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Valeska Gioia, Ed.S., ATP

Valeska Gioia is a Rehabilitation Transition Specialist, Educational Specialist, Assistive Technology Specialist, and Autism Consultant. She currently works with the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department in the Rehabilitation Technology Department allowing her to assist students in transition to receive the technology that they need for success in academic and/or their chosen vocation. Valeska has also presented nationally at ATIA, Closing the Gap, The Council for Exceptional Children, EdTech, and the Autism Speaks Conference and she has also presented nationally and internationally for Microsoft on Accessibility in Education. Valeska received her Bachelors in Elementary Education with dual certification in Special Education and has two graduate degrees in Education Technology with a focus on Assistive Technology and Educational Administration. She has attended CSUN and obtained her certification (ATACP) in Assistive Technology and her RTP and SMS certification through RESNA also in Assistive Technology. Valeska is also a member of Microsoft Partners in Learning and a Certified Microsoft Instructor and a Nationally Certified Autism Specialist. She is also certified to teach students with visual impairments and is currently attending graduate school for her doctorate in Literacy and Language.


Mike Leonard, M.E., M.Ed.

Mike is a Cloud Systems Engineer at Dell Technologies designing and implementing big data and cloud storage for internet service providers and large corporations. He is a life-long learner and recently returned to the University of South Carolina and completed his M.Ed. in Educational Technology specializing in Assistive Technology. He is a long time (1999) volunteer tutor at Hand Middle School teaching math, science and coding microcontrollers. He co-founded a non-profit called Reading is Power International (2000) providing small libraries of Spanish children’s books to isolated communities in Central America. He is currently a research assistant at the USC School of Medicine implementing a project titled “Application of ‘commodity’ cell phones, web-based applications, digital assistants, and smart home technology to enable independent living”.