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About Us
About Us

Here, you can learn more about Networks and our mission, meet our staff and collaborating/affiliated organizations, and get directions or contact information.

Who We Are
Photo of Michael and Rosa McAllister

Who We Are

Networks for Training and Development, Inc. (Networks) began in 1992 as a vision that it was possible to design and deliver relevant, practical, and yet innovative training, technical assistance, and service demonstration that could make a real difference in peoples' lives. Moreover, we believed that the best way to make that idea a reality was to create a small non-profit organization where like-minded passionate visionaries could work together in a collaborative and fun way. The idea was to design training and technical assistance as a 'learning event' where all involved could acquire knowledge and insight from each other, through self-reflection, and from the instructor.

Over the years, we have seen the vision of Networks come alive in the many projects and people we have worked with as friends and colleagues. We have learned a lot about what it takes to create and nurture a small non-profit organization. We have learned that a focus on mission, quality, continuous learning and staff development, thoughtfulness, competence, and integrity can be the foundation for a viable non-profit organization. We have learned that the type of reflection, thoughtfulness, and integrity we seek in our work is simultaneously a tiring and exhilarating process. We have learned that an organization "dedicated to promoting inclusive communities through quality training, consultation, and practice" can make a difference: in the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and friends; in the way organizations and communities support and embrace diversity; and in how we all can live 'inclusion' in our personal lives.

Michael and Rosa McAllister

Find out about The Got Mike! Fund, honoring the legacy of Michael McAllister, PhD, Networks' co-founder and former Executive Director.

Mission

Mission

From the beginning, Networks has been dedicated to promoting inclusive communities through quality training, consultation, and practice for individuals with disabilities, families, businesses, and neighborhoods. We strive to achieve this by:

  • Providing service agencies "best practices" information on supporting people with disabilities.
  • Helping families develop support resources and networks for themselves and their children.
  • Guiding organizations in understanding leadership roles, team dynamics, and organizational development.
  • Collaborating with county governments on systems planning, policy development, and evaluation.
  • Helping schools support all students in inclusive environments.
  • Teaching people how to provide instruction and training to others.
  • Assisting people to plan as they move forward in work and life situations.
  • Advising employers how to embed diversity into their corporate culture.
  • Assisting those without working communication systems to explore and find effective means.
  • Assisting people to find calming techniques, self-help routines, and other alternative methods for understanding the trauma, grief, pain, and anxiety many of us live with daily.
Meet Our
Staff

Meet Our Staff

While we are small in numbers, Networks is large in its voice, impact, and reputation. Not always popular, we are known to be outspoken and forthright and this passion continues to push us to push others whether it's the belief that everyone can and should work to the recognition that everyone communicates. Our motto continues that communities are for everyone and our role is to help everyone build more tolerant, respectful, and inclusive communities.

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Gerry Anderson Arango, EdD

Gerry Anderson Arango, EdD is the mother of two young adults and a professor of education at Holy Family University in Philadelphia. She also writes and presents professionally on topics in special education, inclusion, transition, and person-centered planning, including a memoir entitled, “What Would Nola Do? What My Mother Taught Me about Showing Up, Being Present and the Art of Caregiving” (available on Amazon.com and through the publisher at www.store.silverxord.com). Gerry also has a blog entitled “Down Gluten. Down Lactose. Down Syndrome (A Search for Good Eats & a Little Enlightenment in the Midst of Dietary Restrictions and Other Stuff)” at downglutenlactose@wordpress.com. Gerry assists Networks with various projects including the Communication Mentors’ Course, transition related trainings, and Community Bodywork Clinics. Email Gerry at gerrya@networksfortraining.org.

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Nikita Arnett

Nikita Arnett joined Networks for Training and Developement, Inc in August 2017. She is a recent graduate of Penn State Abington where she studied psychology and sociology. Nikita has a variety of experiences with nonprofits ranging from data and research, advocacy, crisis services, and now working with Networks staff to provide transition planning to students. Nikita strongly believes in breaking down barriers, celebrating diversity and the limitless potential for all. She enjoys cooking, going to museums, and learning about other cultures. You can reach her at nikitaa@networksfortraining.org

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George Callaway

George Callaway is the Senior Clerical Specialist at Networks for Training and Development, Inc. He has been working for Networks since 1992, having worked at Networks longer than any other employee! First and foremost, George is most proud of his love of traveling around the city of Philadelphia, especially on SEPTA (public transportation system). He has a knack for making friends around town and loves showing others how to get almost anywhere. At Networks, George puts together training packets, makes copies, and maintains the evaluation database for Networks’ many training activities. George also facilitates or assists several training sessions about his work, his passions, and his many areas of brilliance! He has presented nationally and is an active member of Speaking for Ourselves, a self-advocacy organization in PA. George is the Co-Chairperson of the Public Awareness Committee for Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health / Intellectual disAbility Services. He enjoys taking trips and joining his co-workers at many retreats and conferences, including Milwaukee, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the New Jersey shore. Don’t be surprised if you see George around town! Email George at georgec@networksfortraining.org.

