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Tech Supports Conference

The Second Annual Tech Supports for Cognition and Learning Conference at Mercy College Encouraged Innovative Thinking

Dobbs Ferry, New York – May 22, 2017—The second annual Tech Supports for Cognition and Learning conference took place at the Mercy College campus in Dobbs Ferry on May 19, 2017.  Arc of Westchester and Mercy College broadened their partnership this year by adding AHRC New York City and the Westchester Library System as event hosts.   The conference is an opportunity to gather together experts in the fields of technology, education and learning, clinical supports and direct service supports to explore the use of technology to support people with disabilities in ways that maximize their independence and overcome cognitive limitations. The outpouring of community interest was evident with the large crowd of professionals, students and families.

Timothy L. Hall, JD, President of Mercy College and Joan Toglia, Dean of Mercy College School of Health and Natural Sciences, welcomed over 150 guests to the full day conference.

The schedule of the day included a list of exciting speakers who presented the most contemporary thinking about the use of technology and the conference explored currently available products that allow supports for people with disabilities to be available with and without personal support.

Guest speakers included Tony Gentry, Ph.D., FAOTA, Associate Professor and Director of Post-Professional Education and Assistive Technology for Cognition Laboratory, Department of Occupational Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He gave a presentation on Supporting Independence & Choice with Smart Home Technologies.

Cathy Bodine, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor, Colorado Construction Industry Endowed Professorship and Executive Director, Assistive Technology Partners, Dept. of Bioengineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Colorado presented via satellite about Research in Workforce Accommodations for People with Cognitive Disabilities. She responded live from Colorado to questions from the audience.

John Rochford, MS, University of Massachusetts Medical Schools Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, Member of the World Wide Web Accessibility Taskforce shared information on Making the Internet Accessible to People with Cognitive Disabilities.

Richard P. Swierat, Executive Director at Arc of Westchester, introduced Joanne Deyo, Vice President of Facilities at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and thanked them for their Platinum Sponsorship. She introduced a brief film during the break.  Other generous event sponsors included HSBC Bank, Flaghouse, Littman Krooks, LLP, New York Presbyterian and The Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. 

Mercy College School of Health and Natural Sciences Dean Toglia said: “This is again another opportunity to gather together experts in the fields of technology, education and learning, clinical supports and direct service supports to explore the use of technology to support people with disabilities in ways that maximize their independence and overcome cognitive limitations.”

The event hosts and other vendors exhibited their innovative and cutting-edge technologies. They included Crick Software, Digital Arts Experience, Enabling Devices, Flaghouse, Identifor, Littman Krooks LLP, Logan Tech, Microsoft, New Frontiers for Learning, New York Presbyterian, Simply Home and Westchester Institute for Human Development.

Jordan Jankus, Coordinator of Person-Centered and Cognitive Supports, Arc of Westchester shared information about The Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities Declaration and encouraged individuals to sign it online.

The afternoon breakout learning sessions included topics relating to Accessibility, Safe Internet Experiences, Virtual Reality, Digital Story Telling, Cyberbullying and much more.        

Arc of Westchester Executive Director Ric Swierat said: “The intent of this conference is to engage and excite a community of thinkers who will continue to build bridges between technology and cognitive supports for people with disabilities. We are thrilled to have another year to expand our reach to families and professionals. .”

The day wrapped up with a presentation from Alice Brouhard, Principal at TechAble LLC, Colorado Assistive Technology Coalition, University School of Medicine. She spoke about Technology for Independent Living.

SEE EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

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About Arc of Westchester

Arc of Westchester is the oldest and largest agency in the county supporting children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Over 800 employees provide more than 2,000 individuals throughout the county with a broad range of innovative and effective programs and services designed to foster independence, productivity and participation in community life.

The mission of Arc of Westchester is to empower children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, to achieve their potential by strengthening families and encouraging personal choices, abilities and interests.

Arc of Westchester is a chapter of NYSARC, Inc. and The Arc.

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