Associate Professor of Special Education, California State University Long Beach
Edwin Obilo Achola is currently an Associate Professor of Special Education at California State University Long Beach. Dr. Achola earned his Ph.D. in Special Education and Disability Policy from Virginia Commonwealth University. In the last 10 years, Dr. Achola has worked as a classroom teacher, teacher educator, and researcher – concentrating primarily on issues of equity for students with disabilities in the United States and Kenya. His research and teaching activities have focused on culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy in transition planning, personnel development, and higher education for students with disabilities. He has co-authored a number of book chapters and published research articles on various topics in the field of transition planning and diversity.
Regional Program Director, Junior Achievement of Washington
Janet is the Regional Program Director of Junior Achievement (JA) of Washington for Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho. She previously worked in several areas within the organization such as Development, Special Events, as well as the Regional Director. She’s found her true passion delivering JA’s Financial Literacy, Work Readiness and Entrepreneurship programming to area students.
Regional Transition Consultant, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
In her current work with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation as a Regional Transition Consultant, Sam promotes successful school transition through working with schools and students to coordinate Pre-Employment Transition Services. In her former work as a Senior Education Ombuds with the Washington State Governor’s Office, Sam strived to promote equity in education by working with families and schools to remove barriers. As a mother of a young adult with an intellectual disability, Sam identifies passionately with her work and understands how to navigate through systems and bridge them effectively so that students can maximize their potential.
Self Advocate and Small Business Owner
My name is Cody Brown. I own my own business where I train Case Managers and Residential Providers on Disability Etiquette, and I have a part time job at Safeway. I was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. I have limitations. But those imitations don’t stop me from what I want to do and where I want to go in life. I think a lot of people who don’t experience disability, think that we are different. But we are the same as everyone else.
Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families
Desiree has over 24 years of experience in juvenile justice and over eight years providing quality assurance oversight for Juvenile Justice Evidence and Research Based programs. She has provided implementation, training, support, and quality assurance oversight for the Education Employment Training (EET) Program, Coordination of Services (COS), as well as Functional Family Therapy (FFT) programs in the juvenile courts and JR across Washington state. Desiree worked at ALTSA, Adult Protective Services for the past two years as a social service specialist. Her previous experience includes working at the Cowlitz County Juvenile Court for 20 years.
Employment Case Manager, Tacoma Training to Employment Program at Sound Outreach
Venus has worked in Customer Service, Account Management, and health insurance brokerage for over 30 years. She has volunteered with many local non-profits including Tacoma/ Pierce County Chamber of Commerce (Westend board member), HopeSparks, Tacoma’s Hilltop/Housing Authority Design the Hill and Tacoma Communities in Schools as a board member. Venus transitioned to her dream job as an Employment Case Manager with the Tacoma Training to Employment Program at Sound Outreach. Today she builds relationships between our local high schools in partnership with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (WA DSHS), allowing students the ability to explore the building trades.
Transition Manger, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Tammie Doyle is the Secondary Transition Manager with Washington State’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, where she supports the statewide coordination and delivery of pre-employment transition services. She has over fifteen years of experience in education, and twelve years in business administration.
Employment and Day Coordinator, Developmental Disabilities Administration
Rod Duncan is the Employment and Day Coordinator for the Developmental Disabilities Administration. Rod is the lead on the Job Foundation project and Transition services across the state. He has recently started in that position. He has worked for DDA for over 40 years. He was the Employment Specialist in Region 2 for eight years prior to starting this position. Throughout his career he has always maintained a commitment to the value of employment. He is a strong advocate for the individuals and families supported by DDA. He strives to create collaborative partnerships to maximize the available resources so that no one is left behind.
Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC)
Briana comes to Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) with in-depth teaching experience in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry. She started her journey as a site manager and manufacturing instructor on a federal grant teaching incarcerated juveniles aerospace manufacturing skills before they were released. During her time teaching, Briana discovered her passion for technical training and making curriculum fun, engaging, and relevant. Over the years, Briana has been certified to train DACUM, LEAN, OSHA, CPR, and Forklift Operation. She also facilitated numerous professional workshops including The Pacific Institutes: Thought Patterns for High Performance, resume and interviewing workshops, financial budgeting, and soft/hard skills training.
