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National Leadership Summit on Improving Results for Youth

2003 Summit

Diane S. Basset
Diane S. Bassett is a Professor of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado. She has taught general and special education in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions, and in both public and private schools. Her primary interests include working on behalf of adolescents and adults with disabilities in the areas of transition, self-determination, advocacy, and educational reform. She consults with local school districts and State Departments of Education and is Past President of the Division on Career Development and Transition, of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Mason M. Bishop
Mason Bishop is a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Employment and Training Administration, United States Department of Labor. In his position, Mr. Bishop is responsible for overseeing key workforce investment programs, developing and implementing workforce policies and priorities, and assisting with congressional relations and legislative issues. He also plays a lead role in the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act. Prior to coming to the Employment and Training Administration, Mr. Bishop was the Legislative and Marketing Director for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, where he helped the states with outreach efforts to employers and the public and managed various projects on behalf of the states.

Mr. Bishop came to Washington from Utah where he was Public Affairs Director for the newly created Utah Department of Workforce Services, a combined agency that integrated the service delivery of all public assistance programs, employment services and job training programs into one department. He assisted the Governor on the legislation that created the Department, as well as the implementation of welfare reform in Utah.

Mr. Bishop graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Policy at George Mason University.

Martha Brooks
Martha Brooks, Ed.D. is currently Director of the Exceptional Children and Early Childhood Education at the Delaware Department of Education. Dr. Brooks has a Doctorate in Special Education and Human Services Administration from Temple University, a Masters Degree in Counseling from Pacific Lutheran University, and an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Simmons College. She has over thirty years of experience in regular and special education as a teacher and administrator. She is also the parent of three sons, one of whom has severe disabilities.

Dr. Brooks is dedicated to the promotion of collaborative efforts to improve results for children with disabilities and their families. She is a Past President of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education and has worked with the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education on a number of issues related to the implementation of the IDEA.

Donna Brown
Donna was employed by Camden County Welfare as a Social Worker and Counselor for several years before coming on board with DVRS. In her position as a Counselor, she became actively involved with DVR and developed an interest in working with persons with disabilities. Since that time, she has worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, acting Supervisor in the local office, and has been involved in Program Planning since last year, in the administrative Central Office-Trenton. Her major area of responsibility is in Transition Services. Her hometown is Camden, New Jersey and she has a B.A. in Sociology from Spelman College, Atlanta, GA and an M.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation and Counseling from University of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Health Related Professions.

Sheryl Burgstahler
Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler directs project DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) at the University of Washington. DO-IT promotes the success of students with disabilities in postsecondary programs and careers. DO-IT employs technology to help young people with disabilities achieve success in postsecondary education and careers. It sponsors programs that increase the use of assistive technology and promote the development of accessible facilities, computer labs, electronic resources in libraries, Web pages, educational multi-media, and Internet based distance learning programs. DO-IT has been the recipient of many awards, including the National Information Infrastructure Award in Education, The President's Award for Mentoring, the Golden Apple Award in Education, and the AHEAD Program Recognition award. DO-IT is funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the State of Washington, corporations, foundations, and private donors.

Dr. Burgstahler has published dozens of articles and delivered presentations at national and international conferences that focus on the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education, distance learning, work-based learning, and electronic communities. She is the author or co-author of six books on using the Internet with pre-college students. Dr. Burgstahler has extensive experience teaching at the pre-college, community college, and university levels. She is Assistant Director of Information Systems and Affiliate Associate Professor in Education at the University of Washington.

Ryant Cain
Ryant Cain has been a member of the Westside Youth Opportunity Community Center since February 2002. Ryant uses a wheelchair to ambulate. He reports that his disability resulted from a car accident. Ryant reports that he wasn't truly "rehabilitated" following his accident. By his own admittance, he found himself in the wrong places at the wrong times, which lead to him hanging with the wrong crowds and doing the wrong things. He was incarcerated for thirteen months. Upon his release, Ryant was ready to get his life together. Ryant heard about Youth Opportunity, met the required criteria and decided to give it a try. He currently attends Baltimore City Community College and plans to continue with his postsecondary education upon his completion there.

When asked what YO! had done for him, he replied, "they helped me get enrolled in college, helped me get a computer, gave me a chance to go on trips out of state and just had stuff for us to do so we could stay busy and keep out of trouble. You know, if you keep busy, you can stay away from the options within the environment. Going to school and YO!'s extra-curricular activities kept me out of trouble and I soon will be graduating, then going to another school and I know YO! will be there for me again." He offers encouragement to other youth who made be in similar situations, "they need to realize that they're young and don't have nothing and they don't want to be older and still have nothingÄnot being productive or positive or being able to provide for their family if they have one. I'd tell them how YO! has impacted my life and helped me get more focused. I'd tell them they could have the same thing." Ryant would "definitely" recommend YO! to others.

Joanne Cashman
Joanne Cashman is the Director of The Policymaker Partnership (PMP) for Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Partnership is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs and operates within the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Before joining the PMP, Joanne directed the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program at The George Washington University. She continues to teach courses in Special Education Policy and Interagency Service Coordination. Prior to coming to George Washington University, Joanne was concurrently the Principal of the Oaklyn Elementary School and Supervisor of Special Education and Drop Out Prevention for the Shikellamy School District in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Her expertise includes: Shared Policy Agendas and Crosscutting Policy Strategies; Implementation of the School-to-Career Movement; Service Learning and Self-Determination; Self-Advocacy for Individuals with Disabilities; and Developing Communities of Practice.

Brian Cobb
Brian Cobb is a Professor in the School of Education at Colorado State University and Co-Director of the Research and Development Center for the Advancement of Student Learning, a community research collaborative between Colorado State University and the local school district located in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He is Principal Investigator of an OSEP-funded, evidence-based research synthesis grant entitled What Works in Transition. He also works in various capacities on a variety of OSEP, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and foundation-funded research, assessment, program evaluation, and meta-evaluation grants across the K-16 educational spectrum.

