Assistive Technology News at MBAEA
The Mississippi Bend AEA (MBAEA) has recently experienced a change in Assistive Technology (AT) supports. Due to the retirements of Cindy Cavanagh (2018) and Teresa Wyant (2017), a long term vision of an interdisciplinary group of AT service providers was realized. These retirements had the potential to leave a significant void in the agency’s ability to provide AT expertise to the MBAEA staff and district employees. MBAEA Administration was able to realign the following employees for 1-2 days per week to form the new MBAEA Assistive Technology Department: Deb Meyne (Educational Consultant), Carrie Paulsen (OT), Abbie Keibler (SLP), Caroline Much (SLP), Jeanna Kakavas (SLP), Lindsay Smith (SLP), and Sue Wiley (SLP). Deb’s expertise is in High Incidence Needs (HIN) and Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) for AT including reading, writing, math and organization. Carrie’s expertise is in Accessibility (ACS) which includes switch access and mounting for AT. Abbie, Caroline, Jeanna, Lindsay, and Sue have expertise in Augementative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
The MBAEA has been able to send at least one team member to several well-respected conferences this fiscal year: Closing the Gap, #Talking AAC, ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) Conference, AAC in the Desert, and Central Rivers AT Conference. As the team continues to gain expertise in their respective areas, they also continue to build the Assistive Technology Loan Library (ATLL), build capacity for increased AT knowledge for district members and AEA staff, and provide consultative services to those who need their expertise. For more information, please visit the AT Department website: http://bit.ly/mbaeaatdept