Meet the Staff
Heather Bridgman has been working in the field of Assistive Technology for more than 20 years. She is a rehabilitation engineer and has worked in both the medical and educational environments. Her specialties include computer access, augmentative communication, universal design for learning, and online learning. Heather has earned a master’s degree in systems engineering with a concentration in rehabilitation as well as a teaching license in the area of high school mathematics. Heather has presented at numerous state and regional conferences on a wide variety of assistive technology software, hardware, and market trends. She is certified as a RESNA Assistive Technology Professional and teaches AT courses at Ashland University.
Samantha Brown, MA, MLIS, is the Clearinghouse Librarian. She is responsible for maintaining and developing resources for the lending library, which serves the state of Ohio, providing digital, print, and technological resources specializing in autism and low incidence disabilities and assistive technology. Her life as a librarian began in a public library setting, where she helped individuals find the books they needed, taught classes about current and upcoming technologies, and answered reference questions. Samantha continues to use those skills as Clearinghouse Librarian.
Augusta Fisher, B.A., works as a project assistant and with communications for the AT&AEM Center. She is a University of Mount Union graduate, and has 3 years of experience working with OCALI as an office intern where she worked with both the lending library and the AT&AEM Center to assist with center projects and activities.
Jennifer Govender, M.Ed, is a highly adaptable and a versatile educator. Over her 13 years of experience as an Early Intervention Specialist, Assistive Technology Specialist and a Teacher for Students with Visual Impairments, she has had the opportunity to work in-depth with diverse groups of students. These experiences have aided her development in becoming a well-rounded and compassionate individual, who takes each student’s unique goals, needs, and interests into account to allow them to be successful in the school setting.
Kelly Houston is a Project Assistant implementing the operation of the AT & AEM Center’s delivery system of accessible educational materials (AEM) to Ohio school districts. She carries out the annual Federal Quota Registration of Legally Blind Students on behalf of the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children, resulting in Federal Quota Funds for AEM for Ohio students. She maintains the AT & AEM Clearinghouse of braille, digital, and large print textbooks and educational aids for loan to eligible students. Kelly serves on the AT & AEM Federal Quota Committee and provides technical assistance related to AEM. She also assists with data collection for the AT and AEM Center.
AT & AEM Braille Consultant
Shelley Mack, B.S., M.Ed., is a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Library of Congress (NLS) Certified Braille Transcriber (Literary). She is an instructor for the BEST Grant Summer Institute braille courses and conducts UEB transition workshops for the BEST Grant as well. Shelley provides consultative support to AT&AEM and the BEST Grant in areas pertaining to braille, large print, AT and materials for students with visual impairments.
Lisa Modena, B.S. is a National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (NLS) Certified Braille Transcriber in the AT&AEM Materials Production Center. She prepares NIMAS file sets for conversion into the multiple formats of braille, large print, audio, and digital text for students with print disabilities, including students with visual impairments for Ohio school districts. She produces tactile graphics using a variety of formats and tools including computer generated, collage, microcapsule, and heat. Lisa taught Kindergarten students in a charter school and a Christian school. She taught Head Start as a Lead Teacher for 8 years. She also was an aide to students with visual impairments at the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB).
Julie Pashovich, B.A., is the administrative support for the AT & AEM Center and her prior work was with the Center for Instructional Support and Accessible Materials (CISAM). She also coordinates the Braille Excellence for Students and Teachers (BEST) Grant activities designed to increase knowledge, skills, and access to braille. Julie has 24 years’ experience with the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB), working with students who are blind and visually impaired.
AEM Production Specialist
Katie Robinson, A.S. Certified Literary Braille Transcriber, has an Associate of Science from DeVry University in Computer Networking Systems. She is a National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (NLS) Certified Braille Transcriber (Literary) who implements the NIMAS legislation in the AT & AEM Materials Production Center. She prepares NIMAS file sets for conversion into the multiple formats of braille, large print, audio, and digital text for students with print disabilities, including students with visual impairments. She produces tactile graphics using a variety of formats and tools including computer generated, collage, microcapsule, and heat. Katie provides technical assistance to parents and school district personnel of students with print disabilities including students with visual impairments on the preparation of AEM. She creates braille and large print materials for the BEST grant activities. Finally, Katie tests websites and forms for screen reader usability.
Jan Rogers, MS, OTR/L, ATP, is the program director of the Assistive Technology & Accessible Educational Materials Center. Her work includes oversight of activities and resources designed to improve outcomes for students with disabilities through state-wide capacity building in the area of AT and AEM supports and services. As an occupational therapist and a RESNA certified ATP, she has worked in a variety of programs serving the needs of individuals with disabilities as well as teaching at The Ohio State University and Bowling Green State University. Rogers is a frequent presenter at local, state, and national conferences, serves on state and national AT planning committees, and has authored peer-reviewed journal articles as well as book chapters.
Rachel Schultz, M.A., is the Accessible Educational Materials Specialist in the AT & AEM Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, with state licensure in both TESOL and Special Education. Rachel has been working with people with disabilities for 16 years in a variety of educational and residential settings. She is the recipient of local and national grants, which focused on acquiring assistive technologies in order to break down barriers to educational access. Rachel is invested in working alongside the disability community and with educators in order to increase accessible and inclusive opportunities.
Judy Siens implements the AT & AEM Center’s delivery system of accessible educational materials (AEM) to Ohio school districts. She administers the annual Federal Quota Registration of Legally Blind Students for the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children, generating Federal Quota Funds for AEM for Ohio students. She maintains the AT & AEM Clearinghouse of braille, digital, and large print textbooks and educational aids available for loan to eligible students. Judy participates on and serves as the secretary of the AT & AEM Federal Quota Committee and provides technical assistance related to AEM to Ohio School Districts.
Mary Jo Wendling
Mary Jo Wendling is an occupational therapist with over 35 years experience in pediatrics, having worked in various clinical and educational settings. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University. Since 1990, she has specialized in assistive technology. Mary Jo is the manager of the Toy and Technology Library at Nisonger Center UCEDD at The Ohio State University and works for the Dublin City School District, where she is a member of the AT team. Mary Jo has given numerous presentations, trainings and guest lectures on the topics of access, software, assistive technology, adapted toys and switches for curriculum access and modification. She provides technical assistance for the assistive technology lending library at OCALI and also participates in special projects.
Jerry Whittaker, M.A., is an AT Consultant with over 40 years of experience specializing in technologies for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. He has worked in public schools as a speech and language pathologist, and was a consultant at the East Central Ohio Special Education Regional Resource Center (currently known as State Support Team 12), ORCLISH (currently known as OCALI) and CISAM (currently known as the AT & AEM Center). Jerry provides technical assistance and professional development for districts around Ohio, as well as the Grafton Prison Braille Service Center. He has presented at local, state, and national conferences and has developed numerous supports and products to aid in the production of braille and large print.
Greg Wilson, M.A., CCC/A holds a Master of Audiology and a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees (speech/language pathology). He is a licensed Audiologist and is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. His focus and true interest lies in the areas of assistive technology, augmentative communication, and universal design for learning. Greg retired in May 2013 as a Coordinator with Ohio’s State Support Team Region 11 (SST-11). Greg provides assistance in the AT lending library specifically with the FM systems. He also participates in other special projects.