Megan A. Conway
Megan A. Conway, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor with the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and coordinates the postoutcomes network of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. Dr. Conway has presented at numerous national and international conferences and workshops in the areas of postsecondary education, technology, and sensory impairment. She has served as a consultant on several state and international projects in the area of severe disability, and has authored papers on postsecondary supports for individuals with disabilities, disability culture, the implications of acquired disability, and the application of technology for individuals with disabilities. Dr. Conway received her Doctorate in Special Education at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mark R. Donovan
Mark R. Donovan, vice chairman of the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities, served as its executive director from 1989, the year of its launch, through 2000. As vice chairman, he continues to serve the foundation in an advisory role, participates in a number of related boards around the country, and is a recognized advocate for issues and opportunities surrounding the employment of people with disabilities. Under Mr. Donovan's direction, the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities in 1990 established "Bridges...from school to work," which develops and facilitates employment opportunities for young people with disabilities as they leave high school. Today, the foundation operates Bridges programs in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and the Washington, D.C. area and has, in its fourteen years, placed more than 6,000 youth in paid employment with over 1,400 employers. Before joining the Marriott Foundation, Mr. Donovan filled several regional and national human resource positions for Saga Corporation and Marriott International, with responsibilities including management training and development, organization development, and initiatives to outreach to, and recruit from, non-traditional applicant pools. Those roles were preceded by ten years in management, directing comprehensive food and beverage operations on multiple college and university campuses. Mr. Donovan is a 1972 graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.

Kelli Crane
Kelli Crane is a Senior Policy Analyst at TransCen, Inc. and is responsible for managing their participation in the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition for Youth with Disabilities. In this capacity, Dr. Crane coordinates the research, development and implementation of postschool improvement activities to states including resource mapping, partnership development, and the systems alignment. She has been extensively involved in creating and expanding secondary education and workforce development systems. Her area of expertise includes research, outreach, and the design of activities to improve secondary education and transition programs for youth with disabilities. Before joining TransCen’s staff, Dr. Crane worked for the National School-to-Work Office of the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, where she collaborated with a variety of federal and state government entities on various policy initiatives. In addition, Dr. Crane has held various leadership positions in professional assocations representing vocational special needs and transition.

Olatokunbo (Toks) S. Fashola
Olatokunbo S. Fashola is a Research Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools. She received her Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include reading, afterschool programs, dropout prevention programs, language development, emergent literacy, program evaluation, educational policy issues, problem solving, and bilingual education. She has written numerous articles on these various topics and is co-author of Show Me The Evidence! Proven and Promising Programs for America's Schools. Her report Review of Extended-Day and After-School Programs and Their Effectiveness and her book Building Effective Afterschool Programs have garnered national attention. She has recently authored two special editions of Urban Education dedicated to the education of African American males, and currently serves as National Content Advisor to the What Works Clearinghouse on the topic of Dropout Prevention. Dr. Fashola is the recipient of an award for research excellence from the American Federation of Teachers.

Connie Garner
Connie Garner is Policy Director for Disability and Special Populations for Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Currently, she is responsible for interagency health and disability policy development for the HELP Committee, and she consults to the Senate Democratic Caucus on disability related issues.

She served as the lead Democratic staff person for the CHIP legislation in 1997 and the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. She is now working as the lead Democratic staff person for the Family Opportunity Act of 2000 - a bill to allow states to offer a medicaid buy-in to families with incomes up to 250% of poverty for their significantly disabled child so that these families can stay together and stay employed - and she is also the lead Democratic staff person for the reauthorization of Special Education.

Prior to joining Senator Kennedy, she was Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, at the U.S. Department of Education. While working at the U.S. Department of Education, Connie was the Director of the Interagency Coordinating Council for Children with Disabilities and also served as the liaison for the Secretary of Education in all interagency matters related to health and children. She received her B.S. in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, her MSN from George Mason University, her Ed.S. from George Washington University, and her doctoral work is in Health and Education Policy from the George Washington University. Connie is also certified as Pediatric and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. She is married to a Pediatrician and the mother of seven children.

Margaret J. Giannini
The Honorable Margaret J. Giannini, M.D., F.A.A.P. was appointed October 1, 2002, Director of the Health and Human Service Office on Disability by Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. She serves as advisor to the Secretary on HHS activities relating to disabilities. The office on disability oversees the implementation and coordination of disability programs, policies, and special initiatives for 54 million persons with disabilities.

Prior to becoming Director of the Office on Disability, Dr. Giannini was appointed by President George W. Bush as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Department of Health and Human Services. From 1981-1992, Dr. Giannini was Deputy Assistant Chief Medical Director for Rehabilitation and Prosthetics at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C. There her work focused on technology transfer and assistive technology involving all disabilities. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed Dr. Giannini as the first Director of the National Institute of Handicapped Research, which was confirmed by the Senate in January of 1980. Dr. Giannini, in 1950, was the first to create the largest facility for mentally retarded and the developmentally disabled for all ages and etiologies in the United States and the world, which became the first University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities.

Dr. Giannini is the recipient of many national and international awards from various organizations in recognition of her professional and humanitarian services and achievements. She was saluted by the Association for Pediatric Research; selected "Woman of the Year" for Achievement in Medicine and "Woman-Doer" by President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson; received the Wyeth Medical Achievement Award; the Seal of the Inner London Education Authority for Contributions in the Field of Mental Retardation at the House of Parliament London; and the Governor Hugh Carey Citation for Leadership and Medical Contributions to the State of New York; presented the First Honorary Degree by Mercy College Doctor of Humane Letters; the Meritorious Honor Award in Mental Retardation and awarded the Key to the City of Bologna, Italy; received the Bronze Medal Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics; the National Italian-American Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievements in Science and Medicine; "Recognition Plaque' from the City of San Francisco; Seton Award from Seton Hall College, Pittsburgh, PA; the First Presidential Award for Design Excellence from President Reagan; the N. Neal Pike Award for Service to the handicapped from Boston University; the Isabelle and Leonard H. Goldenson Award for Technology Application to Cerebral Palsy; President Reagan's Distinguished Service Award, Committee on Employment of the Handicapped; Silver helmet Award by AMVETS; is in the New York Hall of Fame (AHRC, '98); and was honored by the naming of the "Hon. Margaret J. Giannini, M.D. Physical Rehabilitation Pavilion" in 1997 at Westchester Special School, N.Y.

Dr. Giannini has served on numerous national and international boards and chaired more than 61 international conferences on rehabilitation and developmental disabilities in many countries, including Israel, Italy, Spain, China, Russia, Argentina, India, Egypt and others. She also has served for many years as Chair of the Board of Trustees, the American University of Rome, Italy.

She has published extensively and lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Giannini has most recently edited "Behavioral Neurology in the Elderly," December 2001.

Barbara Guy
Dr. Barbara Guy is the Transition Consultant for the Bureau of Children, Family, and Community Services in the Iowa Department of Education. Barb joined the Department of Education from the University of Minnesota where she was the Director of the National Transition Network. As the director, she provided technical assistance to state directors of transition systems change projects funded by the Department of Special Education Programs. In addition to her most recent work, Barb's broad perspectives of transition derive from her work at the University of Kansas and her experiences teaching students with severe and profound disabilities. This background has lead to her recognition of the diverse transition desires and needs of youth with disabilities and the belief that services and practices need to be flexible and broad enough to meet that diversity. She is the author of several articles and book chapters on transition.

