" in the field of AT. Her influence has guided assistive technology development since the early 1980's and continues today. Just to list a few of her accomplishments: Former developer and director of the Massachusetts AT Project; Director of Camp Apple for many years; Founder of Adaptive Rehabilitation Technology - a non-profit organization that provided information and resources for families and individuals in need of adaptive technology; and establishment of the Assistive Special Education Technology Graduate program at Simmons College. She continues to work in the field of education and assistive technology as an Apple Distringuished Educator.

Congratulations, Madaleine! Thank you for your wonderful contributions in the field of assistive technology. Rl ATAP, your colleagues, and your friends wish you the very best!

-------------------------------------------------------------Suzanne Arena

Frances C. Dixon Advocacy Award

In2014 TechACCESS established the "Frances C. Dixon Advocacy Award" recognizing an individual or agency that has advocated for the rights of individuals with disabilities. Fran was a beloved employee of TechACCESS where she started as a volunteer and evently became the Assistant Director. As the parent of a daughter with a disability, she fought tirelessly for the rights of people with disabilities. This years recipient is Suzanne Arena. Susanne has been helping other parents with support going to IEP and 504 meetings for the past 10 years. In 2013, she founded Decoding Dyslexia RI, a grassroots movement for parents in 50 states and 4 Canadian provinces. She is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of RI Advocacy for Children. We are please to acknowledge Suzanne for her tireless efforts on behalf of students with learning differences and their families.


Judith Hammerlind-Carlson Spirit Award

James PetroneThis year is the inaugural year for the "Judith Hammerlind-Carlson Spirit Award". This award will be presented annually to a user of Augmentative Communication or Assistive Technology who strives to bring awareness to the role assistive technology can play in improving the lives of people with disabilities and those around them. Twenty-five years ago, Judi began the endeavor to open a non-profit to provide assistive technology services to individuals with disabilities. She was the founder of this conference, and TechACCESS of RI, as well as being a dedicated and talented clinician. Judi is remembered for her wit, her dedication, her compassion and her giving nature. This years award was presented to James Petrone. James is a lifelong user of Augmentative Communications. He was one of Judi's first augmentative communications clients when she began her career as a speech pathologist. The field of AAC, Judi, and Jim grew together over the years, as did Judi and Jim's friendship. As an adult, Jim spends time mentoring developing users of augmentative communication and demonstrating to providers what is possible through assistive technology.

(Pictured: James, Judi's son, daughter, husband)

We are proud to present this award to James in recognition of his spirit, his tenacity, and his achievements. Congratulations James!


The 2015 ATAP Assistive Technology Conference also would like to thank their sponsors of the conference:

Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS)
AAC Institute
Assistive Technology Access Partnership (ATAP)
Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan Program (ATEL)
ATAP Child & Youth Resource Center at East Bay Educational Collaborative
HMEA, Inc.
Ocean State Center for Independent Living (OSCIL)
Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities
Rhode Island Department of Education, Office of Student, Community, and Academic Support (RIDE)
Rhode Island Department of Health, Office of Special Needs
Rhode Island Rehabilitation Association (RIRA)
Rhode Island Relay
The Wolf School

Interpreters Compliments of:
Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS)



Click for Providence, Rhode Island Forecast

This project was supported, in part, by grant #1601RISGAT, from the US Administration for Community Living, Department of Health & Human Services, Washington, DC 20201.
Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
Privacy Practices
Last updated: April 1, 2016