Session:  "Learning from the Past to Build the Future"

After a 40+ year career in the disability service sector, one could say Sandy Henry has seen it all, from the initial push of deinstitutionalization to use of technology enabling people to live in their own homes, experiencing true community integration and choice. She’ll share the 40 year history of the industry and how many times its felt like we’ve been looking over the cliff with no path forward, and how each time leaders emerged to usher in a new era of progress.

Sandy Henry spent over 40 years supporting vulnerable individuals to live more independently in the community.  In 2007 she was the primary author of a pilot proposal to demonstrate the use of technology in supporting people with various abilities. That pilot lead to the formation of Sengistix, LLC in 2008, a national remote support technology provider.  Retired in 2016, Sandy still works to educate individuals, families, service providers, state and local social service entities on the use and implementation of technology. 


Session:  "Affordable, Practical Smart Home Technologies"

Smart home technologies are becoming increasingly versatile, accessible and affordable, providing new opportunities for functional independence, safety and social support among people with disabilities. This presentation will address consumer-level tools for environmental control, communication, and cognitive assistance, offering case examples and recommendations for practical applications, based on the presenter’s long-standing research and practice in this field.  At the conclusion of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

Knowledgeably discuss off-the-shelf products for home access and environmental control among people with disabilities;

• Compare and contrast competing smart home platforms;

• Consider affordable, practical strategies for implementing smart home solutions for people with disabilities.


Tony Gentry received his B.A. in history and literature from Harvard College, his M.A. in occupational therapy from New York University and his Ph.D. in instructional technology from the University of Virginia. Over the past decade, Dr. Gentry has conducted multiple research studies, with $2 million in funding from the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Disability Rehabilitation and Research (NIDRR), Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Fund, VCU Community Engagement Fund, and others.  These research efforts have won awards or citations from the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) and the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services (DARS), among others.  


Session:  "But What if They Can?"

"But What if They Can?"  is not just about creating opportunities, it's about changing perspectives.  Join me in a conversation that will challenge how you think about "people with disabilities".  We will talk about why words, thoughts, and perceptions have the potential to be bigger barriers than ANY environmental factor. I'll share stories and examples of kids and young adults who are using technology to conquer not only the barriers the world presents but those monstrous barriers of perception. Finally, we will discuss how each of YOU has infinite power to change the world by changing perspective, often by simply posing the question:But what if they can?

Robin Pegg (MEd, COTA/L, ATP) is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional who has dedicated her 20+ year career to promoting the full and equal access of individuals with disabilities. She prides herself on staying on the cutting edge of available tools, strategies and supporting research in the fields of assistive technology, differentiating instruction and Universal Design for Learning. Robin’s dual background in occupational therapy and assistive technology affords her a unique perspective when in pursuit of solutions for access.She holds Bachelor Degree in Administration from Baker College and graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University with a Masters in Special Education - Assistive Technology. Robin has published numerous articles and publications on assistive technology implementation and the fruits of her work were showcased in Chapter 10 of “”From Possibility to Success” by Patrick Schwarz, Ph.D.