Advisory Board

The individuals listed on this page are Advisors to the Disability Without Abuse Project. Each of the Advisors brings a unique perspective to these issues and lends valuable expertise to the important work that we do.

We are adding Advisors, so please consider applying to be an Advisor to our Project. All applications will be carefully reviewed.

If you are interested in applying to be on our Advisory Board,  fill in the form found here.

Include a brief bio (no more than 500 words), your title and affiliation,  and your contact information.

Advisory Board members are selected on the basis of proven commitment to addressing the needs and rights of persons with disabilities and addressing violence against women and children. We seek to address violence against, and criminal victimization of, persons with disabilities, in whatever context it arises.

Unlike other organizations serving specific disability populations, we seek to address these issues across all disabilities, working collaboratively with others who have expertise, guidance, and concerns to share.

Our listserv is open to all, and postings may be read by going to the website ( and following the links to the listserv.)

We are seeking Advisory Board members who will share their expertise, insights, and contacts, in an effort to build an online repository of information, discussions, and resources that can be used by anyone seeking to address these problems.

We recognize that Advisory Board members have commitments to their own organizations, are very busy, and are unlikely to have much free time to commit to the Disability Without Abuse Project, but we also recognize that by collaborating with one another, and sharing information and resources, Disability Without Abuse can play an important role in helping a vulnerable population that for far too long has been overlooked as public policy has been developed that does not always serve them well or listen to their voices. By collaborating with one another, and using Disability Without Abuse as a repository of information, resources, and discussions, we can help one another in our work.

What We Expect From Advisory Board Members:

A commitment to posting to the Listserv when they have information or resources to share. Events, publications, speeches, trainings, studies, papers you have published - we want it all, to share it all.

A commitment to participate in conversations on the Advisory Group Listserv. These conversations can only be read by other Advisory Board members, and are not available to the public. All postings are moderated.

Participate by posting new information or responding to discussions.

You may also post to the public listserv if you have information to share with the public. These postings are also all moderated.

Leads about who else would make a good Advisory Board member, and an introduction.

Whatever else you care to contribute.

Thank you.

Nora and Marc

Board Members

Click the member name to view details.

Nancy E. O'Malley
District Attorney, Alameda County (Oakland), California

Nancy E. O’Malley is the Alameda County District Attorney and is the first woman to serve as Alameda County’s District Attorney.  D.A. O’Malley is a national and statewide leader known for her innovation and vision.  She has led criminal justice reform efforts.  She has created several model programs, including the Family Justice Center, that serve, support and empower victims of crime.  DA O’Malley is well-known for her groundbreaking work in combatting human trafficking.  O’Malley brought one of the first major labor trafficking lawsuits against NBC Construction for exploiting and trafficking workers.

D.A. O’Malley’s professional accomplishments include monumental contributions in the legislator with numerous bills written and court hours for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  She served as a national speaker on working with crime victims with disabilities and particularly, sexual assault victims with disabilities.  She created the Alameda County Family Justice Center, co-locating more than 30 on-site service providers and more than 50 off-site providers to address domestic violence for the adult victims and children who witness family by DA O’Malley signed into law.  Her first successful bill more than 30 years ago allowed the court to adjust the courtroom violence, for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking and elder and Dependent Adult abuse.  It was the second Family Justice Center in the country and is seen as a model of collaborative, comprehensive and holistic responses and care for victims and their children.  DA O’Malley purposefully included Deaf Hope, an organization serving deaf and hard of hearing victims of crime, as well as Kidszone, which has trained child development staff to assist children, including those with disabilities.  Her commitment to children and youth is unsurpassed.  Through the Learning and Reading Center at the Family Justice Center, 0-5 year olds are reading, their trauma is addressed and they are happy, healthy children.  Through her DA Justice Academy, more than 800 high school youth are engaged in civic action, education and activism with 100% graduation rates.

DA O’Malley is an expert in many areas.  She has led the national efforts to move sexual assault kits from police evidence rooms to crime labs for testing.  To date, more than $200 million has been allocated to law enforcement to test all kits.  In addition, DA O’Malley sponsored legislation that mandates that law enforcement submit sexual assault kits for testing within 20 days of receipt.

DA O’Malley is a national speaker on various topics involving victims of crime.  She has testified before Congress and serves on national boards to enhance the rights and protections of victims, including those with disabilities.

