Speaker Bio Sketches
Alice Owens Gatlin, J.D., CWIC, is the Program Director for Benefits to Work, Work Incentives Planning and
Assistance Program (WIPA). Benefits to Work is a program of the Tennessee Disability Coalition. Ms. Gatlin has an
extensive and varied background in social security disability work including representing clients with claims for
disability, disability insurance benefits, and supplemental security income.
Alicia Kamar is the parent of a child with a mental health diagnosis. She is currently studying for a Master's in
Social Work to continue advocating for children with severe emotional disturbances and is employed by
Tennessee Voices for Children.
Amy Jones, B.S. ME, M.S. BME, is a Rehabilitation Engineer who has worked at the STAR Center in Jackson, TN
performing AT evaluations and training for individuals with disabilities in West Tennessee since 2005. She left
NASA to come and help individuals with disabilities reach their individual goals.
Ann Palmer, BS, is a parent and author. She has published three books; Realizing the College Dream with Autism
or Asperger’s Syndrome, Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum, and Families of Children with Autism.
Annette Little, PhD, BCBA-D, is experienced in the field of special education and behavior analysis. Research
interests include SWPBS, characteristics of students with EBD, and collaborative approaches to behavior therapy.
Anthony Fox serves as the Director of TN Mental Health Consumers Association, a consumer-owned and operated
mental health service organization.
Beverly Watts, B.S., M.S., is executive director of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, and considered an
expert on civil rights issues including US legislation and other state, local and international human rights laws.
Bruce Davis is the Director of the Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Clinic at Vanderbilt. He has worked
in the field of developmental disabilities for 23 years.
Bryan W. Hudson is a program analyst for ODPO. Prior to coming to TSA, Mr. Hudson obtained extensive
disability-related civil rights and liberties experience representing persons with disabilities as an attorney with the
Rhode Island Disability Law Center--the protection and advocacy system for Rhode Island.
Carol Gish, J.D., is Managing Attorney and Housing/Fair Housing Project Director with West Tennessee Legal
Services, where she is administering a grant with HUD, and enforcing the Fair Housing Act through client
representation and education.
Carolyn Hughes, PhD, is Professor of Special Education and Kennedy Center Investigator at Vanderbilt University.
Currently, Dr. Hughes is PI or Co-PI on research grants funded through the Organization for Autism Research, the
Dan Marino Foundation, and Autism Speaks to study a peer-mediated model for teaching social interaction skills
to high school students with ASD. Dr. Hughes has published numerous books, chapters, and articles addressing
social interaction and self-directed learning skills among high school students. She is on the editorial board of
many journals in the developmental disabilities field and is Associate Editor of Research and Practice in Severe
Carrie Hobbs Guiden, BA, MS Ed., has nineteen years of experience working with individuals with intellectual and
developmental disabilities in Indiana, Arizona and Tennessee. She is currently Executive Director for The Arc -
Casey Campbell, B.B.A., M.B.A., joined Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity in 2007 serving as the Family Services
Director. Her duties include selecting qualified applicants for homeownership and teaching financial management
classes for future homeowners.
Cathy Houser has been part of the DRS Corporate Connections team for over six years. She provides resources for
the business community to promote recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees with disabilities.
Christopher Myers is in Corporate Marketing at FedEx and father of four children with over 35 years of volunteer
service. Mr. Myers is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Harwood Center and a former
member of the Board of Directors at West Tennessee Family Solutions, UCP of the MidSouth, SRVS and Ryan’s
Hope. Mr. Myers is also author of Taylor’s Way: A Father’s Very Special Relationship with His Son, a book about his
son, Taylor who has Autism published in 2010.
Christy Sanders Stanley, OTR/L, CDRS, is a licensed occupational therapist. She directs the Driver Evaluation and
Rehabilitation Program and is a certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist through the Association for Driver
Rehabilitation Specialists. She has specialty training in evaluation/treatment of visual perceptual and cognitive
challenges and in neurological treatment of and splinting of the upper extremity.
Cindy Gardner is originally from Oklahoma where she graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law in
Speaker Bio Sketches
1993 and is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association.
Cory Curl, is the Director of the Education Delivery Unit, TN Department of Education
Courtney Baker has been the Program Coordinator for the Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Clinic at
Vanderbilt for one year. She is also a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). She has worked in the
field of developmental disabilities for five years.
Courtney Jenkins Atnip, is a Public Policy Director whose areas of expertise include grassroots mobilization and
Courtney Taylor, BS, MDiv, Associate Director of Communications and Dissemination Vanderbilt Kennedy Center,
Craig Barnes in the wake of Gulf Coast Hurricane, Katrina, and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS)
2009 New Advocate of the Year Award.
Cynthia Leatherwood is currently a Senior Education Advocate for DLAC. Cynthia has been advocating for children
with disabilities for over 12 years. Cynthia is the parent of a 15-year-old son with a physical disability.
