Join Our Weekly Online Technology Training Series
Being included in the Internet is more important than ever for people with disabilities.
Don’t be left behind.
For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier.
For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.
IBM Training Manual, 1991
Most of us could not imagine not having our smartphones to use daily for multiple purposes from talking to our family to immediate text messages to reminders of important meetings and dates and even face timing with our family or video conferencing for work.
Weekly Online Technology Training Series
Coming in Future Round of Training Events
1:00 – 2:30 PM ET
Learn from past attendees
Watch Janet, self-advocates and family members talk about using technology in their daily lives.
Watch the recent Webinar by Tom Keating, on using internet apps to support independence and self-determination for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Navigating the virtual seas of online technologies can sometimes be challenging, especially for individuals with disabilities. However, the rise of new technology has opened up new opportunities for accessible learning and communication, ensuring that everyone can dive into the digital realm with confidence.
Come to the training to:
Webinars by Esteemed Experts
Time: 10-11:30am Eastern Time
9-10:30am Central Time
Speaker Bio: Alexa Brill graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2013. She has worked for The Arc of Pennsylvania since 2014 as their Social Media Manager. Alexa serves as the President on the Board of Self Advocates United As 1 (SAU1). She also serves on the Smart Home Advisory Committee through the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), as well as the Wireless RERC Advisory Committee through the University of Pittsburgh. Most recently, she is a participant in the Assistive Technology Champions Program through Temple University (starting November 2023). Alexa is very passionate about advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, as well as helping to make sure they have access to the right technology. She wants to help as many people learn about, and access the technology they need to be as independent as possible.
Speaker Bio: Tony Gentry, PhD OTR/L FAOTA is professor emeritus in the occupational therapy department at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. He founded the Assistive Technology for Cognition laboratory at VCU, conducting research into the development and utilization of personal health technologies, including smart homes, mobile devices, wearables, and computer games to support people with cognitive-behavioral challenges, and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in this field.
Speaker Bio: Constance Harrington is the Education and Accreditation Manager for SHIFT. She is a nationally recognized subject matter expert on enabling technology. From speaking at trainings and events across the country to advising decision-makers on best practices and policy development to serving as an all-around champion for the implementation of enabling technology – Constance has spent the past 20 years helping people learn about and experience how technology can make the seemingly impossible possible. Constance has earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and is a graduate of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities. She lives in Wisconsin and enjoys exploring the state’s beautiful parks with her husband and daughter.
Speaker Bios: Three Tech Ambassadors will present along with George Myers, IT Director for the Ross County Board of DD in Chillicothe, OH. He is a career IT Professional who taught technology for nine years and then owned and operated a small IT Services business for 12 more. In the area of Assistive Technology and has had the opportunity to lead two unique grant efforts. The first involved building a Mobile Smart Home and driving it to counties throughout Ohio to demonstrate how Remote Support and Assistive Technology can help individuals with IDD live more independently. The second involved the creation of the Ohio Tech Ambassadors, a group of adults with IDD who are passionate users of technology. The program’s goal was to put these Tech Ambassadors in positions to educate and mentor their peers in Ohio on how technology improves their own lives.
Technology for All webinar on May 1st, 2024, 9:00-10:30am CT (10:00-11:30am ET).
Toni Johnson is an Enabling Technology Coordinator (Tech Champion). She is the recipient of the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award in 2019. She is a graduate of MTSU, with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Toni is also a Certified Person-Centered Thinking Trainer, Advocates in Motion mentor, and a Person-Centered meeting facilitator.
Speaker Bio: Alli Beth Freeman is an Employment Innovation and Community Inclusion Coordinator.
Virtual Summit : Keynote Speaker
PowerPoints from the presentation available soon.
Speaker Bio: Tom Keating, Ph.D. is founder and CEO of Cognitopia, home of the Cognitopia Platform for Self-Determination, emphasizing self-management and training tools for employment, independent living, and education. He is also a Courtesy Research Associate in the Computer and Information Sciences Department of the University of Oregon. Keating’s perspective in all of his work has been strongly influenced by his experience of 31 years as a caregiver for a brother who experienced autism.
University of Kansas
PA District Manager,
Director of Education
Ohio Tech Ambassadors
Keystone Human Services
University of Washington
of Developmental Disabilities
Alli Beth Freeman
of Developmental Disabilities
Tech Host Agencies
- Achieva (Steve Suroviec)
- Center at the Hampton House (Karen Velocci)
- Values into Action (Marian Frattarola-Saulino)
- Families CCAN (Sara Crimm)
- KenCrest Services (Gregg Kelinson)
- Keystone Human Services(Nathan Gerhard)
The Digital Divide is Generally Defined As a Lack of...
And Self- Confidence
Gear up for an electrifying tech adventure! Mark, Ruthie-Marie, and their dynamic team are launching two cutting-edge projects in Pennsylvania and Tennessee this fall. Brace yourself for weekly virtual training sessions, captivating webinars featuring national experts, and an exhilarating virtual tech summit. Plus, get ready to join the vibrant Community of Practice, where knowledge-sharing knows no boundaries. With self-advocates as co-trainers, this tech extravaganza promises to be unforgettable.
Join us for the kickoff of the action-packed weekly training sessions, spanning 6 sessions of high-octane learning, each lasting around 1 1/2 hours. But that’s not all! Prepare to be blown away by a series of 10 webinars delivered by renowned tech gurus, recorded and available online for your convenience.
Don’t miss out on this mind-blowing opportunity! Visit www.mytechforall.com/pa to dive into the future of technology. Get charged up and be a part of the tech revolution!
The Purpose of The Technology For All Project
For people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to have and use the same amount of technology the average American does to enhance their independence and self-determination.
Over the past two and a half years of the COVID Pandemic we have trained 5,000 people
Listen to Their Experience
Like Janet, and 100 Other Philadelphia self-advocates and family members during the PhilaZoom training funded by the Visions for Equality and Philadelphia Intellectual Disability Services
Or the 3,000 people and advocates trained at the Nebraska Person Centered Planning Initiative, funded by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities
Their experiences are just a few of the thousands we have trained.
And with a world increasingly reliant on digital means, the divide will keep growing… Unless we stop it.
Who Are We?
Blue Fire, Inc. is a small consulting company co-owned by Dr. Mark Friedman and Dr. Ruthie-Marie Beckwith. Both have 40 years’ experience teaching and training people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in advocacy and technology. Dr. Beckwith is the former ED of TASH and State Advisor to People First of Tennessee. Dr. Friedman is the former State Advisor to Speaking For Ourselves, Vice Chairperson of the Pennsylvania DD Council, technology researcher at Temple University. Both are currently Adjunct Professors at the City University of New York.
Over the past two and a half years of the COVID Pandemic we have trained 5,000 people with disabilities, family members, Service Coordinators, educators and professionals online through projects with the DD Councils in Nebraska, Michigan, Vermont and the City of Philadelphia using a virtual video conferencing platform.
Based on our experience in social change and advocacy, we have found training to be a critical element to create systemic change.
In order to address it, we will...
Train a critical mass of people to create a tipping point.
Conduct the training over multiple times to allow deep learning to occur.
How Our Training Works:
A total of 25 Weekly online training sessions targeted to people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, family members, Service Coordinators, educators and professionals on topics such as: Using Zoom, Staying Safe on the Internet, How to obtain Low cost Internet services through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and the LifeLine program, Using an Internet Browser, and more.