Russell Harris
Russell Harris is the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor. Congress established the Office of Disability Employment Policy in December 2000 to bring a heightened and permanent long-term focus to the goal of increasing the employment of persons with disabilities, through policy analysis, technical assistance, and development of best practices. His responsibilities include developing the strategy and structure of ODEP, as well as managing day-to-day operations.

Prior to coming to the Department of Labor, Mr. Harris was the Corporate Officer for Human Resources and Compliance at AMTRAK. He also served as President and CEO of Harris Business Service. Other positions include Vice President of Human Resources for the American Public Transit Association and Executive Director of their Foundation, and the National Director for Human Resources Research and Publications at the Master Printers of America/PIA.

Mr. Harris is a Senior Professional in Human Resources. He serves on several boards, including as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Center for Transportation Training, Education and Research. He is a Commissioner for the State of Virginia Housing Study Commission and for Human Relations in Fairfax County, Virginia. He has his undergraduate degree in sociology from the Virginia Union University and his M.S. in business and human resources from National Louis University. He also has a certificate in negotiations from the Harvard/MIT/Tufts Consortium.

Mr. Harris is married for 16 years to Nan R. Harris of Richmond, Virginia. They have two sons, Russell Harris, Jr., who is presently serving in the United States Marine Corps and Randy J. Harris, who has recently joined the Secret Service.

Debra Hart
Debra's recent experience includes working with school districts to develop the College Career Connection, an individual support model designed to assist students with intellectual disabilities in gaining access to inclusive postsecondary education options while still enrolled in high school. Specifically, she worked with communities to: create interagency teams to conduct resource mapping to identify existing services and supports to improve post-school outcomes for their youth with disabilities; build capacity of secondary teachers and college faculty to apply universal design for learning principles to develop greater access to and progress in general education curriculum and college courses; and research students with intellectual disabilities and postsecondary education through Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services and the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports (NSPES), a RRTC at the University of Hawaii.

Susan Brody Hasazi
Susan Brody Hasazi, Ed.D. is a Professor in the Department of Education, Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Director of the National Institute on Leadership, Disability, and Students Placed at Risk at the University of Vermont. Over her thirty-year career she has focused her research, practice, and advocacy in the areas of transition, inclusion, and partnerships with families. She has directed several teacher preparation programs in special education for transition and high school special educators, and conducted research in the areas of postschool outcomes, implementation of transition policies and practices at the state and local levels, and inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum. Dr. Hasazi received a 1983 Mary Switzer Research Fellowship from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research for her work related to the vocational and transitional experiences of youth with disabilities, and in 1995 Dr. Hasazi received a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation International Award in Mental Retardation for her contributions to improving opportunities for individuals with mental retardation and their families.

Kenneth Hickson
Kenneth Hickson is a 21-year-old graduate of the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS.) At age 18, Kenny was accepted into the BCPSS Baltimore Transition Connection, an age-appropriate college-based transition program originally funded by OSERS, for special education students pursuing a Maryland Certificate (not eligible for a diploma). Kenny's class was located at Baltimore City Community College. As part of his three years in the program, Kenny completed a career preparation and exploration program, volunteered at a local museum, and enrolled in a variety of BCCC courses, including Adult Basic Education. He continues to take further ABE courses, and has already increased his reading level by 2 grades. In addition, Kenny has been working at Giant grocery store for 2 1/2 years, where he started out as a courtesy clerk and has been promoted to the deli counter. He hopes to be promoted again into the bakery department, and in order to help reach that goal has taken community college cake decorating courses. His ultimate goal is to enroll in a Culinary Arts school and become a chef. He currently helps support himself and his mother in their home in Baltimore.

Richard Horne
Dr. Richard Horne currently serves as the Supervisory Research Analyst for Research and Education at the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Richard previously was the Senior Policy Advisor for ODEP's Youth Policy Team. Prior to working for ODEP, Richard served as Deputy Director on the Presidential Task Force on the Employment of Adults with Disabilities. In addition, Richard was the Deputy Director of the Disabilities Studies and Services Center, at the Academy for Educational Development, a non-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, DC, dedicated to addressing human development needs throughout the world. Richard, who earned his Doctorate at George Washington University, has written and presented extensively in the areas of public policy, systems reform, information utilization, school to work transition, personnel development, rehabilitation, and employment of individuals with disabilities.

JD Hoye
JD Hoye has over 25 years of education reform and workforce development system change work. She began her career in Oregon as a youth counselor and culminated the Oregon experience as Associate Superintendent of Professional Technical Education. She was the first national director of the National School to Work Office and has been in private practice since 1998. Her recent work has been assisting organizations and communities to design strategies to improve teaching, learning, and connections that improve young people's opportunities to succeed.

Doris Jamison
Doris Jamison major responsibilities include managing secondary transition technical assistance, aligning transition implementation with other Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) and Special Education Department policy and career development initiatives, including career and technical education, general and special education, and vocational rehabilitation; managing Reading and Math Improvement initiatives; conducting longitudinal research to measure the impact of existing policies (i.e., Longitudinal Post School Indicators Transition study, Preschool Longitudinal Study); demonstrating school-based support service models for students with mental health needs; and disseminating information about effective practices. Formerly, Ms. Jamison managed the secondary transition systems change and the supported employment systems change grants for VESID. Prior positions included New York State Education Department Affirmative Action Officer, NYS Office of Vocational Rehabilitation coordinator for public employer outreach initiatives, and vocational rehabilitation counselor both within the State agency and a not-for-profit rehabilitation program.

Cinda Johnson
Cinda Johnson is the Principal Investigator at the University of Washington, Seattle, for the Center for Change in Transition Services. In her work at the University, she teaches and conducts research in the field of secondary special education. Dr. Johnson directs the collection, analysis, and dissemination of the post-school status data for special education graduates in Washington State. She conducts training and writes curricula in the area of vocational assessment and student driven IEPs.

David R. Johnson
David R. Johnson, Ph.D. is presently Director of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. Dr. Johnson is also Director of the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD) and Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration, College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include investigations of the postschool outcomes and status of young adults with disabilities, evaluations concerning access and participation of young adults with disabilities in postsecondary education programs, studies on systems change, cost-benefit analysis, and other policy-related research. Dr. Johnson has also served as consultant to several national, regional, and state organizations including NIDRR, National School-to-Work Office, Rehabilitation Services Administration, National Alliance of Business, Council for Exceptional Children, and several Congressional Committees. Dr. Johnson has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, research monographs, and technical reports and products on topics concerning secondary education, special education, rehabilitation, transition, school-to-work, and others.

