Center for Assistive Technology
Nationally known as a leader in the field of assistive technology since 1995, the CCATT center assists individuals, families, and professionals in the selection, acquisition, and use of assistive technology.
CCATT is a Leader in the Field of Assistive Technology
The center is staffed by professionals with extensive classroom experience and proven expertise in assistive technology tools for students with learning disabilities, computer access, alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), and adapted curriculum solutions. This dedicated and enthusiastic staff has shared best practices and knowledge with many workshop audiences, and have been regular presenters at national conferences such as Technology, Reading, and Learning Diversity Conference and Closing the Gap, which bring together recognized leaders in the field of Assistive Technology from throughout the country.
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology is any device, program, or app that makes life easier and improves the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Assistive Technology empowers students to access the curriculum and improve their learning and aid their communication. Student IEPs are required to address and consider assistive technology.
Assistive Technology and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Evaluations
These are based on the SETT Framework (Student, Environments, Tasks, Tools). Specialists help students (PreK-22), families, educators, and schools to address universal access concerns and maximize participation and inclusion for all learners. They also provide the opportunity to evaluate different devices or software.
Consultation helps schools and districts to address funding, selecting, customizing, implementing and sustaining the use of assistive technology, and meet IEP and curriculum goals through technology implementation. CCATT specialists provide consults to students, individual student teams, districts, schools, or programs. Consultants have special expertise in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Learning Disabilities (LD).
Professional Development and coaching can be arranged at your site or ours to meet specialized district or staff needs. CCATT is an Assistive Technology Training Provider for the Massachusetts Department of Education. The CCATT team offers training on the latest in assistive technology and augmentative communication. Please contact us directly to discuss workshop possibilities that may meet your needs.
The Patty Walsh-Cassidy Lending Library
The library is dedicated to the legacy of Patty Walsh-Cassidy, a CCATT Center co-founder, speech therapist, assistive technology specialist, teacher, and innovator.
Through our collection, library users have short-term access to hardware, software, apps, and devices. Borrowers can explore or try these resources in their home or school environments and determine which assistive technology options best fit their needs prior to purchase. Housed at the CCATT Center at the Collaborative for Education Services in Northampton, MA, the PWC Lending Library opens the door to possibility, and enables students with disabilities to reach their goals, instead of being relegated to the sidelines.
[Jeanne]’s been instrumental in setting up and supporting AAC trials for [elementary autistic] students, and following through to connect me with outside agencies. Because of this, we’ve been able to initiate insurance-funded home device trials for students who didn’t have any communication systems in place just a few months ago. As an SLP who’s been working in the public school system for 10 years, this has been the best AAC consulting experience I’ve had. Gratitude to Jeanne and the folks at CES for helping our students find their voices.
—Alex Rubic, MS, CCC-SLP
Jeanne Tuthill is an ASHA-certified Speech-Language Pathologist who has worked as an Assistive Technology Specialist since 2008. She works for the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, MA and provides consultation, training and evaluation services to schools through the Western MA area. She has presented professional development courses on a variety of Assistive Technology topics and is a former Adjunct Faculty for the Simmons College Assistive Technology Graduate Program where she taught the Augmentative and Alternative Communication course.
Jeanne Tuthill has worked in a variety of settings as a certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist since 1998, and joined the CES Center for Assistive Technology and Training as an assistive technology specialist in 2008. She has presented on a variety of AT topics at both local and national conferences, and served as an instructor for a number of DESE statewide Assistive Technology courses. The field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) allows Jeanne to combine her love for working with children and helping them develop their communication skills with her interest in computers and technology.
To learn more about CES Assistive Technology consulting, training, and evaluation services, visit collaborative.org/ccatt.
Position: Augmentative and Alternative Communication/Assistive Technology Specialist
Erin MacEachen has been an educator at CES since 1998. She provides individualized, direct, explicit, systematic, sequential, multisensory instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, syllabication, morphology, and spelling to students with dyslexia; develops and implements curriculum in language arts and mathematics; and utilizes a wide range of standardized assessments to screen and test students for learning disabilities. She holds a Masters of Special Education and a professional level license in Special Education, is a Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) Certified Dyslexia Practitioner, and holds IDA/IMSLEC International Certification, Advanced Level, in the Orton Gillingham Method. Erin also trains teachers to evaluate students with various assessment techniques and to interpret assessment results; and to apply remediation strategies for specific learning disabilities. Erin has been an instructor for seven DESE Assistive Technology Institutes, and presented at multiple Technology, Reading & Learning Diversity (TRLD) Conferences, and provides professional development related to reading, learning disabilities, and AT. She has expertise in many kinds of educational technology including: iPad educational and assistive technology apps, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Kurzweil, SOLO Suite, Snap&Read, TEXThelp Read and Write, Inspiration, and many Google Chrome educational and assistive technology apps/extensions.
Position: Learning Disabilities/Literacy/Assistive Technology Specialist