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Tech Supports Conference Press Release

Mercy College and Arc of Westchester Hosted a Packed Crowd at The First Annual Tech Supports for Cognition and Learning Conference

Dobbs Ferry, New York – March 31, 2016-- The first annual Tech Supports for Cognition and Learning conference took place at the Mercy College campus in Dobbs Ferry on March 31, 2016.  The conference was a collaboration between Arc of Westchester and Mercy College.  It was the first conference of its kind that focused on technology solutions for people with disabilities to help with tasks for independence in everyday life. The outpouring of community interest was evident with the larger than expected crowd of professionals, students and families.

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.

The event’s keynote speaker was Sue Swenson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, Office on Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. She engaged the crowd with a discussion about Community and Communication: Making Technology Real.

A live state-of-the-art video conference from Wisconsin took place with Gregg Vanderheiden, Ph.D, University of Wisconsin. He shared new ideas and concepts about building a global inclusive infrastructure.

Mercy College School of Health and Natural Sciences Dead Joan Toglia said: “This is our first 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.”

A panel of technology professionals from some of the largest providers held a discussion about emerging trends. Participants attended a total of 14 break-out sessions that explored topics ranging from using technology for health and wellness to digital storytelling, mobile apps for the workplace and technology for everyday tasks.

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 hope that this conference met these goals.”

The day wrapped up with a presentation from Special Guest Randy Lewis, Author of the Best Selling Book “No Greatness Without Goodness”.

One attendee stated: “This conference is a great stepping stone for technology in the classroom and for home use. I hope this type of dialog and information session continues.”

See event highlights



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’s vision is a world in which children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including, individuals on the autism spectrum, enjoy fulfilled lives and an inspired future     


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



About Mercy College
Founded in 1950, Mercy College is a private, not-for-profit higher education institution that offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five prestigious schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College offers an engaging and personalized learning experience that includes the College’s revolutionary Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. The Mercy College PACT is the first program of its kind and now serves as a nationally recognized model for mentoring. 877-MERCY-GO.

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