Bonnie Jones
Dr. Jones has extensive experience in career development and secondary transition programs at district and state levels. She has developed and coordinated multi-agency school employment projects that have received national recognition from the U.S. Department of Labor. Working for the Kansas State Board of Education, she conducted extensive, statewide training on transition services and directed federal grants that created interagency data collection of post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. At the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Dr. Jones, an Education Research Analyst, is on the Secondary Education and Transition Team where she is project officer for discretionary grants and serves as an expert on high school reform issues. Bonnie earned her doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University and teaches as an adjunct faculty member at the Graduate School of Education, George Mason University.

William Kiernan
Dr. Kiernan has more than thirty years of experience in the areas of employment training, public policy development, and organizational change. He has been the Principal Investigator on a number of national research, training, and technical assistance centers addressing issues of employment, systems change, service integration, and inclusion. He has also been involved in personnel preparation programs addressing rehabilitation, education, administration, and public policy at the graduate levels. He has worked with many of federal and state agencies addressing issues of service integration and program development and has written extensively in the fields of employment of individuals with disabilities, workforce development, systems change, and organizational development.

Carol Kochhar-Bryant
Dr. Kochhar is a Professor of Special Education at the George Washington University. For 16 years she has developed and directed Doctoral Leadership, Educational Specialist, and Masters training programs with a focus on secondary education and transition. She has taught doctoral courses in special education legal issues and public policy, systemic change and leadership, research and development methods, and interdisciplinary planning and development. She currently consults with public school districts, state departments of education and federal agencies on transition development and state improvement planning. Dr. Kochhar is widely published in areas of disability policy, leadership development, interagency service coordination, career-vocational programming, and school-to-work transition for special learners. Dr. Kochhar is past President of the Division on Career Development and Transition of the International Council for Exceptional Children.

Stephanie Lee
Stephanie Smith Lee has been the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, since February 21, 2002. Mrs. Lee has had 30 years of experience in public policy at the local, state, and federal levels. In the 1970's she held senior professional staff positions for members of the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and the Senate Education and Labor Committee.

Prior to joining the Administration, she served for 15 years as a Foundation Administrator for the Sunmark Foundation, which funds organizations that promote free enterprise economics. She has held a number of positions related to employment, education, and disability policy, including serving as the Governmental Affairs Representative of the National Down Syndrome Society and has served on many commissions, panels, and study committees, including serving as a Republican Senate appointee to the Ticket to Work Advisory Panel, which advises the President, Congress and the Social Security Administration on work incentive issues for individuals with disabilities. Mrs. Lee has a daughter, Laura, who is 20 years old and has Down syndrome.

Cammy Lehr
Dr. Lehr is a Research Associate with the Institute on Community Integration, at the University of Minnesota. She is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Alternative Schools Research Project, a three-year federally funded project (2001-2004) studying alternative schools across the nation and issues related to serving youth with disabilities in these settings. Prior to directing the Alternative Schools Research Project, she co-directed a truancy prevention/student engagement project for children and youth in elementary and middle schools (Check & Connect). She and her colleagues recently completed an integrative review of the professional literature on dropout intervention and a NCSET manual for policymakers, administrators and educators focused on increasing rates of school completion.

Richard Luecking
Dr. Luecking is President of TransCen, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Rockville, Maryland that is known nationally for its training and technical assistance in school-to-work transition initiatives, systems change in education, and career development of individuals with disabilities. During his tenure in this position, Dr. Luecking has been responsible for the implementation and direction of numerous model demonstration and research projects related to school-to-work transition and employment of individuals with disabilities. His particular professional interests include improving and expanding business/education relationships and the participation of individuals with disabilities in workforce investment systems.

Irene C. Lynn
Irene C. Lynn has over 30 years experience in workforce development programs. Prior to joining the Institute for Educational Leadership, Ms. Lynn managed the Department of Labor's (DOL) Workforce Investment Act youth programs, both the State-formula funded programs and the Youth Opportunity grant programs. In this capacity, she managed federal staff, guided federal program and policy development, and managed the technical assistance for and performance oversight of DOL-funded State and local youth program operations. Ms. Lynn also has extensive experience in school-to-work programs, having spent four years in the Departments of Education and Labor's National School-to-Work Office. Her background also includes work in the DOL-administered apprenticeship program and the unemployment insurance program.

Katherine McCary
Katherine McCary is a Vice President in Human Resources and Manager of Accessing Community Talent (ACT) at SunTrust Bank Mid-Atlantic. She has over 28 years of staffing experience and in her 13 years with SunTrust her contributions to SunTrust Mid-Atlantic's diversity efforts have resulted in internal, regional and national recognition. The ACT program is a SunTrust diversity program that targets under employed and unemployed applicant pipelines for employment, including diverse populations such as minorities, older workers, welfare to work, transitioning military, dislocated workers, veterans, youth, and individuals with disabilities.

Kenneth McGill
Mr. McGill directs the Office of Employment Support Programs at the Social Security Administration. That office is responsible for policy and programs supporting the employment of people with disabilities who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. He has held a number of different positions since beginning his career with Social Security as a claims representative in 1973. He has served in management and policy positions at the local, regional and central office levels. Mr. McGill and his staff are currently leading the implementation of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. Mr. McGill is a graduate of Dartmouth College. He is married, with two daughters.

Margaret McLaughlin
Margaret McLaughlin has conducted research related to standards-driven reform and students with disabilities for over 15 years. Most recently her research has focused on issues related to: No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and school-level factors that appear to promote better results for students with disabilities; access to the general education curriculum; and quality indicators for special education.

Grace Meo
As the Center for Applied Special Technology's (CAST) Director of Professional Services, Grace Meo develops and provides professional development to K-12 teachers and administrators throughout the U.S. and oversees a national network of K-12 schools and educators who collaborate with CAST on researching, designing, modeling, and disseminating universally designed materials and practices that address the needs of all learners. Ms. Meo also serves as the Director of Research-to-Practice for the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum, a five-year Office of Special Education Programs-funded initiative led by CAST. Early in her career, Ms. Meo was a founding member of CAST, helping to shape the organization's mission, structure and goals. From 1988 – 1997, she was the Elementary Technology Coordinator at the Hamilton-Wenham (Massachusetts) Regional School District. Before rejoining CAST in 1999, Ms. Meo served for two years as Technology Specialist to the Massachusetts Department of Education, leading a statewide effort to integrate technology into curricula. Ms. Meo holds a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Boston Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Regis College. She served on CAST's Board of Directors from 1986-99.

