CTD Advisory Board

Anita Shafer Aaron

Anita Shafer Aaron, Executive Director, World Institute on Disability 
Prior to joining WID in 2010, Anita served for twenty years as CEO of the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, focusing on local, regional and national policy and program concerns impacting individuals who are blind, visually impaired and/or deaf-blind. Anita began her disability rights leadership career in 1981 as Deputy Director of the Berkeley Center for Independent Living. Her work in the blindness field resulted in numerous local and national acknowledgements for her individual efforts; however, she believes her most significant contribution to the disability movement overall is a commitment to building bridges between disability organizations, disability groups and among individuals with disabilities.
 
Norman AmesNorm Ames, Associate Director, Center for Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education (TAESE)
Norm Ames began his professional career as a school psychologist, working in the states of Utah and Washington. Most recently he was appointed associate director at the Center for Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education (TAESE), a project of Utah's State University Center's for Persons with Disabilities. Prior to that, he was the Associate Director of the Mountain Plains regional Resource Center (MPRRC). Norm graduated from the School Psychology program at Utah State University in 1996. He served in the Army as a Medical Service Corps Officer, including service during Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Iraque. Norm has served on the board of directors for a residential Services agency for adults with disabilities in Washington and has been an active advocate por people with disabilities for over 20 years. Norm and his wife have four boys including a 15 year old with autism.
 
Ron BenhamRon Benham, Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition and Division Director for Perinatal, Early Childhood and Special Health Needs, and Director of Early Intervention Services
For the past thirty years Mr. Benham has held state leadership positions in the Massachusetts early intervention and children and youth with special health needs systems. Currently, he serves as Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition, as well as Division Director for Perinatal, Early Childhood and Special Health Needs, and Director of Early Intervention Services. In 2001-2003, he was selected as a mid-career fellow with Zero to Three, a national organization focused on the needs of infants and toddlers.
 
Cathy Bodine PH.D., CCC-SLPCathy Bodine, Associate Professor and Section Head, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Executive Director, Assistive Technology Partners
Dr. Bodine began her career in Assistive Technology in 1985. She joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1996. Today, she is internationally recognized for her leadership in the field of assistive technology and vigorously pursues her passions for new product design, research, service to families and persons with disabilities, and the professional assistive technology community at large through her leadership of Assistive Technology Partners. Dr. Bodine has served as the Principal Investigator (PI) for a number of pre-service professional preparation grants, as well as the Colorado Assistive Technology Act. In addition, she has served as the PI for several research and development projects leading to new designs in AT devices. She is the principal investigator for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Advancing Cognitive Technologies (RERC-ACT). She is also leading a U.S. Department of Education funded Field Initiated Development Project utilizing the International Classification of Functioning to measure assistive technology outcomes. Dr. Bodine served as the Secretary for the Board of Directors of Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) and is past president of the Rocky Mountain ALS Association Board. 

DAvid Dikter

David Dikter, CEO, Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA)
David Dikter is the CEO of the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA). ATIA’s mission is to serve as the collective voice of the Assistive Technology industry so that the best products and services are delivered to people with disabilities. ATIA represents the interests of its members to business, government, education, and the many agencies that serve people with disabilities. David manages the overall mission and operation of ATIA. He is responsible for all aspects of the ATIA annual conference, public awareness, government education and work on national policy issues as it relates to assistive and accessible technologies. He sits on the W3C-Web Accessibility Initiative Steering Council and works with diverse groups to promote AT and the needs of individuals with disabilities. Prior to joining ATIA, David worked in technology start-ups and spent 15 years working in school districts as a teacher of students with disabilities and technology leader, training and promoting educational and assistive technologies.
 
Isabel GarciaIsabel C. Garcia, Executive Director, Parent to Parent of Miami
Isabel Garcia joined Parent to Parent of Miami in 1989 and served as Vice President and President of the Board from 1992-1997. In 1997, Isabel was designated the Executive Director of the program, and later that year Parent to Parent of Miami became one of the first ten federally funded community parent resource centers receiving grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Isabel shares her home with her daughter, Daniela (who has Cerebral Palsy), her husband Mario, and Foxy the Jack Russell Terrier. Her daughter Maritza got married in May 2012, shares her home with her husband Kevin and Ripley the Shetland Sheepdog. The love of her family and working with children with special needs and their families is the energy that feeds her soul. For her efforts, Isabel has been recognized with the Children’s Services Council 2002 Champion for Children Community Service Award, The Exceptional Parent Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award and in 2008 Parent to Parent of Miami received The Children’s Trust 2008 Excellence Award Programs for Children with Disabilities. In April 2009, she was honored with the Cruz-Whitehurst Advocacy Award at the Annual UM-NSU CARD Tropical Nights Event.
 
 
Erica McCray,  Associate Professor, School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies, University of Florida

Erica McCray

Dr. Erica D. McCray is an Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of Florida. Currently, Dr. McCray is a Co-Principal Investigator for the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center. Also, she is a Co-PI on an OSEP leadership preparation grant, Project Researching Quality in Educating Special Education Teachers (ReQuEST) with Drs. Brownell and Sindelar. Prior to her position at UF, Dr. McCray was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida (USF) where she served as the Program Coordinator for the Master’s program. She has experience as a special educator for students with behavioral and learning disabilities in elementary and middle school settings. Dr. McCray has been recognized for her teaching and research, which focuses on teacher quality and faculty development in the context of diversity.
 
