Our team has over 125 years of collective experience in the Assistive Technology (AT) field. We work with ALL individuals, from our Birth to Three Services to our expertise in helping Seniors. Simply put, we are here to provide you with the right solutions for your need.
Please take some time to explore our innovative services under the Our Services tab above. If you are interested in NEAT's AT services, please contact us at CentersConnect@OakHillCT.org.
The NEAT Team
Elena leads a prestigious, powerhouse team of AT and AAC Specialists who each contribute unique areas of expertise to the local, national, and global communities. Promoting AT/AAC awareness and guiding advocacy efforts within these communities lie at the heart of Elena’s career, and are evident within the evaluation, consultation, and training services that she oversees. With an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an Assistive Technology Certificate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, she is driven by the ways that technology can empower and create opportunities for those with different abilities across the lifespan.
Steve is the Manager of Blind Vocational Services and is responsible for providing Assistive Technology Evaluations, consultations, and trainings to individuals with low vision, blindness and those who are deaf/blind. This technology can assist people to use a personal computer, a tablet, or mobile device. People can learn the necessary skills to complete classroom assignments, complete college courses, obtain necessary employment skills or become gainfully employed. Some examples of the software and hardware that Steve teaches include screen reading, screen magnification, scanning and reading, Braille note takers and Braille displays. Many of these pieces of technology are easily integrated with Windows based computers, tablets, Macintosh computers and Apple mobile devices. Steve was born legally blind and uses much of this technology daily in his professional and personal lives. Steve currently is a certified trainer for the JAWS for Windows screen reader and the ZoomText screen magnifier. He travels independently with his guide dog, a German Shepherd. He brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to the people he serves each day. Steve is also available to speak to individuals or groups to educate them on technology and services that can help them, their family members, or friends.
Samantha joins the NEAT Center at Oak Hill as Office Manager to assist and support the entire NEAT team. Her diverse background (a Bachelors in Psychology, 10 years of customer service experience and 5 years of billing and finance experience) has created a skillset adaptable to the many necessities of this role. She will be responsible for many office undertakings including reception, billing and data collection. She will also assist with the intake of customer requests, scheduling and coordinating services, and following up for reviews and satisfaction with clients.
Samantha can be reached at:
Email at Samantha.Marut@OakHillCT.org
Jamie has been an Assistive Technology Specialist for over ten years. He specializes in finding AT solutions for students and adults with dyslexia and other learning and attention issues. Before joining the AT team at NEAT, he was an independent consultant. In that role, he traveled across the United States, working one-to-one with students, training teachers, and giving presentations. He also wrote articles on assistive technology for various websites. During his many years in education, he was an Orton-Gillingham language tutor before getting immersed in the world of assistive technology. Having a full understanding of how remediation and accommodation can work together, he developed a successful assistive technology program at The Kildonan School in Amenia, NY, an institution dedicated to the education of students with dyslexia.In addition to his work for NEAT, Jamie enjoys sharing his knowledge of assistive technology with the viewers of Understood.org. As a consultant to Understood, he regularly participates in live video chats, as well as Twitter and Facebook chats. He also writes articles and blog posts and reviews apps for the site’s Tech Finder tool.To stay current on the latest developments in assistive technology, Jamie regularly attends educational conferences, including ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) and IDA (International Dyslexia Association), and he has given many presentations at those events.
Ramón Hernández is an Assistive Technology Specialist working with NEAT. His background includes Communication, Information Technology, Filmmaking, Marketing, and Special Education. Ramón found his love for Special Education while working as a substitute teacher for Connecticut. He then worked for 3 years at a private special education center as a Teacher’s Assistant and an Assistive Technology Assistant. After graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a Master of Science, specializing in Assistive Technology, Ramón started working with the NEAT Center. Ramón hopes to bring his love for videography and digital media further into the field of AT.
Kristen Gilfeather is an Assistive Technology Specialist working with NEAT. She found her passion for working with special education students when she became a paraprofessional for preschool students in the public schools, where she worked for 6 years. While in this position, she found her way to occupational therapy. After completing her occupational therapy degree, she began providing occupational therapy services to adult and geriatric patients in a skilled nursing facility. Kristen then returned to working for a public school district providing occupational therapy services to students of all ages and abilities. During these 6 years of providing occupational therapy services in public schools, Kristen developed her love for assistive technology. She began training staff on various types of assistive technology across the district. Kristen is excited to combine her background in occupational therapy with her love for assistive technology, to help people of all ages and abilities achieve their highest level of independence.
