Arlington, March 7th

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Our Speakers

Photo of Joy ZabalaJoy Zabala
Director of Technical Assistance at CAST

Joy Smiley Zabala, Ed.D. is the Director of Technical Assistance for CAST and Co-Director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials. An experienced general and special educator, Dr. Zabala has worked with other educators, students and families across the US and abroad to expand the use of accessible materials, technology and other supports to expand the literacy, communication, participation and productivity of individuals with disabilities.  She is the developer of the SETT Framework (, a founder of QIAT (Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology), and the facilitator of the QIAT List ( Dr. Zabala is a strong supporter of Universal Design for Learning, accessible materials and assistive technology as complementary supports for the participation and achievement of all individuals across the lifespan.

Photo of Mark NicolsMark Nichols
Special Education Supervisor of Assistive Technology, Vision, and DHH at Loudoun County Public Schools

Mark is the LCPS Division Level Administrator for accessible materials and serves on the AIM-VA Coordinating Council for the state of Virginia as well as the National AEM Advisory Committee. Mark is an active member of Virginia’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) Advisory Board which provides feedback and guidance on the various state initiatives and the professional development to all stakeholders throughout school systems in Virginia. Mark conducts many presentations in both face-to-face and virtual venues at local, regional, state, national, and international conferences on topics that help unite educators under the common purpose of engaging all students.  Mark also has a personal interest in the maker movement and connections to the field of Assistive Technology

Jeff FaustJeff Faust
Director of Technology at Charlottesville City Schools

Jeff is currently serving as Director of Technology for Charlottesville City Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia where he oversees vision, strategy, design and support for initiatives and technology systems across the division. Jeff has spent time as a classroom teacher, in technical product development, with technology startups in the private sector and as part of school division leadership. Jeff currently sits on various boards in differing capacities but always as an advocate for better public/private partnerships and advancing technological opportunities and solutions within organizations and the community. His professional career has centered around Education as well as Information Systems, Technology Applications and Software Development with a tenuous focus on identifying just right solutions for technology in all situations while promoting individualized, customized learning solutions wherever possible. 

Photo of Kathleen ColburnKathleen Colburn
Product Manager at Texthelp 

Kathleen is in her third year with Texthelp, where she oversees all product updates and releases for Texthelp’s suite of literacy software in North America.

She works closely with the software development and marketing teams to create, evolve and promote products that meet the needs of educators and students alike, while keeping up with the changing landscape of educational technology.

Outside of her role at Texthelp, Kathleen is a Google Certified Educator, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Tufts University, and has taught and tutored students in high school math and college entrance exam preparation. 

The Agenda

9.00am - 9.30am

Early Check in 

9.30am - 10.00am

Jeff Levinson, Regional Sales Director - Southeast - Texthelp
(continental breakfast will be served)

10.00am - 11.00am

The Best of Both Worlds: Leveraging Universal Design for Learning & Google Apps to Engage Students
Mark Nichols, Supervisor of Assistive Technology, Loudon County Public Schools

11.00am - 12.00pm

Meeting the needs of all students with Universal Design for Learning
Joy Zabala, Director of Technical Assistance at CAST

12.00pm - 12.45pm


12.45pm - 1.30pm

Going District-Wide with Read&Write
Jeff Faust, Director of Technology, Charlottesville City Schools

1.30pm - 3.00pm

Texthelp Product Giveaways and Roadmap Insights
Kathleen Colburn, Product Manager, Texthelp


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