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.
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.
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.
Kris has been instrumental in growing NEAT’s smart technology program and knows what drives technological solutions and innovations. He oversaw the creation of the wildly popular Smart Home On Wheels (SHOW), and is credited with spearheading one of the first home assessment programs in the country, geared exclusively to helping seniors and people with disabilities live more independently through smart technology solutions.
Known for keeping his finger on the pulse of innovative solutions to help people live more independently in their homes, he is a highly sought-after smart technology leader and has landed coverage in print and broadcast media around the world, spoken at major conferences throughout the U.S. including at Consumer Electronic Show (CES), and led AARP and State of Connecticut technology programs.
Kris holds a BAS in Technology Management from Kansas State University and an AS in Computer Science from Coastal Alabama Community College. He has spent the last decade working in IT and electronics, including at multibillion-dollar corporations including SEGA and Konica Minolta. He is also a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist by the National Association of Home Builders.
Kris can be reached at:
Email at Kristopher.Thompson@OakHillCT.org.
Phone: 860-286-2274, ext. 3325
Follow Kris on twitter to see where he is presenting and what smart home technology he is excited about! @NEATWithKris
Adam has been an educator since 2008, but he wasn’t always sure how he wanted to use his teaching skills and love for technology. He started as a high school math teacher but after realizing that he most enjoyed working one-on-one with students he ended up working as a math tutor for a university’s disability services office. There he learned that he loved working with people with disabilities, particularly in Assistive Technology. It was then that something clicked, he knew this was the right field for him. Fast forward to 2018 where he luckily found an opportunity as NEAT’s new team member in the role of Assistive Technology Specialist. Most recently, he is putting his love for videogames and AT together in a new service, gaming accessibility!
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
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
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.
Melanie Wagner, M.A., CCC-SLP, ATP – Augmentative and Alternative Communication Specialist
Melanie Wagner is a Connecticut and ASHA licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) certified Assistive Technology Professional. She provides Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) consultations and evaluations for individuals of all ages with complex communication needs. She also provides Assistive Technology (AT) consultations and evaluations for reading and writing to individuals of all ages. Melanie provides trainings and workshops to families, caregivers, professionals, and educators to promote community awareness of technology to support AAC and AT use and independence. Melanie attended the University of Connecticut (B.A. in Communication Disorders, M.A. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences). She is certified as an Assistive Technology Professional by the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) since 2015. Melanie is currently pursuing a clinical doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals.
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.