She also worked as an employment specialist, talking to employers about their needs and advocating second chances for individuals with criminal backgrounds. Briana has extensive experience managing crews and coordinating multi-million dollar projects. She has had professional involvement with The Pacific Institute, JRA, The If Project, Alaska Airlines and Vulcan Inc. Briana’s true passion reside in helping others grow and develop in their career and life journey. Briana was promoted from Director of Youth Apprenticeship to Director of Program Development & Employer Engagement in 2021.
Organizational Development Director, Morningside
Heather is the Organizational Development Director for Morningside, a Western Washington employment services provider. Heather brings over 15 years of professional experience working with people who have Intellectual and Developmental disabilities as well as a lifetime of personal experience. Heather has had the joy and pleasure of learning every job possible in Supported Employment, from Coaching and Job Development to Supervising – but her heart is in working with people, their families, educators, and businesses to build whole, meaningful lives after high school for people with disabilities.
Special Services Director, Educational Service District 105
Dana Floyd is the Special Services Director at ESD 105 in Yakima, Washington. In this role, Dana provides support and technical assistance to 25 school districts regarding all things related to special education guidelines and services. Dana also oversees a related service co-operative as well as a behavior day school program. On her off time, Dana enjoys kayaking, swimming, and spending time with family.
Assistant Superintendent of Special Education, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Since 2017, Glenna Gallo is the Assistant Superintendent of Special Education in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington. She has over 25 years of public education experience teaching students with disabilities and adults, and 15 years of experience in state-level educational leadership with expertise in the improvement planning, management, and monitoring of public special education programs. Glenna has a B.S and an M.S in Special Education, a special education teacher and administrative license, endorsements as a Program Administrator, Principal, and Superintendent, and an M.B.A.
During her work in Washington state, special education programs were allocated an additional $155 million dollars for state special education programs, $37 million dollars for statewide inclusionary practices, $12 million dollars for paraeducator training, revised the historical funding allocation formula to a two-tier system that considers inclusion, and revised the state high needs risk pool process to alleviate burden on school districts. Collaboration is a priority for her work, and collaborative efforts are infused within all state efforts regarding students with disabilities.
Director of Accessibility Resources, Bellingham Technical College
Mary Gerard, M.Ed. is the Director of Accessibility Resources at Bellingham Technical College. She has thirteen years’ experience in higher education, disability education, and accommodation determination. Mary’s practice intentionally creates an environment where students with disabilities engage in their disability identity development, enhancing students’ self-efficacy, self-advocacy, and personal responsibility in college and beyond. She pioneered the BTC Accessibility Team in 2012, a cross-campus constituency of stakeholders committed to accessibility as an institutional responsibility, helping shift the paradigm at her campus from accommodation to campus-wide accessibility. Mary is a Past-President of the Washington State Disability Support Services Council (DSSC) and a Past-President of the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability (WAPED).
Chief of Field Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
I started with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) in 1999. I worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with a transition caseload for 2 ½ years and then unexpectedly moved out of the area and left state service for a period of time. During my hiatus I finished my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling and worked in Inpatient Psychiatric and private therapy. In 2012 I returned to DVR as a counselor and later a supervisor in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kent offices. In March 2020 I became Chief of Field Services just in time for the beginning of the pandemic! I have a passion for youth and mental health, as well as working to improve the lives for persons with disabilities. I feel most gratified seeing our youth succeed through today’s challenges. I have two boys of my own, and enjoy gardening, camping, and traveling.
Marina graduated from Tacoma School District in 2020. She loves to do activities at the STAR Center in Tacoma through Tacoma and Pierce County Parks and Recreation.
Sandi works for Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities (PC2). She also works with DDA for Personal Care Provider training.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Nick Harris has worked for Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for 10 years. He is a lifelong Washingtonian who graduated from Western Washington University with his Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Also a Nationally Credentialed Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, he enjoys helping students with disabilities successfully transition into the adult workforce. He has also worked as an Employment Specialist, Job Coach, Caregiver, and Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate.
