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VE-EDU-12: Systems Change: What It Takes at Every Level - To Benefit Every Student


Leaders must employ systems change thinking to create coordinated and effective technology systems that benefit all students. This Leadership Strand Spotlight is on the intentional process of systems change for providing and supporting the use of assistive technology and accessible educational materials and how, at every level, influencers can affect the components and structures to make positive change. Our panelists represent AT leadership perspectives from the local, national, and international levels. They will share their perceptions of technology systems change and consider how the AT field can develop the next generation of AT leaders to meet future demands.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe one or more characteristic of leadership important for systems change.
  2. Identify three best practices for creating systems change.
  3. Discuss three systems change strategies with leaders in your setting.

Primary Strand

Education & Learning: Early Intervention - 12/Higher Education

Secondary Strand


Target Audience

  • Accessibility Professional
  • Administrators
  • AT Specialists
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educators
  • Family Members
  • Instructional Technologist
  • Media Specialist
  • Special Education Educators
  • Speech-Language Pathologists

Experience Level


Primary Life Cycle Addressed

Elementary - Secondary (K-12)

Session Delivery Format

In-person presentation with live stream

Course Schedule

This course was given at the ATIA 2022 Conference on Friday, Jan 28: 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM (EST)

Continuing Education Credits

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

This course is offered for the following CE Provider Credits:
For: 0.10 CEU Units or 1.0 CEU Hours.

ASHA CE Information: Recorded Session
Start date of ASHA CEUs offering: June 15, 2022
End date of ASHA CEUs offering: June 30, 2023

ASHA CE Approved Provider. ATIA. Introductory Level. 0.10 ASHA CEUs

This course was approved by CRCC for CRC CEUs and was included in the ATIA 2022 Virtual Event series. The ATIA 2022 Virtual Event CRC series offering was available from January 25, 2022 through January 24, 2023. 


Cynthia Curry

CAST, Director of Technical Assistance


Director of Technical Assistance at CAST, Cynthia Curry oversees projects that build the capacity of education agencies to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities. With an emphasis on increasing inclusive uses of technology in education and career training, Cynthia ensures that CAST's technical assistance is grounded in evidence-based practices, adult learning theory, and strategic partnerships.

Cynthia was an environmental engineer for five years before pursuing her interest in science education. Teaching sparked a passion for creating inclusive learning environments. She went on to work on NSF-funded projects to increase the number of students with disabilities who pursue STEM in college and careers. For ten years, she was a statewide integration mentor with the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, partnering with Apple to train teachers on how to implement one-to-one learning technology in inclusive classrooms. For Maine CITE, the state's Assistive Technology Act Project, she led statewide training and technical assistance on the implementation of the NIMAS provision. As director of a U.S. Department of Education personnel development grant at the University of Southern Maine, Cynthia led the university's teacher preparation initiative to integrate general and special education program pathways. Just prior to joining CAST, she was the coordinator of Disability Services at the University of New England.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
Salary from employment

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: Yes
Advisory board member for Bookshare and the NIMAC.

David Banes, B.Ed M.Ed Adv Dip Spec ed

David Banes Access and Inclusion Services, Director


David Banes is Director of David Banes Access and Inclusion Services and co-founder of Global symbols, and a board member at DATEurope, having previously led assistive technology services in Europe and the Middle East He now works across the globe including projects in Africa and South Asia to support access infrastructure from policy to practice, based upon a detailed model of the AT ecosystem that supports implementation.

Recent projects include the development of a response to disruptive innovation in the access industry, and the design of AT services during the pandemic supporting entrepreneurs to bring products and services to market. He has a special interest in emerging technologies and the impact upon the daily lives of people with a disability. This has included the use of AI to augment communication and automation, emerging technologies and mobility and the use of innovation to extend breadth and depth of reach.

David has extensive experience in the area of accessible design for a broad range of individual needs and writes regularly on the tools and techniques that might facilitate more accessible products including websites and apps in companies, public bodies and NGO's. He works with a number of startups and research to support the transference of research and development into products and services. Recent publications include emerging technologies and the impact on universal design for learning, economic return on investment in AT, and the potential impact of frugal innovation on provision of assistive products. He maintains a regular written column on Medium to explore trends related to access and inclusion through technology.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
I receive consultancy fees from UN agencies and research organizations for my input to projects. I am currently working on projects for UNICEF, UNESCO, and AAATE my fees are short term and related to specific pieces of work around innovation and access to technology

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: Yes
I have worked in the field for 35 years. I have extensive relationships with companies, agencies and not for profit organizations. I have recently accepted an unpaid role as a director of DATEurope

Gayl Bowser, M.S. Ed.

Assistive Technology Collaborations, Independent Consultant


Gayl Bowser, M.Ed. is an independent consultant whose work focuses on the creation of effective, legal and high-quality service systems to encourage integration of technology into programs for people with disabilities. Formerly the Coordinator of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) and the State of Oregon’s Specialist in Assistive Technology, Gayl provides consultation, training and technical assistance throughout the United States and internationally. She is a teacher by training, a founding member of the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology (QIAT) Consortium, a co-author, with Penny Reed of Education Tech Points: A Framework for Assistive Technology, Leading the way to Excellence in AT Services and several other books about AT services.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes

I receive royalties from CAST Publishing Inc. for Assistive Technology, A QIAT Companion, and Leading the Way to Excellence in Assistive Technology. I am a contracted consultant with assistive technology programs in Wyoming, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Maryland, Texas and Georgia. I am paid to facilitate the State leaders in Assistive Technology in Education (SLATE) Network. I am a paid expert consultant to Oregon's Regional and Statewide Services for Students with Orthopedic Impairments.

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: Yes
I am on the Board of Directors for Douglas Education Service District in Roseburg, Oregon. I am a volunteer for the Oregon Community Foundation. I am treasurer for the Coalition for Assistive Technology in Oregon (CAT) as well as the National Assistive Technology in Education (NATE) Network.

Nicole Styger

Laramie County School District #1, Assistive Technology Coordinator


Niki Styger is the Assistive Technology Coordinator for Laramie County School District #1 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
Salary from employment.

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: No

Paula Gumpman, ED.S.

Georgia Dept. of Education - Special Education, Program Specialist


Paula Gumpman is a Program Specialist with the Georgia Department of Education with the Division for Special Education Services and Supports, in the Post School Outcomes unit. Her work in the Division for Special Education and Supports is to support districts and administrators in realizing how using good instructional design can support all students including students with disabilities. Paula’s focus is assistive technology and she trains district leaders and administrators on how to consider technology for students with disabilities as well as sharing new and innovative approaches to support students with disabilities in their classrooms. She received her Ed.S. from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee and her Masters of Science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
Salary from employment with Georgia Department of Education with the Division for Special Education Services and Supports, in the Post School Outcomes unit.

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: No

Rachell Johnson, M.C.D., CCC-SLP

Stepping Stones Group/F1S and Technology For Home, Speech/AT Consultant / AT Team Lead


Rachell is a RESNA certified assistive technology professional with 17 years of experience in speech-language pathology with 11 years as an AT consultant specializing in eye gaze technology. Rachell is an avid public speaker on topics addressing AAC, AT, and multidisciplinary teams. Rachell is a published author with works including an AT Program manual, online blogs, and 2 articles on AAC and eye gaze technology.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
CITES, a national framework by CAST and the school district I represent have a partnership that includes a yearly stipend. Royalties from publcatiopns. 

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: No