Assistive Technology NEWS

Spring 2015

In This Issue

Mark Your Calendars!

  • AzTAP Open House for Charter Schools - April 8, 4:00-6:00 pm!
  • Creating Accessible Documents & Presentations WEBINAR - April 21, 3:00-4:00 pm!
  • Conference Early Bird Registration - Through June 1, 2015!
  • AzTAP's 17th Annual Assistive Technology Conference July 12-14, 2015!
See for details!

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Jill PleasantDirector’s Corner:

AzTAP Assistive Technology Summer Conference -
July 12-14, 2015
Conference Logo

Online registration is now open for this year’s 17th Annual Assistive Technology Summer Conference – Putting Assistive Technology to Work; - July 12-14 at the luxurious Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch. Register by May 31st to take advantage of the $199 early bird registration fee for the 2 day general conference.  If you are planning to stay at the hotel, keep in mind that the special room block rate of $99 per night including resort fees expires on June 15th. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to affordably update your assistive Hyatt Regency Pool Phototechnology knowledge and earn free continuing education hours in a premier resort environment. We are offering a choice of two pre-conference instructional workshops, more than 40 breakout sessions presented by experienced national and local speakers who will be sharing their AT expertise, successes and challenges. New for this year - a guided hands-on iPad exploration lab!
We expect approximately 50 assistive technology vendors, disability organizations and state agencies.  The Exhibit Hall provides an opportunity for everyone to learn more about assistive technology products for vision, hearing, communication, mobility, education, employment and daily living activities. Our Networking Reception on Monday afternoon provides a conducive, relaxed atmosphere for connecting with exhibit hallcolleagues and exhibitors.

Speaking of the Exhibit Hall, if you work with or are a consumer/family member, AzTAP is again very excited about offering consumer access to the Exhibit Hall. The Exhibit Hall will be open to the community – at no charge – with our complimentary Exhibit Hall Pass on Monday afternoon, July 13st from 1:30 – 6:00 p.m. (The Exhibit Hall closes at 6:00). Please note that this pass is valid on Monday, July 13, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for the Exhibit Hall Only and does NOT provide access to conference sessions or meals.  To receive your FREE Exhibit Hall Pass, please register here.

If you plan to attend the full conference and want more information about the schedule, sessions, speakers, and the possibility of limited consumer scholarships, go to the AzTAP website.

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact Adi Kalika Schaeffer at 602.728.9532 or by email at

AIDD Commissioner Aaron Bishop Visits AzTAP

On February 26, 2015, AzTAP was honored to host a lunchtime visit by Aaron Bishop, Commissioner, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during his recent visit to Arizona.  Within HHS, AIDD falls under the auspices of the Administration for Community Living. Commissioner Bishop with AzTAP Consumers and Advisory Board MembersAzTAP - along with the other 55 Assistive Technology Act Programs - will be moving from the US Department of Education over to the Administration on Community Living at HHS.  Although AzTAP will not be directly administered by Commissioner Bishop, there is a close connection because, as an IHD program, AzTAP is part of NAU’s University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) which is administered by AIDD. Further, Commissioner Bishop had been involved with the reauthorization of the AT Act in 2004 and, therefore, was especially interested in seeing our program. 
Along with two of his staff members, Dr. Ophelia McLain and Ms. Allison Cruz, Commissioner Bishop toured the AzTAP office, met with staff representatives from the Advisory board and listened to three consumers who shared how they have benefitted from a variety of AzTAP services. Tony and Tina, two of the consumers who met with the Commissioner, are a recently married couple and both of them are blind.  Tina also has limited use of one hand. They met one of AzTAP’s AT Specialists at the Arizona chapter conference for the National Federation for the Blind.  As a result of the interaction at AzTAP’s exhibit booth, they learned they could borrow devices from our lending library. Tony borrowed several different items, including a Braille note taker, a labeling system, a bar code reader, and several different Daisy players for accessing books.  Tina has borrowed one-handed kitchen items such as a jar opener and adapted cutting board.  
Their device demonstrations also included more detailed consultations about their overall assistive technology needs. Tony and Tina were interested in buying some of the devices that were demonstrated as well as loaned to them, but did not have the cash in hand to do so.AzLAT Logo The AT Specialist suggested that they learn more about AzTAP’s financial loan program, Arizona Loan$ for Assistive Technology (AzLAT).  As a result, they submitted an application and were approved for a one year, low interest loan for $600 that allowed them to purchase several different blindness-related products.  While Tony initially hoped to borrow money for a computer, there was concern that a larger loan would overtax their budget.  Instead, AzTAP was able to provide Tony with a free laptop computer through our partnership with AZStRUT computer reuse program.