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Jeremy Duke, RMT

Jeremy Duke, RMT, stumbled into Reiki in 2000, and it has been part of his daily life ever since. He has worked with residential providers for ID as direct care, trainer and management since 2000. He completed the Usui Reiki Master training in 2004 and Karuna Reiki Master training in 2006. Jeremy has assisted with Reiki workshops at local venues in the past, and in 2015 began working with Networks, Inc. to provide accessible Reiki services to the community. Email Jeremy at jduke@sharedsupport.org.

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Suzanne Erb, MS, CESP

Suzanne Erb, MS, CESP brings to Networks over 25 years of work experience in the disability and welfare to work fields. With an MS in Counseling Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Erb has not only counseled both disabled and non-disabled job seekers, but has also supervised others in those fields. Her most recent positions have been with JEVS Human Services and Abilitech. In her role as an advocate, Ms. Erb has been Chairperson of the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Tenants Union Representative Network, and also serves as the Secretary for the Board of Directors of the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. She also serves on the Pennsylvania Institute on Disabilities Consumer Advisory Council, and was recently elected the Vice Chair for the CAPABOL special interest group of RESNA. As a blind person, Ms. Erb uses assistive technology both personally and professionally. She uses both Windows and Mac operating systems, and provides consultation around universal design and accessibility. Suzanne also provides technical assistance to students at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University. Email Suzanne at suzannee@networksfortraining.org.

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Nancy Jo Geise

Nancy Jo Geise is the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Liaison at Networks for Training and Development, Inc.’s Northcentral PA office, joining the team in April 2009. Nancy Jo enjoys working with the communication devices and Assistive Technology. She was a guest speaker on WKOK radio for a feature story on the Communication Mentors’ Network and the positive effects communication devices can have for people with disabilities. She is a member of the Community Unity and Ampes programs of Northumberland County, while also being an active member in her church. She is also a 2011 graduate of The Communication Mentors’ Course and looks forward to meeting new people, learning, and growing. Email Nancy Jo at nancyjo@networksfortraining.org.

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Doris Kalina

Doris Kalina began working at Networks for Training and Development, Inc. in 1998 as Administrative Specialist and is presently the Director of Administrative Services. She was previously employed by another nonprofit as assistant to the Executive Director, handling financial responsibilities there for 12 years. Doris also taught for the School District of Philadelphia for 4½ years. She is a graduate of the Communication Mentors’ Course (2010). Her areas of expertise within Networks are office management and organization with oversight of all of Networks’ organizational offices, billing, and Human Resources. Doris is also an accomplished musician performing regularly and is a proud mother and grandmother. Email Doris at dorisk@networksfortraining.org.

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Diane Kehoe, MS

Diane Kehoe, MS holds a Bachelors degree in Organizational Management, and Masters in Information Technology in Education. Her expertise is in Instructional Design, and she is passionate about making technology accessible for all. Diane began her service with Networks facilitating career planning for individuals leaving Embreeville State Hospital, and continued her work as Director of CareerNet, a small demonstration project focused on finding meaningful community employment for people with significant disabilities in Philadelphia. Diane now assists Networks with its overall technology needs and services, where she works to ensure universal design of the technology used here at Networks, as well as assisting our customers in accessing and utilizing the various technologies available to them through alternative software, accommodations, and built-in accessibility features. Diane continues to conduct training in various topic areas seeking out new information in the areas of universal design. At home you can find Diane enjoying computers, reading, music, and relaxing with her dogs. Email Diane at dianek@networksfortraining.org.

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Michael Landes, MEd

Michael Landes, MEd is the Webmaster for Networks for Training and Development, Inc. He is also a high school social studies teacher in Maui, HI. In his current role with Networks, he manages and updates our website and discussion boards, as well as the websites of certain groups associated with Networks. He also assists with our event coordination and creating accessible training materials, and he serves on the governing committee for the Got Mike! Fund. His previous work includes direct support, program coordination, communication assistance, and interactive curriculum development. In his free time, Michael enjoys surfing, bike riding, playing hockey, coaching, and going to the beach with his family. Email Michael at mikel@networksfortraining.org.

