Tools for Life Team
Carolyn P. Phillips
Program Director and Principal Investigator
Carolyn P. Phillips is a nationally recognized consultant in the field of assistive technology and disabilities. She has spoken to numerous groups on topics that include assistive technology, advocacy, self-determination and living with a learning disability. Carolyn serves as Director of Tools for Life, the Georgia Assistive Technology Act Program and Pass It On Center, the National Assistive Technology Reuse Technical Assistance and Coordination Center. She has published articles in numerous journals, a chapter in a book and poetry focused on understanding and appreciating people with disabilities. Carolyn has dedicated her time and energy to promoting independence for people with disabilities through advocacy, education, assistive technology and fundraising. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
AT Development 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: email@example.com
Training, Development and Outreach 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 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 active in the Atlanta Metro Georgia Rehabilitation Association Chapter, and served as president in 2007. She joined the Tools for Life team, under the Georgia Department of Labor, Vocational Rehabilitation Program, as the Assistive Technology Funding Specialist then moved into the Assistive Technology Specialist position. During this time, 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
AT Funding and Resource Specialist
Jackie Stapleton is the Tools for Life Funding and Resource Specialist and has a Master’s degree in Special Education. For over 19 years, Jackie taught students with disabilities in the Public Schools. She has extensive professional work experience in the communication, cultural and advocacy issues facing individuals with disabilities and their families. Jackie’s dedication to advocating to bridge the gaps in services provided to individuals with disabilities also stems from a personal perspective. In 2004, Jackie's son suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Her experience with her son in educational, medical, physical and social environments has given her a unique, in depth understanding of the barriers people with disabilities often face, as well as, solutions for successfully navigating these environments. “Disable the Limits,” Jackie’s small business inspired by her son, advocates for real understanding and full inclusion of all individuals with disabilities. Her creative and positive approach encourages and motivates individuals in overcoming all perceived limitations.
Send an email to Jackie: firstname.lastname@example.org