DA O’Malley has received numerous awards including the ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, and is the only prosecutor to ever receive the award, shared with Supreme Court Justices and Hillary Clinton, to name a few.  She received the James Irvine Award, from which she created the Human Trafficking And Exploitation (HEAT) Institute.

Alice Vachss, Author, Former Chief of the Special Victims Bureau of the Queens (NYC) District Attorney's Office.

Author of "Sex Crimes: Then and Now: My Years On The Front Lines Prosecuting Rapists And Confronting Their Collaborators".

Alice Vachss, JD, is the former Chief of the Special Victims Bureau of the Queens (NYC) District Attorney's Office. During her tenure, she tried more than 100 felony cases to verdict, including rape, child sexual assault, elder abuse, domestic violence, cult abuse, and homicide. Under her leadership, the Special Victims Bureau innovated new approaches and techniques in sex-crimes prosecution which ranged from trail-blazing the use of DNA evidence in New York courts, to firing the first shots in the still-current battle to modernize statutes of limitations for sexual assault. Ms. Vachss is the author of Sex Crimes (Random House, 1993), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. That book coined the term "collaborator" to describe those within the criminal-justice system who provide aid and comfort to perpetrators.

Before assuming leadership of the Special Victims Bureau, Ms. Vachss was a VISTA volunteer, a counselor in a maximum-security prison for violent youth, and a trial attorney in New York City's Legal Aid Criminal Defense Division. After publication of her book she specialized in such areas as campus sexual assault, elder sexual abuse, civil legal response to violence against women and, more recently, she returned to sex crimes prosecution. Her latter experiences lead her to write a sequel to her book. Both the original and the sequel have been released, entitled Sex Crimes: Then and Now.

Ms. Vachss continues to lecture and consult, nationally and internationally, and is the author of numerous articles, including "All Rape Is Real Rape" (New York Times Op-Ed). She now heads Pay What It Costs Publishing, LLC, a small press specializing in non-fiction solutions to violence e-books.  Providing nationwide guidance about the ADA. Serves as expert witness nationwide on the ADA and Section 504 in federal court. Trainer, consultant, speaker. He has also served as a consultant to NBC News and Talking Points Memo on the subject of the ADA.
ADA Expertise Consulting, LLC

CEO, CAVNET (Communities Against Violence Network)

International victims' rights organization.

"CAVNET gives me a wide variety of viewpoints from activist to academic to government as well as a rich treasure trove of ideas for enhancing or creating projects to reduce violence against women....The single most useful reference point for domestic violence and sexual assault.... I deeply appreciate the vision and commitment that underlie its creation."
– Nancy M. Ryan, Executive Director,Cambridge Women's Commission, Cambridge, MA

Former Senior Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. Responsible for nationwide enforcement of the ADA and Section 504 on behalf of the United States.

Former Special Counsel, Office on Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice, Washington, DC

Nancy A. Alterio
Executive Director Disabled Persons Protection Commission Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Nancy A. Alterio was hired in May of 1999 as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC). She served as one of the three Commissioners to DPPCfor a year prior to her appointment of Executive Director.
Before her employment at DPPC, Ms. Alterio spent over fifteen years in the private, not for profit sector assisting persons with disabilities in meeting their vocational, medical, financial, social and housing needs. Ms. Alterio’s academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Science degree in the legal aspects of human services. Ms. Alterio is a founding member of the Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities initiative (BPI) and is co-chair of the steering committee. In conjunction with the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), Ms. Alterio and other members of BPIwrote Crimes Against Persons with Disabilities; A practical guide to the Reporting, Investigation and Prosecution.
In 2003 Ms. Alterio received the Innovations award from the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) for her leadership in BPI. In 2005, along with other members of BPI, Ms. Alterio received the Tadini Bacigalupi Program of Distinction Award from the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA). Ms. Alterio serves on the Governor’s Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence as a Commission member.
In addition, Ms. Alterio is a board member of the Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. Nationally, Ms. Alterio is the President of the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA). Ms. Alterio has presented locally, statewide and nationally on matters relating to adult protective services (APS). Ms. Alterio has assisted in the development of national and state training videos and numerous training curricula. To enhance protection of victims with disabilities, Ms. Alterio has assisted with the drafting, filing and passage of legislation.