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Tracy Lapreziosa

Tracy Lapreziosa is a Licensed Occupational Therapist, with a masters in Counseling Psychology and 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults with developmental and/or physical disabilities as well as Spectrum disorders in a variety of settings including schools, homes and work environments. Tracy has studied Sensory Integration Practices with Sensory Integration International and completes accessibility evaluations which include the effects of the environmental sensory inputs on one’s ability to function efficiently in their environments. She has additional training in Myofascial Release, Stress management, Progressive Relaxation and Reiki. Email Tracy at tracylots@aol.com.

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Rosa McAllister, MEd, RM, LMT

Rosa McAllister, MEd, RM, LMT is the co-founder of Networks for Training and Development, Inc. where she currently acts as Organizational Advisor, historian, staff mentor, and Board liaison to the Got Mike! Fund. Rosa also continues to be on the faculty of Arcadia University teaching in the area of instructional and assistive technologies and inclusive environments. Additionally, Rosa has studied various styles of massage and energy / bodywork, is a licensed massage therapist, and is assisting Networks to further develop their Wholistic Practices service area. Rosa lives in Maui, HI where she is connecting, learning, providing assistance to various community and nonprofit groups, and enjoying island life! Email Rosa at rosam@networksfortraining.org.

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Joe Murphy, CESP

Joe Murphy, CESP is the Supports and Technology Coordinator with Networks for Training and Development, Inc. where he lends assistance to various people and projects regarding employment and Assistive Technology (AT). While not initially involved in the field of developmental disabilities, Joe discovered his passion after meeting a person and her supporters at a community pool and offered to lend a hand. Since then (1997), Joe has worked within various community support projects, always coaching people to live full and independent lives, always striving towards their best. Joe is currently on the board of PA APSE. He is a Certified Employment Support Professional and has been certified as a life coach for business. Joe is also an active member of various community groups in and around Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Philadelphia’s first Communication Mentors’ Course, the Employment Mentors’ Course, and many other programs re: employment and / or AT. Joe resides in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and 2 children. Email Joe at joem@networksfortraining.org.

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Shauna Roman, MS

Shauna Roman, MS, the Executive Director of Networks for Training and Development, Inc., has worked in the field of disabilities for many years. Shauna has been involved with people with developmental disabilities, their families, and supporters to increase understanding, provide support, and encourage people to live more inclusive lives. As a Qualified Facilitator of The Leadership Challenge® (Kouzes and Posner), Shauna is interested in creating organizational learning opportunities through the use of assessment tools, training, and innovative consultative practices. Her current project involvement includes: the “Employment 1st, Employment NOW!” initiative and school-to-community transition planning efforts. Within these projects, Shauna provides value-based leadership, strategic planning, and mentoring. She also is an adjunct professor at Penn State Abington campus. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, music of all kinds, and travel. Email Shauna at shaunar@networksfortraining.org.

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Laura Sparling

Laura Sparling joined Networks in June 2017. She is a recent graduate of Southeastern University with a degree in Psychology with plans to attend graduate school in the near future. Laura has experience supporting young people who experience a variety of talents and differences to include autism. At Networks, she will be assisting in a variety of ways to include research, and overall organizational support. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, friends and her puppy Maverick! Email Laura at lauras@networksfortraining.org.

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Michelle Sparling, MEd, CESP

Michelle Sparling, MEd, CESP has worked with Networks for Training and Development, Inc. since 1995. During her time at Networks, Michelle has provided training and consultation to organizations in Philadelphia and beyond. Her area of expertise is in employment training and support, with an emphasis in customized employment, career planning, job development, on-the-job support and organizational development. She has spent over 25 years working with individuals who have disabilities, starting her career as a job coach providing employment supports. An unexpected career shift provided an opportunity to live abroad in Tokyo, Japan for four years with her family. Now stateside again, she is back with Networks, continuing to follow her passion in supporting others to move their lives forward. Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Holy Family University and Master of Education in Adult and Organizational Development from Temple University. She is a founding member and certified coach, speaker and trainer with the John Maxwell Team and is a Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP). In her spare time, Michelle enjoys the great outdoors and quilting works of art. Email Michelle at michelles@networksfortraining.org.

