Monday’s Keynote Speaker: Patrick Henry Hughes
Patrick Henry Hughes and his father share an incredible story of tragedy to triumph. Patrick Henry is a remarkable young man who was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk. Additionally, two steel rods were surgically attached to Patrick’s spine to correct scoliosis. In the face of incredible odds from birth, Patrick has overcome these physical issues to excel as a musician, student, performer, and public speaker. Patrick started playing the piano at the age of only nine months and also plays the trumpet and sings. He even participated in the University of Louisville Marching Band for five seasons with help from his father, Patrick John Hughes, who tirelessly maneuvered Patrick’s wheelchair through the formations during practices and games with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band. Along with marching band, Patrick’s dad spent his days attending classes on campus assisting his son while working the overnight shift five nights a week for a major package shipping company so that Patrick could achieve his greatest potential.
Tuesday’s Keynote Speaker: Mike Marotta
Mike Marotta is a rehabilitation, engineering, and assistive technology (RESNA)-certified assistive technology professional and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Inclusive Learning Network 2017 Outstanding Educator. He has been providing direct services to individuals with all disabilities for over 28 years. He runs his own technology consulting firm, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC. As an evaluator, Mike works collaboratively with teams in all environments (school, workplace, and community) to effectively match an individual’s needs to technology supports. In addition, Mike is an adjunct professor at California State University, Northridge; Ramapo College of New Jersey; and Felician University (NJ), where he teaches courses for pre-service teachers and masters-level educators in assistive technology and Universal Design for Learning. Mike is also a member of the faculty at the Center on Technology and Disabilities and presents on an array of topics. Mike is the director of the Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center at Disability Rights New Jersey and serves on the CAST Accessible Educational Materials Advisory Board.