Jonathan Mooney
Jonathan Mooney is a writer with dyslexia and activist who did not learn to read until he was 12 years old. He is a graduate of Brown University and a holds an honors degree in English Literature. Jonathan is co-founder of Project Eye-To-Eye, a widely duplicated mentoring program for students with disabilities. He is also a winner of the prestigious Truman Scholarship for graduate studies in creative writing and education, and was a national finalist for the Rhodes scholarship. With the publication of Learning Outside the Lines when he was 23, now in its eighth printing, a book that is part memoir and part alternative study skills, Jonathan has established himself as one of the foremost leaders in LD/ADHD, disabilities, and alternative education. In the fall of 2004, Jonathan's second book, The Short Bus Story, a work of creative non-fiction, part travel literature, part memoir, part oral history, consisting of true tales of physical and cognitive deviance from a cross-country journey through disabled culture, will be published by Henry Holt.

Jonathan has lectured at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Brown University, the University of Wisconsin-School of Education, New York University Medical School's Grand Rounds, and Beaumont Pediatric Hospital's Grand Rounds. But to date, his favorite gig was at an elementary school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the kids gave him hope.

Jonathan has been featured and quoted in The New York Times, the Providence Journal, the Boston Globe, USA Today, and numerous other local and regional papers in the cities, states, and countries where Jonathan has traveled. His most memorable experience, however, was being interviewed for the Brazilian cable company, El Globo, where his voice was dubbed into Portuguese. The company reported that they haven't received that much mail since their feature on David Hasselhoff.

Patricia Morrissey
Patricia A. Morrissey was appointed Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) effective August 27, 2001. Commissioner Morrissey overseas four major discretionary grant programs authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.

Dr. Morrissey holds a Ph.D. in special education from The Pennsylvania State University. Before becoming ADD Commissioner, she was a senior associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, an international technology and management consulting firm with headquarters in McLean, VA. There, Morrissey oversaw Booz Allen Hamilton's efforts to help federal agencies make their electronic and information technology accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities.

During her 26 years in the Washington area, Dr. Morrissey has worked for the Senate, the House of Representatives, and President Ronald Reagan. In 1999, while with the Senate, she worked with the then-Wisconsin Governor Thompson's office on the development and passage of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. More recently, Morrissey was a contributor to President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative.

Chad Nye
Chad Nye is currently the Executive Director for the University of Central Florida - Center for Autism & Related Disabilities, a regional state-funded technical service and support center for individuals, families, professionals, and organizations working in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders. He is a Senior Content Advisor with the What Works Clearinghouse, developing a systematic review of the effectiveness of high school dropout prevention in the United States. The primary focus of Dr. Nye's research efforts has been in the area of systematic reviews of interventions for special needs children and adults. He is also the Coordinator for the Campbell Collaboration Education Coordinating Group.

Ed O'Leary
Dr. Ed O'Leary has spent over 30 years working in and with schools as a secondary special education teacher, special education consultant, transition specialist, work experience coordinator, program specialist, and program director. He has also taught at the graduate and undergraduate level and has worked in Vocational Rehabilitation. He has trained and presented nationally on the transition requirements under IDEA 97 and has developed an approach in helping districts and states meet the transition requirements and demonstrate improvement and results. The Transition Outcome Projects are now operating in 22 states. His most current publications include co-authoring: Transition Requirements – A Guide for States, Districts, Schools, Universities and Families (2000); Transition Services – Helping Educators, Parents, and Others Understand: Postschool Outcomes, Course of Study and Coordinated Set of Activities (2002)

Glenda Partee
Glenda Partee has extensive policy and program experience in public K-12 and higher education extending over 20 years. She has been a public school teacher and served on the staff of a number of education organizations such as the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the Institute for Services to Education. She has served as American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) Co-Director since January, 1995. Ms. Partee organizes a portion of AYPF's speaker forums and field trips, and organizes meetings designed to bring policymakers together to discuss issues that affect youth. She has recently edited Looking Forward: School-to-Work Principles and Strategies for Sustainability.

L. Allen Phelps
Currently, Dr. Phelps is Director of the Center on Education and Work and a Professor of Educational Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With his colleagues in the Research Institute on Secondary Education Reform for Students with Disabilities, he has examined authentic teaching and learning practices in four inclusive high schools and the impact on students with disabilities over the past five years. In high schools and classrooms where students with disabilities have access to a general education curriculum focused on deep and reflective intellectual inquiry, students with and without disabilities are succeeding in postsecondary education, employment, and civic engagement at levels that, in most cases, exceed the national performance levels found in recent follow-up studies.

Bonnie Politz
Bonnie Politz is Vice-President and Co-Director of the Academy for Educational Development's (AED) Center for Youth Development and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.. In this capacity, she coordinates the Center's efforts to mobilize communities and to strengthen the youth development infrastructure at the local, state and national levels. Staff and project management, proposal development and fundraising, enhancing organization and community linkages, and meeting facilitation are tasks associated with this position.

Nancy Reder
As the National Association for State Director's of Special Education's (NASDSE) Director of Government Relations, Nancy Reder has closely followed the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act and its implications for students with disabilities. She has also been following the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and she represents NASDSE as a National Center on Secondary Education and Transition partner.

Curtis Richards
Curtis Richards is a nationally recognized leader in the disability community. For the past three years, he served in the Clinton Administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education. In that capacity, Richards administered more than $10 billion of national programs in special education, disability research and vocational rehabilitation for youth and adults with disabilities. Since leaving government, Richards has formed his own public policy consulting and lobbying business, known as The Advocrat Group, with an emphasis on issues of disability, education and employment. Before trekking to Washington, Richards was Chief Consultant to the California State Assembly's Budget Committee where he guided strategy for legislative discussion, modification and adoption of a state-spending plan. As he did for several years, Richards held specific budget responsibilities for key programs and department serving people with disabilities, including special education, vocational rehabilitation, aging & long term care, mental health and developmental services. And, from 1991 to 1995, Richards served as an Assistant Director for Consumer Affairs in the California Department of Rehabilitation.

Richards also has an extensive background in postsecondary education. He served as Consultant to a California State Assembly committee on higher education from 1985 to 1991, and, before that, lobbied for California State University students for five years. Richards is still pursuing a Master's Degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government-Journalism from the same institution.

