Assistive Technology Expo 2013 Speaker Bios

Sharon Bellwood

Sharon Bellwood is the Coordinator of Student Disability Services at Greenville Technical College.  She has served as the Director of Student Disability Services at Spartanburg Technical College and a Training Coordinator with Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities.

Ryan Carter

Ryan Carter is enrolled at West Georgia Tech and is taking business classes. Ryan uses a Tobii C-Eye Communicator for communication. Ryan Carter graduated from East Coweta High School in 2011 where he was the mascot for 3 years.

Steve Cook

Steve Cook is an Assistive Technology Consultant for eight years with the SC Commission for the Blind. He has worked with various types of assistive technology in his career. He uses JAWS for computer access. In 2009 and 2010 he chaired a committee to bring together the Disability Coordinators from around the state from Tech Schools, Colleges and Universities for an AT Expo at the SC Commission for the Blind. He is also a SC Assistive Technology Committee Web Tester, performing accessibility and usability testing of state agency web sites. He is the President of the Computer Science and Technology Division, part of the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina.  He and his wife both have guide dogs and two pet Dachshunds.

Sam Creech

Sam Creech is employed at Walton Options for Independent Living, Augusta, Georgia and N.
Augusta, SC. As the Director of Information Technology, he provides trainings at a local, state and national level on technology solutions for specific individual and business needs, so that persons with all types of disabilities live and work as independently as possible. Sam uses a Dynavox V for communication. Sam Creech received his Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Computer Science, Education and Psychology from the University of SC, Aiken. He is a Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional. He received certificates in Novell and UNIX from the Augusta Technical Institute: Augusta, GA and a certificate in AT from California State University. Currently, he is a graduate student at Nova Southeastern University obtaining a Master of Science in Education concentrating on Emotional and Cognitive Disabilities.

Mark Daniels

Mark Daniels is the Upstate Regional AT Specialist for the SC Department of Education, which includes nine counties and twenty-two school districts.  Before that he spent twelve years as an S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department Counselor. He also worked as an AT Specialist with the SC AT Program. His B.S. is in Psychology. Mark has worked with both children and adults with special needs including TBI, Spinal Cord Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, and other types of debilitating illness.

David Dawson

Robert "David" Dawson is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Rehabilitation Program at the USC  School of Medicine. In his over 30 years of experience working with assistive and adaptive technologies for all age groups, he helped develop AT training centers in North Carolina, Michigan, and Iowa. At the University of Iowa, he was Director for the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology and Educational Resources. David was also Senior Researcher for the Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center at the University of Iowa which advocated for persons at disabilities including passage of the assistive devices lemon law (The Assistive Devices Warranty Act).

Bethany Dehaven

Bethany Dehaven is a Senior at Crescent High School in Starr-Iva, SC. Bethany has spent the last five summers volunteering at AnMED's Pediatric Therapy Works in Anderson, SC helping individuals who use speech generating devices or other augmentative communication strategies.  She will be graduating in June 2013 from high school. Her plans are to complete her GED and enroll at Tri-County Technical College in Anderson, SC, to earn a degree in Early Childhood.

Kirk Garrett, Jr.

Kirk Garrett, Jr. is employed as the Information Technology Coordinator at the Laurens County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, Laurens, SC. He also works as a free-lance web designer for a number of organizations and as a PC technician. He serves on the SC Independent Living Council. Kirk uses a Dynavox Eye Max and an iPad for communication. He completed Greenville Technical College with a Certificate in Computer Technology and a Major in Web Design.

Val Gioia

Val Gioia is an AT Specialist and Autism Consultant for the SC Department of Education.  She helps school districts develop AT teams and build capacity. She presents throughout the state on various technologies that can improve student performance in all academic areas. She received her Bachelors in Elementary Education and Special Education and has graduate degrees in Education Technology and Administration.  She attended CSUN and obtained her certification (ATACP) in AT.  She is also a member of Microsoft Partners in Learning and a Certified Microsoft Instructor.

Catherine Graham

Catherine Leigh Graham has worked in the Rehabilitation and AT field for over 15 years.
She is a Rehabilitation Engineer with the USC School of Medicine, currently working in the Interagency Office of Disability and Health to improve the health and prevent secondary conditions for people with disabilities. She contracts with SCATP to work with AT reutilization. She is a current board member of the SC Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund and past president of the SC Spinal Cord Injury Association.

Kathleen Heiss

Kathleen Heiss is an AT Specialist for the SC Department of Education. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Ball State University, an M.S. in Educational Administration/Director of Exceptional Needs from Purdue University, and an M.S. in Instructional Technology from Purdue University. She is also a certified AT Professional (ATP) through the Rehabilitation Engineering and AT Society of North America (RESNA).