Program Manager of Achieve and Future Launch, Highline College
Assistant Director, Northwest Behavioral Associates
Jane Helbig is the Assistant Director at Northwest Behavioral Associates (NBA), the Pacific Northwest’s oldest agency providing individualized treatment and education of people with autism and related disorders. NBA’s mission is to maximize the potential of individuals with autism and related disorders by providing high-quality, individualized intervention, and to promote awareness of both the autism spectrum and the science of human behavior to the community.Mrs. Helbig has been with NBA for 17 years and has worked extensively with students with autism and their families since 1996. She graduated from the University of North Texas in 2003 with a master’s degree in Behavior Analysis. While in Texas, she received extensive training in naturalistic teaching procedures, and spent much time working in both in-home and school-based environments across the lifespan. She has had experience providing direct intervention, as well as parent and staff training, conducting functional analyses of behavior, providing consultative services to families and educators, and program management for a number of students. Mrs. Helbig is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) in Washington state.
International Disability Rights Activist
Judith Heumann is an international disability rights activist and co-author (with Kristen Joiner) of Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist. She is featured in Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, a 2020 American award winning documentary film, directed by James LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham, produced by the Obama Higher Ground Production. As a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation (2017-2019), she wrote “Road Map for Inclusion: Changing the Face of Disability in Media”. She also served in the Obama and Clinton Administrations.
Director of Transition Services, Center for Change in Transition Services
Kris comes to CCTS after working ten years as a Special Education Director for a statewide online school. Previously, she has worked as a classroom special education teacher at the high school level and as a community-based transition coordinator. She has designed and delivered professional development focusing on special education law, delivery of services, and quality programming for students with special needs. In addition, Kris has taught at two local universities in the teacher preparation programs focusing on special education. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education – Curriculum and Instruction, a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Corrective Therapy/Physical Education.
Child and Family Supervisor, Children’s Village
Tracie Hoppis is the Child and Family Supervisor at Children’s Village in Yakima, Washington. In this role, Tracie supervises the Parent to Parent Program and the Children with Special Health Care Needs Program. Tracie is also the Washington State Parent to Parent Coordinator, leading a network of 26 programs and over 50 coordinators serving every county in the state. Tracie has three children, including Andy who is 31 years old and experiences Autism and Cerebral Palsy.
Program Manager, Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment
Susan Jackson is the Program manager for Start Now! and PURPAS at PAVE. She is a parent of a 26 year old with autism. She has completed the LEND (Leadership in Education for Developmental Disabilities) program at University of Washington, Seattle.
Regional Transition Consultant, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Bethany Johnson is a Regional Transition Consultant for DVR. Bethany holds a master’s in Social Work from Eastern Washington University and has been working in disability services since 2004. She has been an Employment Specialist, Supported Employment Program Manager, and Transition Specialist in the field of Developmental Disabilities, leading to her current role as Regional Transition Consultant. Bethany is committed to the concept of inclusion and works to promote equality through employment. When Bethany is not working, you can find her chasing after her husband and four children, crocheting, or cooking a meal to enjoy with friends and family.
Principal Investigator, Center for Change in Transition Services
Cinda Johnson, EdD, is an associate professor and coordinator of the graduate Special Education program at Seattle University. Dr. Johnson is the Principal Investigator for the Center for Change in Transition Services. She is a national leader in the area of transition from high school to post-high for young people with disabilities. She has a particular interest and passion for supporting children, adolescents, and young people with mental health conditions to ensure that they are provided the best opportunity to be successful after leaving high school. She is the co-author of Perfect Chaos: A Daughter’s Journey with Bipolar, A Mother’s Struggle to Save Her (St. Martin’s Press, 2012).
Certified Benefits Planner, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Dustin Krall is a Certified Benefits Planner with the State of Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Before this he worked as a Business Specialist helping people of disability find and keep work. He graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2013 with a Bachelors in Psychology. He then obtained his Work Incentives Practitioner Certificate from Cornell University in 2017. He is an avid golfer, hiker, gardener, and proud father of a disabled daughter.
Associate Dean of the Occupational and Life Skills Program, Bellevue College
Pilar is the Associate Dean of the Occupational and Life Skills Program (OLS) at Bellevue College. Pilar has been working in the field of inclusion and diversity in society, education, and, more specifically, the workforce, since 2008. In addition to her extensive background working with adults with disabilities, she has a professional background in human resources management and training and development which has aided her in building connections with local businesses and organizations to support specific aspects of the Occupational and Life Skills Program, including internships, job shadows, tours, course-related activities, student volunteering, and employment opportunities.