Christina Curry, M.A.,MPA is the Executive Director for the Harlem Independent LivingCenter (HILC), Harlem, NY since 2001, having joined in 1999 as the Program Director.

Ms. Curry began her career in rehabilitation as an advocate for minority Deaf, Hard of Hearing communities (Lexington Center for the Deaf). Ms. Curry transitioned to the mental health field as a Mental Health Counselor working with Deaf, Hard of Hearing domestic violence victims/survivors (Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Non Residential Program) while working with the minority disabled community at Community Counseling and Mediation (CCM) a Brooklyn outpatient mental health facility on the weekends.

Ms. Curry was appointed to the Executive Board of the NYS Commission for the Blind and the Interagency Council for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind by Governor Paterson.  She also serves on Community board 10/Harlem; Health and Human Services committee & the Public Safety committee. The National Council Of Independent Living (subcommittee onemergency preparedness). The New York State HIV advisory Board (subcommittee on social determinants).

On request, Ms. Curry/HILC has provided disability/Deafness sensitivity trainings to the New York District Attorney’s office, various hospitals within the HHC Corporation, various hospitals within the Mt. Sinai Continuum, domestic violence agencies and shelters, local police precincts, community based organizations and schools, area colleges both public and private.  Additionally, Ms. Curry has worked with FEMA (Puerto Rico) and the New York City EmergencyManagement (NYCEM) on emergency preparedness and the disabled/Deaf communities.

Ms. Curry has a BA in Psychology/Education.  She has a M.A. in Deafness Rehabilitation and received her MPA in Public Administration; Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness.

Rita Smith, Former Executive Director, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
Former Executive Director, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Currently serves as an expert and consultant in domestic violence policy, internationally.

Rita began working as a crisis line advocate in a shelter for battered women and their children in Colorado in 1981. She has held numerous positions in Colorado and Florida since then in several local domestic violence and sexual assault programs and state coalitions, including Program Supervisor and Director.

She was the Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for nearly 22 years.

Rita has served on 2 local board of directors, as well as ex-officio board member as executive director of a national non-profit.

She has been interviewed by hundreds of newspaper reporters, appeared on many local and national radio and television news shows, including the Washington Post, USA Today, People Magazine, NPR, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Oprah Winfrey Show.

She has co-authored several articles and chapters for books including a manual for attorneys working with domestic violence victims in Colorado, and an article on child custody and domestic violence published in the fall of 1997 in The Judges Journal (an American Bar Association publication).

She currently is a private consultant, advising organizations on creating responses to end violence against women. Her clients include the National Football League and

She believes that advocacy and social change are intricately connected, and cannot be done separately.

Steven M. Eidelman
Steven Eidelman is the H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Human Services Policy and Leadership at the University of Delaware and the co-founder and Faculty Director of The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities.

He is a past President of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and serves as Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Special Olympics International.  Steve also serves as the Executive Director of The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.

His recent efforts have focused on leadership development for practicing intellectual and developmental disability professionals and on implementation of Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, focusing on deinstitutionalization.  He was the Pennsylvania state government official in charge when Pennhurst State School and Hospital was closed and has served as an expert witness on Olmstead-based deinstitutionalization litigation.

His professional interests focus on professional development of disability professionals and on deinstitutionalization and the development of community supports for people with intellectual disability.

He holds a MSW from The University of Maryland, a MBA from Loyola University Baltimore and a Post-Masters Certificate in the Administration of Social Services from Temple University.  Steve and Rachel have been married for 44 years and have a daughter Jennifer, an attorney in DC and a son, David an engineer in DC.

Howard Davidson, Esq.
Howard Davidson was the founding director of the ABA Center on Children and the Law, where he served from 1979 until his retirement in 2015.  Prior to that he practiced juvenile and child welfare law in Massachusetts where he directed the Children’s Law Project at Greater Boston Legal Services.  He served as Chair of the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, was named a U.S. delegate to an International Congress on Commercial Child Sexual Exploitation, and was appointed to a National Academy of Sciences panel on child maltreatment.  He was also a founding member of the Board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  He wrote and lectured extensively during his 36 year tenure at the ABA.  He lives in Silver Spring, MD with is wife Sandy.