Richards has spoken extensively on disability issues throughout the country on a wide range of topics including the disability civil rights movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, education of disabled youth and adults, and disability and employment. And, a freelance writer, he has a number of magazine, journal and newsletter articles in his portfolio, many addressing the same subjects. Richards has been honored for his work in the disability field. Among his numerous awards are: a 2000 Certificate of Appreciation from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, a 1999 Disability Rights Activist Award from the California Foundation of Independent Living Centers, and the 1997 Lanterman Award from the California Association of Postsecondary Education and the Disabled. Richards has been visually impaired since he was a toddler.

Erin Riehle
Erin Riehle was Clinical Director for the Emergency Department at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1989 to 1998. It is the highest volume pediatric Emergency Department in the nation with 88,000 visits per year and is a Level 1 Trauma Center. Erin received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing and her Masters of Science in Nursing Administration from The University of Cincinnati. She did post-graduate work in anthropology at The University of Cincinnati. Erin is currently employed by Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Children's Convalescent Hospital and serves as the Co-Director of Project SEARCH, a unique collaboration between healthcare, education and service agencies. Project SEARCH seeks to create innovative solutions for workforce and career development for people with disabilities.

Richard Robison
Richard is Executive Director of the Federation for Children with Special Needs and the parent of two young adults with Down syndrome who are in the midst of their transition years to adult activities. Amy, the older sister, is a part-time student at the local Community College and working as a teaching assistant at a day care center. She also loves drama and music and has participated in several community productions. Jason, her younger brother, is finishing his last year at the high school in community and volunteers time at a local food pantry. As a father and in his role at the Federation, Richard is particularly concerned with assisting young people with disabilities to find and participate in "typical" postsecondary activities that support their full involvement in their communities and support development of appropriate employment or career supports.

Judy Shanley
Judy Shanley has been a Principal Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) for nearly five years and is currently the Co-Director of The Access Center: Improving Outcomes for All Students K-8, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. In this position, Dr. Shanley is responsible for managing Center activities and implementing and evaluating technical assistance activities at the state and local levels. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Special Education, with an emphasis on transition, and an M.B.A. and M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling, both from Syracuse University.

Jennifer Sheehy
Jennifer Sheehy is the President's appointed Special Assistant for Employment to the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education. Jennifer came to OSERS from the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities where she was Senior Policy Advisor and Director of Business Partnerships. She recently completed a detail as Associate Director of the White House Office of Domestic Policy, managing the President‚s New Freedom Initiative and advising on policy issues of interest to people with disabilities. Prior to her work on the task force, Jennifer served as Vice President of the National Organization on Disability and Director of its CEO Council.

Jennifer graduated with honors in June of 1997, earning an MBA from Georgetown University. While in school, she worked in marketing research with Anheuser-Busch Companies in St. Louis. Before business school, she worked in marketing and management for Sheraton and Marriott. A graduate of Cornell University, Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English. She has received many civic and achievement awards including the Federal Computer Week Federal 100 Technology Award; the "Community Award" from the National Conference for Community and Justice; the National Association for Women in Education "Woman of Distinction" award; and the Diet Coke/Glamour magazine "Women at Their Best" award. Jennifer serves as Vice Chair on the board of the National Conference for Community and Justice and President-elect of the National Rehabilitation Hospital Board of Associates. She resides in Washington DC and loves sailing, golf, and soaring.

David Sienko
David is the state secondary transition coordinator for the Rhode Island Department of Education, Office of Special Needs. He was the coordinator for RITIE, (Rhode Island Transition Independence-Employment) federal systems change grant for transition from 1997-2001 at Sherlock Center on Disabilities and has managed other federal grants for several years at Rhode Island College. Before moving to Rhode Island College, David was the Program Director for the Blackstone Valley Arc and developed transition service programs for youth with developmental disabilities in Pawtucket, Central Falls and East Providence schools from the early 1980's through 1994. David has an M.A. in Special Education from Rhode Island College and is an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College and Providence College. David was the recipient of the George F. Moore Award from the Rhode Island Rehabilitation Association in 2002 for advocacy for the employment of people with disabilities and is the current vice chair of the Rhode Island Rehabilitation Council.

Robert A. Stodden
Dr. Robert A. Stodden is the current Past President of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) board of directors. Professionally trained in Psychology, Special Education, and Rehabilitation, he has served more than twenty-five years as a national leader in the fields of special education, school to adult transition, postsecondary education, and employment for persons with disabilities. Since 1988, he has served as the founding Director of the Center on Disability Studies (a University Center for Excellence) and Professor of Special Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also serves as the originator and director of the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports (NCSPES) and the National Technical Assistance Center for the Employment of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders with Disabilities at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Stodden has served as principal investigator/director for more than 100 research and training projects focused upon improving the quality of life for all persons with disabilities. He has been a keynote speaker and invited presenter for many international and national conferences, and has served as a consultant within numerous foreign countries and for more than 20 different states within the United States. In 1995, Dr. Stodden was selected as a Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation Senior Policy Fellow, working in the United States Senate to develop and draft policy language for major pieces of disability legislation. In addition to serving as the President of the board for AUCD, he serves on policy committees of the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, and as a member of the Board of Directors for Division on Development Disabilities, International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

Jane Storms
Jane Storms has been an Educational Consultant with the Western Regional Resource Center (WRRC) since 1984 with special expertise in secondary transition. Other areas of expertise include effective teaching and learning for all students with a special interest in those with disabilities; advocacy of students and adults with disabilities and their families; state improvement systems, comprehensive systems of personnel development, and results accountability. Jane's experience spans classroom instruction, community and employment training, staff development, and state level policy development. She has been a high school career development coordinator in Eugene, Oregon and Training Director with Winners at Work in Honolulu, Hawaii. She currently provides technical assistance with 13 states and jurisdictions in the western U.S. and Pacific jurisdictions with an emphasis in secondary education and transition and state improvement systems. Coordination and collaboration are central to her work. Jane has a strong interest in the area of siblings with disabilities and families and has a brother who has cerebral palsy and a sister who has polio and uses a wheelchair.

