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 and the Interim Director of Services and Education at the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation at Georgia Tech. In this capacity, she oversees a wide range of AT projects and programs, including the National Pass It On Center. Carolyn teaches a graduate class at the University of Georgia in the College of Education. She is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and guest lecturer at other universities. She has published articles in 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 systems change. 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.
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Program and Outreach Manager
Liz Persaud is a nationally recognized keynote, public speaker, and advocate addressing the need to build bridges and solidify the gaps between individuals living with and without disabilities. Liz currently serves as the Program and Outreach Manager for Tools for Life (Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program) and the Pass It On Center (The National Assistive Technology Device Reutilization Coordination and Technical Assistance Center) at the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation within the College of Design at Georgia Tech. Additionally, Liz provides online and in person training and public awareness for TechSAge 2, the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center focused on successful aging with a disability. She is a sought-after guest lecturer at numerous universities speaking on the power of assistive technology. Liz is an active advocate with the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Atlanta as well as the nonprofit group Living United with NMD, providing outreach and raising awareness to numerous groups and organizations across the globe. Her passion lies within education about generations of adults growing up and living independently and successfully with childhood neuromuscular diseases. She is also the proud two-time recipient of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Personal Achievement Award in Georgia. Liz has dedicated her life to increasing independence for individuals with disabilities by educating on self-determination and advocacy with a focus on technology and disabilities. She is a graduate of Georgia State University and lives in Alpharetta, Georgia with her hero of a husband and supportive family.
Send an email to Liz: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistive Technology Access Team Manager
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 Access Team Manager for Tools for Life | CIDI at Georgia Tech. Ms. Rust has presented at numerous international, national, regional, and state conferences on assistive technology and serves on several disability related committees.
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Educational Outreach Manager
Gina Gelinas is the Educational Outreach Manager for Tools for Life at the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation. She is responsible for assisting students, teachers, administrators and others within the K-12 setting in finding effective assistive technology (AT) solutions to improve student achievement, productivity, and independence.
Certified as a Speech-Language Pathologist (CCC-SLP), Gina has over 30 years’ experience in public education. She has experience as a practitioner and in leadership. Having served as the Program Manager for the Georgia Project for Assistive Technology, she understands the importance of creating a strong foundation for assistive technology at the administrative level. Throughout her career, Gina has worked on numerous assistive technology guides, resources and toolkits that have been recognized nationally.
Gina is passionate about helping individuals find the appropriate assistive technology to help them be successful in their education, employment, homes and communities. She also finds satisfaction in empowering educators to embrace and implement assistive technology for their students. When Gina isn’t working you will find her camping with her family. She lives in Monroe, Georgia.
Send an email to Gina: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Wilson is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) and serves as an Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist for Tools for Life, the Georgia Assistive Technology Act Program. She provides assistance to feature-match individuals of all ages and all disabilities with assistive technology to enhance daily lives. Rachel is the lead when it comes to aging-well and aging with disabilities. Following a career of over 25 years specializing in rehabilitation, transitioning out of nursing homes back to the home of choice, and aging in place, Rachel provides her knowledge and experience to effectively support people to be independent and have fulfilling lives. Her interests include AT, advocacy, self-determination, and functional independence so individuals can live, learn, work, and play in communities of their choice. Rachel received her degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and her certification from the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapist (NBCOT)
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Sam Peters currently serves as the Program Specialist at Tools for Life. As the program specialist Sam assists in coordinating state leadership activities such as trainings and outreach, as well as assists in overall daily programmatic activities. This includes trainings for various grants and organizations throughout Georgia and assistive technology labs at state and national conferences. Sam enjoys getting to pursue her passion of educating individuals with disabilities, parents, teachers, professoinals and caregivers about the many possibilities of assistive technology. She loves TFL’s mission to Live, Learn, Work and especially Play independently in the community of your choice. Sam Peters received her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Georgia with a concentration in Management and Organization Theory and her Bachelors from Clemson University with her Bachelor of Science in Sociology. Sam is interested in health and education policy and the intersection between the two. Particularly, how these policies effect individuals with disabilities and their ability to live independently.
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Tori Hughes earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Shorter University in 2012 and her Master of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014. When the news business didn't live up to her expectations, Tori turned toward her passion of disability advocacy for a new career path. There she found Tools for Life and joined the team in January 2017. As Outreach Specialist for Tools for Life, Tori is part of the Training & Outreach Team. She assists with organizing statewide projects, conferences, trainings, exhibits, etc. to share information about the services offered by Tools for Life.
Tori has been involved in adaptive sports, particularly wheelchair racing, for most of her life. Tori is a committee member for the Cedartown Wheelchair Athlete Training Camp and 5K in Cedartown, Georgia and has also commentated at the finish line of the Peachtree Road Race for the wheelchair division in 2014, 2016, and 2018 sharing her knowledge of the sport and the athletes with Atlanta. Tori lives in Villa Rica and she hopes to continue to share her knowledge of AT with smaller communities so people are aware of their options when it comes to living and working independently with a disability.
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Ciara Montes graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Certificate in Music Business. She completed her Master’s in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling at Georgia State University in May of 2018. Ciara has both her Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor Certificates. Ciara began as an intern with Tools for Life in the last year of her Master’s program and found a passion for working with people of all ages and all disabilities. She enjoys finding different resources, researching new technologies, and coming up with solutions to help people become more independent. As an AT Specialist, she is responsible for demonstrating assistive technology, assisting in technology recommendations, and completing assessments in the field. Ciara is very interested in transition work with students who have disabilities and want to pursue higher education. She has worked closely with individuals in the inclusive program here at Georgia Tech and looks forward to making more connections with other programs in the future.
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DeeDee Bunn is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who specializes in augmentative communication and assistive technology. She has over 30 years’ experience working as a Speech-Language Pathologist and is the augmentative communication specialist for Tools for Life and CIDI at Georgia Tech, assisting individuals with speech/language and communication difficulties in finding communication systems to help them succeed in school, work and play. DeeDee has presented at numerous national, state and regional conferences on augmentative communication and assistive technology, with an emphasis on helping individuals increase their language, literacy and communication skills.
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Dr. Ben Satterfield
Dr. Ben Satterfield is a Research Associate at the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation at Georgia Tech. His research is focused on measuring outcomes of AT use. Ben has a background as an instructional designer who participated in the design of several software titles for young children and children with disabilities. He is also a conference presenter and workshop instructor. Ben served as the President of the Dunamis Educational Foundation and the President/CEO of Dunamis, Inc. He taught in a public high school near Richmond, Va. for seven years and served five years as a Head Soccer Coach and in sports administration at Virginia Commonwealth University. He also worked for two years as a software designer at ChalkBoard, Inc.
Ben holds a BA in History from William & Mary, and an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Virginia. In 2007, Ben completed work on his doctoral program in Instructional Technology and Distance Education at NOVA Southeastern University. Today he is a Research Associate with GA Tools for Life at Georgia Tech and an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia College of Education teaching the graduate course in AAC in the Communication Science and Special Education Department.
Send an email to Ben: firstname.lastname@example.org