Dept. 4298, 1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-5770
Toll Free: 1-888-989-9463
Fax: (307) 766-2763
In June 2012, the Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources (WATR) invited eight educators from around the state to form a PLC to address Assistive Technology. The PLC team received an intensive week-long training from AT professionals and Gayl Bowser, M.S., a nationally-recognized expert in the field of AT. In their first year the PLC team developed leadership and the capacity for AT delivery systems in their school districts. We will further our efforts by recruiting twelve new educators to represent their school districts from across the state of Wyoming.
Karen Thayer is an occupational therapist in Platte County. Thayer services a wide area, traveling to six schools in three different communities. She has worked in Wheatland, often for the school district, for well over a decade, having previously worked in Nebraska, Texas, and Colorado. She describes her main strength as being able “to listen to people, observe, and discern where any difficulty may be.”
Pat Casey is an occupational therapist who recently returned to work for the Albany County School District after a fifteen year absence. She is eager to learn new skills and learn about the latest technology available to students with disabilities, and sees the PLC as an ideal venue: “I love working with a team!” Casey has lived in Laramie for almost 25 years and has worked with WIND’s WATR program many times before, facilitating the loan of devices for home and nursing home use for persons with disabilities seeking greater independence.
Christine Victor is a speech language pathologist for Big Horn School District. She describes her experience with assistive technology as “a wonderful sojourn filled with learning and the opportunity to get to know some remarkable individuals, families and professionals.” Though only a resident of Wyoming since 2009, Victor has already connected deeply with the job, taking classes, volunteering, and presenting on AT in nearby communities.
Casey Widhalm is an AT coordinator and an elementary special education case manager for Fremont County School District. New to AT, Widhalm is forthright about his desire to learn: “I am not satisfied with just doing my job and going home. I have a need to help others and I am in the fortunate position about being able to do that through my job.” He came to Wyoming three years ago from Montana with a degree in elementary education and special education.
Eric Freeman is the new AT strategist at the Special Education Services Center of Natrona County School District. “Everything I have done this years has been new,” says Freeman, and he is ready to learn more. In his position, he conducts assessments, provides instruction, and monitors assistive technology implementation for the entire school district.
Kristi Hibbert is an instructional facilitator for Technology for Sublette County School District in Big Piney. Hibbert wants to keep up-to-date on AT: “Technology is a moving target. The half-life of most technologies is about two years. This means that I am constantly learning.” She attended school in Idaho and California. Besides working in technology, Hibbert has also severed as a yearbook advisor and coached track and basketball.
Katie Harmon is a resource teacher in the Sweetwater School District. She is “very comfortable” with new technologies, and describes herself as “a creative problem solver.” She began teaching a little more than ten years ago and has degrees from institutions in Texas, Idaho, and Wyoming. Harmon is a strong advocated for students with multiple disabilities and spends much of her free time educating herself on the latest devices.
Alivia Bingham is an ESL teacher and AT coordinator for the Teton County School District. At present, she is finishing a Master’s of Science in Instructional Technology at the University of Wyoming. She is pleased that her position allows her “opportunities to work with a broad group of students and to use my talents for teachers and students who are struggling.” She has a deep passion for technology in the classroom, co-teaching, and special education.