The people that rock

Our Board Members
Board member photo of Caitlin Bailey
Caitlin Bailey

Board Secretary
Co-Founder of The Alliance

Caitlin is the Director of Research and Evaluation at the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware. The work of National Leadership Consortium supports the next generation of leaders to have the skills, knowledge and values needed to transform services and systems to ensure that people with disabilities direct their supports and lives. Her work primarily focuses on collaborative research in leadership, organizational sustainability, best practices in services and supports and policy decision-making processes in the disabilities sector. In her role, Caitlin has the opportunity to design, conduct and analyze research and evaluations that are led by people who are most affected by their outcomes: people with disabilities, their families and the people who work for them. Caitlin is a proud member of the Board of Directors for the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, the national organization committed to elevating the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills and values. Caitlin is also honored to be a founder of the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports.

People are ready for something different, something better. In order to advocate for the rights and citizenship of all people, we have to learn from and celebrate those who refuse to stand for anything less than inclusion and equal rights for all people. I am so honored to be a part of the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports as we offer a home for those committed to improving services and supports for people with disabilities to share ideas, innovations, strategies and lessons learned to continue to build communities that value disability and the rights and dignity of all its members.

Marian works to support the rights of all people, promoting inclusion, and coproducing sustainable support systems alongside people with disabilities, their families and allies. She has worked in direct support of people as well as a group home supervisor, service director, supports broker and executive director. These experiences have enabled her to collaborate with, and learn from people with disabilities and their families, and to apply those lessons across teams, organizations and systems. Marian serves as CEO of Values Into Action, a growing network of organizations she created with her husband, Paul Saulino in 2005. The organizations offer supports and services to people exclusively in their own homes and communities and partner with people, their families and other chosen allies to design, deliver and evaluate services. A leader in participant/self-directed system, Marian leads efforts to expand the scale and scope of services led by people themselves, with the support they identify and define. Marian currently serves as the Board Chair of the Collaborative for Citizen Directed Supports-New Jersey, a cause-based membership association, that like the Alliance, is dedicated to upholding the principles of self-agency and determination. She holds an MSW from Temple University, with a specialization in social administration and planning.

Marian Frattarola Saulino, a White middle-aged woman smiling
Marian Frattarola-Saulino

Board Chair
Co-Founder of The Alliance

Nothing is more important to me than leaving the world a bit better than I have found it, especially for our three daughters. My contribution to this change is to work alongside allies, colleagues and friends to make it a more just and inclusive world, where all of us are acknowledged and welcomed for who we are and what we bring. The Alliance provides a forum for those of us impatient with the pace and direction of change in the disability services community, to challenge and disrupt, and ultimately change the way in which people’s rights are honored and upheld.

Board member photo of Gail Godwin
Gail Godwin

Board of Directors
Co-Founder of The Alliance

Pamela Harvey Photography

Gail is the Executive Director of Shared Support Maryland, Inc. Gail’s Master’s is from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, Program in Severe Disabilities educational, employment & community inclusion. For over 25 years, she has been an advocate in collaboration with people with disabilities and has worked in service provision organizations at a direct support staff, middle manager, administrator, and in training & development. Gail served ten years as a Board Member of The Maryland Association of Community Services and is a graduate and faculty member of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute. She is the co-founder of the New York Downstate Person-Centered Consortium. Gail’s extensive experience is in self-directed services, positive supports, person directed planning, and individualized supports organizational development.

Being a founder and board member of The Alliance feels like a natural move for me personally and professionally. I’m drawn to groups, communities and causes where everyone belongs ~ where there exists no question as to the validity of someone and their place in the world. That is simple but the work for the cause and this movement is not simple ~ that draws me to this work equally.

Nancy is the Director of Disability Initiatives and a member of the faculty of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware. She directs the University’s Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Leadership in Disability Services and is the Director of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware. Ms. Weiss has more than 40 years of experience in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has worked extensively providing advocacy, community living and positive behavioral supports. She was the former Executive Director of TASH, an international advocacy association committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities. The consistent theme of Ms. Weiss’s work has been the promotion of disability supports and policies that assure communities, schools, and workplaces that include, value, engage and challenge people with disabilities and that guarantee that individuals with disabilities are treated humanely and have access to the full range of opportunities available to all citizens.

Board member photo of Nancy Weiss
Nancy Weiss

Board Treasurer
Co-Founder of The Alliance

Pamela Harvey Photography

In my work through the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities I have realized that there is no organizational home for people committed to self-directed lives and the shift from congregate services (those provided to people with disabilities in group homes, day programs and sheltered workshops) to those offering real, full, meaningful lives that respond to the wants and needs of each person. I am saddened by how little supports for people with disabilities have changed since I began to work in this field in the 70s. I like the idea of an organization that has as members people with disabilities, family members and people who work in the field united behind a common vision. I look forward to The Alliance serving as a catalyst toward making quality lives and meaningful community inclusion a reality for all.

