University of Scranton to Host Annual U.S. Conference on disAbility

Members News

Technology that is accessible to everyone can provide individuals with disabilities greater opportunities throughout their communities. “Everyday Tools: Technology for Accessing Education, Employment and Life” will be the focus of The University of Scranton’s 17th Annual U.S. Conference on disAbility on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Presenters will include Brett Humphrey, senior test lead at Microsoft, who has been working to develop software that is usable for those who are blind and have low vision, and Mike Marotta, president, Inclusive Technology Solutions, L.L.C., who has been providing direct services to individuals with disabilities for nearly 30 years and was named the 2017 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator. Also, Susan Tachau, co-founder and chief executive officer of the non-profit, Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation, will present “Possible Solutions for Funding Assistive Technology.”

Nationally known for her innovative strategies for creating practical solutions in minutes to help individuals with disabilities, Therese Willkomm, Ph.D., director of New Hampshire’s State Assistive Technology Program with the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire will present “Rapid Assistive Technology Solutions for Employment.” The author of “Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes – Book 2 – Ordinary Items, Extraordinary Solutions,” Dr. Willcomm has designed and fabricated more than two thousand solutions for individuals with disabilities including her patented A.T. Pad Stand, a multiuse assistive technology mounting device.

The daylong conference is free of charge to the general public. There is a $25 fee for those wishing to earn continuing education unit (CEU) credit hours. Up to seven CEU hours can be earned at the conference. Registration is required to attend the day-long conference.

The conference will close with the evening keynote presentation “Working Through the System” by Bern Gavlick, an eighth-grade guidance counselor at F.D.R. Middle School in Bristol Township, and Bill Ziegler, assistive technology consultant with Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22 in Doylestown and an Apple Distinguished Educator. The evening presentation is also open to the public, free of charge, but does not require reservations to attend. Allied Services is the corporate sponsor of this year’s evening keynote presentation.

The annual Conference on disAbility brings together national, state, and regional experts to discuss a multifaceted approach to improving employment, independent living and transition for all people with disabilities. The conference is hosted by the University’s Panuska College of Professional Studies with the support of the Edward R. Leahy Jr. Endowment and Honorary Conference Co-Chairs Edward R. and Patricia Leahy.

Additional information about the 17th Annual U.S. Conference on disAbility is available online or by contacting the conference co-chairs Rebecca Spirito Dalgin, Ph.D., director of the rehabilitation counseling program, at, or Lori Bruch, Ed.D., chair of the Counseling and Human Services Department, at