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Welcome to Attainment’s Practical Perspective!

 

We are starting a new blog series with tons of advice and resources to share. Four in-house Attainment experts will offer their practical perspective for transition and WIOA, special education instruction, communication support, and administration. As you read each blog post, feel free to share any additional thoughts or opinions in the comments below!

 

Without further ado, let's meet our experts!

 

Transition Talk: Janet Estervig

Janet Estervig was a special education high school teacher for several years and completed her Master's of Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. In 1983, she established a supported employment agency.  For 25 years, Janet and her staff supported people with developmental and physical disabilities to secure and keep a job.  They transitioned hundreds of students from rural special education programs, and placed them in jobs and supported them in community life.  During that time, Janet became a registered nurse and went on to be the Director of Personal Care services for over 1,000 people with disabilities and frail elders. Janet then had the opportunity to work with the Department of Health Services in Wisconsin, which is where the important partnerships of the schools, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and adult long term-care Medicaid services began her work to implement WIOA.  She also served on the Governor Appointed Wisconsin Rehabilitation Counsel and continues to serve on two non-profit Board of Directors for supported living and supported employment agencies.

With 40+ years of experience, Janet is now at Attainment Company, Inc.  She is currently developing the Pre-Employment Transition Solution curriculum that will meet all WIOA federal regulations.

Janet is eager to share real-world suggestions and informational tidbits that will cover transition topics to support school to adult living, and to use her experience and knowledge to positively impact people with disabilities!

 

Instructional Insights: René Zelt and Megan Best

Training and Accounts Managers René Zelt and Megan Best will collaborate for this monthly post!

René Zelt

Prior to joining the Attainment Company team, René dedicated 17 years to working with students, teachers, administrators, and parents in one of the largest school districts in the state of Texas: Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.  Throughout those 17 years, she has worked in several different capacities: LIFE Skills Teacher, PPCD Teacher, Behavior Specialist, In-Home and Parent Trainer, LIFE Skills Curriculum Coach, and ultimately as a Special Education Coordinator.  These opportunities, experiences, and confidence in Attainment Company’s products have brought René to where she is today: looking to help make a positive impact on student learning and teacher instruction across the state of Texas!

Megan Best

Megan Best, MEd, is a Training and Accounts Manager for Attainment Company as well as an Adjunct Professor for California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Megan holds Master's degrees in Special Education and Educational Leadership. Prior to joining Attainment, she worked in the field of special education for 10 years as a Special Day Class Teacher, Resource Specialist, Autism Behavior Specialist, and Special Education Administrator/Program Specialist. Megan is thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire teachers, to celebrate diverse learners, and to provide curriculum that maintains high expectations for teachers and students alike!

 

Communication Corner: Joni Nygard

Joni Nygard, MS, CCC-SLP truly believes in the power of communication, which is evidenced through her commitment to the field of augmentative alternative communication (AAC). Joni has specialized in AAC and assistive technology (AT) throughout her 30-year career, serving as an SLP in public schools (birth to 21); managing an AAC clinic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Trace Research and Development Center; and most recently, developing new AAC products and training materials at Attainment Company. Joni authored Early Literacy Communication Overlays, a companion book for Early Literacy Skills Builder, and several Closing the Gap publications. Also, Joni co-authored the TactileTalk Guidebook and What's Cool About Music app. She is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences on AAC/AT-related topics with an emphasis on literacy and communication for all students. Her passion is advocating for individuals with complex communication needs of all ages in school, medical, and community settings.  Currently, Joni is Vice President of AAC Resources and Services and Aging Resources for Attainment Company, and a recipient of the National Braille Press 2015 Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation: Tactile Talk Toolkit-Strategies for Functional Communication and Literacy!

 

Administrator Awareness: Ann Meyer

Ann Meyer has 25+ years as an educator and administrator in special education.  Ann has added emphasis in teaching & providing program development for Cognitive Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, Emotional Behavior Disabilities, and Autism.  She is a national speaker & trainer on topics including:  Core Curriculum adoptions/implementation for Significant Disabilities, Scientific-Evidence Based Practices for Special Education, Improving Achievement of Students through Team Strategies, Blended Learning Solutions for Special Education Program Improvement, Universal Designs for Learning, ASD Strategies & Technology, Data Decision Making in Special Education.  Ann is a member of federal, state, and local committees for program improvement related to individuals with significant disabilities.  She is thrilled to work as a Vice President at Attainment – with district adoptions, product development, and national special education partnerships!

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