These officers are joined by the additional members of the Board of Directors:

Board member photo of Amanda Rich
Amanda Rich

Amanda is currently an associate professor of Human Services at York College of Pennsylvania where she teaches course work related to direct practice, administration and public policy impacting human service organizations. She is the director of the Institute for Social Healing. Her work is rooted in the belief that human services have the potential to help make our communities more inclusive, diverse, fairer and stronger. She has a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education from the Teacher’s College at Columbia University and a doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Delaware. Amanda got introduced to the field of human services and disability supports through her families’ advocacy with and for her uncle, who has developmental disabilities. She formally began her career in therapeutic recreation and has worked as a direct support professional, personal care attendant, program manager and special education teacher. Currently her professional work focuses on the structural challenges faced by marginalized families, strategies they use to fight for change, community-based and citizen directed support services, trauma-informed support systems, self-compassion and the development of the human service workforce. Amanda recently has published a book entitled Standing Together and Finding a Voice Apart: Advocating for Intellectual Disability Rights.

I am honored to be a part of the development of the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports. I believe that support services have the potential, not only to help people live freer and valued lives of their choosing, but also to help shape the way our communities understand diversity, interdependence, and disability for the better. I think this can only happen when services are delivered in a way that truly respects that people have the right and empowers people to exert meaningful choice and control in their lives and build freely given human relationships. I believe the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports is an important vehicle to move this work forward.

Lydia is a disabled advocate, writer, organizer, educator, speaker, and attorney. They are the Policy Counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology and an adjunct lecturer in disability studies in Georgetown University’s Department of English. Lydia is the founder and director of the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment. They are also the Policy and Advocacy Associate for the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network.

Lydia’s work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing. Lydia has nearly a decade of experience as a leader, thinker, and change-agent within the autistic self-advocacy and neurodiversity movements. They have worked to advance transformative change through organizing in the streets, writing legislation, conducting anti-ableism workshops, testifying at regulatory and policy hearings, and disrupting institutional complacency everywhere from the academy to state agencies and the nonprofit-industrial complex. They are the lead editor and visionary behind All the Weight of Our Dreams, the first-ever anthology of writings and artwork by autistic people of color.

In their previous professional role, Lydia was the Institute Associate for Disability Rights and Algorithmic Fairness at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Tech Law and Policy. Prior to that, they were Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where they worked on defending and advancing the educational civil rights of Maryland students with psychosocial, intellectual, and developmental disabilities facing various forms of disproportionate discipline, restraint and seclusion, and school pushout. As a Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University’s Experimental College, they designed and taught a course on critical disability theory, public policy, and intersectional social movements. Lydia is a past Holley Law Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force, Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership, and Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.

They have received honors from many organizations, including the White House, Washington Peace Center, National Council on Independent Living, Disability Policy Consortium of Massachusetts, American Association of People with Disabilities, and Society for Disability Studies. Their writing appears in numerous community and scholarly publications, including Religion, Disability, and Interpersonal Violence; Addressing Ableism: Philosophical Questions via Disability Studies; QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology; Torture in Healthcare Settings; and All In Your Head: Queerness, Neurodiversity, & Disability Zine.

Board member photo of Lydia x.z.brown
Lydia X.Z. Brown

Photo by Adam Glanzan/Northeastern University

Board member photo of David (DJ) Savarese
David (DJ) Savarese

Pamela Harvey Photography

David works full-time as an Open Society Foundations/ Human Rights Initiative Youth Fellow, working to make literacy-based education, communication, and inclusive lives a reality for all nonspeaking people through artful advocacy, community organizing, and teaching ( He is also the co-producer of the Peabody award-winning, Emmy-nominated documentary film Deej: Inclusion shouldn’t be a lottery, which works to unearth the discrepancies between the insider and outsider perspectives of my lived experience as an alternatively communicating autistic. David graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College in May 2017 with a double major in Anthropology and Creative Writing and has a published poems and prose in The Iowa Review, Seneca Review, Prospect, Disability Studies Quarterly, and His lyric essay “Passive Plants,” published in The Iowa Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. See more at

I most certainly don’t have the answers, but I think I bring to the table an optimism, an internal commitment to self-determination and an awareness of the life demands and lived experience of an alternatively communicating, neurodiverse adult. I believe quite passionately that progress can be made if we embrace interdependence over the ableist mirage of self-reliance and independence.

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