Director, Center for Change in Transition Services
Elaine attended the University of Washington, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in business. She also holds an MBA and has spent the majority of her career in proprietary education, with opportunities to work in financial aid, operations, and as a Campus Director. Her passions include sailing, spending time with her family and being creative in the kitchen.
Regional Administrator, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Ann Martin has dedicated her career to helping people live more satisfying lives. She began by serving people with significant disabilities in residential, educational and community settings. For 20 years, she worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, helping people improve their lives by assisting them in finding meaningful employment. She went on to support staff in proving quality rehabilitation services as a vocational rehabilitation supervisor. She currently works as a Regional Administrator for the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation overseeing the provision of services in her area. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and for many years she served as adjunct facility at Seattle Pacific University teaching graduate students motivational interviewing, counseling skills, and providing clinical supervision. In additional to her work in rehabilitation, she maintains a private therapy practice.
Director of Special Education, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Tania May is the OSPI Director of Special Education. Her work is focused on collaborating with schools, community partners, families, and students in support of improved outcomes for students with disabilities. Tania has twenty years of special education experience at the school, district, and state levels in California and Washington. Her previous positions have included elementary inclusive practices, high school co-teaching, English-language development for students with disabilities, and behavior supports in non-public agencies. Tania has a master’s degree in special education and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at University of Washington Tacoma.
Office Chief for Transition and Reentry, Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families
Lisa has a master’s degree in Psychology and over 28 years of juvenile justice experience in Washington state. Her experience spans the juvenile justice continuum. Working in the role as Office Chief for Transition and Reentry for the past five years, Lisa provides oversight, direction, and support for postsecondary education and vocational programs to assist young people in building resilience, leading to independence and self-sufficiency. She also provides oversight for reentry and transition planning and supports as youth move through the Juvenile Rehabilitation system.
Program Specialist, Northwest Educational Service District 189
For the last four years Brian McClay works as a Program Specialist for the Northwest Educational Service District 189 (NWESD). He currently works with over 20 schools in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan counties. Brian received his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University and his master’s in Educational Administration and Principal and Superintendent Certificate from California State University Stanislaus. He worked as a teacher with inner city youth in Stockton, California for 10 years, where he successfully embedded career skills and community involvement into the classroom and school site, specifically supporting students with higher needs. Collaborating with school and community agencies such as Career Tech and regional training programs, as well as business and city leaders, Brian has developed and provided expanded opportunities to increase education and employment options beyond high school.
Regional Program Manager, Junior Achievement of Washington
Roxanne McCloud is a Regional Program Manager at Junior Achievement with experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. She is a first-generation college graduate and has a passion for helping youth reach their goals. She currently works part-time for both Junior Achievement of Washington and as an After-Hours Social Worker for DCYF/CPS.
Director of the Disability Access Center, Western Washington University
Jon McGough, M.Ed. is Director of the Disability Access Center at Western Washington University and serves as a consultant to Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. He was previously at University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University. Jon served on the Board of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education and is a past President of the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability. He has over 10 years’ experience in disability resource work in higher education. Jon’s adventures in disability services began on a construction crew specializing in custom home modifications for people with disabilities and evolved into a career of disability rights and advocacy work.
Associate Professor of Special Education, Washington State University
Dr. Don McMahon is an Associate Professor of Special Education at Washington State University. His work is focused on postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Universal Design for Learning, Assistive Technology, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Wearable devices, Mobile Devices, Mobile Learning, and Instructional technology.
Manager, Career Connect Washington
As Career Connect Washington Manager, Anna Nikolaeva supports and coordinates the CCW-related activities of more than a dozen state agencies involved in the effort to build a comprehensive career-connected learning system for young adults in Washington. Prior to joining the CCW team, Anna managed economic development and workforce education programs at the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and supported students in finding their paths as a career counselor. Anna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and Communications from the College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN) and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI).
