The Technology Interest Network began as the Technology Special Interest Group led by Dr. Michael Wehmeyer, FAAIDD, and Dan Davies, Founder and President of Ablelink Technologies. Dr. Shea Tanis become Chair of the Technology Special Interest Group for many years. The Interest Network has long advocated for the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to access and use technology.
Who We Are
The Technology Interest Network includes approximately 140 AAIDD members from a variety of fields including people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and those working in technology companies, education or social science research, state policy, and social service agencies.
What We Do
The technology Interest Network engages in many projects and educational activities for our members guided by our goals (2023-2024):
Goal 1. Increase interest network engagement and expand outreach and dissemination in Technology Interest Network.
Goal 2. Expand outreach and dissemination of technology-related research.
Projects and Activities
Tech Connect Meetings
The interest network hosts monthly drop-in meetings via Zoom for interest network members. Meetings occur on the 3rd Monday of every month at 1 p.m. Central Time. During meetings, we share updates on the latest research on technology and people with intellectual disability, technology in the news and policy, and provide member networking opportunities.
Technology Spotlight is a new newsletter related to technology and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The purpose of the spotlight is to bridge the research-to-practice gap and provide practitioners the latest research related to technology supports across a person's daily living experiences.
Interest Network Communication
The Technology Interest Network maintains member communication through direct communication to members, managing our website, and contributing content to our LinkedIn page.
We are always looking for folks to share their time and expertise to contribute to these projects. Reach out to our Technology Interest Network email and LinkedIn group for more information on how you can share your expertise.
The Technology Interest Network Leadership includes Kim W. Fisher, Ph.D., FAAIDD, Vincent Bemmel, Ph.D., and Courtney Ackerson. The Leadership Team was elected in May 2023.
Kim Fisher, Ph.D., FAAIDD
Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at Illinois State University where she prepares special education and general education teachers to create inclusive classrooms, schools, and communities. Her research and service is focused on technology access and use for individuals with IDD with a specific interest in using technology for social, civic, and political activity.
Vincent Bemmel, Ph.D.
Vincent is the director of technology and innovation at Catalight in Walnut Creek, California. He leads the research on technology that enhances the wellbeing of people with IDD, and directs feasibility pilots with the client community. In addition, he conducts qualitative research to gain clinical insights from large amounts of data collected through their practice.
Courtney Ackerson ____
Courtney works for Telligen, a health management company, in Des Moines, Iowa. She manages a training program for LTSS providers in the state through Iowa Medicaid. She is also a licensed mental health counselor and practiced as a mental health therapist prior to her current position and assists on behavioral health projects at Telligen. She has a passion for volunteering and getting involved in her interest areas which has lead to becoming involved in the Tech Connect interest network.