Teresa Crowe, Ph.D.
is a clinical social worker licensed in Washington, DC and Maryland.  She is a professor of social work at Gallaudet University, which serves deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students.  Her research and publications are in the areas of behavioral health, intimate partner violence, well-being, and the impact of adverse life experiences, including domestic violence, abuse, and discrimination among deaf and hard of hearing individuals.  Dr. Crowe has her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC), her master’s degree in social work from Gallaudet University, and her doctoral degree in social work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMB).

For the last 32 years, Dr. Crowe has provided clinical psychotherapy with deaf and hard of hearing individuals in inpatient, outpatient, and private practice settings.  She currently coordinates a telemental health program at Arundel Lodge located in Edgewater, Maryland to offer clinical services to deaf and hard of hearing individuals who have difficulty accessing in-person services.

Dr. Crowe teaches research, practice, and theory classes primarily in Gallaudet’s master’s of social work program.  She helps to prepare graduate students for specialized social work practice with deaf and hard of hearing specializations.  Her 20-year tenure at Gallaudet has allowed Dr. Crowe a multitude of opportunities to conduct research, provide presentations, and engage in community collaboration and consultation.

Dr. Crowe can be contacted via email at .

William L. Jones
Professional Development Culture Specialist Ohio County Boards of Developmental Disabilities  

The current focus of work by Willie that links him to the Disability without Abuse Project pertains to two areas.

The first area is on abuse awareness and prevention for people with IDD, Direct Support Professionals and organizational leaders.

The second area pertains to building relationships and professional development opportunities for First Responders related to interactions to people with IDD.

Experience includes being the Owner of a residential service provider agency and founder/ principal partner of a consulting company focusing on behavior support, crisis intervention, strategic planning and leadership development.

Background and experience spans direct care, therapeutic clinical services, compliance and quality assurance with ICF regulations and all aspects of OSHA requirements for developmental disability providers.

A key strength that Willie brings to organizations, is being able to see services from different perspectives as a result of 24 years of residential experience and 16 years supporting County Boards of Developmental Disabilities.

Kathleen S. Thimsen DrNP, MSN, WOCN, FNS, DF-AFN has her Bachelor and Master's degree from Webster University, ST Louis, MO. She earned her doctorate in nursing practice from Regis University in Denver, CO. Dr. Thimsen is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College in St. Louis, Missouri where she teaches Public and Community Health.

Kathleen specialized in wound management with a private clinical practice that provided consultations to hospitals, home care and skilled nursing facilities in five mid-western states. She also developed a national "subject matter expert consultation" service that led her to be introduced to the specialty of Forensic Nursing.

Her clinical practice in Forensics is related to elder abuse, injury identification and human trafficking.  Working in Public Health for over 18 years, Kathleen is one of the founding members of the Human Trafficking Collaborative Network that is housed within the Washington University Institute of Public Health.

Kathleen leads the Health Care Systems and Community Partnership working groups to advance evidence-based practice clinical identification, response, and care of victims of human trafficking. She completed a Forensic Certificate at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Thimsen is also one of the founding members of the Academy of Forensic Nursing.

Her research is focused on vulnerable populations, health care disparities and all forms of interpersonal violence and prevention.

Mary E. Wambach is originally from Rochester, NY. Her areas of expertise include general disability, deafness/hearing loss and DD/Autism Spectrum Disorder - both for children and adults. She has presented on pedophiles and fetishists who target, groom and abuse children and adults with disabilities, often without any intervention from families or authorities.

She comes from a family of 7 children, several who are deaf or hard of hearing. Her degree is in psychology, and shortly after obtaining her degree, she began work in Deafness and Disability Rights. In addition to working with people with diverse disabilities and from many various groups and cultures. She has administered multiple nonprofit organizations in NYC, Poughkeepsie, NY, Boston, Phoenix, San Diego and in Texas. The common denominator of her work is being able to empower consumers and foster a stewardship model among agency staff, consumers and Board. Her training includes performance (stage, video, radio, TV) and the fields of Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault, Advocacy/Mediation, Multiculturalism and Community Organizing, and always advocacy.

Her experience includes federal, state, local and private membership on boards, committees and councils, and drafting/reviewing legislation on the subject of disability rights, deafness/sign language/interpreters, domestic/sexual violence and hate crime prevention.