Janet Jendron

Janet Jendron has been with SCATP for twenty years, where she manages the AT reuse program, administers the web page and three listservs. She is also Chair of the Web Accessibility Committee for the SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC), for which she administers the SC Web Testers Program, training and supervising assistive technology users in evaluating web sites for accessibility and disability, and reporting to state agencies. She has written articles and directed and wrote the CD ROM “SC Curriculum Access through Assistive Technology.”
She presents on equipment reuse, AT, systems change, web and IT accessibility on the national, regional and state level. She has thirty-five years of administrative experience with local, national and international non-profits.

Rose Jenkins

Rose Jenkins is a mathematics instructor at Midlands Tech, who enjoys the ways that technology has changed how she teaches. She loves sharing new technologies with her students, as well as sharing and presenting new technology solutions to colleagues and other audiences.

Sabrina Jenson

Sabrina Jenson teaches students with severe intellectual disabilities at Westwood High School in  Columbia, SC.

June Maranville

June Maranville is the owner, director, and a speech pathologist at Palmetto Language and Speech Center in Lexington.  Her undergraduate degree is from Columbia College in Speech Correction and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from USC.  She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association
(ASHA) and is a member of the SC Speech Language Hearing Association (SCSHA).  She is also Interactive Metronome Certified (MIMC) and a credentialed supervisor for undergraduate and graduate students and has 17 years experience as a speech language pathologist, working with children and adults of all ages and disabilities.

Rosemary Meredith

Rosemary Meredith has been a counselor with Vocational Rehabilitation Department for the past nine years. Prior to this role, she worked in post secondary education for 10 years assisting students with academic issues ranging from advising, tutoring, and disability services. She has served as the Director of the Academic Skills Center at Austin College, Director of Academic Success Center at Converse College, and Coordinator of Disability Services for Augusta State University. She has a M.Ed from the University of South Carolina with an emphasis in Student Personnel Services.

Marian Michael

Marian Michael has worked as a physical therapist with pediatric and the geriatric orthopedically involved populations for the past 40 years in a variety of school, in-patient, and out-patient settings. She graduated from the Medical College of Georgia.

Kathleen O'Brien

Kathleen O’Brien is a special education teacher working with students who have severe orthopedic impairments. Her experiences as the mother of a
33 year old young man with cognitive and orthopedic concerns brings special perspective to her presentations. Her undergraduate degree is from Winthrop University. Her Master’s Degree in Divergent Learning is from Columbia College.

Carol Page

Carol Page is the Program Director of the SCATP, USC School of Medicine, Center for Disability Resources, Department of Pediatrics.  She supervises and mentors students from speech-language pathology masters and undergraduate programs who perform tasks of the device loan and demonstration programs and provides trainings at a local, state and national level on AT. Dr. Page received her PhD degree in speech-language pathology from the University of SC and her AT practitioner certificate from the Rehabilitation Engineering and AT Society of North America (RESNA).

Mike Patterson

Mike Patterson has served as EDS Director since February 2000. He is the planning, preparedness and response specialist for The Salvation Army in the two states, supporting local initiatives from Divisional Headquarters in Charlotte, including conducting local, regional and national trainings. His background in disaster work began as a volunteer in 1997 and he was responsible for Salvation Army recovery operations in Edgecombe County, NC.during Hurricane Floyd in September 1999. He has responded to numerous other incidents including Hurricane IKE (2008), Hurricane KATRINA (2005), Hurricane CHARLEY (2004), Hurricane ISABEL (2003), Jackson, TN Tornado (May, 2003) and the Attacks on America on September 11, 2001 (deploying to The Pentagon and New York City, serving as the Liaison Officer to the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, OEM). He earned his Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) credential from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) in October 2005.

Matt Polkowsky


Jenny Tate

Jenny Tate is employed by MUSC as an outpatient pediatric therapist, providing occasional inpatient coverage. She received her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from MUSC. She also has professional experience in the school system. Her B.S. in Computer Science and Minor in Business Administration is from Clemson University.

Kimberly Tissot

Kimberly Tissot has been an advocate for people with disabilities for over 15 years as a person with a disability, advocate, program director and is now the executive director of Able SC, which empowers people with disabilities to reach their independent living goals. She guides Able SC’s staff in applying the philosophy of Independent living to real situations, using her history of advocating for equal rights. Her special interests include parenting with a disability, disability etiquette, community education, AT, accessibility, community living and youth transition.

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Sponsored by the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program at the USC School of Medicine Center for Disability Resources, USC SOM Pediatrics, the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, the SC Association for Educational Technology, and the SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee, Division of State Information Technology (DSIT), SC Budget and Control Board, SC Developmental Disabilities Council