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COVID-19 Funding for AT in Education: Innovative Solutions for Shared Challenges


While you may be aware of the new funds provided by the federal government to schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds, do you know how they might support the sustainability of your assistive technology program? Inclusive planning efforts, collaboration among district initiatives and metrics for success can help to enhance your recovery efforts. In this session, Mike Marotta, Laura Kaloi, and Gayl Bowser will share ideas about how ESSER monies can be applied to your program’s vision for AT.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to describe the three ESSER grants and how monies are allocated to states and school districts.
  2. Participants will be able to list at least four specific factors that impact the effective use of ESSER monies for their AT programs.
  3. Participants will be able to name three examples of how ESSER monies could be used to enhance their own AT programs.


Gayl Bowser

Assistive Technology Collaborations, Independent Consultant


Gayl Bowser, M.Ed. works as an independent consultant Her work focuses on the creation of effective, legal and high quality service systems that encourage the integration of technology into educational programs for students with disabilities. Ms. Bowser has worked as a Local Regional and State-level administrator in Oregon. Formerly the Coordinator of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) and the State of Oregon’s Specialist in Assistive Technology, Gayl currently provides special education focused consultation, training and technical assistance throughout the United States and internationally. Gayl has co-authored numerous publications about assistive technology including Leading the Way to Excellence in AT Services: A guide for school administrators, A QIAT Companion; Education Tech Points: A Framework for Assistive Technology; and Assistive Technology Pointers for Parents.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
I receive consulting fees from my work as an independent consultant. Current contracts include Minnesota DOE, SET-BC, Oregon Technology Access Program, Wyoming Assistive Technology Network, Maryland Assistive Technology Network, Infinitec. I am co-author of 3 books by CAST Professional Publishing. I receive royalties for all three. Titles are Leading the Way to Excellence in AT Services, Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services and A QIAT Companion.

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: Yes
I serve on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Assistive Technology in Oregon and of the National Assistive Technology in Education Network. This is an entirely volunteer position and I receive no financial benefit from either group. I am also a member of the school board for Camas Valley Charter School in Camas Valley, Oregon

Mike Marotta

Inclusive Technology Solutions LLC, AT Specialist


Mike is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional, and the ISTE Inclusive Learning Network 2017 Outstanding Educator, who has been providing direct services to individuals with all disabilities for 30 years. Mike works collaboratively with teams in all environments (school, workplace, and community), through his own technology consulting firm, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC, to effectively match the individual’s needs to technology supports.

Mike is a nationally and internationally recognized presenter who was previously a trainer for California State University at Northridge (CSUN), providing practical and in-depth training on assistive technology applications. In addition, Mike is an adjunct professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey (NJ) where he teaches Masters level educators in Assistive Technology and UDL. Mike is the Director of the Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center at Disability Rights New Jersey, the statewide Assistive Technology Act program for New Jersey. Mike is also a member of the Faculty at the Center on Technology and Disabilities, serves on both the CAST Accessible Educational Materials and Center on Inclusive Technology and Education Systems (CITES) Advisory Boards.

Mike believes in the power of professional networking. He is the founder of edcampAccess NJ, an unconference event focused on teacher led professional development opportunities focused on inclusion, special education and assistive technology. Mike is also active on Twitter (@mmatp) and co-moderates the weekly #ATchat twitter chat.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes

As an independent consultant and speaker, Mike has financial relationships to disclose. These include paid presentation for AT companies (Don Johnston, Text Help) and royalties received from a Chrome as AT guide from NPR, Inc. Mike is not being paid any fees for this presentation.        

Relevant Non-Financial Disclosures: Yes
For non-financial disclosures, Mike is the author of a chapter in a book scheduled for release by Routledge in October 2019 titled Universal Access Through Inclusive Instructional Design: International Perspectives on UDL.

Laura W. Kaloi

Stride Policy, Partner


With over twenty-five years of DC-based experience, Laura is an accomplished public affairs executive with keen interest and demonstrated results in Prek-16 education and health policy.
Laura has worked for health and education-focused nonprofit organizations as a senior executive as well as the private sector. As a nationally recognized policy expert and child advocate, she has led and consulted on successful initiatives with the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and with the White House.

Throughout her career, she has successfully influenced PreK-16 education, career and technical education, disability, and workforce laws. With a focus on vulnerable children and adults, Laura is recognized for her policy and advocacy successes in early learning, early literacy, education assessments and accountability, elementary and secondary education.

Laura is a published writer and enjoys public speaking, especially when she is training new advocates to find the power of their story. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah and a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management where she currently advises MPA candidates and chairs the Executive Advisory Board.

Laura is a volunteer mentor to young women ages 12-18, proud public high school varsity basketball parent, avid reader and especially loves to harangue her family into watching musicals.

Financial Relationships
Laura provides policy and advocacy consulting services to ATIA and receives a salary from her partnership at Stride Policy.
Non-Financial Relationships
Laura serves as volunteer chair of the Executive Advisory Board at: Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management.


Education and Learning/ Leadership

Target Audience

Accessibility Professionals, AT Professionals, Educators, Higher Ed Personnel, OTs, PTs, SLPs, SPED Teachers

Experience Level

All - Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced

Live Broadcast Date

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 3:30 - 5:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Continuing Education Credits

For Satisfactory Completion and Continuing Education information, please visit: ATIA Learning Center CEUs

Number of hours: 1.5
Number of IACET CEUs: 0.15