At present, Mary is soon celebrating her 5th anniversary of work with Ultius, Inc., where she works as a professional/elite writer. She has been a longterm member of the national Disability-Abuse/CAN DO panel. Her articles have been published in i.d.e.a.l. Magazine, APRI Updates and other national publications. She has trained close to 5,000 law enforcement and other professionals through DAWCAS/SafePlace-Austin, the Disability-Abuse Project, National District Attorneys’ Association and her other affiliations.

 Among her current activities is regular advocacy and contributions of home-cooked food for a local homeless camp that consists of up to 30 individuals at one time.

Joan Stein
In 2014, Joan W. Stein created Stein Consulting, LLC, a firm that provides specialized consulting services to businesses, corporations, non-profits and governmental entities on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability related laws and regulations.  Services focus on providing answers, options and opportunities to assist clients in their efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability-related regulations.

Sheila Mansell, Ph.D.
Registered Psychologist Mansell Psychological Consulting, Inc. Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Luz Marquez-Benbow
Associate Director Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault Troy, New York

Roberta Sick, M.Ed., L.P.C.
Director, Initiatives on Access and Justice
Partners for Inclusive Communities – University of Arkansas
10809 Executive Center Drive – Suite 316
Little Rock, AR  72211

Phone: 501-301-1117

Roberta Sick is employed by Partners for Inclusive Communities - University of Arkansas, Arkansas’ University Center for Excellence on Disabilities. Since 1998, she has directed Partners violence prevention and intervention efforts. She is presently the Director of the Initiatives on Access and Justice; efforts that include sexual violence prevention education; direct services to victims with disabilities through co-advocacy with domestic violence, sexual assault and law enforcement-based victim advocates; provision of training and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act and coordination of the Arkansas Victim Assistance Academy (AVAA). This is through collaboration with the Crime Victims Assistance Association of Arkansas and a multidisciplinary steering committee. The mission of AVAA is to provide comprehensive, foundational and advanced level training to professionals throughout Arkansas who routinely deal with victims of crime.
She has been involved in training efforts both in the state and nationally, addressing the critical issues of preventing violence in the lives of people with disabilities and providing access to victims’ services. She is committed to supporting the healing of victims of violence regardless of criminal justice outcomes and working as an ally alongside people with disabilities and other marginalized groups. This includes listening and learning from victims’ voices, providing direct services, identifying systems gaps, and working for change through training and technical assistance for professionals, law enforcement and people with disabilities. Using these tools, we work together to improve access through civil rights protections and supporting the healing of people who experience victimization and trauma. She is a licensed professional counselor.

D.J. Stemmler, COTA, BA
Research Specialist University of Pittsburgh Dept. of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology HIV Prevention and Care Program Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Paul Feuerstein, MA, STM, MSW, is the founder and President/CEO of Barrier Free Living (BFL) in New York City.  Paul has an MSW in Administration and Group Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, a Master’s in Education from New York University and a Master’s in Sacred Theology from General Seminary. BFL is a multi-service agency that has worked with homeless people with disabilities and presently works with disabled victims and survivors of domestic violence. He has developed the largest domestic violence program for people with disabilities in the country.  He created Freedom House, the first totally accessible emergency domestic violence shelter in the country.  Freedom House has served victims with disabilities from 40 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He was instrumental in the development of 120 units of Supportive Housing in the South Bronx for families who are survivors of domestic violence and individuals who are victims of intimate partner violence.  He is presently collaborating on the development of 74 more units of supportive housing for seniors transitioning out of nursing homes and individuals and families escaping from domestic violence   He authored “Disabled Women and Domestic Violence: Notes from the Field” for a textbook Service Delivery for Vulnerable Populations: New Directions in Behavioral Health (Springer, 2011) as well as other articles.  Paul was a member of the Advisory Board for Disability Minus Abuse.  He has presented at multiple conferences organized by Nora Baladarian.

He has served in many capacities as an advocate in the City of New York: Chair of the Federation of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities; Co-chair of the Mental Health Committee of the New York City Domestic Violence Task Force; co-chair of the Best Practices Committee and member of the Steering committee of the New York City Domestic Violence Residence Coalition, co-founder and former board member of Homeless Services United and co-founder and board member of the Disability Network of New York City.  He serves on the Mayor’s Nonprofit Resiliency Committee.  He is also actively collaborating with the Institute for the Healing of Memories in Cape Town, South Africa and is the founding chair and member of the board of the Institute for Healing of Memories-North America.  He is the co-chair of the Domestic Violence Task Force for the Episcopal Diocese of New York.  He is the Dean of Multi-Vocational Priests of the diocese.


