Team

From Tools For Life
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<img src="images/JKheadshot.JPG" alt="Joy headshot" height="150px" width="145px" align="left"style="padding-right:10px;"/>Principal Investigator
Joy Kniskern - <a href="mailto:joy@gatfl.org">joy@gatfl.org</a>

Joy Kniskern serves as the Principal Investigator of Tools for Life, the Georgia Assistive Technology Act Program and Pass It On Center, the National Assistive Technology Reuse Technical Assistance and Coordination Center. She obtained an M.Ed. in Community Counseling from Georgia State University, a BA from Vanderbilt University and is certified as a rehabilitation counselor and level one mediation specialist. Joy has spent over 34 years securing and leading innovative state, Federal and private grants to increase access to and acquisition of appropriate assistive technology. She pioneered development of a computer education program for individuals with severe disabilities in the 1980s, launched and directed Tools for Life in the 1990s and established Georgia's Alternative Finance Program, Credit-Able. She has co-authored publications on assistive technology service delivery, has presented widely, peer-reviewed many grants, and continues to serve in leadership roles on many state and national advisory groups to assist in strategic planning and resource development for assistive technology. In 2006, she received the Touch the Future Visionary Award for her leadership in advancing assistive technology services, and has received many other awards for her work over the years.

<img src="images/CPheadshot.jpg" alt="Carolyn headshot" height="150px" width="145px" align="left" style="padding-right:10px;"/>Program Director
Carolyn Phillips - <a href="Carolyn@gatfl.org">Carolyn@gatfl.org</a>

Carolyn P. Phillips is a nationally recognized consultant in the field of assistive technology and disabilities. She has spoken to numerous groups on topics that include assistive technology, advocacy, self-determination and living with a learning disability. Carolyn serves as Director of Tools for Life, the Georgia Assistive Technology Act Program and Pass It On Center, the National Assistive Technology Reuse Technical Assistance and Coordination Center. She has published articles in numerous journals, a chapter in a book and poetry focused on understanding and appreciating people with disabilities. Carolyn has dedicated her time and energy to promoting independence for people with disabilities through advocacy, education, assistive technology and fundraising. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, and her Master's Degree from the University of Kentucky. Carolyn lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

<img src="images/LPheadshot.JPG" alt="Liz headshot" height="150px" width="145px" align="left"style="padding-right:10px;" />Training and Development Coordinator
Liz Persaud - <a href="Liz@gatfl.org">Liz@gatfl.org</a>

Liz Persaud is a nationally recognized keynote and public speaker addressing the need to build bridges between individuals with and without disabilities. Liz currently serves as the Training and Development Coordinator for Tools for Life (Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program) and the Pass It On Center (the National Assistive Technology Device Reutilization Coordination and Technical Assistance Center). Liz is an active advocate and public speaker with the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Atlanta, appearing on the MDA Atlanta Annual Labor Day Telethon and speaking to numerous groups and organizations in the Southeast Region. Additionally, Liz holds the title for the 1999 and 2005 Muscular Dystrophy Association Personal Achievement Award winner for the state of Georgia. She has dedicated her life to increasing independence for individuals with disabilities by educating on self determination, self awareness, successful transition practices, using assistive technology, encouraging others to focus on abilities and promoting equality amongst those of all abilities. Liz has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Georgia State University and lives in Alpharetta, Georgia with her family.

<img src="images/MRheadshot.jpg" alt="Martha headshot" height="150px" width="145px" align="left" style="padding-right:10px;"/>AT Specialist and ATRC Services Coordinator
Martha Rust - <a href="Martha@gatfl.org">Martha@gatfl.org</a>

Martha Rust completed her masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Tennessee and received her CRC. She also earned a certificate in Assistive Technology Applications from California State University at Northridge. Ms. Rust is active in the Atlanta Metro Georgia Rehabilitation Association Chapter, and served as president in 2007. She joined the Tools for Life team, under the Georgia Department of Labor, Vocational Rehabilitation Program, as the Assistive Technology Funding Specialist then moved into the Assistive Technology Specialist position. During this time, Ms. Rust has presented at numerous international, national, regional, and state conferences on assistive technology and serves on several disability related committees.