Dena Gassner, MSW, LMSW, is Director of the Center for Understanding, has served on the Program Committee
for this conference, and facilitates Nashville GRASP and the disAbilities Resource Center Transparency Project. She
is faculty member for HealthED.
Dennie Pickard, is the parent of a person with a disability.
Dennis Welton, M.S. BME, MBA, is a Rehabilitation Engineer, has worked in the assistive technology field since
1993. He has been providing AT evaluation and training services to individuals with disabilities in the West
Tennessee area at the STAR Center in Jackson, TN since 2001.
Ed Byrne has been Assistant Director of the Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped since 2010.
Prior to that he was a reader advisor at the Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped for six years.
Elise McMillan, JD, is Co-Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.
She serves as Director of Community Outreach for the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Senior Associate in the
Department of Psychiatry, and as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Special Education.
Elizabeth Fussell, PhD, is the Program Director for the FUTURE Program at the University of Tennessee. Prior to
moving to the FUTURE Program she provided training, technical assistance, and curriculum development in
community employment, person-centered planning, self-determination, and related topics to community
rehabilitation providers. Applying customized services and train-the-trainer concepts, Liz strives to build capacity
in the area of community-based and person-directed services that will empower service providers to offer
consistent and competency-based services.
Emily Lund, M.S., is a PhD student in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University
School of Medicine. She has several years of experience working with preschool and school age children with
Evan Espey has a BS degree in Integrated Studies in Human Services. He has worked at Technology Access Center
since 2010 as Outreach Coordinator where he manages adapted toy and assistive technology loan programs. Evan
also coaches wheelchair basketball.
Evon Lee, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University and a
licensed Developmental Psychologist. She began working in the Division of Child Development in the Pediatrics
Department in 1981 where she conducted developmental and psychological assessments of infants and children
with a wide range of developmental disabilities as part of a multidisciplinary team. Currently she is the
Psychological Assessment Coordinator for the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.
Gina Brady has over ten years of teaching experience in the special education field in several states. Gina not only
has experience in special education as a teacher, but also enjoys the experience of being the parent of a child with
Ginger Jones, M.A., is a licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist, a Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist,
and owner of Jones Speech-Language Pathology Services LLC. She has knowledge and experience working with
people who are deaf/hard of hearing.
holly lu conant rees, is an education advocate that specializes in individual and systems advocacy with regard to
special education services.
Speaker Bio Sketches
Jennifer Collins, B.S. joined DLAC as the Education Advocate for East Tennessee. Jennifer has over fifteen year’s
professional experience working with people with disabilities including work as an Independent Support
Coordinator and the Vocational Rehabilitation Developmental Disabilities Case Manager for East Tennessee.
Jennifer Johnson works for the Department of Mental Health, Recovery Services. She currently coordinates the
federal Real Choice Systems Change grant that brought WRAP to the entire state.
Jessica Beecham, B.S., has over 7 years of experience working in Assistive Technology (AT) at Middle Tennessee
State University and is a life-long user of AT.
Jill Richardson, M.S., is the Training Workforce Development Coordinator for Tennessee's Early Intervention
System. She has worked in the field of early intervention for 15 years as an early intervention teacher, service
coordinator and consultant.
Joanne Ball is Director of Vanderbilt's Patient Return-to-Work Program and Co-Chair of the Nashville Area
Employment Consortium. She is a certified Vocational Evaluator and Fellow of the American Board of Vocational
Juli Liske is founder and executive director of the Brown Center for Autism, a parent of a child with autism, and a
published author on the subject of autism.
K. Michael Price, B.S. achieved his Degree in Economics with a minor in Marketing from Western Kentucky
University 1997. Since January 2010, he has worked as executive director for Easy Living Home of Tennessee
where his responsibilities include promoting visitable housing across the state. He is also responsible for
Sales/Marketing, Member/Builder Recruitment, Home Certification, as well as advocating for accessible housing
through various speaking engagements at trade shows and events.
Kelly Johnson Brickey, BA, MPH, has served the Down Syndrome Awareness Group as Board President (2001-02)
and Executive Director (2002 - present). She is Mom to an 11-year-old daughter with Down syndrome.
Kris Killough, B.S., MBA, is the son of two educators in Memphis, TN. Kris went to the University of Tennessee on
a Cheerleading Scholarship where he became Captain of the Squad. Kris is honored to be able to market a
product like the Intel Reader because he understands how a tool like the Reader can help brilliant minds that
struggle to read.
