The conversation continues: Families at the Forefront of Technology Conference 2015

Check out this year’s presenters!

To quote John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

At Shining Beautiful, we learned so much from last year’s conference. Mikelle is using the Pictello app on her iPad to hire and train her support staff. and is presenting at this year’s conference with Gretchen Storm and Marsha Threlkeld on how to use technology for employment and independent living.

Let us introduce you more of  our dynamic team of curated speakers this year’s conference.  We could not be more excited.

 Lunch Keynote
Amanda Boxtel International Speaker & Technology Advocate 

We met Amanda at last year’s conference and were blown away by her inspiring story. We know Amanda has been up to some new stuff since we last met. We can’t wait to hear the latest from this trailblazer!

Since Amanda sustained a permanent spinal cord injury, her tireless advocacy has been driven by strong determination to improve the lives of people with disabilities with innovative technology. Amanda presents around the world from her  bionic exoskeleton suit, walking across the stage and demonstrating to her audiences the power of bionic technology. She has been featured as a speaker at numerous conferences and venues including TED2011, TEDx San Antonio, TEDxDU, TEDxSF, The Aspen Ideas Festival, 20th Century Fox Studios, Aspen Brain Forum, and Singularity University’s Europe


We strive to meets the needs of large spectrum of people with disabilities. It is with pleasure that we introduce you to these leaders in the field of Autism and technology. A. Cardon, PhD., CCC-SLP has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for over 20 years. Dr. Cardon completed her doctoral training in Speech & Hearing Science with an autism emphasis at Arizona State University and is currently the Director of the Melisa Nellesen Autism Center at Utah Valley University. Dr. Cardon has published her research on autism in peer-reviewed journals and presents at conferences both nationally and internationally. Dr. Cardon has done extensive research on video modeling with young children with autism. Her latest book, Technology and the Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, describes a multitude of supports for individuals on the spectrum.

Tricia NelsonTrisha Nelson, President/Executive Director – Utah Autism Academy

Tricia is the parent of Riley (who is profoundly affected by autism). Her involvement in the autism community over the last 12 years has included state and national legislative advocacy, autism support coordination and research. Tricia is the Founder and Executive Director of Utah Autism Academy, a day treatment center for individuals with autism ranging from ages 2 – 22. Her greatest joy comes from being a mother to her four children, one of which is on the autism spectrum.


Video Modeling, Technology,& ASD: From Research to Practice

Video Modeling has been around for decades but with the invention of new technology, it is easier to use than ever.  This presentation will focus on current video modeling research and how to translate that research to your daily practice. You will also hear practical tips from a parent who has used a variety of technologies to support her son and others with ASD in day treatment and community settings.

Mikelle and I hope you can join us at the 2015 Families at the Forefront of Technology Conference in Snowmass Village as we move ahead creating a truly accessible and inclusive 21st Century community.  Here is a link to our website.

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