We have teams that serve students in our BOCES who carry out the W.I.D.E (Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity) mission everyday who you may not know much about! Meet the Assistive Technology and Speech Team, or AT/SP team. As a team, they provide access to the world through language and technology to 230 students in each of our 7 BOCES classroom locations, and in 13 component districts.
Team Leader Olivia Harrison says, “as speech therapists and AT providers we work with a variety of students who come from different schools, backgrounds, and communication abilities. We are always aware and supportive of taking their needs, backgrounds, and abilities into account when providing them with the best services available.”
AT is defined as any device, piece of equipment or system that helps bypass, work around or compensate for an individual's specific learning deficits. AT doesn't cure or eliminate learning difficulties, but it can help a child reach their potential because it allows them to capitalize on their strengths and bypass areas of difficulty.
A certified teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped provides evaluation, consultation and/or direct therapy to students with communication disorders such as impaired articulation, language impairment, or voice disorders. Such students may be classified as "speech impaired" and receive itinerant services.
The AT/SP team is comprised of 11 WSWHE BOCES staff members: Jessica Barrett, Cassandra Berman, Deidre Convery-Bernard, Angela Decker, Kelly Gennoy, Olivia Harrison, Kara Lawrence, Erin Matthews, Jessica Purvis, Katherine Schmiel, and Jaime Wagner.
In total they have worked in the field for over 67 years! On a daily basis, they travel to school districts served by WSWHE BOCES on average 239 miles a day.
They say their job is never boring. It is rewarding, challenging and different each day. One team member said, “outside of being a mother, it’s the most rewarding thing I could have chosen to do with my life!”
We thank the AP/SP team for making positive impacts on students’ lives everyday.