Dr. Martin R. Sheehan, integrates a background in research psychology, Direct Instruction, special education, and media development.

I am the owner of Double S Instructional Systems and has received federal funding for over 20 National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant projects. 

I have lived in Lane County since 1978 and have worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities and their parents, foster parents and direct support staff in various capacities for all that time. I supervised Special Education programs in the schools in Lane County for 12 years. I was a counselor for 10 years at a center that specialized in people with ID and their care providers. I was a licensed adult foster home provider for individuals with developmental disabilities for 7 years. For the last 15 years I have been developing SBIR projects with a focus on individuals with ID and parents, group homes, foster homes, and schools.  Nineteen(19) of the twenty (20) SBIR projects that I have had funded to date have focused on individuals with ID.  I have extensive contacts in the local community with parents, group homes, foster homes, educational, and other Lane County developmental disability services.

My current funded projects include: ­­Abuse Risk Reduction for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities; Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Program for Adults with  ID; and the Exceptional Parenting Program for parents who have children with developmental disabilities who exhibit challenging behaviors.

I  continue to serve on numerous NIH Center for Scientific Review study groups, including the Biobehavioral and Social Science Review Group in the area of Risk, Prevention, and Health Behavior.  

Lori M. Brown
Former Director of Forensic Services, Crimes Against Children Unit Oconee County Sheriff's Office Watkinsville, Georgia

Board Director/Treasurer End Violence Against Women International Forensic Registered Nurse Consultants

Karyn Harvey, Ph.D.
The Arc Baltimore Associate Executive Director of Quality Supports Towson, Maryland

Leigh Ann Davis
Director of Criminal Justice Initiatives at The Arc of the United States and directs the National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® (NCCJD®). With 25 years of experience working at the intersection of developmental disability and criminal justice, she envisioned and secured funding to create The Arc’s NCCJD.

She also oversaw the development of NCCJD’s signature training tool, Pathways to Justice®, and works nationally and internationally to create inclusive justice for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc’s subject matter expert related to criminal justice and disability issues, she provides consultation to a number of federal and non-profit agencies. Ms. Davis works from a home office in Arlington, Texas and holds a B.S.W (Bachelors of Science in Social Work), M.S.S.W. (Masters of Science in Social Work), and M.P.A. (Masters of Public Administration) from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Susan L Abend MD FACP
Chief Executive Officer
The Right Care Now Project, Inc.
1900 West Park Drive
Suite 280
Westborough, MA  01581
(508) 983-1488

Jaime Suvak, LMHC
Sexual Assault Response Unit
Disabled Persons Protection Commission
300 Granite Street
Braintree, Ma 02184

Brian Herritt is a retired police officer and the proud father of a teenage son with severe autism. It was early in Officer Herritt's law enforcement career that he realized that a true lack of relevant training existed for public safety professionals in dealing with persons with autism and special needs.

In 2007, Officer Herritt started his journey by receiving a grant to purchase and develop training for public safety agencies in San Diego County.

In 2008, Officer Herritt was contacted by California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) to serve as a subject matter expert for the creation of a statewide training curriculum for police officers. His current training curriculum has been certified as POST and STC certified.

In 2009, Officer Herritt approached the San Diego Sheriff's Department and expressed his vision for a county wide special needs data base. That vision has now become the San Diego Sheriff's Department Take Me Home program. One of the most expansive and detailed special needs databases in the nation.

Throughout the next decade Officer Herritt continued to work bridging the gap between law enforcement and the autism community. Officer Herritt has since taught police officers, probation officers, parole officers, corrections officers, social services, theme parks, schools, parents and caregivers and other groups.

Officer Herritt is proud to have worked with numerous non-profit organizations and developed an expansive data base of contacts and experts from throughout the United States. Officer Herritt has also assisted law enforcement agencies in reviewing and advising large agencies and organizations on inner department training, polices and procedures and adjusting their field training to match the current trends within the autism community.

