QIAT Leadership Team

Gayl Bowser

Gayl Bowser

Gayl Bowser,M.S.,is an independent consultant whose work focuses on the integration of technology into the educational programs of students with disabilities. She provides assistive technology consultation, training and technical assistance throughout the United States and internationally. Gayl was formerly the Coordinator of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) and was the State of Oregon’s Specialist in Assistive Technology from 1988 until 2008. She has co-authored numerous publications about assistive technology services and is a member of the faculty for Portland State University and the University of Oregon.

Joan Breslin-Larson

Joan Breslin-Larson

Joan Breslin Larson, M.Ed. is an independent consultant on issues relating to AT. Her work has a particular focus on policy, leadership and developing effective teams to improve services for assistive technology in special education.  She was formerly a supervisor for services for students with low incidence disabilities at the Minnesota Department of Education and as an AT and UDL specialist. She has worked in AT for over 30 years,  as an independent consultant, in a school setting and at the state education agency. Joan lives in Minnesota, and is the parent of three adult children, one of whom had an IEP.

Diana Carl

Diana Carl

Diana Foster Carl, M.A., L.S.S.P., is a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology in Texas with more than 30 years’ experience in various capacities in public education. Currently, Diana contracts with CAST as the Special Projects Coordinator for the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials. Diana is a former Director of Special Education Services at Region 4 Education Service Center in Houston, Texas and was lead facilitator of the Texas Assistive Technology Network for twelve years. Diana’s daughter has cerebral palsy and uses a power wheelchair for mobility.

Kelly Fonner

Kelly has a BS in Special Education and an MS in Educational Technology with emphasis in Rehabilitation/Special Education Technology. She has been a teacher, para-educator, instructional media specialist, assistive technology specialist and is currently a self-employed consultant in assistive and educational technology. She has worked for a statewide AT project, worked in University-based AAC and AT Outcomes grant staff, and has been an instructor in university courses on AT. Since 1986 she has presented to schools, conferences, and families in 48 states and internationally on a wide range of topics in AT. Kelly is also the daughter of a person with an acquired physical disability, the sister-in-law of a woman with cerebral palsy, and the cousin of individuals with a young adult with Aspergers. Kelly is a coauthor of the QIAT books as well as several CTG publications and on the Leadership Team of the Wisconsin AAC network.

Terry Foss

Terry Foss, M.Ed., was a special educator and assistive technology specialist for more than 35 years in classrooms and at a district level for students with autism and low incidence disabilities in public schools in Kansas.  Terry’s areas of expertise are:  developmental differences; autism; severe to moderate differences in communication and behavior; sensory-based communication; and assistive technology/AAC. She is co-author of Every Move Counts, Clicks and Chats:  Sensory-Based Strategies for Communication and Assistive Technology,  Every Move Counts, Clicks and Chats:  A Family Guide for Sensory-Based Strategies for Communication and Assistive Technology,  Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology: A Comprehensive Guide to Assistive Technology Services, and  The QIAT Companion:  A Just-in-Time Resource for Implementing the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology.

Jane Korsten

Jane Korsten

Jane has a degree in elementary education from the University of Kansas and a M.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Illinois. She has worked as a speech pathologist and AT resource specialist with individuals of all ages having significant sensory motor differences and autism. She has worked in public schools, supported living settings for adults and private practice developing alternate communication systems for individuals who are non-verbal. She was the principal investigator on an Innovative Research Grant funded through the National Institutes of Health which led to the development of Every Move Counts: a sensory based approach to communication. Jane is a co-author of Every Move Counts and Every Move Counts, Clicks and Chats. Since 1989, Jane has provided professional development on a variety of topics in 30 states.

Kathy Lalk

Kathy picture

Kathy Lalk, M.S. Educational Technology, worked for 25 years as an assistive technology specialist for a large public school district in St. Louis, MO. Her work included support of students with disabilities, their families and their educational team in the consideration, implementation and evaluation of the use of assistive technology. She also works with Missouri Assistive Technology in the Telecommunication Access Program (TAP). Kathy is a coauthor of Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology: Comprehensive Guide to Assistive Technology Services, and  The QIAT Companion:  A Just-in-Time Resource for Implementing the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology.

Scott Marfilius

Scott Marfilius

Scott has a M.A. in Education, with specialization in Curriculum and Instruction. Scott has been working with individuals with disabilities for the past 26 years. The past 20 years has involved implementing assistive technology at various levels. Scott continues to assist teams and individuals in assessing students assistive technology needs. Scott also works with universities and has assisted in reorganizing their curriculum to infuse technology throughout the teacher preparation experience.

Susan McCloskey

Susan R. McCloskey, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech language pathologist who worked for the PA Assistive Technology Center/PaTTAN in Pennsylvania as a Regional Coordinator, and then as chairperson of the Volusia Adaptive Assistive Technology Team (VAATT) in Daytona Beach, FL. She is a past National Steering Committee member for ASHA’s Division 12: Augmentative and Alternative Communication.  For over thirty years, Susan has consulted nationwide with teams whose focus has been to integrate assistive technology into the classroom.  She has been a trainer of Environmental Communication Teaching (ECT) since 1989 teaching teams how to design communication opportunities in classrooms for students with complex communication needs.  She is a consultant for Florida’s MTSS Technology and Learning Connection project and has been training teams in ECT for the past six years in an intensive statewide effort.  She coordinated Volusia County’s implementation of the SCERTS© project, focused on students on the autism spectrum, for the Florida State University’s CARD Center.  Susan is a founding member of the QIAT Leadership Team, and a co-author of  Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology: A Comprehensive Guide to Assistive Technology Services (2015) and The QIAT Companion: A Just-In-Time Resource for Implementing the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology (2020).  Susan lives in Ponce Inlet, FL, and enjoys paddle boarding and walking on the beach in her spare time.

Penny Reed

Penny Reed

Penny Reed, Ph.D., has a B.S. in elementary education, an M.S. and Ph.D. in special education, and certification as both a principal and special education administrator. Dr. Reed was the director of the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative (WATI) for many years and is now an independent consultant who provides training and consultation on a variety of topics related to AT with a special focus on improving delivery of AT services. She is a founding member of the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology (QIAT) Consortium, the National Assistive Technology in Education (NATE) Network, and the Coalition for Assistive Technology in Oregon (CATO). She serves on the QIAT Leadership Team. Dr. Reed has authored and co-authored numerous articles and manuals including Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology: A Comprehensive Guide to Assistive Technology Services and The QIAT Companion: A just-in-time Resource for Implementing the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology (with the QIAT Leadership Team) and Education Tech Points and Leading the Way to Excellence in AT Services: A Guide for School Administrators (with Gayl Bowser).

Joy Smiley Zabala

Joy Smiley Zabala is a teacher, holding degrees in Elementary (B.A.) and Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.) and Special Education Personnel Preparation (Ed.D.). has been a leader in the use of assistive technology (AT) to improve education and life for people with disabilities for more than three decades. As a technologist, special educator, teacher trainer, and conference speaker, she has earned international recognition for her work on Assistive and Accessible Technologies, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM). Dr. Zabala is the developer of the SETT Framework (http://www.joyzabala.com/), a model that is widely-used by families and educators for collaborative decision-making in all phases of assistive technology service design and delivery and more. Dr. Zabala is the Senior Technical Assistance Advisor at CAST where she previously co-directed the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center) and serves as the Principal Investigator for the Center on Inclusive Technology in Education Systems (CITES). She is also the Principal Consultant at Zabala and Associates.