Carl Suter
Carl Suter, from the State of Illinois, is the Executive Director of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR). He assumed this position in November 2001. Prior to joining the CSAVR, Mr. Suter was the Director of the Illinois Office of Rehabilitation Services for five years. He oversaw a budget of nearly $500 million dollars that included programs such as vocational rehabilitation, a $300 million dollar in-home care program for persons with disabilities, three schools for children with disabilities and Disability Adjudicative Services for determining eligibility for benefits for the Social Security Disability Insurance Program and Supplemental Security Income in Illinois. During his tenure as State Director, he led sweeping reforms of the Illinois Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program so as to provide world class customer service to the nearly 70,000 individuals with disabilities served through its programs. Mr. Suter has also served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities and as the Associate Director of the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

Sue Swenson
Sue Swenson is Assistant Executive Director for chapter, membership, and program services at The Arc of the United States. She also serves the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation as Executive Director. She was Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1998 to July of 2001 and was a fellow of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation working on IDEA and the DD Act in the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy in 1996. She is the mother of three sons, one of whom -- Charlie, age 21 -- has developmental disabilities.

She has a professional background in marketing and management of interdisciplinary professional services; an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota; and both an A.B. and an A.M. in interdisciplinary humanities from the University of Chicago. She believes that systems change must focus on building sustainable systems that are diverse, flexible, and sensitive to the feedback of people who depend on them.

Peter N. Squire
Peter N. Squire is a scientist working for the Gun Weapons System T-25 branch at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Mary Washington College in May 2002- graduating Magna Cum Laude, and with departmental honors. Peter has completed/work on several projects at Dahlgren including: Gun Weapons System development of Plan Position Indicator or Tacsit; Nano Neuronal Coupler (NNC) biological research directed towards a Brain Computer Interface; and Autonomous Agents simulation, researching and construction layer architecture of agent behaviors.

Peter conducted research in a variety of areas while an undergraduate student. Most significant was his selection to a Research Experience for Undergraduate Fellowship at Duke University, where he designed and constructed a GUI that simulated a MRI scan. Peter has also done research pertaining to the graphical differences between Matlab and OpenGL at Mary Washington College. In addition, he also conducted psychology-related research in the area of cognition resulting in the presentation of two projects: Is it There? Word Effects on Letter Recognition and The Effects of Cell Phone Interruption and Usage on the Performance of an Arithmetic Task at the annual Psychology Psi Chi Symposiums.

Outside of work, Peter is an active member in the National Youth Leadership Network, co-chairing: Institute Planning, Bylaws, Public-Education, and the Research Committee's. The National Youth Leadership Network is a federally funded group which seeks to promote leadership development and education in the pursuit of ensuring that all youth with disabilities have the opportunity to attain their maximum, unique and personal potential.

Martha Thurlow
Martha Thurlow, Ph.D. is the Director of the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) at the University of Minnesota. In this position, she addresses the implications of contemporary U.S. policy and practice for students with disabilities, including national and statewide assessment policies and practices, standards-setting efforts, and graduation requirements. Dr. Thurlow has conducted research involving special education for the past 30 years in a variety of areas, including assessment and decision making, learning disabilities, early childhood education, dropout prevention, effective classroom instruction, and integration of students with disabilities in general education settings.

Steven James Tingus
Steven James Tingus was appointed by President George W. Bush, under the leadership of Secretary of Education Rod Paige, as Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in October of 2001. NIDRR is a component of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services within the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to his appointment to NIDRR, Mr. Tingus was the Director of Resource Development and Public Policy for the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, Inc. (CFILC) and its nonprofit project, the Assistive Technology "AT" Network. During his oversight of the AT Network, Mr. Tingus was recognized as a strong voice for the disability community, fighting for equal access to education, healthcare, employment, housing, transportation, and opportunities for all persons, regardless of disability. In addition, Mr. Tingus co-authored President Bush's New Freedom Initiative (NFI). The NFI is the blueprint for current Federal policy supporting individuals with disabilities. Mr. Tingus has an acute understanding of the personalities, policymakers and organizations affecting disability policy both statewide and nationally, and maintains strong contacts to elected officials on both sides of the political aisle.

In his work for CFILC and its AT Network, Mr. Tingus developed successful and diverse media, public outreach and fundraising efforts, working with such organizations as the National Council on Independent Living, the American Association of People with Disabilities and the National Organization on Disability. He testified on state legislation affecting disability policy issues ranging from special education, Medicaid eligibility guidelines, home modification and universal design, assistive technology funding, and long-term care.

From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Tingus served as the Health Care Policy Analyst for the California Department of Health Services (DHS). As public liaison and legislative expert for DHS, one of the largest state departments, he represented DHS at interagency meetings and helped the Director design and implement initiatives pertaining to long-term care and disability policy.

Mr. Tingus previously worked as a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of California-Davis, where he studied muscular dystrophy and the effect of anabolic steroids on skeletal muscle regeneration. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California-Davis in Biological Sciences, a Master of Science degree in 1990 and a Candidate in Philosophy degree (Ph.D. ABD) in Physiology in 1994.

Gerald Tirozzi
Gerald N. Tirozzi has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) since March 1999. NASSP is the preeminent organization and the national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and aspiring school leaders. Dr. Tirozzi recognizes that there are many complex issues facing the nation's middle level and high schools, and asserts that NASSP plays pivotal role in addressing such issues as promoting school reform, dramatically increasing school enrollment, increasing the voice of the principal, restoring public confidence in secondary schools, and ensuring safe and orderly learning environments.

Prior to his position at NASSP (1996-1999), Dr. Tirozzi served as Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, a position appointed by President Clinton. As Assistant Secretary, he oversaw the administration of 42 federal education programs that represented an $11 billion budget.

Dr. Tirozzi is a nationally recognized leader in education reform, having spent over 40 years working to improve teaching and learning for all students by promoting high academic standards and initiating major teaching reforms. From 1993-1995, he was a tenured professor at the University of Connecticut's Department of Educational Leadership, where his concentration was on urban education, educational policy, and the preparation of school superintendents. From 1991-93, Dr. Tirozzi was the President of Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts. He served as Connecticut's Commissioner of Education from 1983-1991, where he played a major leadership role in developing and implementing the Connecticut Mastery Test, which received national recognition as an assessment model to promote high academic standards and expectations. In addition, he implemented major teaching reforms that promoted both higher salaries and standards, which were at the core of an unprecedented $300 million Educational Improvement Act from the Connecticut General Assembly in 1986.

Dr. Tirozzi holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Educational Administration and Higher Education from Michigan State University. He has a Sixth Year Certificate in Education Administration from Fairfield University in Connecticut. He received a Master of Arts Degree in Guidance and Counseling and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State University.

