DIDD Enabling Technology Summit

November 16th from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Central
November 17th from 7:30 to 12:00 p.m. Central

Sonesta Nashville Hotel
600 Marriott Drive
Nashville, TN 37214
Google Map Directions

To book hotel room at special rate follow the link: Sonesta Nashville Hotel


The Past, Present and Future of Accessible Technology: Lessons and Opportunities
Larry Goldberg, Accessible Media and Technology Consultant

The mainstreaming of tools such as closed captioning and screen readers on smartphones brings affordable accessibility to millions of people with disabilities and their families and caregivers. But these successes did not happen overnight nor without great effort, significantly by the users themselves. What can we learn from the history of collaborations and conflicts among government, industry and society that will continue to advance the widespread availability and inclusivity of everyday technology?

The State of Technology at DIDD
Milton Neunschwander, Director of Enabling Technology

In 2017, the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Development Disabilities (DIDD) began a multi-year Enabling Technology project with the goal of transforming the policies, practices, and culture of our state’s Long-Term Services and Supports systems to align with “Technology First” principles. This presentation will take you on a journey through the evolution of Tennessee’s Technology First movement and examine how we have pushed the boundaries on what is possible, scaled innovative practices across the state, and fundamentally redefined expectations about supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the integration of Enabling Technology.

Floreo and the Behavioral Metaverse: How the First Steps to Independent Living are taken Virtually
Stephen Donaldson, VP of Enterprise | Floreo

This presentation will give an introduction to the Floreo system. Starting with an overview of the research that has guided its development, Stephen will present the rationale behind a virtual training ground for independent living, social, and communication skills. The presentation will then move to a demonstration of the product (some recorded and some live) which will showcase various lesson types. Next will be an overview of the data that is collected and how Floreo can help with treatment decisions and/or teaching targeted skills. Lastly, Stephen will give a roadmap for the future of the behavioral metaverse and the exciting additions coming soon to Floreo.

Workforce Readiness Using Immersive (XR) Technologies
Colin Saunders, MS, Senior Learning Designer | HoloPundits
Doug Smith, MBA, Director of Learning Success | HoloPundits

Connecting those seeking employment with willing employers is a goal for many agencies and institutions focused on individuals with developmental disabilities. One of the most effective methods for introducing prospective employees to new opportunities is a traditional “hands-on” approach to workforce readiness and the introduction of new skills. While incredibly valuable, the logistics surrounding this approach are often limited by location, access, ability, and perceived interest for prospective employees. On the agency side, the coordination of large numbers of businesses and individuals seeking employment can be overwhelming from both a time and cost perspective in an era where both resources are often limited.

Enter 360 video and Virtual Reality (VR) as supportive enabling technologies.

Using 360 video and VR individuals with disabilities can “tour” multiple employment environments at any time, as often as they like. The addition of 2D “hot spot” videos embedded within the 360 environments highlight specific skills required for various positions by existing employees engaged in their job-related tasks. This unique option empowers prospective employees to reflect and consider workplace environments and employment skills that best suit their individual needs. Finally, several interactive Virtual Reality elements reinforce overarching social skills required in any workplace environment. For example, using VR job seekers can simulate greeting customers and practice the proper technique for washing hands.

Join Doug Smith and Colin Saunders from the Holopundits team, as they discuss how 360 video and VR supports skill acquisition and promotes engagement in this cohesive approach to workforce readiness and employment equity.

*Attendees at this session will have the opportunity to experience and explore VR and 360 videos as time allows.

Travel Training
Daniel K. Davies, Founder and President | AbleLink Smart Living Technologies, LLC
Cameron Kempson, Co-Founder and Director of Education | Tech First SHIFT

Independent travel is a key element in full community inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. AbleLink Smart Living Technologies (www.ablelinktech.com) and Tech First SHIFT (www.techfirstshift.com) are partnering in Tennessee to provide a first-of-its-kind, technology-based travel training program. The SMART Travel Training System will be made available statewide, with its initial rollout as part of the MAPs program launch in Fall 2022. The System features two coordinated sources of education – SHIFT's curriculum for travel trainers and AbleLink’s cognitively accessible instruction for travelers. Presenters will provide an overview of the educational and technological elements being integrated by AbleLink and SHIFT. They will also share success stories related to the initial phase of the project.

Mapping the Transition Landscape: Helping Young Adults with Disabilities Move from Dreams to Reality
Jenn Bumble, PhD, Co-Owner | Mapping Assets for Postschool Success (MAPS)
Matthew Flanagan, Co-Founder | Mapping Assets for Postschool Success (MAPS)

Young adults with disabilities graduate high school with a breadth of strengths, talents, and passions to bring to their communities. Yet, it can often be difficult to identify the services and supports they might need to be successful in integrated employment, continuing education, and community life. While community resource mapping is a great starting point for identifying and cataloguing these services and supports, creating maps in a virtual space modernizes the mapping process and introduces opportunities to customize maps using media and youth-specific information. This session will introduce you to the basics of virtual community resource mapping and how it might be leveraged as a digital transition portfolio to empower youth and families to develop the linkages they need to make their postschool goals a reality.