Sharon Terzian, BFA, BS, MA

Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities
Rhode Island College
600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: 401-456-4731
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Last Updated: June 11, 2018

Sharon Terzian

Leadership Administrative Staff: Accessible Information Specialist
Primary Activity Coordinators: Parent/Consumer
Discipline(s): Family/Parent/Youth Advocacy
Computer Programming
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership



Sharon Terzian



BFA, Graphic Arts/Printmaking, University of Rhode Island, 1978

MA, Multimedia/Digital Media, Rhode Island College, 2004

BS, magna cum laude, Computer Information Systems, Rhode Island College, 2006


Technical Background:

Corel Draw/PhotoPaint

Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator/PDF-Acrobat Professional/Distiller/Premiere/PageMaker

Microsoft Word/Excel/Access/PowerPoint/Windows O/S programming/Front Page/Publisher

FileMaker, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Quark/Quark Express

Computer Languages html, php, MySql, Visual Basic, c++, javascript

Adaptations of equipment, toys, & computers for children/adults with disabilities, including software for persons with visual impairments (Boardmaker, Writing with Symbols, TouchScreen, JAWS)


Other Training & Activities:


•·     Completion of SPED 526, Assessment, Curriculum, Methods for Children with Sensory Impairment and Multiple Disabilities class at Rhode Island College.  This class involved learning  how to do a functional vision examination, functional hearing assessment, COACH evaluations, curriculum and environmental modifications, and discussed technology to support individuals with sensory loss and other disabilities in the classroom

•·         Participated in many Sherlock Center on Disabilities' Inclusion Workshops which involve working with a particular child and the school team to find the best balance of inclusion practices

•·         Participated in the Transition Planning Workshop for Students with Visual Impairments

•·         Rhode Island Department of Education/Special Populations Education Leadership Series

•·         Presenter/Trainer at Perkins Institute for the Blind/National Association for Preschool Children with Visual Impairments Family Information Day.  Presented different workshops over the years that help families of children with sensory impairments learn how to navigate the Medicaid system, choose and adapt toys that are age appropriate, and adapt and obtain equipment and computers

•·         Presenter at ATAP and other regional conferences.  Presented many workshops over the years geared towards families of children with sensory impairments and multiple disabilities and professionals (teachers, therapists, administrators) working with this population.  These included how to navigate the Federal Programs (SSI, Medicaid, Katie Beckett, respite programs, PASS, EPSDT), adaptations of toys for children with multiple disabilities, adaptations, maintenance, and acquisition of computers that have software or hardware modifications, and learning about software.

•·         Maintain several disability focused online Listservs

•·         Speaker, New England Regional Genetics Group annual meeting on diagnosing/misdiagnosing a child with a rare genetic syndrome

•·         Participated in the re-writing of the State of Rhode Island IDEA/Special Education regulations

•·         Testified at the Rhode Island statehouse against budget cuts/changes in the Katie Beckett and Medicaid programs

•·         Created interactive searchable database/website for families to search online for other families with children with similar disabilities, or by age, or city, etc. (

•·         Participated in the creation and implementation, including the writing of best practices and guidelines for the Rhode Island Department of Human Services/Medicaid CEDARRs program, 

•·         Participated in writing and implementation of the Rhode Island State Improvement Plan

•·         Converted the new Rhode Island Department of Education/Office of Diverse Learners (2008) IEP to an interactive online form to be used by all Rhode Island school districts

•·         Guest Lecturer at Community College of Rhode Island (Special Needs 11539) and Rhode Island College (Special Education 560), special education classes, on navigating the Medicaid system and forming positive family partnerships with local special education personnel

•·         Attended many Alternate Assessment trainings

•·         Convert Writing with Symbols books into clickable PowerPoint programs to allow children with differing abilities to participate in the general curriculum, using Assistive Technology and adaptive stories

•·         Rhode Island Representative, OSEP Leadership Conference, August 2007, spoke out against proficiency testing and the ‘gray area' kids who fail the tests and do not qualify for Alternate Assessment

•·         Participated in the rewriting of the Katie Beckett application and eligibility criteria for the Rhode Island Department of Human Services

Current Employment::

•·         Parent Resource, Sherlock Center on Disabilities, Dual Impairment Project, specializing in adaptation of toys and equipment for children with vision/hearing impairments, advocacy, family support (as a parent of a child with disabilities myself), database creation (Access) and maintenance, navigating the Medicaid system, IEP writing, adaptation and training on the new NTAC database for staff (FileMaker), adapting literature in Writing with Symbols, and then into Powerpoint for online downloads

•·         Webmistress/Graphic Designer, Sherlock Center on Disabilities, created/maintain fully ADA accessible web sites, design publications and graphics as needed.  Design and convert forms (IEP, etc) from Word to interactive, fillable PDFs.  The website,, has been approved by Bobby and W3C which assures accessibility to people who use alternate browsers to ‘view' web pages, either because of a sensory or visual impairment


Adjunct Professor, RI College School of Management, Computer Information Systems


Past Employment:

•·         Parent Consultant, Rhode Island Department of Health, Genetics Program

•·         Assistive Technology Specialist, United Cerebral Palsy of Rhode Island, Children's Program

•·         Pattern maker/designer, Hasbro Toys, Soft Toy Engineering



•· (Dual Sensory Impairment Project is on this website)

•· (Dubowitz Syndrome Family Support page)

•· (RI Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports)

•· (Rhode Island Family to Family)

•· (Rhode Island Special Education Advisory Committee)

•· (Warwick Special Education Advisory Committee)



Community Experience:

•·         Past co-chair, current member, Warwick Special Education Advisory Committee

•·         Family member, Alliance of Genetic Support Groups

•·         Former member and Corresponding Secretary, State of Rhode Island, Office of Diverse Learners, Special Education Advisory Committee (RISEAC)

•·         Former Liaison, RI ICC (Early Intervention Coordinating Committee)

  •           Member, RI Global Waiver Implementation Task Force (RI Medicaid overhaul steeing committee) co-chair Children with Disabilities sub-committee


•·         Dell, S.J., LaPlante, T., Terzian, S., & Cox, T. (2001). The Teen Scene: Ideas for Teens with Special Needs. Rhode Island Services to Children with Dual Sensory Impairments, Rhode Island College, University Affiliated Program, Providence, R.I.

•·         Dell, S.J., LaPlante, T., Terzian, S.

The Sensory Connection Newsletter, Rhode Island Services to Children with Dual Sensory Impairments, Rhode Island College, University Affiliated Program, Providence, R.I.