James Ball, Ed.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Jim Ball, A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), has been working in the private sector field of autism for 25+ years. In a variety of settings, he has provided educational, employment, and residential services to children and adults affected with autism. Dr. Ball has lectured nationally and internationally, provided expert testimony, and published in the areas of early intervention, behavior, consultation services, social skills, technology, and trauma. He is a featured author and is on the advisory board for the Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine. His 2008 triple Award Winning book, “Early Intervention & Autism: Real-Life Questions, Real-Life Answers” was released in February of 2008. Dr. Ball is currently the President and CEO of JB Autism Consulting, as well as the Executive Chair, National Board Autism Society.

James Bell

James Bell is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Purple Gator Entertainment, LLC. Purple Gator launched their first game triVios on the Apple App, Google Play, and Amazon App Stores in October of 2014. TriVios peaked as high as the 3rd highest downloaded Trivia game in the world, with over 100,000 downloads and over 2 million games played. Prior to Purple Gator, James has developed software for the Harvard Medical School, REM Holdings 3, and the Department of Defense. Some of his development work includes magnetic stripe credit card readers, security and encryption protocols, image processing algorithms, and communication devices. He also worked as a proprietary futures and options quantitative trader in Chicago. James served as a member of the Missouri and Illinois Air National Guard from 2006 to 2012. James completed his BS in Electrical Engineering and from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007 and his graduate work in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012.

Katharina Boser, Ph.D.

Dr. Katharina Boser received her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in developmental psychology and cognitive science. In 2000, she joined the research faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Cognitive Neurology, where she studied language training with low-verbal subjects and cognition in children with autism. Dr. Boser is currently the technology coordinator and teacher for the Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City, Maryland. She is also a co-editor and chapter author for the new volume “Technology Tools for Students with Autism.”

Linda Burkhart

Linda Burkhart is an internationally known pioneer in the field of simplified technology for children with severe challenges. She has developed numerous adapted switches and innovative strategies for using these devices with children. Linda was a classroom teacher for fifteen years, then worked as an Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology Specialist for the Centre for Technology in Education – a joint project between
Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland State Department of Education. Currently, Linda works as a private consultant and technology integration specialist.

Mo Buti, M.Ed.-BD, M.Ed.

Mo Buti has over 24 years of experience in working with individuals with disabilities including working with children with severe/profound, moderate, and mild autism disabilities. She is currently the Director of Day Programming for Neumann Family Services in Chicago. Previously, Mo worked for 15 years at the Chicago Public Schools as a teacher, consultant, and administrator, including four years as the Coordinator of Autism and Intellectual Disabilities. She has a passion for learning, making visual modifications and teaching. Mo is known as a dynamic speaker in the field of autism. Mo holds a M.Ed.-BD and her B.S. in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University.

Pati King DeBaun, M.S. CCC-SLP

Pati King-DeBaun is a certified speech language pathologist who has specialized in communication and early literacy instruction for children with severe and multiple disabilities for the past 25 years. She is the founder and owner and of Creative Communicating, a small business that develops accessible resources for communication, early literacy and creativity in young children with disabilities. Pati speaks and consults throughout the world on topics of early language development, augmentative communication, early literacy support and children with disabilities.

Kelly Fonner, M.S.

Kelly Fonner is a self-employed consultant and trainer in assistive and educational technology. Since 1986, she has presented to schools, universities and families in 48 US states & internationally. Kelly presents on a wide range of topics including technology integration, augmentative communication, computer access, literacy, electronic writing, assistive technology assessment and implementation strategies. Kelly has a B.S. in special education from Millersville University, and an M.S. in educational technology with a minor in special education/rehabilitation technology from The Johns Hopkins University.

Brad Gerber

Brad Gerber has a 15 year history selling enterprise software solutions to government, public and private companies of all sizes. He is a business transformation expert, focused on delivering solutions that help organizations innovate, maximize operational efficiency, and reduce their operational costs. Brad has been recognized as a top producer at SAP and Oracle, the worlds #1 and #2 enterprise software providers.

Dan Herlihy

Dan Herlihy is an Assistive Technology Resource Specialist with Connective Technology Solutions, Inc. He is a national conference presenter on topics ranging from creating access on the fly, working with high and low incidence disabilities, creating access to the arts and using digital images in the classroom as a teaching and learning tool. He is also an IntelliTools Training Specialist, and has written books and articles on technology integration, as well as producing CDs of educational activities for students. His expertise is in taking diverse technologies, and connecting them together to provide solutions for access.

Linda Hodgdon, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Linda is a Speech-Language Pathologist who is internationally known for her expertise in developing the use of visual strategies to support communication for students with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and others with communication, behavior or social challenges. As an author, speaker and consultant, she has become well known world wide for her very practical information and strategies that guide communication partners to develop effective communication relationships with their children with autism. Linda’s books and training programs are packed with “best-practices” and proven strategies for helping individuals from young children with autism through adults with Asperger’s participate more effectively in their life opportunities.

