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Professional Resources & Education

Practical Applications and Considerations in Designing an Assistive Technology Computer Interface

Supported by a grant from the Craig H. Nielsen Foundation for TIRR Memorial Hermann’s Assistive Technology Lab

Audience: OT/OTAs, Speech Language Pathology, Nursing, Social Work

Date: Saturday, April 16, 2016

Time:Registration 8:00, Course begins 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Location: TIRR Memorial Hermann
Research Conference Center, 2nd Floor
1333 Moursund
Houston, TX 77030

Description:This course will provide an overview and product survey for providing computer access for those with neurological injuries and/or physical disabilities such as SCI, TBI, ALS, MS, etc. Hardware and software will be discussed as well as positioning and funding considerations will be discussed.


  • Participants will be able to name one computer access feature that is built into computer operating systems.
  • Participants will be able to name one piece of hardware to provide computer access to people with disabilities.
  • Participants will be able to name one piece of software to provide computer access to people with disabilities.
  • Participants will be able to name one criteria in favor of eye gaze as a computer access solution.
  • Participants will be able to name one mounting product for computer access.

Speaker: Antoinette Verdone, MSBME, ATP
Antoinette V.Antoinette is a Rehabilitation Engineer and certified Assistive Technology Professional. She received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Orleans. She then received her MS in Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Engineering from Wright State University.
Antoinette has over fifteen years of experience providing assistive technology services. The areas of assistive technology that Antoinette has knowledge in include home modification, vehicle modification, alternative and augmentative communication, wheelchair seating and positioning, computer access for physical and cognitive deficits, mobile device access, and ergonomics.
Creative problem solving is Antoinette's strong suit. By keeping up to date on all available assistive technology, Antoinette strives to solve problems efficiently, simply, and in a client friendly way. Antoinette is the owner and lead consultant for Improve Ability, LLC.

Conflicts of Interest and Disclosures: Policy & Procedures exist whereby all speakers must disclose any relationships which may cause a conflict of interest. Any relevant financial and non-financial relationships will be disclosed via speaker agreement, written notification after agreement, and prior to presentation.

  • Financial: Paid speaker including travel expenses. MHHS vendor for AT Lab equipment.
  • Nonfinancial: Owner of ImproveAbility, LLC. Corporation

Guest Speaker: Zach Staats is a licensed occupational therapist and prior to joining Tobii Dynavox, specialized in spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Zach has presented nationally on various topics pertaining to the spinal cord injury population, including assistive technology solutions, upper extremity recovery, bowel and bladder management and sexuality.

  • Conflicts of Interest and Disclosures: Zach Staats currently serves as the Director of Clinical Implementation for Tobii Dynavox's Healthcare Integration Program. Tobii Dynavox is a provider of touch and eye tracking based assistive technology for those with communication and mobility impairments, delivering communication and computer access tools available. Zach's primary role at Tobii Dynavox is focused on integrating assistive technology into the healthcare setting to improve communication between patients and their healthcare providers
8:00 - 8:30Registration
8:30-10:30Introduction to Terminology and Platform Descriptions
Hardware to Assist with Computer Access (Keyboards and Mice Options)
10:45-12:15Software to Assist with Computer Access: Dwell, Switch, Voice Recognition
12:15-1:00Box Lunches provided
1:00-3:00Computer Access through Eye Gaze: Guest Speaker Zach Staats, OT
3:15-4:00Funding Considerations
4:00-4:30Questions and Answer

Assessment of Learning Objectives: Discussion, question / answer, course evaluation.
Instructional Methods Used: Lecture and application with devices

Continuing Education Credits
Participants must attend the entire day of the course for which they registered to receive CEU’s/CCU’s and course certificate.

Occupational Therapy:
OT Approved CE



 Memorial Hermann Health System is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. The assignment of AOTA CEU’s does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures from AOTA.

  • Course is offered for 0.65 AOTA CEU’s.
  • AOTA Classification Code: Occupational Therapy Process- Intervention.
  • AOTA Instructional Level: Introductory


 This course is offered for up to 0.675 ASHA CEUs
(Introductory, Professional Area).

Memorial Hermann Healthcare System is an ASHA Approved Provider of continuing education- provider ID ABAF. The assignment of ASHA CEU’s does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures from ASHA.

  • This course is offered for 0.675 ASHA CEU’s.
  • ASHA Instructional Level: Introductory.
  • ASHA Classification Code: 3040

Memorial Hermann Health System is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Nursing: 6.5 CE contact hours will be provided.
Social Work: 6.5 CE contact hours will be provided.

Cost / Registration: FREE, Registration Required
Complete registration form is required to reserve your place in the course. This course is FREE to the community in collaboration with a grant from the Craig H. Nielsen Foundation for TIRR Memorial Hermann. Any questions, please contact:

Cancellations: Email cancelation to TIRR Memorial Hermann is not responsible for the refund of travel or hotel expenses under any circumstances. TIRR Memorial Hermann reserves the right to cancel or change any programs for due cause. In the event of a cancelation, participants will be notified via email and contact phone number submitted in the registration.

Parking: Parking in Garage 6, next to TIRR. $12 daily.

Registration is now closed