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Joy Zabala Fellows in AT & AEM Named for 2022–2023

Friday, July 1, 2022

Photos of the six named Joy Zabala Fellows for 2022–2023 with names and titles

The steering committee of the Joy Zabala Fellowship in Assistive Technology (AT) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) is pleased to announce the inaugural class of Fellows. The Fellowship was established in 2021 to actively honor Joy’s legacy of creating solutions that expand opportunities for all learners, especially those with disabilities.

The JZ Fellowship selects AT/AEM expert applicants to serve as mentors to emerging practitioner mentees. The selected pairs then jointly create a work plan that reflects the collaboration and investment in learning that epitomized Joy’s approach to education.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, the Fellows will collaborate with mentors to develop, enhance, and disseminate AT and AEM-focused practices designed to widen educational opportunities for struggling students.

The inaugural Joy Zabala Fellowship pairs, selected from a field of more than 40 applicants, are:

  • Matthew Newton (mentor), a Technology Coordinator, Teacher, and AT Specialist in Virginia, will work with Kristin Blain (mentee), a Special Education Curriculum and Access Consultant in Michigan, to assess and re-envision the role of AT knowledge and practice in an intermediate school district serving PreK–Adult learners.
  • Elisa Wern (mentor), an Occupational Therapist and AT Professional in Florida, will work with Susan Key (mentee), a Special Education Specialist in an Educational Service Center in Texas, to increase the mentee’s knowledge of AT/AEM sufficient to establish professional development resources to be used region-wide.
  • Stacy Springer (mentor), an Occupational Therapist and AT Professional in Ohio, will work with Bethany Britt (mentee), an IEP Compliance & Special Education Supervisor in Ohio, to develop district-wide policies and procedures for the consideration of AT and Universal Design for Learning.

Each Fellowship pair’s work plan includes one or more measurable goals that are designed to be scalable to other sites and personnel, and that lend themselves to dissemination and use by other stakeholders. In this way, the Joy Zabala Fellows will carry on Joy’s lifelong commitment to sharing and cooperative work.

Your support keeps Joy's legacy alive.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Joy Zabala Fellowship in Assistive Technology & Accessible Educational Materials. Every dollar goes toward the maintenance and extension of the Fellowship program, supporting collaboration and mentorship for educators in assistive technology and accessible educational materials.

Learn more about donating

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