Madalaine PuglieseMadalaine Pugliese, Associate Professor of Practice, Coordinator for Graduate Assistive Special Education Technology Program, Simmons College
Madalaine Pugliese is the Program Coordinator for the Assistive Special Education Technology (ASTEC) program in the Education Department at Simmons College. She coordinates the program faculty, serves as liaison to the rehabilitation and supported learning publishing community, and advises students in ASTEC programs, both on and off campus. Ms. Pugliese has over 20 years of experience in K-12 public education, plus 18 years in higher education. She is a nationally recognized speaker and authority in assistive technology. Her achievements outside of Simmons College include: Former developer and Director of the Assistive Technology Project for the Massachusetts Department of Education, Former Co-director of Camp Apple and summer program for educators on new instructional technology, Founder of Adaptive Rehabilitation Technology, a nonprofit organization offering information and resources for families with needs for adaptive technologies.
 
 
Nancy RederDeputy Executive Director/Governmental Relations, National Association of States Directors of Special Education Programs (NASDSE)
Nancy received her B.A. and Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and her J.D. degree from Catholic University. Nancy Reder has served as NASDSE’s deputy executive director and director of government relations since May 2000.  She has more than 25 years of experience working on policy issues affecting children and families.  She was the Director of Social Policy for the League of Women Voters Education Fund from 1980-90 and a senior staff member of the House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families from 1990-93 where she focused on children with disabilities and family economic issues.  After leaving Capitol Hill, she worked for IBM providing policy guidance on their state information systems for human services programs and then worked for a consulting firm managing a team working with the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement implement welfare reform.  Prior to joining NASDSE, Nancy worked at The Finance Project, a DC-based organization working on the financing of supports and services for children and families.  While at the TFP, she created a database for the National Partnership for Reinventing Government’s Afterschool.gov web site and wrote a guide to federal funding for out-of-school time and community school programs.  Nancy also worked as a school social worker in the Alexandria, Virginia Schools.  She began her professional career as a social worker working with abused and neglected children in Detroit.
 
Colleen Riley, President, National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE); Director of Special Education Services (SES), Kansas Department of Education
Ms. Riley serves as the director of Special Education Services (SES) in the Kansas Department of Education. As the Director of SES, Colleen has provided the leadership necessary to bring the Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework from a grassroots effort to scale in Kansas with a focus on creating a sustainable system to meet the academic and social needs of every student. In addition, she has worked to align the accountability and technical assistance systems with the requirements of IDEA 2004 and Kansas Statutes to develop the Kansas Integrated Accountability System. Prior to joining the KSDE, Colleen was principal of a year-round K-6 elementary school in Utah, which also provided numerous educational programs for infant and toddlers and preschool students. Colleen received her B.A. degree from Montana State Billings in the area of special education and elementary education. She earned her Master’s degree at the University of Arizona and administrative leadership certification at Utah State University. Colleen has been a local special education director and an assistant director where her major responsibilities included recruiting, hiring and training new special education staff. Colleen continues to serve on numerous boards and committees encouraging collaboration in order to meet the needs of every student.
 
Judy Vesel
Judy Vesel, Principal Investigator/Project Director, TERC
Judy Vesel is a Principal Investigator at TERC. She has degrees in Biology, Linguistics, and Education. She was the Principal Investigator for the Leveraging Learning and Science for Today and Tomorrow projects (funded by NSF). She is the Principal Investigator for a body of work referred to as “Signing Math & Science”– funded by NSF and the U.S. Department of Education. Her experience as an educator and administrator extends from the primary grades through high school. She also leads another body of work that involves development of a stand-alone device that uses LED light technology and incorporates Web-based materials to offer blind and visually impaired learners opportunities to learn core-based mathematics and English Language Arts content or skills included in the Expanded Core Curriculum. Ms. Vesel has presented her work at many recent conferences including annual meetings of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE), American Association of Museums (AAM), Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA), and Closing the Gap.
 
Jeri Esocoff Wasco, Founder, Ms. Wheelchair District of Columbia
Jeri Esocoff Wasco
Jeri Esocoff Wasco is a longtime advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. She is also familiar with a variety of assistive technologies. Mrs. Wasco is the founder and coordinator of the Ms. Wheelchair District of Columbia program and a member of the Ms. Wheelchair America Board of Directors for the past 14 years. She is also a board member of the Northwest D.C. Kiwanis and has held the office of secretary for the last 2 years. She resides in Silver Spring, MD with her husband of 18 years, Barry, their daughter Renee age 17 and son Noah age 15.
 
 
Joy Zabala, Director of Technical Assistance, CAST and National AEM Center
Joy Zabala
Dr. Zabala is currently the Director of Technical Assistance at CAST where she also directs the technical assistance efforts of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials and serves as the evaluator of the NIMAS Development Center. She received her B.A. in Education from the University of Florida, her M.Ed. from Florida Atlantic University, and her Ed.D from the University of Kentucky with an emphasis on personnel preparation using distance education tools and strategies. Dr. Zabala has over 25 years’ experience in the special education arena conducting professional development and training for students, families, education agencies, organizations, companies, in the U.S.A. and abroad. Dr. Zabala also holds Assistive Technology Practitioner credential issued by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). She is a frequent presenter on AT decision-making, implementation, evaluation of effectiveness and the use of UDL and AT work to support student achievement. She is the developer of the SETT Framework, a collaborative decision-making tool, a founding member of the QIAT Community and facilitator of the QIAT, and a past-president of the Technology and Media Division (TAM) of the Council for Exceptional Children.