Debra Mandell, OTR/L, M.A.

Debra Mandell is the Director of Monarch Center for Autism in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Her background includes formal training in occupational therapy (BSOT) and health administration (MSHA). She has experience working with special-needs populations and, previously, served as Program Director of the Child Development Center at Cooper University Hospital Medical Center. As Director of the Monarch School, a chartered non-public school for children ages 3-22 with autism spectrum disorders, Debra co-founded Monarch’s partnership with Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, resulting in the development of a visual language teaching approach and the award winning visual language software VizZle®. She is currently collaborating with Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital to form a new autism center that will combine research, clinical assessment, intervention services, community outreach, and training.

Gary Mesibov. Ph.D.

Dr. Gary B. Mesibov is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served on the faculty for 35 years. He was the Director of Division TEACCH at the University of North Carolina from 1992 until 2010. This internationally recognized statewide program is one of a kind in its pioneering approaches to service, treatment, training, research and the education of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Mesibov has received degrees from Stanford University (A.B.), The University of Michigan (M.A.), Brandeis University (Ph.D.), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Postdoctoral Fellowship). He is a licensed Psychologist in the state of North Carolina. Dr. Mesibov has more than 20 books and 150 publications. He is also the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Founders Award, and the 2013 Schopler Lifetime Achievement Award.

Susan Norwell, M.A.

Susan Norwell is an education specialist and instructor in the Special Education department at Northeaster Illinois University. She has worked with a wide array of students, including those with Rhett Syndrome, Autism and Multiple Disabilities for the last 38 years. Susan teaches Assistive Technology and Curriculum Methods courses for graduate students with a current focus of teaching literacy skills for children without verbal language while integrating augmentative communication and technology supports. Susan is trained in “Greenspan’s Floortime” model and is a relationship-based educational specialist. She consults to various schools districts on successful education of children with Rhett Syndrome and Autism Spectrum.

Mike Pray

Mike Pray is the Founder & Owner of DocMan Technologies as well as the co-Founder & Managing Director of Secure My Campus. DocMan is a full-service technology consulting practice that first started by providing electronic document management solutions as well as hosted IT platforms for law firms in 1999. DocMan also provided information technology service bureau platform for small and mid-size businesses now referred to as “cloud computing”. Clients include but are not limited to Ownes Corning, PPG Industries, Wendy’s International, Value City Furniture, Jones Day, Squire Sanders, and Akron Children’s Hospital. Secure My Campus is a security consulting operation that services schools.

Howard C. Shane, Ph.D.

Dr. Shane is the Director at the Center for Communication Enhancement and the Autism Language Program at Children’s Hospital Boston. He is the leader of the collaboration between the Monarch Center for Autism, Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Massachusetts General Hospital. The collaboration consists of a team, including: professors, clinical program directors, speech pathologists, software application experts, and specialists in outcome research. Dr. Shane also directs the Communication Enhancement Center, the oldest and largest clinical program in the country, having as its exclusive purpose the evaluation for and prescription of alternative and augmentative communication for persons with severe communication impairments. He is the author of numerous papers on severe speech impairment, has lectured throughout the world on the topic, and has produced many computer innovations for persons with autism spectrum disorders.

Bo Shim

Bo Shim is the Vice President of IT Strategy & Services, and Chief Technical Officer, for Sterling Jewelers IT organization, supporting a $3 billion dollar business unit. As the former Chief Architect of Key Bank, he implemented paradigm shift solutions in banking business intelligence solutions, invested a portfolio of $100 million in technology investment initiatives, oversaw a team of 76 architects and engineers that guided an IT solutions staff of 2000 professionals, and supported a $90 billion dollar banking business. Bo has also served as Director of Development and Engineering for Rosetta, an e-commerce solutions provider, and as Vice President and Director of Retail Banking Architecture for PNC. Bo graduated from Ohio University in 1998.


Dan Weissman

Dan Weissman has 20+ years of sales and managerial experience building high producing sales teams and has been responsible for taking products from inception to market. Dan has worked for Targus, Inc. for over 18 years and has held the positions of Director of Channel Sales, Regional Sales Manager, and head of sales training. He is also the founder and lead trainer for Natural Sakes Training, a sales training consulting practice. Dan also owned and operated a retail service business for 8+ years.

Marianne Wolf, M.A.

Marianne Wolf is the Manager, Preschool Special Education for Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She coordinates and manages all activities of the Preschool Assessment Clinic as well as 67 preschool classrooms. Marianne has had many administrative roles with increasing responsibility in the district and is committed to excellence in education. Marianne earned a Master of Arts in Special Education from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the College of Mt. St. Joseph.