AzTAP Open House for Charter Schools

Our 20th Anniversary Open House last Novemberopen house graphic was a huge success with more than 80 persons attending. We are now planning another event with a focus on Charter Schools.  If you work at a charter school and provide services to students with special needs or learning challenges, or are the parent of a charter school student, join us on  April 8th from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. You will learn about AzTAP services and how to access the ADE-AzTAP Short Term AT Loan Library. Light refreshments will be provided and a free raffle prize drawing will be held.  Please RSVP online here or call 602.728.9534.

Use the ADE-AzTAP AT Loan Library to Support Your Students’ Assistive Technology NeedsADE-ESS AT Loan Library Logo

If you provide services to students with disabilities in Pre-K through -12th grade, the lending library is a statewide, free resource for public and charter schools. As one school-based occupational therapist just shared with us…”I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am to have you helping us out with equipment loans.  You have made my job so much easier and successful, and it has benefited the students in our district greatly! Many thanks…” For more information contact Janelle Bauerle at 928.523.6774 or click here to go to our website. 

The AzTAP Alphabet Soup

Did Alphabet soup photoyou ever wonder what the initials after some of the AzTAP staff member names stand for such as ATP, CEAC, CRC, MSW, OTR/L and SLPA?

People working in education, health and rehabilitation professions have initials after their names that may be unfamiliar to the general public. However, it is helpful to know what they stand for especially in the area of assistive technology because assistive technology specialists come from a variety of professional disciplines:
  • ATP: Assistive Technology Professional - The RESNA ATP certification program validates that professionals are competent in their ability to provide direct consumer related services in Assistive Technology. Recipients must meet educational criteria, document direct AT work experience and must pass a national certification exam.    
  • CEAC: Certified Environmental Access Consultant - This certification was created to reduce the disparity in training and practice found among professionals who evaluate the environmental access needs of the aging-in-place and physically challenged and to promote independence.
  • CRC: Certified Rehabilitation Counselor – The national CRC Certification Program ensures certificants are of good moral character, meet nationally accepted standards of quality in their practice, and have the requisite educational and professional background to provide rehabilitation services.
  • M.Ed.: Master of Education
  • MSW: Master of Social Work
  • OTR/L: Occupational Therapist, (Nationally) Registered and (State) Licensed
  • PT: Physical Therapist State Licensed
  • SLP: Speech-Language Pathologist (National certification/state license)
  • SLPA: Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant State Licensed

Update: Mario

Photo of Mario with Clayton Guffey ande Susan Wurth at NAEHS Induction CeremonyTwo years ago we featured Mario Zapata in a newsletter article describing the services provided by AzTAP which supported Mario’s ability to identify and obtain a range of assistive technologies that have resulted in improved function and quality of life for him.  We are pleased to report that Mario is now working on obtaining his GED and was just inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society.  Mario’s assistive technology is certainly a significant factor contributing to his step by step success as he pursues his educational goals.

How Does the AzTAP Staff Keep Up with New Technology?

Clayton, Laura and Mellowdee at CSUNOur staff keeps their knowledge current by doing online research, participating in webinars, local training events and going to national conferences.  Clayton, Mellowdee and Laura just returned from the CSUN-Center on Disabilities’ Annual AT Conference in San Diego. They attended lots of educational sessions and spent considerable time in the exhibit hall talking to vendors and exploring many of the new and updated AT devices currently on the market. This hands-on approach helps AzTAP decide which items to purchase to keep our loan and demonstration inventory up to date.

Hope Fest: Need for Durable Medical Equipment Donations

CityServe AZ, a local non-profit is putting on their 4th annual Hope Fest April 18th from 9-2, at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. This event connects the working poor in our community with local resources and provide immediate medical assistance to those who need it. As a part of the medical exams  that will be provided by physicians and students at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, there will recommendations for various types of durable medical equipment (DME) such as walkers, canes, ADL devices, etc. Hope Fest is looking for donations of DME that can be provided to those that need it. If you have items to donate, contact Charlotte Thrall by phone at 602.750.1486 or by email at    For more information about Hope Fest 2015, click here to go to the CityServe AZ website. 
CityServe AZ fosters transformative relationships of care across business, faith, government and nonprofit sectors to solve pressing human need in our communities by promoting loving service, connecting those who share common interests, and through collaborative partnerships.

Copyright © 2015 Arizona Technology Access Program, All rights reserved.

AzTAP is a statewide, Phoenix-based program of the Institute for Human Development at NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY.

Our mailing address is:
2400 N Central Avenue, Suite 300, Phoenix, AZ 85004
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