In 2019, Officer Herritt published his first book. "A First Responders Guide to Providing Services to Special Needs Citizens". This book is designed ot be a field manual for all public safety professionals in dealing with those with special needs which includes mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Brian Herritt, CPP

Autism Cop

Gregor Wolbring is Tenured Associate Professor at the University of Calgary (Canada), Cumming School of Medicine, Community Health Sciences, Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. He has widely published (105 peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 40 book chapters). Among his awards are the Bachelor of Health Sciences Research Mentor Award in recognition of making undergraduate students succeed in research in the years 2014, 2016 and 2018, the Tanis Doe award of the Canadian Disability Studies Association (2017), the Faculty of Graduate Studies, My SupervisorSkills, GREAT Supervisor Award in September 2015 for his outstanding supervision and mentorship to graduate students, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded in the year 2013 by the government of Canada in recognition of the benefit of his academic work to the greater community (2013). In March 2020, he was a finalist in the University of Calgary 2020 Sustainability award, in the category ‘faculty sustainability research’.

As part of his work he is particular interested in undergraduate students as researchers and in virtual interactions (conferences, teaching..)

Outside work he is  in the moment for example a member of the board of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

His research interest:Ability Studies (ability, ability expectation  and ableism ethics and governance); disability studies; situation of disabled students; social, ethical, legal, economic, environmental, cultural and governance issues of new, emerging and converging sciences and technologies (S&T) such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, nanoscale S&T, cognitive sciences, neuromorphic engineering, genetics, synthetic biology, robotics, brain computer interfaces, human  enhancement; impact of S&T on marginalized populations, especially disabled people; peace; abuse, violence, dehumanization, sports; human security; global health; health- (technology assessment, law, care and policies); sustainability studies; conflict studies; ecohealth; climate, water and energy issues; bioethics, neuroethics AI and robo ethics; community scholar; motivated reasoning and role narratives

More about him at



Dr Gregor Wolbring

Associate Professor Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies

Cumming School of Medicine

TRW building 3D31

University of Calgary

3330 Hospital Drive NW


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Webpage with the work of myself and my students

Over 45 years of experience directing programs in State and County government offices. Demonstrated leadership in community organization, working with coalitions, office management, strategic planning, advocacy and public policy development.  Successful in communications, grant writing and evaluation, legislative activities and problem solving.  Actively involved on the local, state and federal levels of government in planning and developing human services, advocacy systems and programs for persons with disabilities.  Administered State and Federal grant programs including the Regional Direction Center, under the auspices of the Maryland State Department of Education; the Neighborhood Improvement Project "Special Accessibility Project for the Elderly and Handicapped," a Community Development Block Grant Program involving several County agencies; Developmental Disabilities Administration and Mental Hygiene Administration Case Management Programs; and Mental Hygiene Administration Core Service Agency.  Designed, developed and implemented workable and cost effective programs for delivering services. Provided staff support to State and County task forces and interagency committees.  Organized professional workshops.  Excellent supervisory and leadership skills.  Appointed to serve on numerous boards, committees, commissions and task forces.

Connie Lapin: For over 45 years Connie has been an internationally known lecturer and consumer/legislative advocate for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her work has involved testifying before governmental bodies and lecturing at universities and conferences. She was designated as an autism representative by California’s Department of Developmental services as a member of a stakeholder advisory committee and subsequently a budget advisory group to deal with one of the worst budget deficits California has experienced. In 2013, California Human Services Secretary Diana S. Dooley established a Task Force on the future of State Development Centers. Connie was appointed as a family community member. The charge of the Task Force was to advise the Administration on the development of a master plan for the future of the DCs. See

