The QIAT Leadership Team is a group of individuals who volunteer their time to support implementation of the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology. Each member of the Leadership Team has contributed to the work of QIAT through development of the indicators, professional development, research, and scholarly writings. Members of the leadership team are authors of the books Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology: A Comprehensive Guide to Assistive Technology Services (2015) and The QIAT Companion (2020), both published by CAST Publishing.
Gayl Bowser, M.Ed. works as an independent consultant with a focus on the creation of effective, legal and high-quality service systems that encourage the integration of technology into educational programs for students with disabilities. Formerly the Coordinator of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) and the State of Oregon’s Specialist in Assistive Technology, Gayl currently provides consultation, training and technical assistance throughout the United States and internationally. A teacher and school administrator by training, she provides AT consultation, professional learning, and technical assistance throughout the United States and internationally. She has co-authored numerous publications about assistive technology including Leading the Way to Excellence in AT Services: A guide for school administrators. Gayl is a founding member of the QIAT
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 Foster Carl, M.A., is an independent consultant who has more than 40 years of experience in various capacities in special education and in leadership roles in national, statewide, and regional organizations and boards. Diana, whose background is as a licensed specialist in school psychology, is a former Director of Special Education Services at Region 4 Education Service Center in Houston and was the lead facilitator of the Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) for twelve years. For the past ten years she contracted with CAST as the Special Projects Coordinator for the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials and the previous national centers at CAST related to accessible materials. Diana’s daughter has cerebral palsy and uses a power wheelchair for mobility. Diana is a founding member of the QIAT.
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 co-author of several CTG publications and on the Leadership Team of the Wisconsin AAC network.
Terry Vernon Foss, M.Ed. Terry is a special educator and AT specialist. Her areas of expertise are: developmental differences; autism; severe to moderate differences in communication and behavior; sensory-based communication; and AT/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. Terry lives in Kansas and continues to support the AT community. Terry is a founding member of the QIAT
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. Jane is a founding member of the QIAT.
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).
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. Scott is a founding member of the QIAT
Susan R. McCloskey, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech language pathologist who worked for the PA AssistiveTechnology 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 lives in Ponce Inlet, FL, and enjoys paddle boarding and walking on the beach in her spare time. Susan is a founding member of the QIAT.
Matthew Newton, EdS, ATP, CPACC, serves as the coordinator of assistive and instructional technology for the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) at Virginia Tech. His focus is supporting general and special education teachers, administrators, and related service providers in finding and implementing low to high-tech solutions and UDL strategies for PK-12 students with disabilities. Matt began his career in education as a special education teacher working with students with multiple disabilities in the Roanoke City (Virginia) Public Schools division and has also served there as an instructional technology resource teacher. He was recognized as Roanoke City’s Teacher of the Year in 2014 and Virginia’s Region 6 Teacher of the Year in 2015, as well as a Joy Zabala Fellow in 2022.
Shannon Paige, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech language pathologist serving as the Education Project Manager for the Texas Technology Access Program, the Texas state AT program. She is a US Navy veteran. Shannon is a member of the ASHA Sig 12 coordinating committee. She has supported the use of AAC in schools throughout Texas for over 20 years and utilized the QIAT indicators and matrices through coaching and training to promote systemic AT improvement. She has presented at conferences locally and nationally to encourage increased collaboration and decision making in support of students. Shannon lives in Willis, TX, and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, fishing, and exploring the creative world of 3D printing for communication solutions.
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 Dr. Reed has authored and co-authored numerous articles and manuals including Education Tech Points and Leading the Way to Excellence in AT Services: A Guide for School Administrators (with Gayl Bowser). She is a founding member of the QIAT, the National Assistive Technology in Education (NATE) Network, and the Coalition for Assistive Technology in Oregon (CATO).
Stacy Springer, MS, OTR/L, ATP, is the Program Director for the AT&AEM Center at OCALI. Her work includes oversight of activities and resources designed to improve outcomes for people with disabilities through state-wide capacity building. Stacy has over 20 years of experience in a variety of school-based settings across the country, as a Special Education Teacher, Occupational Therapist, and Assistive Technology Specialist. She led the AT/AAC Team in Oakland Unified School District (CA) and facilitated a shift to MTSS service provision. Previously Stacy served as the AT specialist for SC Department of Education building state-wide capacity and providing technical assistance for assistive technology. She has held adjunct faculty positions for various Occupational Therapy programs and served on the AOTA workgroup for state leaders in education. Stacy was an inaugural mentor for the Joy Zabala Fellowship in Assistive Technology & Accessible Educational Materials.
Brian Wojcik serves as the ATP Education Program Supervisor and Assistive Technology Specialist within Assistive Technology Partnership. He had previously worked at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he helped prepare Special Education teachers and headed up the Assistive Technology Master’s Program. Brian also worked as the Coordinator of the Special Education Assistive Technology (SEAT) Center at Illinois State University. Overall, he has over 25 years working in and with schools focusing on how to use assistive technology to meet the needs of children with disabilities.
Joy Smiley Zabala (1946-2021)
Joy Smiley Zabala was a teacher, holding degrees in Elementary (B.A.) and Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.) and Special Education Personnel Preparation (Ed.D.). Joy was 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 earned international recognition for her work on Assistive and Accessible Technologies, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM). Dr. Zabala was 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 was the Senior Technical Assistance Advisor at CAST, co-director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center), and served as the Principal Investigator for the Center on Inclusive Technology in Education Systems (CITES). She was also the Principal Consultant at Zabala and Associates. Joy was a founding member of the QIAT.