Betsey Valnes
Betsy Valnes actively participates on the Youth Leadership/Advisory Councils for the National Youth Leadership Network and the National Council on Disability, while also serving as the sole U.S. youth ambassador for an international council. She serves state programs such as the Youth Leadership Forum, the Traumatic Brain Injury Council, and the State Independent Living Council. Betsy's primary disability-related interests are transition services, cultural diversity, correctional facilities, and self-advocacy training, all of which she has researched on state, regional, and national levels. After obtaining a B.A. in religion, with emphasis on cultural ethics, and minors in journalism and psychology, Betsy works as the Transition Liaison for the central region of South Dakota.

Mary Wagner
Dr. Wagner is Principal Investigator of OSEP's National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2), which is assessing over a 10-year period the characteristics, experiences, and results of a nationally representative sample of more than 11,000 secondary-school-age youth who were receiving special education services in 2000 and who will transition to young adulthood over the life of the study. Dr. Wagner also served in a similar role for the original National Longitudinal Transition Study (1983-1993), which helped shape Federal special education policy for a decade. Dr. Wagner, and the 65-person staff of SRI International's Center for Education and Human Services, which she directs, conducts research and evaluation on many aspects of disability policy and other issues affecting children, youth, and families across the age range.

Jamie Watts
Jamie Watts is a December, 2002 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in Psychology. In addition to being involved with student government on her campus and serving as a Student Outreach Team Leader for the PACE-IT grant (Paving Avenues for Competitive Employment in Information Technology), Jamie has completed three internships in the D.C. area through the Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities. She has worked in the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity, and with the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP). Jamie is currently employed by the National Organization on Disability, where she leads the National Partnership Program.

Jerry Weast
Dr. Weast is superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Appointed by the Board of Education in 1999, Dr. Weast has directed a series of reform measures designed to improve the academic performance of students, particularly those impacted by poverty, English as a second language, and disabilities. Ongoing initiatives include improved early childhood education, expanded full-day kindergarten, increased academic rigor, comprehensive teacher development, strengthened accountability, and expanded parent and community involvement. MCPS is the largest school district in Maryland, the 18th largest in the United States, and the 12th fastest growing district in the nation. This year, more than 140,000 students are enrolled in 191 schools, the largest enrollment in the school system's history.

Teresa Whelley
Teresa Whelley, Ed.D., has family members who have disabilities and has worked with and for people with disabilities for 27 years in institutions, community services, state agencies, public schools, colleges, research institutes and universities. She has worked in the area of transition from school-to-work for 18 years. Dr. Whelley is a member of the Employment /Education Committee of the Hawaii State Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities in Hawaii, a member of TASH, an international advocacy organization, and a member of the Coalition for Students with Significant Disabilities in Postsecondary Education. Her research includes transition, postsecondary education, families of people with disabilities, and developmental disabilities. She has taught in the areas of families, special education, and in community social services.

Madeleine C. Will
Ms. Will has served as Vice President for Strategic Planning and Advocacy (Washington based) for Community Options, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey since 1997. In this position, she is responsible for the development of a conference and training center in Washington, D.C... Her duties include site selection (real estate transaction and renovation), program development and fund raising of 5-10 million dollars of public and private monies. She is also responsible for the development and implementation of a strategic plan to create micro-enterprises and other income-generating activities for people with disabilities.

From 1989 to 1997, Ms. Will worked as President and Chief Operating Office for Childlink International of Chevy Chase, Maryland. In this position, she served as consultant for 1997 IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Congressional Reauthorization – National Parent Network on Disabilities; edited Education and the Culture of Democracy: Early Childhood Practices – Children's Resources International (funded by the Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute); trained American trainers for "Step By Step," a program of Children's Resources International; evaluated disability programs in Sofia, Bulgaria – Bulgarian American Friendship Society; trained Czech and Slovak health and education professionals, managers and directors of non-governmental organizations in Prague (Czech Republic) – American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JD.C.); assisted in the development and coordination of project sites in Prague, Bratislava, Pecs, Budapest and Debrecen for Georgetown University's Child Development Center Central European Child Health Project; and evaluated vocational training programs in Milan, Italy – Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In 1983, Ms. Will was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) in Washington, DC. She assumed responsibility for management of three principal components of the DOE (Office of Special Education, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research). She managed an agency staff of more than 400 persons, administration of an annual budget in excess of $4 billion and oversight of awarding $360 million in discretionary funds; developed a major regulatory package for federal education programs, establishing key research priorities; and managed research programs addressing the full spectrum of educational, rehabilitation and medical issues. Ms. Will served as Assistant Secretary of OSERS until 1989. A resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Ms. Will earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Smith College and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Toronto.

Joan Wills
Ms Wills is the Director of the Center for Workforce Development (CWD) that concentrates its work on the development and improvement of employment-related learning systems in the United States. It focuses on development of new tools (such as skill standards); systems improvements (such as transition from school to work, adult literacy programs); and capacity of institutions (such as employer-led organizations to work with education institutions and youth serving agencies). The Center is the lead organization for the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. The Collaborative has 10 organizations representing both general workforce development and disability expertise. The Center works with such organizations as the National Association of Manufacturers and several other industry groups to develop standards and work-based education and training products and services.

Joanne Wilson
The Honorable Joanne Wilson is the 10th Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), having been appointed to this position in 2001 by President George W. Bush. As RSA Commissioner, Ms. Wilson administers a $2.7 billion dollar program that annually provides services to more than 1 million people with disabilities. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Wilson created, developed and oversaw the daily administration of Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB), Louisiana's first adult orientation and adjustment and independent living center for people who are blind. Ms. Wilson's passion for improving rehabilitation and education services in the state of Louisiana led her to establish eight additional programs, created to increase the employment potential of Louisiana's citizens who are blind.

Ms. Wilson graduated with honors from Iowa State University in 1969, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and was named a Merrill Palmer scholar. In 1971, she earned a Master's degree in Guidance and Counseling/Administration from Iowa State University and for a number of years taught in the Ames, Iowa public school system. Ms. Wilson considers her own rehabilitation training at the Iowa Commission for the Blind during 1966 to be the catalyst which changed her life, and ultimately the compelling force which led her to establish a model training facility for serving individuals who are blind.

A tireless and energetic advocate for persons with disabilities, Ms. Wilson is a much sought after public speaker, called upon to address rehabilitation professionals, educators, and public agency personnel who seek to employ the unique strategies and training techniques for which LCB is recognized. She has demonstrated that an effective partnership in which a private entity works in tandem with a public rehabilitation agency can, and does, work to best serve the needs of people with disabilities.

 

Findings & Outcomes   •   Agenda  •   Session Notes   •   Presenter Bios

Presentations   •   State Contacts   •   Partners   •   Related Sites   •   Photos

 

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