Rashad “Brother Rashad” Norris
Founder and Executive Director, Relevant Engagement Consulting LLC
As a black father, husband, and community role model, equity is very important to me and the work that I do. My experiences include working with formally incarcerated youth, previously released and reinvested youth from the criminal justice system, and youth in the education system. I have committed to doing racial equity and undoing racist practices for the past 15 years. I am the Founder and Executive Director of Relevant Engagement (RE) Consulting LLC. RE LLC is designed to create a learning workshop environment that enlightens and develops the knowledge of self-awareness, knowledge of others through a racial equity lens, and self-advocacy towards an equitable and anti-racist responsive mindset.
County Coordinator, Kitsap County Developmental Disabilities Program
Kelly Oneal, serves as the Kitsap County Developmental Disabilities Program’s County Coordinator since 2006. The Kitsap County Developmental Disabilities Program (KCDD) supports individuals who experience a developmental disability and their families to lead full, integrated, active, and productive lives in Kitsap County. KCDD develops programs, provides funding and administers contracts with local organizations for the provision of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays, high school transition service coordination, parent support and employment/community inclusion services for adults.
Independent Living Advocate, Disability Action Center
Michelle Pappas is an Independent Living Advocate at the Disability Action Center who fights for disability justice and systemic change in housing, healthcare, and racial equity. She assists members of the disabled community in achieving independence in a world that treats disability as a personal failing and not a natural part of the human experience. Michelle attended the University of Idaho studying vocal performance, with a focus in opera and jazz. A young diagnosis of cancer and resulting mountain of medical bills prevented her from completing her studies. This experience with the healthcare system ignited her journey into activism.
Manager, Arc of Spokane
Kyla Parkins manages the Transition and Young Adult Program (TYAP) at The Arc of Spokane which seeks to support teens and young adults with disabilities as they transition into adulthood – whatever that looks like for them! Kyla began working at The Arc as an intern during her senior year at Whitworth University. After graduating with a B.A. in communication studies, she worked as a Community Living Instructor in The Arc’s Supported Living program before moving into TYAP as a Coordinator, and then ultimately as Manager. Kyla loves coffee, the color yellow, and learning to understand people.
Senior Program Officer, Career Connect Washington
Tana is a Senior Program Officer with Washington STEM. As part of the Career Connect Washington team, Tana coordinates and aligns efforts to ensure Washington students have equitable access, enrollment, and completion outcomes in career connected learning programs. Her previous experience includes teaching middle school science in South Texas and Seattle before earning a Masters in Education in Learning Sciences and Human Development at UW. The thread that ties Tana’s work together is creating learning opportunities for educators to improve practices and systems for that benefit students furthest from educational justice.
Assistant Professor of Special Education, Washington State University
Dr. Marcus Poppen is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Washington State University. His work is focused on supporting positive postsecondary outcomes for young adults with disabilities through the implementation of evidence-based transition services and supports. He is particularly passionate about school and Vocational Rehabilitation collaboration, and the ways that schools and local VR agencies are ensuring the coordination and delivery of pre-employment transition services to improve transition outcomes for youth and young adults.
Interim Director, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Terry Redmon, currently serves as the Interim Director for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Previously, Terry worked as the DVR Deputy Director and the Developmental Disabilities Administration’s Employment Partnership Program Manager in the Employment and Day Unit. His duties over the last several years have included statewide transition, monitoring of the 39 DD County programs, and creation of legislative responses concerning employment to DDA management, working with unit members on employment policy and representing the administration at national partner’s events. Terry has over 30 years of experience working with partners on community based employment programs for people with disabilities. He spent 15 years of his career in DVR where he has worked as a VRC, Lead-VRC, Supervisor, Assistant Regional Administrator-Region 1, and Field Chief, working as a member of the Executive Leadership Team.
Carla Richards, a military wife, has been happily married 29 years and is the proud Mom of now two grown sons, both diagnosed with special needs (Tourette Syndrome and Autism) in their younger years. In 2010, Carla was crowned Mrs. Washington and used her title to help advocate for the special needs community while promoting her platform “Embracing the Special Needs Child”. During her reign, Carla and her oldest son started a support group for families struggling with the diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome (TS). It is still the only operating TS Support Group in the state of Washington. As a Boy Scout leader with Pacific Harbors Council for 15 years, she also founded their first ever “Scouting with Disabilities Committee” which trained leaders on how to implement a scouting program which was inclusive to those with disabilities and special needs. Today Carla continues to help families navigate the special needs journey, lately focusing on the transition years from adolescent to adult.