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Jessica Stover, MS, ATP, CESP

Jessica Stover, MS, ATP, CESP is the Director of Training and Consultation for Networks. She has been a member of the Networks’ team since 2006, and is a RESNA (Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America) certified Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP). With experience in low to high technologies, Jessica continues to assist people to live the lives they wish at home, work, school, or play. Jessica has a special interest in switch access as related to body mechanics and movement and has studied and practiced in a variety of methods pertaining to AT. She has presented and co-presented at national, regional, and local conferences and trainings to assist people and their teams to hear and recognize communication, live their dreams, uphold the mantra “Everyone Communicates!” and assist people to “notice what you notice” through innovative (and sometimes very easy and simple) supports and systems of AT. Email Jessica at jessicas@networksfortraining.org.

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Andrew Vizuete

Andrew Vizuete is the IT Support and Service Specialist for Networks for Training and Development, Inc. He helps design Networks’ many marketing materials, helps maintain our training database, which includes registering people for training and tracking attendance. Andrew also assists trainers with presentations, demonstrating his use of various Assistive Technologies. He has many interests such as watching sports, TV and movies, listening to music, and having fun. And he is currently working on the development of his life story with regards to his use of Assistive Technology and getting a job for training presentations and to inspire others. Email Andrew at andrewv@networksfortraining.org.

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April Zacek

April Zacek joined Networks for Training and Development, Inc. in June 2017 as part of the Wholistic Practices Team. She currently specializes in meditative coloring using Mandalas. Through her own experiences she found the great relaxing effect using these tools had for her and began sharing her experience and knowledge with others. Prior to joining the team, April began exploring different relaxation techniques through Networks' Wholistic Practices Community Body Work Clinics and found a real passion and calling for herself to share the benefits with everyone and to learn as much as she can about other modalities and techniques. In her free time, April enjoys coloring Mandalas, listening to music, dancing and shopping. Email April at aprilz@networksfortraining.org.

Our Board

The Networks Board has supported and encouraged creative program development and sustainable administrative and fiscal practices since the organization's inception. As the organization has developed over time, the board has changed in terms of composition, structure, and involvement. We thank our board members for their time and commitment to our continued success!

  • Patricia Amos, MA
  • Paul J. Bartolomeo, Jr., Esq
  • Michael Fitipaldi, CPA / MBA / ABV
  • Ruth Landsman
  • Rosa McAllister, MEd, RM, LMT
  • Steve Nasuti
  • Shauna Roman, MS
  • Alyssa Ryan

Our Associates

  • Dana Bowser, MSW
  • Ramenta Cotrell, MEd, MA
  • Marlana Flaherty, LMT
  • Jim Gemmel
  • Ann Gelvin, CESP
  • Patricia Graves, BSN, RN-BC, CDDN
  • Tracy Katz, M.Ed., CESP
  • Tracy Lapreziosa, OTR/L
  • Jeffrey McCary, MS
  • Beth McKeown, MSEd
  • Jennifer McKeown
  • Marianne Melino, LMT
  • Beth Mount, PhD
  • Narcel Reedus
  • Alan Seese, CPA
  • Jennifer Seybert, CAS, MSEd
  • Tieshka Smith
  • Linda Ulinski, RN
  • Linda Weihbrecht, BSN, RN, LMT, CCAP
  • Jennifer Williams, LMT

Our Advisory Committees

Assistive Technology Advisory Committee

  • Pat Amos
  • Gerry Anderson Arango, EdD
  • Beth Barol, PhD
  • Donna Bouclier
  • Jim Conroy, PhD
  • Liz DeVett
  • Suzanne Erb
  • Judith Gran, Esq
  • Matt Gromis
  • Anne Kalinoski
  • Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L
  • Tracy Lapreziosa, OTR/L
  • Martha Leary, M.A., CCC-SLP
  • Rosa McAllister, MEd, RM, LMT
  • Beth McKeown
  • Joe Murphy, CESP
  • Shauna Roman
  • Ruth Seigfried
  • Jennifer Seybert, CAS
  • Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, PhD
  • Jessica Stover, ATP
  • Tammy Thompson-Cooke, MS, CCC-SLP

Employment Advisory Committee

  • John Butterworth, PhD
  • Michael Callahan
  • Diane Cashman
  • Julie Christensen, PhD
  • Cesilee Coulson
  • Randy Dicks
  • Nancy Jo Geise
  • Rob Hoffman
  • Ruth Landsman
  • Rie Kennedy Lizotte
  • David Mank, PhD
  • Ann O’Bryan
  • Laura Owens, PhD
  • Genni Sasnett
  • Kathy Sykes

