Tools for Life Team
Carolyn P. Phillips
Program Director and Principal Investigator
Carolyn P. Phillips is nationally recognized in the field of assistive technology and disabilities. Carolyn serves as Director and Principal Investigator of Tools for Life, Georgia’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program at Georgia Tech | AMAC. In this capacity, she oversees a wide range of AT projects and programs, including the National Pass It On Center. Ms. Phillips teaches a graduate class at the University of Georgia in the College of Education. She is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences, guest lecturer at other universities and expert witness in AT-related cases. She has been featured on National Public Radio’s Infinite Mind, on PBS’s Innovators Series, on CNN, ABC and in articles distributed by Associated Press. She has published articles in numerous journals, chapters in books in AT and poetry focused on living with disabilities. Carolyn has dedicated her time and energy to promoting independence of all people, including those with disabilities through advocacy, education, assistive technology and fundraising. Among other awards and recognitions, she has received the National Rehabilitation Association’s Belle Greve Award for “outstanding contributions and major positive impacts” in the disability community. The Department of Labor in Georgia also gave her the Director’s Award for “extraordinary and diligent service on behalf of people with disabilities.” She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, and her Master's Degree from the University of Kentucky. Carolyn lives in Atlanta, Georgia.Send an email to Carolyn: email@example.com
AT Initiatives PI
Joy Kniskern obtained an M.Ed. in Community Counseling from Georgia State University, a BA from Vanderbilt University and is certified as a rehabilitation counselor and level one mediation specialist. Joy has spent over 34 years securing and leading innovative state, Federal and private grants to increase access to and acquisition of appropriate assistive technology. She pioneered development of a computer education program for individuals with severe disabilities in the 1980s, launched and directed Tools for Life in the 1990s and established Georgia's Alternative Finance Program, Credit-Able. She has co-authored publications on assistive technology service delivery, has presented widely, peer-reviewed many grants, and continues to serve in leadership roles on many state and national advisory groups to assist in strategic planning and resource development for assistive technology. In 2006, she received the Touch the Future Visionary Award for her leadership in advancing assistive technology services, and has received many other awards for her work over the years.
Send an email to Joy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Jacobs is a retired Staff Sgt. serving 10 years in the United States Air Force. During his time in the USAF he provided information technology support and network security at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, Osan Air Force Base Republic of South Korea, and Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. Ben brings to the Tools for Life team his passion and drive for technology and enhancing independence for people of all ages and abilities. His experience with Android devices and software development will enhance the TFL AT Solutions Lab at Georgia Tech. Ben currently lives in Alpharetta with his fiancé.
Send an email to Ben: email@example.com
Training, Outreach and Development Coordinator
Liz Persaud is a nationally recognized keynote and public speaker addressing the need to build bridges between individuals with and without disabilities. Liz currently serves as the Training, Outreach and Development Coordinator for Tools for Life (Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program) and the Pass It On Center (National Assistive Technology Device Reutilization Coordination and Technical Assistance Center). Liz is an active advocate with the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Atlanta, speaking to numerous groups and organizations across the country. Additionally, Liz holds the title for the 1999 and 2005 Muscular Dystrophy Association Personal Achievement Award in the state of Georgia. She has dedicated her life to increasing independence for individuals with disabilities by educating on self determination and advocacy, successful transition practices, using assistive technology, encouraging others to focus on abilities and promoting equality amongst those of all abilities. Liz is a graduate of Georgia State University and lives in Alpharetta, Georgia with her family.
Send an email to Liz: firstname.lastname@example.org
AT Specialist and Services Coordinator
Martha Rust completed her masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Tennessee and received her CRC. She also is a RESNA certified ATP and earned a certificate in Assistive Technology Applications from California State University at Northridge. Ms. Rust is the Assistive Technology Specialist for Tools for Life/ AMAC at Ga Tech. She also works on the Tech Support Team for AMAC, working with college students who have disabilities and use AMAC services. Ms. Rust has presented at numerous international, national, regional, and state conferences on assistive technology and serves on several disability related committees
Send an email to Martha: email@example.com
Rachel Wilson is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) who has been practicing for over 23 years. She specializes in Rehabilitation and has a strong background in Transition and Aging. She has worked with numerous individuals with disabilities to transition back to their home or highest level of independence in the most appropriate environment. Her interests include assistive technology, advocacy, self-determination and functional independence so individuals can live, learn, work and play in communities of their choice. Rachel serves as the TechMatch Specialist for Tools for Life, the Georgia Assistive Technology Act Program. She received her degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and her Certification from the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapist (NBCOT). Rachel lives in Marietta, Georgia.
Send an email to Rachel: firstname.lastname@example.org