Cody Richards, an Eagle Scout and Lakes Honor Graduate 2020, was diagnosed with Autism in his early elementary years. Even though Cody took his core classes in a self- contained functional academic setting during his academic career, he was well integrated into mainstream settings via elective classes such as art and choir. He also played in both unified and mainstream sports to include basketball, baseball, soccer and golf of which he received his Varsity Letter. Cody has been an athlete with Special Olympics Washington since his middle school years. In 2018, he and his teammates with Lakes Unified Soccer won the Washington State Regional Championship for the Southwest Region, qualifying them for the state tournament where they placed 4th. That year Cody was nominated by his peers to receive the “Best Teammate” award. In 2019, he was also nominated by his peers to serve on the Lakes High School Homecoming Court and to receive “Most Inspirational Player” award for Lakes Golf. Currently, Cody is enrolled in the Alfaretta House with Clover Park School District. This is a transition program for young adults with special needs to receive both job skills and life skills to apply to their journey into adulthood. Cody works for both Lakewood Parks and Recreation and the JBLM Thrift Store.
Kenny Richards, an Eagle Scout and Lakes Honor Graduate 2016, was diagnosed with Tourette Sydrome (TS) at the young age of 9 during his fourth grade year of elementary school. In 2011, he became a Youth Ambassador with the Tourette Association of America (TAA) where he received training in Washington D.C. and met with Senators and Congressmen on Capitol Hill advocating for those diagnosed with TS. Shortly after, he and his mother started a TS Support Group and went on tour traveling the state giving presentations on TS awareness. In 2013, in partnership with PAVE (Partnership for Action, Voices for Empowerment) for his Eagle Scout Project, Kenny hosted an accredited training seminar for teachers instructing them on how to properly implement an IEP (Individual Education Plan) in the classroom. Since then, Kenny has continued to be a guest speaker for various schools, clubs, organizations and businesses to include the Boeing Company. In 2015, he also served as the keynote speaker for the “Tools for Success Conference” also sponsored by PAVE. For these efforts, Kenny has been awarded numerous accolades: American Legion Eagle Scout of the Year for the State of Washington, Congressional Certificate (awarded via the United States Speaker of the House of Representatives), Library of Congress Inductee, National TAA Zak Hollis Youth Achievement Award and KIRO Radio Hometown Hero. Currently, Kenny is working for Big Sporting Goods as well a local roofing company. He will be receiving an Associate Degree in Business from Pierce College this coming fall.
Statewide Liaison for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind in Transition and a Regional Transition Counselor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Ashley Schweiger is a Statewide Liaison for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind in Transition and a Regional Transition Consultant for DVR. She has a master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling: Deafness Education from Western Oregon University. Ashley is a Pacific Northwest native, formerly a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for 7+ years. Ashley is passionate in working with Youth, especially when she has her “shared experiences” as a person with a disability. She understands how challenging it can be to navigate through school systems for students, family members, and outside agencies. She has worked through transition services in various roles such as a tutor, mentor, coach, and more. Ashley believes in self-empowerment and is collaborating with school districts in strengthening transition plans for life after high school.
Staff psychologist, Palouse River Counseling
Anya Sheftel, Ph.D. is a staff psychologist and testing coordinator at Palouse River Counseling and the owner of Sheftel Consulting, LLC. Since 2009 she worked as a motivational interviewing (MI) consultant with health and human service agencies. Dr. Sheftel integrates MI into her clinical work across a variety of presenting issues such as substance use, mental health, trauma, and postsecondary transition. Dr. Sheftel designed and implemented an intervention (Motivational Enhancement Group Intervention; MEGI) aimed at increasing high school students’ with disabilities vocational outcome expectations, self-determination, and self-efficacy. MEGI is currently being used in high schools and transition programs in Oregon and Washington.
Director of Digital Content and Accessibility, Center for Change in Transition Services
Having worked with CCTS for over five years, Jay values the continued opportunities to learn from and support educators and administrators throughout Washington. She has a strong commitment to accessibility and inclusion in her work, which spans over 15 years in the arts and nonprofit sectors. Previous experiences include: Marketing Director, Theater at Monmouth; Outreach Programs Coordinator, Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and Education Associate, Orlando Shakespeare Theater.
