Board Members

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 Frattarola-Saulino, Board Chair,, Co-Founder of The Alliance


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.

“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.”

Gail Godwin, Board Vice Chair,, Co-Founder of The Alliance


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 Weiss, Board Treasurer,, Co-Founder of The Alliance

Publicity Photo of Nancy Weiss from Human Development & Family Studies

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.

“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:

Julia Bascom,


Julia serves as Executive Director at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Previously, she did state-level work in her home state of New Hampshire, where she served on the DD council and co-led an inter-agency team to revitalize self-advocacy within the state. Julia edited Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking, an anthology of writings by autistic people, and currently serves on the Disability Equality Index advisory board, the Centene National Disability Advisory Council, the advisory board of Felicity House, and the boards of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and Allies For Independence. As an advocate for dignity, inclusion, and self-determination; as a self-advocate; and as a person who relies on long-term supports in her own life, Julia is thrilled to be a part of the Alliance.

Lydia Brown,

Photo: Headshot of Lydia Brown, young East Asian person, with stylized blue and yellow dramatic background. They are looking in the distance and wearing a plaid shirt and black jacket. Photo by Adam Glanzman.

Lydia is an advocate, organizer, activist, writer, educator and speaker whose 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. Currently, Lydia is a Justice Catalyst Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, working 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. Lydia is 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, published by the Autism Women’s Network. Previously, they designed and taught a course on critical disability theory, public policy, and intersectional social movements as a Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University’s Experimental College. Lydia is a past Holley Law Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force and past Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. 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.

Kelly Bohlander Friedlander,

A picture of Kelly Friedlander, she has medium length brown hair,she is wearing a teal shirt with a black jacket and a beaded black and white necklace. She is smiling at the cameraKelly  is a Partner and Co-Founder of Community Bridges Consulting Group. Kelly consults primarily on stakeholder engagement, advocacy, and developing innovative solutions to meet systems changes. Prior to co-founding Community Bridges, Kelly was the founder and principal of Catalyst Consulting, where she worked on stakeholder engagement and policy analysis projects. Prior to this role, Kelly served as the Director of Systems Change Management at the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities where she oversaw the strategic planning and program implementation. Before moving to North Carolina, Kelly served as the Operational Manager of Pyramid, Inc., the largest day training program in Florida. She also has experience working within a state government, as she provided oversight to the Developmental Services Quality Assurance Contract at Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. Kelly holds a Master of Social Work, a Master of Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Social Work. In addition, she is a graduate of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities’ Leadership Institute. She is also a Board Member and Public Policy Chair for the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals.

Amanda Rich,

Headshot for Bio

Amanda  is a professor and the program coordinator of Human Services at York College of Pennsylvania where she teaches courses related to direct practice, administration and public policy impacting human service organizations. 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 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 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 to exert meaningful choice and control in their lives and freely build human relationships. What these services look like, how they can be improved and how they can be brought to scale, must be ongoing discussions of people committed to this work. I believe the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports is the vehicle to move these discussions and this work forward.”

Uly Ramos,

Uly has worked as an organizer with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 14 years, and is one of the most senior employees of the Self-Advocacy Association in New York State a grassroots membership based organization of people with I/DD. She has helped start and support dozens of self-advocacy groups in community spaces, residences, programs, and institutions. She has taught course in self-advocacy organizing and history at schools and colleges throughout the 5-boroughs. She is an experienced speaker, trainer, advocate, and organizer with people with developmental disabilities, and has maintained a special focus on Spanish-speakers with developmental disabilities. She continues to work for SANYS and also serves on the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Cultural Competency Committee. Above all, she is a proud self-advocate and self-directs her own services.

David Savarese,

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.”

Angela West,

Angela works at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Partnership for People with Disabilities in the Center for Family Involvement as the Diversity Specialist. This position enables her to serve families and professionals by educating them about the cultural impact on disability and connecting them to resources. Angela earned a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has served on boards, including the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities and the Virginia’s Employment First Advisory Group. Her passion for advocacy stems from watching her mother advocate for her rights as a first-generation immigrant. She works with direct support staff when she is supporting families and in her personal life.

“Spending the last ten years supporting people with disabilities has been an eye-opening experience for me. As a person with a disability, I thought I'd know all about how to help people with disabilities; however, I learned very early that self-advocacy is defined differently for every individual. I hope I'll be able to connect the group to some of my peers that can remind the group about what is important TO and what is important FOR individuals with disabilities. These two statements are sometimes blurred, and it is so important to know the difference when we are supporting people.”

Jane Lawrence,

Jane is a Senior Consultant at Applied Self-Direction. Throughout her career, she has focused on identifying ways to build inclusive communities that support people with disabilities to live full and meaningful lives. Jane has been a leader in providing training and technical assistance in person-centered planning to individuals, organizations, and government agencies. Her work as an independent consultant included agency and system re-design efforts, including HCBS providers and advocacy organizations. She was responsible for the development of fiscal support entity services within an organization and was recognized as an important contributor to regional discussions on self-direction. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Theater Arts from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, and did graduate work in Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Sorretie Jaro,

My name is Sorretie Jaro. I first got started with being a Self-Advocate for People First of Washington when I finished high school in June 2012. Also, when I finished high school, I started being a member of People First Lilac Downtown Chapter in Spokane, WA and I was elected for Secretary for the chapter after when I was a member. Also, I’m currently the People First President of the chapter. I’ve also been a part of being on The Arc of Spokane board for a little while. It was a really good experience for me being a part of a great organization. I’ve also done some presentations with People First to present at some conference in Seattle WA, and agencies in Spokane WA. I plan on a double major I plan on majoring in Disability Law, also major in Business Administration. I plan to transfer to Eastern Washington University to study to become a lawyer and hopefully want to run my own organization and business to provide resources as an advocate as a person with a disability.


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