Featured Speakers

Thank you to our 2016 Featured Speakers:

Mike Marotta, ATP – AT Specialist; President, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC

mike marottaMike is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional who has been providing direct services to individuals with all disabilities for over 25 years. He runs his own technology consulting firm, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC. As an evaluator, Mike works collaboratively with teams in all environments (school, workplace, and community) to effectively match the individual’s needs to technology supports.

Mike is a nationally and internationally recognized presenter who was previously a trainer for California State University at Northridge (CSUN), providing practical and in-depth training to professionals interested in specializing in assistive technology. In addition, Mike is an adjunct professor at California State University, Northridge, where he teaches a course in the Masters of Assistive Technology Program titled Current and Future Trends in AT, and at Felician College in New Jersey, where he teaches pre-service teachers a course titled Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology. Mike is also a member of the Faculty at the Center on Technology and Disabilities (http://www.ctdinstitute.org/) and presents on an array of topics.


Leslie Edison 2

Leslie Edison, Teacher, Forest Hills Public Schools

Leslie is completing her 22nd year in education this year. She is a 4th grade instructor at Ada Vista Spanish Immersion School in Forest Hills. While she does enjoy teaching all elementary subjects, she especially loves language arts, and became a writing consultant through the National Writing Project. In the past few years, Leslie and her teaching partner Lisa Zuñiga have presented on various topics in classroom technology.


kate fanelli

Kate Fanelli, Math Accessibility Specialist at Michigan’s Integrated Mathematics Initiative

Kate leads, guides, and coordinates efforts primarily in the area of mathematics at a statewide level. She coordinates, develops, and/or implements innovative capacity-building activities focused on increasing accessibility of the curriculum, primarily in the area of mathematics; and builds and maintains a network of educational practitioners around the state prepared to support high quality, accessible math instruction for ALL students.


Heather Gauck photoHeather  Gauck, Resource Elementary Teacher, Grand Rapids Public Schools

Heather has been teaching for over 20 years and still loves to work with students who find school difficult.  She started the first 1:1 iPad Pilot in her district and embraces the immense possibilities technology can provide for the learning process. Heather is a MiEdVoice Fellow, a PBS Innovators Program top 100 teacher, and a TeachStrong Ambassador and participated in the Teach to Lead  Summit, working wiht the Dept. of Education.  She presents extensively across the state as well as nationally, and is an avid collaborator through innovative digital and social media tools.


Kit HardKit Hard photoInstructional Technology and Professional Development Supervisor at Port Huron Schools

Kit has extensive experience in educational technology consultant and Universal Design for Learning. He is also an educational blogger and specializes in classroom technology integration and facilitating professional development.  He has presented at and participated in numerous conferences across the state, calling himself a Universal Design for Learning evangelist.


Susan HardiSue Hardin photon, OTR, MS, is the Assistive Technology Consultant at Macomb Intermediate School District

Susan conducts technology workshops for general and special educators on the topic of assistive technology and Universal Design For Learning at local, statewide and national conferences. Her primary area of interest is the integration of good technology into everyday curriculum to support the learning needs of ALL students. Susan has served on state and national committees related and has presented and published on technology and special education. She is past-president of the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning, MACUL and a UDL-IRN board member.


Ron Houtman REMC8 Kent ISDRon Houtman, Educational Technology Consultant, Kent ISD

For the past 14 years, Ron has worked at the Kent Intermediate School District and Kent Career Technical Center both teaching in the classroom and supporting educator professional development.  He is an adjunct professor in the teacher education programs at Aquinas College and Michigan State University, where he teaches both pre-service and graduate courses.

He has many years experience in helping others understand and use technology to enhance their teaching and learning, and increase classroom engagement.

Ron is also a board member of the Michigan Association for Computer Users in learning (MACUL), a Director of REMC 8 and a Regional Instructional Technology Specialist (RITS). He also served as the Michigan representative and board member of the National Association of Media and Technical  Centers (NAMTC)


Karrie Martin photoKarrie Martin, Teacher, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools

Karrie has 17 years of experience as an elementary teacher in Walled Lake.  She was named the Walled Lake School District’s Elementary Teacher of the Year and has represented Walled Lake as a member of the 2013-2015 Galileo Leadership Consortium.  She actively works with other educators using educational technology and social media to teach and inspire.