Vice President for Programs and Evaluation, Junior Achievement of Washington
Munira’s extensive experience has focused on designing, implementing, and evaluating programs striving to improve the lives of underserved populations. In her current role as the Vice President for Programs and Evaluation at Junior Achievement of Washington, Munira has overall strategic and operational responsibility for all programs, including developing and implementing rigorous systems to measure the impact of programs and adapt programming to deepen the impact. Munira earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from Northwestern University and a master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Project Coordinator, Center for Change in Transition Services
Julia comes to CCTS with a background in Communications and Psychology, after obtaining her BA at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is enthusiastic and passionate passion about serving students who experience mental health needs in an evolving virtual world. Throughout her college career and beyond, she has contributed to technical and informational operations that support educators to include and empower youth. Behind the scenes, her personal passions include boating, hiking, cooking, reading, animals, and plant-caretaking.
Director, Rocky Mountain ADA Center
As director, Emily Shuman leads the Rocky Mountain ADA Center’s staff and the organization’s daily operations including technical assistance calls, regional training coordination, information dissemination and more. Shuman also works closely with the ADA National Network to improve operational practices and program(s) expansion.
Working for the organization since 2018, Emily has passion for empowering and working with businesses and individuals so they can obtain a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities under the ADA. She is the center’s spokesperson and regularly works with local, regional, and national media. An accomplished writer, Shuman contributes op-ed pieces and informational articles for the organization. In addition, she produces the center’s podcast which features many nationally recognized guests. A highly regarded Young Professional, Emily is one of the youngest directors in the 30-year history of the ADA National Network. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – I.T. Management. The Colorado Springs native enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her teen son.
I am entering my senior year at Redmond High School. Art is my favorite subject and I have taken many art electives in my time in high school. I also enjoy Math, Reading and Writing. I love nature, and all the beautiful parks we have in our area. You can find me walking along the Kirkland waterfront or Juanita Beach area on many afternoons listening to music.
Rohan’s mom, Scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
I am a scientist studying the human microbiome and its relationship with human health at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Advancing women’s health and inspiring young minds to pursue a scientific career gets me going every morning. Ro and I share an easy camaraderie. Our favorite indoor activities include reading, a game of Scrabble or dancing to peppy music. You can often find us taking long walks or lying on a sandy beach.
Rohan’s brother, Sophomore at International Community School
I am entering my sophomore year at International Community School in Kirkland. I am an avid sports fan – go 12s! I spend much of my time following game strategy and statistics in football, soccer, cricket, and basketball. History is my passion particularly how it relates to present day society. Ro is my aquatic companion and restaurant buddy! We enjoy competing for the last piece of our favorite appetizer or the front passenger seat.
Art Teacher, Redmond High School
Senior Director of Disability Services, Seattle University
Kimberley Thompson, M.S.W. is currently the Senior Director of Disability Services at Seattle University. She leads the Disability Services team and is responsible for ensuring a consistent campus-wide approach to access and inclusion. Before moving to Seattle University, Kim was a faculty member and the Dean of Students at Shoreline Community College. She also served for six years as president of the Disability Support Services Council (DSSC) and is currently a four-year representative to the executive board of the Washington Association of Postsecondary Education and Disability (WAPED). Kim graduated from Seattle University with a BA in Psychology and received her master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington.
Rohan’s dad, Business Development Leader at Oracle
I am a business development leader at Oracle. Technology has motivated me throughout my life and Ro has inspired me to leverage tools and technology to promote accessibility. Ro is my travel companion and DJ. Bollywood classics and rock music from the 70s/80s keep us company on long drives. We both share a passion for cooking.
Assistant Professor of Special Education, Washington State University
Dr. Holly Whittenburg is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Washington State University. Her work focuses on improving employment outcomes for transition-aged students on the autism spectrum and with intellectual disabilities. Work is an important part of growing up for most young adults, but students with disabilities often face significant barriers to employment. In her work, Dr. Whittenburg examines interventions to teach employment-related skills, investigates approaches to creating more opportunities for inclusive work experiences, and considers how special education and vocational rehabilitation law and policies affect the transition experiences of students with disabilities.
Director of Special Projects, Center for Change in Transition Services