President – Joanne Castellano
Joanne is an Assistive Technology Specialist and the Director of The TECHConnection at Family Resource Associates located in Shrewsbury, NJ. She has 22 years of experience helping individuals with disabilities to find solutions through the use of assistive technology. The TECHConnection is an Alliance For Technology Access center whose mission is to provide a place for people with disabilities, their families and professionals, to learn about assistive technology through hands-on exploration and learning sessions. They also provide direct service to schools K-12, through student evaluations and professional training, in their attempts to use assistive technology in theclassroom, helping their students to level the playing field. Joanneis presently the Recording Secretary for NJCART. She hopes to provide good sources of information and materials to share with others in need of resources and information via the NJCart Newsletter. Joanne’s goal for NJCART is to be a well known entity thatwill help professionals and consumers to understand assistive technology andhow to use the technology to find solutions for the many challenges with learning, working and being independent that people face.
Vice President – Stephanie Talalai
Stephanie is the Technology Coordinator at the A. Harry Moore School in Jersey City. She has worked with students with multiple physical, medical and cognitive disabilities for twenty years in many different capacities. Stephanie worked as a classroom teacher for twelve years with students ages 3-21 with a wide range of learning needs. In 2003, she became the School Technology Coordinator, a job she created herself, and designed and oversaw the construction of the school’s first Assistive Technology Lab. Currently, she is in charge of budgeting, ordering, installing and maintaining the school’s software and hardware. She also performs inventory control, keeps up-to-date on the latest educational and assistive technology trends, conducts workshops and presentations for staff, parents and New Jersey City University students, finds curriculum resources for teachers, troubleshoots school equipment, works with groups of students in the lab, develops and maintains the school’s web site and provides informal assessments for students in assistive technologies. Stephanie is also an adjunct professor for several courses on Assistive Technology at NJCU.
Treasurer – Wendy Thompson
Wendy Thompson, your new Treasurer here. I’m a transplanted southerner with twenty-five years experience in the field of Special Education—twenty-one of which has been as a Demonstration Teacher for the A. Harry Moore School located in Jersey City, NJ. Teaching has been, for me, about the sharing of information. My students have taught me the meaning of perseverance. We can all overcome obstacles that might seem overwhelm-ing with the proper support. When I began teaching at A.H.M., my mentor, Richard Sentipal, instilled in me an apprecia-tion of the possibilities that inclusion of technology and assistive technology can bring to our students’ lives. I love working with kids and technology. Add that to my love of reading, tech and anime, I guess I would identify myself as a proud geek. Over the years, I’ve become known as the “workshop queen.”Professional development has offered me a variety of learning experiences that have helped to shape my ever-evolving skill set. Learning more about what is current in the field of educational technology enables me to bring that information back to share with my peers. Educational technology is forever expanding in possibilities for the advancement of students. Taking my relationship with NJCART to the next level by be-coming the recording secretary will be a step on the path.
Corresponding Secretary – Vanessa Lombardo
[BIO COMING SOON]
Recording Secretary – Patricia Holzman
[BIO COMING SOON!]
Immediate Past President – Tracy Lee
Tracy has greatly benefited from being a member of NJCART since 2000. From 2003-2006, she served as Recording Secretary and from 2007-2010 as the Vice President on the Executive Board. From 2010-2014, Tracy served as President, assisting in the organization of general meetings and the NJCART network within the assistive technology community. Presently, Tracy works as the Coordinator of Assistive Technology at The Gramon Family of Schools. Tracy is licensed as a Speech-Language Pathologist and is certified as an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) as designated by the Rehab Engineering Society of North America. Tracy is an experienced clinician, providing AAC assessment, intervention and training services for toddlers, children and adults with complex communication abilities on an in-house and community basis. She is dedicated to educating and training professionals and caregivers on strategies to facilitate independence through AAC and assistive technology. Tracy can often be found presenting at regional professional conferences on various topics in AAC and AT. Tracy’s vision for the future of NJCART is that the volunteer organization will become a well-known place for AT professional networking and a resource for organizations, teams and families to learn more about state-of-the-art AT tools and strategies, to ensure that all those you may benefit from AT have the opportunity to do so!