Self-Direction Virtual Conference Series by Applied Self-Direction with the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports


The Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports is growing a national community of self-direction from the ground up.

What does that mean? How is that accomplished? Why is it imperative? And how can you become an essential part of this national community?

Whether you’re an individual or part of an agency or organization, join us and Applied Self Direction for a webinar on June 10 at 3pm ET.

You’ll learn about how the Alliance’s Lives-in-Progress project, Full Inclusion Microgrants, and online webinars mobilize the power of individuals’ lives-in-progress, dismantle common barriers to access (including communication, cost, and cultural misassumptions), contribute to public policy discussions, and work across race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability to create and nurture a national community grounded in mentorship and practical knowledge.  All of this to advance and sustain self-direction as a viable option for all who want to take control of their lives, designing and directing their own support services.


Thursday, June 10th from 3-4 PM (EST).


Registration is free but limited to the first 500 registrants. You can register here. 

Marian Frattarola Saulino, a White middle-aged woman smiling

Marian Frattarola-Saulino’s work is based first and foremost on respect for everyone – people with disabilities, their families, their allies, and their staff – as the experts of their own lives.  Her commitment always was and is to envision and build coalitions where people themselves decide the expertise they need, to build the lives they want.  Marian’s career spans over 35 years and includes experiences as a Direct Service Worker, Residential Supervisor, Supports Broker, Residential Service Director, Service Coordinator, and Executive Director.  Whatever her role, she has been fortunate to have learned and to continue to learn from people with disabilities. She considers herself lucky to have found the calling, the energy, and the co-conspirators to translate those lessons into team and organizational approaches that balance if not tip the power toward those using services, and the people closest to them.  As Marian moved into organizational positions, traditionally defined as leadership roles, it was and is always with the deference to these most important stakeholders.

Along with her husband and partner Paul, Marian has co-founded several organizations and serves as the CEO of Values Into Action, a network of service provider organizations that only offer individualized services exclusively in people’s own homes and communities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  She is a co-founder and serves as the Board Co-Chair of the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports, a membership organization that is focused on developing, building, and enhancing sustainable self-directed systems.  Marian also helped to start the Collaborative for Citizen Directed Supports-New Jersey, an organization dedicated to advancing self-directed service options.

Lateef McLeod, Black man seated in power wheelchair outside on a wood panel floor with a grey wall behind him

Lateef McLeod is building his career as a writer and a scholar. He has earned a BA in English from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. He is a fifth-year graduate student in the Anthropology and Social Change doctoral program at California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. He published his first poetry book, entitled A Declaration of A Body Of Love, in 2010 chronicling his life as a black man with a disability. He also published another poetry book, entitled Whispers of Krip Love, Shouts of Krip Revolution, in 2020. He currently is writing a novel tentatively entitled The Third Eye Is Crying. He was in the 2007 and 2016 annual theater performances of Sins Invalid and also in their artist-in-residence performance in 2011 entitled Residence Alien. In 2019 he started a podcast entitled Black Disabled Men Talk with co-hosts Leroy Moore, Keith Jones, and Ottis Smith. More of his writings are available on his website and his Huffington Post blog.

Board member photo of David (DJ) Savarese, white man in blue shirt with sunglasses and facial hair sitting on concrete stairs outside Photo by Pamela Harvey Photography

David James “DJ” Savarese (, Co-Chair of the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports, is an artful activist, public scholar, and practicing optimist. He is the co-producer, narrative commentator, subject, and poet of the Peabody award-winning documentary Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t Be a Lottery and founded Listen2Us: Writing Our Own Futures as an Open Society Foundation Human Rights Initiative Youth Fellow. As Co-Chair of the Alliance, he is designing and fundraising for the Lives-in-Progress project, an online map and database that documents dis/Abled self-advocates’ experiences, and offers the tools, resources, mentoring, and community necessary to pursue meaningful, self-directed lives. A published poet, scholar, and essayist, DJ teaches and presents nationally on a range of topics. A resident of Iowa City, he graduated from Oberlin College ’17 with a double major in Anthropology and Creative Writing.