Breakout Sessions

Featuring Bridget Gilormini:  

Biography:  Bridget Gilormini, MST-SLP and Assistive Technology Specialist, is Director of PACER’s Simon Technology Center.  She has an extensive background working with children with communication disorders, and currently provides assistance to families and professionals through a wide variety of local and national outreach efforts. Her professional interests and specialty areas include early childhood, language, literacy, visual supports, and iOS technology. Bridget has a Master of Science in Teaching – Communication Disorders from the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

Session:  New Technologies, New Opportunities: The Changing World of Assistive Technology

Today’s assistive technologies (AT) include a diverse range of products never before seen in the field. This presentation will discuss a variety of timely technology trends that are shaking up the assistive technology field and creating newfound possibilities for individuals with any disability. Presentation will include topics such as wearable technology, 3D printing, and robotics and telepresence.

Featuring Luis Perez: 

Biography:  After being diagnosed with a visual disability as an adult, Luis Perez faced an uncertain future: how was he going to provide for his family, what would happen to his career? Fortunately, his diagnosis came at around the same time that accessibility features were becoming standard on devices such as the Mac and iPhone. In this talk, Luis (who believes that this is “the best time in history to be blind”) will discuss the journey from his initial diagnosis to his transition into a new career as an inclusive learning and digital accessibility consultant who travels the world speaking to K-20 educators about the power of technology as a tool for inclusion and empowerment. Along the way, he will showcase some of the latest accessibility supports and apps available for iOS devices, and how these supports have allowed him to pursue not only his graduate education and career but also his hobby as a visually impaired photographer.

Session:  Empowering Technology: The Inclusive Design of iOS Devices:


With the iOS software for its mobile devices, Apple provides a number of built-in accessibility features that allow people with a wide range of needs to access and enjoy their iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices. These built-in features mean that someone with a disability can use his or her device out of the box, without the need to purchase or install any additional software. In this session, you will learn about the latest accessibility features included in iOS 10, the most recent version of Apple's iOS software. These features include a built-in screen reader that can read the content in emails, ebooks and websites aloud to someone who is unable to see the screen, Zoom and Magnifier for those with low vision, closed captioning support for those with hearing difficulties, text to speech for individuals with dyslexia and other print disabilities, built-in switch access for those who rely on external adaptive devices, and more. This will be a hands-on session, and you are encouraged to bring your own iPad or iPhone to follow along as the presenter demonstrates each feature. A number of free or low cost apps will also be shown in order to help participants build a comprehensive toolkit for access and inclusion with mobile devices. 

Featuring Jackie Tijerina and Mary Held:

Biography:  Jackie Tijerina, M.Ed., has over 30 years of experience in the disability field with her primary focus on employment for adults and transition services for students.  Currently working as a Project Manager at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Center on Community Living and Careers, she develops online trainings for employment specialists, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and other professionals in the field.  Jackie is also the statewide coordinator for Indiana Projects SEARCH, a transition program for school age youth.  She has presented on various topics both locally and nationally but is known for her focus on using a person directed approach in creating a life plan for people with disabilities. 

Biography:  Mary Held, Ph.D., is currently a Program Manager at the Center on Community Living and Careers, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University Bloomington.  Mary’s interests include transition, self-determination, curriculum development, and professional development.  Her current responsibilities include research, training, technical assistance around education and training for professionals and staff working in schools and adult services.  Mary has had over 30 years of experience in the disability field working in a variety of capacities – form a high school special educator, to a supported employment provider to a service coordinator.  She has shared her expertise with others by authoring articles and book chapters and by presenting material on a state and national level. Over the last 5 years, she has been assisting the State of Indiana to build comprehensive education and training systems for adult services and schools.     

Session:  Successful Employment at Your Fingertips

We live in a technology driven world.  There are apps for reminders, organization communication, recreation, education and more.  During this hands on session, participants will explore dozens of apps targeted toward use for supporting individuals with disabilities in employment and daily life.  We will also show how to utilize inexpensive low tech items for support and self-management on the job.

Bring your tablet, iPhone or iPad! Today transition age youth and most young adults are bringing experience with this technology to your agency.  Find out how you can use technology to teach supported employees not only job specific skills through video modeling and visual schedules, but also how to overcome challenges through social stories and other low-tech strategies. Learners will be able to come away with tools to support individuals with diverse support needs on and off the job.