Wholistic Practices Advisory Committee

  • Ramenta Cottrell
  • Judy Dotzman
  • Helen Falguera
  • Ginny Focht-New, PhD
  • Carol Frangicetto
  • Patricia Graves, BSN,RN-BC,CDDN
  • Andrea Hill
  • Susannah Joyce
  • Anne Kalinoski
  • Mary MacAvoy
  • Amy Nemirow, PhD
  • Denise Taylor Patterson
  • Jeff Petraco, RN
  • David Pitonyak, PhD
  • Holly Rizzo
  • Shauna Roman
  • Laura Schoenen
  • Joyce Simons
  • Jessica Stover
  • Kathy Sykes
  • Frank Tieri
  • Linda Tieri
  • Linda Weibrecht
  • Jennifer Williams
Contact Us

Contact Us

For further information, you can reach us by mail, phone, fax or e-mail:

Southeastern PA Office:
The Commons at Valley Forge
1220 Valley Forge Rd., Unit 17
Box 206
Valley Forge, PA 19481-0206
Phone: 610-935-6624
Fax: 610-935-6497

 

Northcentral PA:
PO Box 435
Sunbury, PA 17801

 

Toll free: 1-866-683-3651

 

Email:

For information about any of our services or to request technical assistance, please contact Jessica Stover.

For support on issues with our website, please contact the Webmaster.

Directions

Directions

Southeastern PA Office:
The Commons at Valley Forge
1220 Valley Forge Rd., Unit 17
Box 206
Valley Forge, PA 19481-0206
610-935-6624

Due to ongoing road construction and detours, please use Google Maps to navigate to our office. Please use Phoenixville as the town.

PA Turnpike: Take PA Turnpike to exit 326, Valley Forge. Try to get into one of the tollbooths on the right. After going through the tollbooth, immediately exit via the 1st exit to the right for Valley Forge National Park (Gulph Road/PA-23W). Continue straight on Gulph Road/PA-23W (this will become Valley Forge Road). Take this through Valley Forge National Park, through a traffic light, up & down hills. Pass the Freedoms Foundation & then the National Christian Conference Center on your right. Go through the traffic light at Country Club Road/Ferry Road. After this light, look for a green sign on the left & turn into the entrance for The Commons at Valley Forge. There are 3 entrances to the Commons, so if you miss one, there's another! All of the buildings are numbered. Networks is Unit # 17, look for our ramp outside. The Commons at Valley Forge are approximately 5.9 miles from the Turnpike exit ramp.

From Philadelphia: Take the Schuylkill Expressway west (I-76W) all the way into the King of Prussia area, to the Mall Boulevard exit. (This is the last exit before entering the PA Turnpike.) At the light at the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto Mall Boulevard. At the next light, turn right onto Gulph Road. Follow directions above from Gulph Road.

*Please note, if using an online mapping program or GPS, use "Phoenixville" as the town, rather than Valley Forge.

Collaborations &
Affiliations

Collaborations & Affiliations

Alliances and collaborations with other organizations allow Networks to work effectively to promote inclusive communities through joint training initiatives, technical assistance, and demonstration for individuals, families, businesses, and neighborhoods.

American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)
APSE - Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst
Arcadia University
The ARC of the United States
Autism Living and Working (ALAW Incorporated)
Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)
Bucks County Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
CenterHill Network
Chester County Department of Mental Health / Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Communication Mentors' Network
Council on Exceptional Children (CEC)
Cre8aha!
Delaware County Office of Mental Retardation
DelMarva Foundation
Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA)
Employment Committee, City of Philadelphia, Mayor's Commission on People with Disabilities (MCPD)
Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD)
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
Indiana Institute on Disabilities and Community at Indiana University
LC Technologies, Inc.
Lehigh University
Lycoming - Clinton County Mental Health / Mental Retardation

Marc Gold and Associates
Montgomery County Association for eXcellence in Service (MAX)
Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health / Developmental Disabilities
Northumberland County Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services
Overbrook School for the Blind

The PA Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO)
PA Business Leadership Network (PA BLN)
PA CareerLink
PA Department of Public Welfare, Office of Developmental Programs
PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Professional Counselors
Philadelphia Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities (PCEPD)
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS)

Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care (PCHC)
Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC)
Philadelphia Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
Pottsgrove School District

Prentke Romich Company (PRC)
Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
School District of Philadelphia
Speaking for Ourselvces
Spring-Ford Area School District
TASH
Temple University, School of Occupational Therapy
University of Massachusetts, Institute for Community Inclusion
Upper Merion School District
Warrior Run School District

Organizational
Reports

Organizational Reports

Networks' Organizational Resume and Historical Accomplishments (PDF) (WORD) (TXT) shows what we've done in our partnership with Philadelphia, our oldest & largest contract / supporter.

Networks' 15th Anniversary Corporate Report (PDF) gives a look at where we stood as an organization several years ago.