President – Wendy Thompson
Wendy Thompson, Ed.D, a special education teacher, has worked with students with complex needs for thirty years. The past twenty-five years as a demonstration teacher for the A.Harry Moore School of New Jersey City University located in Jersey City, New Jersey. With experience as an early interventionist, camp counselor, and an adjunct instructor, Wendy has worked with individuals with disabilities over the life span. Combining her interest in technology and her skill set as an educator, Wendy earned her doctorate in Educational Technology Leadership. A wish to learn more about assistive technology through professional development while increasing her personal professional learning community led Wendy to her first NJCART meeting. Through the years, Wendy has gained a perspective on the interwoven layers of the need for product, information, and delivery that encompass the ever changing landscape of the supportive goals surrounding assistive and educational technologies through her connection to NJCART. Now, having served on the NJCART board as Recording Secretary, and Treasurer, Wendy is taking on the role of President.
Immediate Past President – Joanne Castellano
Joanne Castellano is an Assistive Technology Specialist and the Director of The TECHConnection at Family Resource Associates with sites in Red Bank and Brick, NJ. She has 29 years of experience helping individuals with disabilities to find solutions through the use of assistive technology. The TECHConnection is a program of Family Resource Associates (FRA) 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 in our free demonstration center.
Joanne’s role in NJCART started many years ago beginning with her position as Corresponding Secretary, Vice President and then President. Joanne’s goal for NJCART is to be a well-known entity that will help professionals and consumers to understand assistive technology and how to use the technology to find solutions for the many challenges with learning, working and being independent that people face.
Vice President – Patricia Holzman
Patricia has been an educator at the A. Harry Moore School in Jersey City for over 30 years. She recognized early in her career the impact technology can have on the educational and social journey of her students. Patricia has been an advocate of finding the best AT devices for her students with low-incidence disabilities. Being a life-long learner, Patricia has received a doctorate in Educational Technology Leadership completing a dissertation on the delivery of AT to students with ASD in postsecondary education. Patricia previously served as the Recording Secretary and is currently serving as the Vice President on the NJCART Board of Directors.
Corresponding Secretary – Catherine Fredericks
Catherine is passionate about inspiring others about the importance of AAC and AT. She is a Speech/Language Pathologist specializing in AAC implementation, with 40+ years experience (School based and Private Practice) helping individuals with complex communication needs develop/expand communication skills. Catherine is certified as an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) by the Rehab Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), and as an Autism Specialist by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. She is also credentialed as a LAMP Certified Professional by the Center for AAC and Autism. Employed as an SLP in the Wayne school district, Catherine provides workshops and training to families and staff. She presents at various professional conferences, including NJSHA, AT Summit, NJECC and William Paterson University. Catherine serves as the Recording Secretary on the NJCART Board of Directors.
Treasurer – Julie Johnston of CPNJ
Julie is an occupational therapist and assistive technology specialist at Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey. She has 17 years of experience working with individuals with multiple disabilities. Julie is a member of ATLAS (Assistive Technology for Living and Advancing Skills) providing AT assessments and training for individuals of all ages with complex needs. In addition, Julie is a treating therapist at CPNJ’s Horizon High School where she supports students use of technology, providing training and consultation for staff and families and is always researching the latest cool tools and strategies to best support those with complex needs.
Webmaster – Vanessa Lombardo
Vanessa is the Director of the Assistive Technology Department of Advancing Opportunities. In her current role she leads a group of AT and AAC Specialist who provide Assistive and Augmentative Technology to consumers throughout the state of New Jersey. She is trained as a Special Education teacher and has worked in the classroom, as well as in the role of outside consultant. She has worked with students and adults with a variety of disabilities. She is passionate about Assistive Technology and bringing it to those who need it most. She holds a Masters Degree in Special Education, as well as an Assistive Technology Practitioner Certification through RESNA. Vanessa’s goal is to support NJ CART to continue to be a resource for AT/AAC professionals in New Jersey to promote life long learning.