About Us

The Alliance Story
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SINCE 2016

The Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports was established to ensure opportunities for people with disabilities to live fully-included lives of their own design through self-direction.

Our History

In September 2015, a group of advocates from across the country began meeting in response to a surge in public support for placing people with disabilities in segregated and gated communities that denied them human rights. The Alliance was founded in 2016 by advocates who opposed this move to greater segregation and isolation. These advocates wanted to organize to ensure that people with disabilities could freely determine where they’d live, who’d provide their services and supports, and how they’d pursue their own personal and career goals through self-direction.

The Alliance unifies people with disabilities, families, organizations, and advocates dedicated to advancing self-direction. We are an inclusive community that is not about one type of disability or identity, but that comes together in support of the shared commitment that everyone should be in charge of their own lives. Together, our members share their knowledge of how to promote and enable full lives and supports that are designed, implemented, and evaluated by the people receiving them.

What Drives Us

Our Mission

The Alliance is dedicated to supporting people with disabilities who wish to take charge of their lives through self-direction and those people and organizations that support them.

Man in wheelchair, Zack Weinstein, cradles his baby son, Theo, in his arms
Nicki Sebastian Photography
Help Change a Life

5 Reasons Why

01. Make Connections

Be part of an inclusive community of people, families, and organizations that share your commitment to self-direction.

02. Keep Learning

Learn through webinars, newsletters, our resource hub and through stories of people self-directing their services.

03. Get Answers

Ask questions and advice of our experienced members and leaders.

04. Amplify Your Voice

We?ll provide you with tools and opportunities to advocate for self-direction and the human rights of people with disabilities.

05. Be A Pioneer

This is the best time to join the self-direction movement; we are growing rapidly every day as segregated facilities close across the U.S. and people realize the efficiency and efficacy of services that prioritize personal freedom.

The people that rock

Our Board Members

Marian Frattarola Saulino, a White middle-aged woman smiling

Marian Frattarola-Saulino

Board Chair

Co-Founder of The Alliance




Board member photo of David (DJ) Savarese

David (DJ) Savarese

Board Co-Chair

Pamela Harvey Photography

Board member photo of Nancy Weiss

Nancy Weiss

Board Treasurer

Co-Founder of The Alliance


Pamela Harvey Photography


Board member photo of Caitlin Bailey

Caitlin Bailey

Board Secretary
Co-Founder of The Alliance


Board member photo of Lydia x.z.brown

Lydia X.Z. Brown

Board member photo of Caitlin Bailey


Board of Directors

Pamela Harvey Photography

Board member photo of Gail Godwin

Lateef mcleod

Marian Frattarola Saulino, a White middle-aged woman smiling


Board of Directors
Board member photo of Nancy Weiss

Priya Penner

Board of Directors



Amanda Rich middle-age white woman with short hair wearing a loose blue blouse smiling

Amanda Rich

Board of Directors

Pamela Harvey Photography


Board member photo of Gail Godwin


Board of Directors
meet our team members

The Alliance’s work is made possible by many community members who work with our board to bring our visions to reality.

Kayley Margarite Whalen

Kayley Margarite Whalen

Digital Strategy Consultant

Kayley is an advocate and communications professional who has devoted her career to building connections across social justice movements. She brings to her work her lived experience as an autistic transgender Latinx woman. For over 11 years, she has led some of the biggest digital campaigns for disability justice, transgender and queer justice, environmental justice, humanist values, and peace-building. She is the Treasurer of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and also serves on the Board of Directors of Trans United Fund; she formerly served on the board of Secular Student Alliance. Her business, Kayley Whalen Consulting, provides communications and digital marketing strategy to organizations dedicated to advancing social justice. Kayley has represented the LGBTQ and disability communities as a public speaker at events across the United States and the world, including speaking twice at the Obama White House. In 2016 she co-founded Trans United Fund, the first U.S. transgender-led political campaigning organization, which has now helped elect numerous transgender candidates to office. In 2019, while living in Southeast Asia, she started the blog TransWorldView to provide a forum to share the stories of transgender advocates from across Southeast Asia and the world. In 2020 she represented the United States as Miss USA in Thailand’s Miss International Queen, the world’s most prestigious transgender pageant.

Elayne Otstot

Elayne Otstot

Communications and Member Engagement Coordinator

Elayne is a recent graduate and aspiring attorney/public health policy professional from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. She is passionate about emergency management and disaster preparedness; disability access and inclusion; and health disparities affecting rural, disabled, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities. Currently, Elayne is the communications and member engagement coordinator at The Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports and Community Outreach Coordinator/Production Assistant for the film Invalid Corps, and former news feed researcher for the Disability and Abuse Project. She is an alumnus of the inaugural law fellowship cohort at the Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy, and Innovation at Loyola Law School. Elayne holds a graduate certificate in disability policy through Loyola, and a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Texas at Arlington. As an undergraduate student, she served for two years as the Office for Disability Services’ representative to the President’s Diversity Roundtable and led a community health education project on HPV prevention.

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Sign up for our email list and we'll keep you up-to-date with the latest news, events, and resources relevant to the self-direction community.

Our updates will help you overcome challenges to self-direction through personal insights and stories from our members. You'll also have opportunities to advocate for and support expanding self-direction for all.