Dr. Harvey Lapin, DDS:
Dr. Lapin has been a significant leader and strong advocate for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Disabilities for over 45 years. He has promoted disability awareness in lectures and publications and has authored and published articles. He has served as president of most organizations he becomes involved with including The Autism Society of America, California’s Developmental Disability Area Board X and Client Rights Advocacy for Disability Rights of California. He was one of the founding fathers of Jay Nolan Community Services as well as past president. Harvey was a founder and organizer of the first U.S. Autism Telethon-”Save Autistic Children” from 1977-1984. In 1976, Harvey contributed a chapter on family issues and needs in the book: AUTISM, Diagnosis, Current Research and Management, edited by Dr. Edward R. Ritvo. Currently he is working in partnership with California State University of Northridge to promote lifetime autism services. He has recently been honored by The California State Senate for lifetime achievement and meritorious service for autism. He also received awards from Vista Del Mar Agency, Autism Society of America, The California State Developmental Disability Council, Disability Rights of California, Association of Regional Center Agencies for superior accomplishments for people with autism and developmental disabilities, and most recently was included in the Jewish Journal as one of the 10 extraordinary volunteers in their “Mensch List”. He has been honored at The White House twice by President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Nancy Reagan. He is a dentist and lives by the belief that “Justice delayed is Justice Denied”. He and his wife Connie are currently in the process of writing a book. They have donated their personal collection of historical informational on Autism and DD to the archives of the California State University, Northridge. The library catalog and the Online Archive of California:


Angela Kaufman MA, CI, CT, is the former ADA Compliance Officer for the City of Los Angeles.  Ms. Kaufman holds a bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies with an emphasis on Human Services and a master’s degree in Special Education: Communication Disorders – D/HH, from California State University, Northridge.  Ms. Kaufman is nationally certified as a sign language interpreter through the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and was the first Chair of their Emergency Management Working Group committee.  Ms. Kaufman has presented locally and nationally on Emergency Management interpreting, integration of persons with disabilities into emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation, the nexus of violence and children/adults with disabilities: including child abuse, domestic violence, intimate partner/dating violence, sexual assault/rape, stalking, elder abuse, companion abuse, and hate crimes.  Ms. Kaufman has trained law enforcement, the City and District attorneys’ offices and has been a consultant and subject matter expert on curriculum development and review with law enforcement and statewide task forces on issues relating to disability, domestic violence/intimate partner violence, rape/sexual assault, and stalking, emergency preparedness, emergency management, crisis response, mass casualty response and recovery, health care and hate crimes.  She has provided training and technical assistance with regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 and 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.  In 2003, Ms. Kaufman helped to create and coordinate the first Sign Language Interpreter Crisis/Disaster Response Team in the country for the City of Los Angeles which was highlighted in Presidential Executive Directive 13347 (2005) as part of the Technical Assistance and Outreach best practices.

Chantal Sicile Kira
Chantal’s passion for empowering others and her personal interest in autism has led her to become an autism consultant, an award-winning author, speaker, and leader in the field of autism, adolescence and transition to adulthood.  She has been involved with autism spectrum disorders for over 25 years as both a parent and a professional on both sides of the Atlantic. A tireless advocate for those on the autism spectrum, Chantal founded Autism College in order to provide consultation services,  practical information and training  online about autism. In 2009, Chantal was appointed by the California Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders to lead  the South Counties Autism Regional Taskforce as Co-Chair; and in the past served on the Taskforce on Transitional Services & Supports reporting to the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism. Please visit

David Greco, Esq.
David Greco is a litigation attorney who represents disabled students in educational, child abuse, and civil rights cases. He is the co-founder of the California Association of Lawyers for Education, a group of lawyers who represent families in educational disputes. He has succeeded in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on issues of first impression under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and has obtained seven-figure settlements for disabled victims of abuse. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. In all his cases, David aims to force school districts to reform policies that disadvantage people with disabilities. 

David Greco
Associate Attorney
619.323.3200 | D 619.323.3201
 | www.rmolawyers.comLos Angeles  |  Orange County  |  San Diego |  Kansas City

Meg Garvin, M.A., JD, is the Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) and a Clinical Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School.  Ms. Garvin is recognized as a leading expert on victims’ rights. She has testified before Congress, state legislatures, and the Judicial Proceedings Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military. In her expert capacity she serves on the Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces and on the Victims Advisory Group of the United States Sentencing Commission. Previously she served on the Victim Services Subcommittee, of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crime Panel of the United States Department of Defense, as co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Victims Committee, co-chair of the Oregon Attorney General’s Crime Victims’ Rights Task Force, and as a member of the Legislative & Public Policy Committee of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force. Ms. Garvin received the John W. Gillis Leadership Award from National Parents of Murdered Children in August 2015. Prior to joining NCVLI, Ms. Garvin practiced law in Minneapolis, Minnesota and clerked for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Puget Sound, her master of arts degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa, and her JD from the University of Minnesota. Meg joined NCVLI in January 2003. Pronouns: she/her/hers