Welcome to the QIAT website, the official site of the QIAT Community. This website supports QIAT’s mission of guiding the development and delivery of quality assistive technology services by providing the QIAT Community with a gateway to resources.

The QIAT Community is a nationwide grassroots group that includes hundreds of individuals who provide input into the ongoing process of identifying, disseminating, and implementing a set of widely applicable Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services in school settings that can be used as a tool to support:

  • school districts as they strive to develop and provide quality assistive technology services aligned to federal, state, and local mandates
  • assistive technology service providers as they evaluate and constantly improve their services
  • consumers of assistive technology services as they seek adequate assistive technology services that meet their needs
  • universities and professional developers as they conduct research and deliver programs that promote the development of the competencies needed to provide quality assistive technology services
  • policymakers as they attempt to develop judicious and equitable policies related to assistive technology services.

Joy Zabala Spirit Award

The Joy Zabala Spirit Award is a recognition program, hosted by ATIA, that celebrates Joy Zabala’s work in assistive technology and education. Joy served as ATIA Conference Education Chair for many years and led the talented team of ATIA Strand Advisors, leaders, and experts in their content areas in curating the conference education program and ensured each education session met the diverse needs of conference attendees.

The Joy Zabala Spirit Award is awarded to speakers at ATIA 2024 whose sessions have been selected as exemplifying the passion Joy brought to her work in AT and education.

The 2024 Joy Zabala Spirit Award recipients are:

The Joy Zabala Fellowship for Assistive Technology and Accessible Educational Material

image of Joy Zabala Fellowship

Joy Smiley Zabala (1946-2021) was an inspiring leader, a gifted communicator, a passionate advocate, and a beloved friend. The Joy Zabala Fellowship will support emerging, early career professionals who, in collaboration with a seasoned mentor, will a)strengthen their expertise and skills in services supporting assistive technology (AT) and/or accessible educational materials (AEM) and b) share what they learn with the larger community of stakeholders. The focus of this fellowship is to expand and guide the provision of services of AT and/or AEM.

Click here to view a  video from the Zabala family

pictures of 2023-2024 award fellows

The 2023-2024 Joy Zabala Fellowship pairs are:

Dr. Aaron Marsters (mentor), an Assistive Technology Instructional System Specialist for the Department of Defense Education Activity in Europe, and Jayme Grant (mentee), an Educational and Assistive Technology Specialist  in the Beaufort County Schools in Beaufort, South Carolina, will work to increase educator and leadership capacity to implement effective and data-driven AT consideration and  implementation processes at high-risk K-12 schools.

Darla Ashton (mentor), an Instructional Interventionist Coach in Indiana, will work with Candace Hayden (mentee), an AT Specialist in Texas, to increase understanding, skills, tools, and resources in AT and AEM, improving procedures for providing thoughtful consideration of AT in primary and secondary schools.

Dr. Danalyn Workentin (mentor), an Occupational Therapist and AT Professional in Florida, will work with Megan Stewart (mentee), a Speech Language Pathologist at a school in Florida, to facilitate a school-based AT team while building AT knowledge with families and staff.

Celebrate and ensure Joy’s legacy, please make your tax-deductible gift to the Joy Zabala Fellowship today!

All donations go directly to the Joy Zabala Fellowship to support the activities of the mentorship partners. CAST, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, serves as the fiduciary agent of the Fellowship. CAST and the QIAT Leadership team donate their time and administrative support to the Fellowship.

Mail donation checks payable to CAST, Inc. Please note Joy Zabala Fellowship on the check  and mail to:

Joy Zabala Fellowship Fund, c/o CAST, Inc. 50 Salem Street, Bldg. B, Suite 103, Lynnfield, MA 01940 781-245-2212 (voice) 781-245-5212 (fax)

Joy Zabala Fellowship pairs and connectors from 2022-23 and 2023-24 at the Fellowship’s poster session at ATIA 2024.