Presenters, SOMA 2022
Click on name to get email address
Dr. Ambrose-Zaken is president and CEO of Safe Toddles, Inventor of the pediatric belt cane, and orientation and mobility adjunct instructor for Hunter College of The City University of New York.
Dawn Anderson, Ph.D. COMS is the coordinator for the TCVI and O&M with Children’s Master of Arts Programs at Western Michigan University. The Stepping Up to Technology Grant from OSEP to provide training to vision professionals in the area of CVI using the CViConnect App is her latest project. She has research interests in Echoidentification and assessment and has looked at the state requirements for O&M across the US and its territories.
Beezy Bentzen, COMS, PhD - Beezy Bentzen is an O&M specialist, having taught people who are visually impaired to travel independently for more than 30 years. She is best known for her research on improving environmental access for people who are visually impaired including such means as large print, tactile, and electronic signs, audible signs, tactile maps, accessible pedestrian signals, visual contrast, detectable warnings, and various wayfinding technologies. She is Director of Research at Accessible Design for the Blind.
Tiffany has served as a TVI/COMS in various school districts across the state of Florida for the last 17 years, including five years as the Coordinator for the Vision Program in Hillsborough County. She is passionate about this great field and committed to supporting the provision of best practices for all the children/clients we serve.
Katie Ericson, TSVI/COMS, is a second-year Ph.D. student in Special Education at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
Her research interests include professional development for TSVIs and COMS and physical activity/recreation for individuals with visual impairments
Alex Fabrega is a Florida native and FSU-trained TVI/COMS in his 4th year teaching in Flagstaff, Arizona. He has presented at AZAER but is thrilled to be back in his home state to learn from the best!
Danene Fast is an Assistant Professor – Clinical and Faculty Lead for the Programs in Visual Impairment within the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. She is dually certified as an orientation and mobility specialist and teacher of students with visual impairments.
Erika Fundelius is a TVI, COMS, and a 4th year doctoral candidate at Florida State University in the visual disabilities program. She is in the middle of her dissertation and is looking forward to graduating May 2023. She has worked as an itinerant TVI and currently provides O&M services to adults in the Tallahassee area.
Sue Glaser is a TVI/O&M instructor for the Lighthouse for the Blind & Low Vision where she has been the coordinator of the Transition Program since 2002, planning and implementing year-round school-to-work programming for students with visual impairments aged 14 and up.
Jennifer Graham is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist with over twenty-five years of experience teaching individuals with low vision or blindness. In addition to teaching she is a Research Associate with Accessible Design for the Blind and has collaborated and participated in research projects structured to address accessibility issues for pedestrians with visual disabilities.
Dr. Tina Herzberg is a Professor and Coordinator of the Visual Impairment Program at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She currently serves as the principal investigator of the federally funded braille training grant, Project INSPIRE: Increasing the STEM Potential of Individuals Who Read Braille. Previously, she served as a general education math/English teacher, an itinerant teacher of students with visual impairment, a certified O&M specialist and team leader for a regional service center.
Dr. Justin Kaiser is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky and teaches in the programs to prepare O&M specialists and teachers of students with visual impairments.
Dr. Kaiser is certified as a TVI and as an O&M Specialist, and serves as a Board Member of the O&M Specialists Association.
Dr. Kaiser has been involved in many research projects and conference presentations.
Howard Kaplan created and is the head of the Advanced Visualization Center at the University of South Florida, a campus wide resource that provides development and training on many technologies . He uses multiple technology tools and techniques as a means of study and application for academics and research projects. He received a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design, a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology, and a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of South Florida.
Rikilynn Layher is a COMS and CVRT with experience working in adult residential and summer programs, as a private contractor, and in the public school setting. She has spent the last 15 years at Saginaw ISD in Michigan."
Elaine Mara holds a master’s in Higher Education Administration. After working as a postsecondary disability services coordinator and with high school students with visual impairments, Elaine is currently pursuing certification as a teacher of students with visual impairments and orientation & mobility specialist from Florida State University.
Mike May has been a pioneer in new product and business development since 1980.
He is currently Chief Evangelist for Good Maps, Inc., a pedestrian navigation company with an emphasis on accessible navigation for people who are blind or visually impaired including indoor navigation.
Dr. Tessa McCarthy is an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh affiliated with the Visual Impairment and Blindness Program. Dr. McCarthy is both a teacher of students with visual impairments and a certified orientation and mobility specialist. Dr. McCarthy primarily teaches in the orientation and mobility program.
McMillan, Anna (Nan)
Linda Myers has worked in the field of vision for over 40 years and has regularly participated in human factors research regarding accessibility issues.
Linda co-authored Part 4: Supplement: Street Crossings for Travelers Who Are Visually Impaired in TAPS, 2012;
a chapter on transportation systems in AFB’s Foundations of O&M; a chapter in AFB’s Access to Mass Transit for Blind and Visually Impaired Travelers, and numerous journal articles.
Parker, Amy T.
Kristy earned her master’s degree in orientation and mobility from Western Michigan University, and completed her internship at Southeastern Blind Rehabilitation Center in Birmingham, AL. Kristy has a cat at home named Rosa who loves to lounge around the house. Kristy likes hiking, swimming and chasing her toddler.
Dona Sauerburger, COMS, is still excited about O&M after 50 years!
She has published, presented, and did research on street crossing and working with deafblind people.
Her current passions in addition to O&M include doing workshops for Braver Angels, and for Magissa to support anyone trying to make a difference in our world.
Tommy graduated from Western Michigan University with his master’s degree in orientation and mobility. He thrives on the creative approaches to O&M encouraged at Leader Dog. He is particularly fond of taking O&M clients on hikes at the nearby state parks.
Amanda Thompson is a TVI, COMS, CATIS, & ATP and is the Director of Assistive Technology for Allied Instructional Services, providing school-based educational services on the east coast.
Her passions are equitable access for all and anything technology related.
Jolene Troisi, TVI, COMS, received her M.Ed. and TVI & O&M certification at the University of Pittsburgh.
She has worked as a TVI & COMS for 18 years, serving adults, school-age students, and birth-3 in PA, OH, and WV.
She has taught TVI/O&M classes for Pitt and supervises O&M interns.
Garret served in the United States Marine Corps for four years as a rifleman team leader.
After being honorably discharged, he graduated from Western Michigan University with a master's degree in orientation and mobility. Garret enjoys going on hikes and fishing.
Wall Emerson, Robert
Robert Wall Emerson, Ph.D. is a certified orientation and mobility specialist and faculty member at Western Michigan University. He has served as a Department Chair, is currently serving as the Associate Editor for Research for the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, is a member of the Pedestrian Committee of the Transporation Review Board, and is an editor of the fourth edition of the Foundations of O&M.
Stephanie Welch-Grenier is a doctoral student at The Ohio State University in the visual impairment program. She has received a Master’s of Arts degree and Master’s of Education degree. Stephanie is a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Therapist and a Certified O&M Specialist.
Anne Zanger has been a COMS for 15 years with Genesee ISD.