Melanie McFadden photoMelanie McFadden, Elementary Teacher, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools

Melanie has over 20 years of experience as an elementary teacher in Walled Lake.  She has been a leader in Walled Lake to build and celebrate effective teaching and has represented the district as a member of the Galileo Leadership Consortium and leading Twitter Chats.  She actively presents locally and across the state, teaching and encouraging other educators.


Robin PeggRobin Pegg, Assistive Technology Consultant, Eaton RESA

Robin is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional who has dedicated her 20 year career to promoting the full and equal access of individuals with disabilities. She prides herself on staying on the cutting edge of available tools, strategies and supporting research in the fields of assistive technology, differentiating instruction and Universal Design for Learning.  Robin’s dual background in occupational therapy and assistive technology affords her a unique perspective when in pursuit of solutions for access.


Peter Schaafsma Photo 3Peter Schaafsma, Assistive Technology Consultant, Wexford-Missaukee ISD

Peter has worked as an assistive technology specialist for area school districts as well as an AT consultant for MITS/Alt+Shift.  He has supported educators and students both in the classroom as well as through professional development across the state, and beyond!


Laura Taylaura Taylor Photolor, Technology Integration Specialist with Alt+Shift

Laura’s work with MITS (now Alt+Shift) and previously as an early childhood special educator,  has provided her extensive experience in the areas of educational technology, assistive technology, early childhood supports and communication supports for students with disabilities.  She assists and teaches educators across the state, as well as nationally about AT decision-making and implementation, AAC and supported communication, Early Childhood solutions, among other topics.


Dave TDave Tchozewski, Director of Information Technology, Jenison

Dave has worked in education for over 20 years, teaching high school math, working in Career Education and as Director of Information Technology.  He was selected as a Discovery Educator Network Guru, Educator’s Voice Honoree:  School Technologist of the Year, and a participant in the 2011 Apple Academy. He is a technologically driven educator who is inspired and energized by innovative, forward-thinking, technology using educators.


 gayle Underwood PhotoGayle Underwood, Technology Integration Consultant for the Allegan Area Education Service Agency

Gayle has over 21 years of experience in Education, with a focus on helping students and staff to use more technology in their classroom. She has previously worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist with students who have Severe and Multiple Impairments, and as an Assistive Technology Coordinator with students who have special needs. Gayle has consulted in schools all over Michigan and around the world including Kuwait where she worked with the school staff to help implement AT with their students.


Lisa Zuniga 2

Lisa Zuñiga, Teacher, Forest Hills Public Schools

Lisa has completed her twelfth year of teaching at Ada Vista Spanish Immersion School in Forest Hills. She truly loves teaching the fourth grade and seeing how she can integrate technology and hands-on learning into her classroom. Lisa and her teaching partner, Leslie Edison, have presented at MACUL, miGoogle, Learning on the Lakeshore and MABE on various technology topics both together and individually.


We are also excited to bring these additional presenters to AssisTechKnow 2016 for 60 minute and 90 minute Ready To Implement Sessions:

Joel Allchin, Speech and Language Pathologist & Product Specialist, Tobii Dynavox
Mary Kay Anderson, Assistive Technology Consultant, Grand Rapids Public Schools
Rosanne Burden, Assistive Technology Specialist, Berrien Springs RESA
Liesha Crawford, Special Education Teacher, Grand Rapids Public Schools
Jayne Culbertson, Product Specialist, Timocco Inc.
Janett Gonzalez Anaya – Student and Eye Gaze AAC User
Maria Jimenez, Coordinator of Services for the Visually Impaired, Kent ISD
Ken Grisham, President & CEO, Premier Literacy
Kellison Kohler, Special Education Teacher, Jackson ISD
Rachael Langley, AAC Specialist, Eaton RESA
Ashlie O’Connor, Instructional Technology and Data Specialist, Alpena Montmorency Alcona ESD
Ann Post, Special Education  Teacher, Grand Rapids Public Schools
Mark Raffler, Educational Consultant, Kent ISD
Kindy Segovia, Assistive Technology Supervisor, Kent ISD
Sarah Stargardt, Teacher Consultant for the Visually Impaired, Oakland Schools
Craig Steenstra, Education Technology Consultant, Kent ISD
Andrew Steinman, Educational Technology Consultant, Kent ISD
Julia VanderMolen, Assistant Professor, Grand Valley State University