Margie Hislop, M.A., CCC-SLP - Augmentative and Alternative Communication Specialist
Margie Hislop is a Speech-Language Pathologist working with NEAT. She provides Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) consultations and evaluations for individuals of all ages with complex communication needs and related disabilities. Margie also offers trainings and workshops to families, caregivers, and professionals to promote community awareness of technology to support communication and independence. She attended Susquehanna University (B.S. in Psychology) and the University of Connecticut (M.A. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences). She is a member of ASHA Special Interest Group 12 (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) and is licensed in the state of Connecticut, as well as by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.
Liz O’Brien, M.A., CCC-SLP - Augmentative and Alternative Communication Specialist
Liz O’Brien is a Speech-Language Pathologist working with NEAT. She previously worked at the University of Connecticut Speech and Hearing Clinic providing speech and language treatment and conducting evaluations for children (ages 3-12). She then worked at a high school in Connecticut primarily in a specialized program for students with complex communication disorders, including augmentative alternative communication (AAC). She attended College of the Holy Cross (B.A. in Psychology and Sociology) and the University of Connecticut (M.A. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences). She is licensed in the state of Connecticut, as well as by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Liz is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in assistive technology (AT) from George Mason University. She is excited to combine her passion for AAC with AT to empower those with different abilities.
Liz can be reached at:
Email at: Elizabeth.Obrien@OakHillCT.org
Follow Liz on Twitter @NEATwithLiz
Margarita (Maggie) was introduced to assistive technology in 2004, when volunteering in her daughter's special needs classroom and working for Easter Seals (Birth to Three) as their Spanish translator. When her daughter's diagnosis changed to Rett Syndrome, Maggie made a promise to her daughter that she would not give up. She would be beside her to amplify her voice, advocate and learn ways to help her regain independence on everyday skills that she was losing. Maggie immediately starting volunteering in the Rett community and today is the Co-President of Rett Syndrome Angels. When she settled down in Massachusetts, her first job allowed her to become an educational advocate and as a resource coordinator learned about multi-disabilities through the Federation for Children with Special Needs.
As a child Maggie living in various European countries and she picked up the native languages quickly, at the age of 5 she spoke 4 different languages. She learned early on the value of being emerged in an environment that allows autonomy of language. She was encouraged over the years to explore Assistive Technology as a career by her friend Kate Ahern. She attended the CSUN program in assistive technology and was the only "mom' in the group of professionals that had experience in augmentative communication systems. And real-life experience of living with assistive technology and challenges it can be to support it. Maggie knew immediately she was meant to be in this field and fell in love with AT. But most of all is grateful to be able to help the most vulnerable with all abilities to shine to their fullest compacity.
Maggie can be reached at Margarita.Wurm@OakHillCT.org
Thomas is responsible for repairing and restoring durable medical equipment for NEAT’s adaptive equipment reuse services. His helpful disposition and kind soul are a terrific addition to the team. He is always ready to creatively troubleshoot and support a customer’s need for better equipment.
Thomas can be reached at:
Email at Thomas.Dieli@OakHillCT.org
Stephanie Marquez, Adaptive Equipment Manager
Stephanie is our incredibly patient and knowledgeable Adaptive Equipment Manager at Oak Hill’s Adaptive Equipment Reuse Services. Her days are spent leading and collaborating with team members to help individuals, families, and professionals find unique durable medical equipment that can support their everyday needs. Stephanie graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Sports Management. She has a passion for help others and giving back to a community that has given so much to her. She can be reached at: Stephanie.Marquez@OakHillCT.org
Joezel Rivera is our Customer Service Representative at Oak’s Hill Adaptive Equipment Reuse Services. He is committed to helping individuals and those on a professional level with answering and acknowledging questions based on our durable medical equipment, in support of improving their personal needs. With nearly six years of customer service experience, he is passionate and exceeds in providing a timely and adequate support to our stakeholders.
Joezel can be reached at: Joezel.Rivera@oakhillct.org
Ben is responsible for repairs, maintenance, and restoration of a variety of medical equipment for NEAT’s adaptive equipment reuse services. He is kindhearted and compassionate about helping individuals with disabilities. He is always readily available to attend to our customer’s needs.
Benjamin can be reached at: Benjamin.Rodriguez@oakhillct.org