Kristi Coggin, B.S., M.Ed., I am from Nashville, TN. I currently work in Metro Nashville Public Schools. I have taught
special education for ten years. I am currently in the role of instructional facilitator for the special education
department. I work with special education teachers, general education teacher and administrators to help make
the best learning environment for all students.
Kristi Menear, PhD, is an associate professor in the physical education program at UAB. She is a nationally
certified adapted physical educator and has taught adapted physical education in P-12 settings.
Lana Payne, mother of 3, two with special needs, author of book that shares her story and founder of support
group and presenter at SAS in Cleveland, TN.
Lavonnie Perry Claybon, Ph.D. in Education and is the Director of the Mid-South Access Center for Technology in
Memphis Tennessee where she is responsible for implementing, coordinating, and evaluating a comprehensive
assistive technology program that provides services to individuals of all ages with disabilities. Dr. Perry Claybon
has taught land-based classroom and online classes with focal points on education technology, teacher education,
research, learning disabilities, assistive technology and transitions, and academic instruction for special education.
Lee Ann Love, M.A., is an artist, art therapist, and mental health counselor who consults with the Creative Arts
Project to support adults struggling with mental illness. Lee Ann received her Masters of Arts in Art Therapy and
Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
Libby Garner is a Legislative Liaison for Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association. She is a Tennessee
Certified Peer Specialist and has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois. Libby has helped to
incorporate art and art therapy into TMHCA’s program.
Lisa Haack, PT, NCS, is a licensed Physical Therapist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from
the University of Wisconsin Madison. Lisa has clinical specialty certification in Neurologic Physical Therapy. She is
a credentialed clinical instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association. She is the secretary of the
Neurology Section Membership Public Relations Committee.
Speaker Bio Sketches
Loria Richardson has worked for over 17 years in the field of disability/Special Education Advocacy and training.
She is the parent of two adult sons who have disabilities. Loria works for The Arc of Tennessee as a Project
Specialist in the areas of Secondary Transition, Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy, and Disability Advocacy.
Lorri Mabry, BS, works at the Tennessee Disability Coalition and is a Choices consumer enjoying her life on her
Lou Ann Wallace has twenty-nine years working with children and adults with disabilities in various settings
including schools and community mental health. She is a licensed Senior Psychological Examiner in the state of
Luke Randall is a self-advocate who has served on The Arc Tennessee Board of Directors since 7/1/05.
Marie Maxie is a nationally Certified Employment Consultant and WRAP Facilitator. She is the director of
Pathways's Supported Employment Program in Jackson, Tennessee. She provides WRAP and SE for VR clients.
Mark Singer, has worked for the Area Agency on Aging and Disability for 5 years. He has been employed as the TN
SHIP Coordinator for the past 3 years providing non-biased Medicare counseling and information to consumers in
the greater Nashville area.
Mary Donnet Johnson, BA, is a writer and mom of two teenagers -- one with autism. She has published several
books on autism, produced DVDs on resiliency and teamwork and is a frequent presenter and enthusiastic
champion of children and families dealing with disabilities.
Mary Jane Ware, DRS program coordinator for secondary transition, has varied experience with DRS. In 2002 she
earned the MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from UTK and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
Mary Washington, M.A., CCC- SLP, has worked as a speech language pathologists and augmentative
communication specialist in a variety of settings. These settings include public schools and vocational training
programs for over 25 years. She is currently working at Mid-South Access Center for Technology at The University
of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee.
Megan Graf, BA, has been working with Project HEALTH for one year in June. She is a certified personal trainer
through the American College of Sports Medicine and a group fitness instructor.
Megan Hart, Tennessee Disability Pathfinder’s Education & Training Coordinator, has a B.A. in Psychology and a
Masters in Counseling. She has almost 10 years of experience working in the disability-field.
Meghan Burke, M.S., is the director of The Volunteer Advocacy Project. She is pursuing her doctorate in Special
Education-Low Incidence Disabilities from Vanderbilt. She also has a brother with Down syndrome.
Michael K. Price is the Exec. Director of ELH TN and provides statewide education and certification of the
initiative, funded partially by the TN Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Michele Moseley is a 26-year-old woman with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has participated in the services
of the Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Clinic at Vanderbilt and now serves as a peer mentor in the
program. Employed at Applebee's, she works toward living that is more independent.
Michelle McRae, BA, serves as the Director of Community Education for Health Assist Tennessee and has worked
in the field of community health access and advocacy for seven years. Prior to joining the staff of HAT in 2007, she
worked with Bridges to Care, the Baptist Healing Trust, TENNderCare, and the TennCare for Children Project of the
Tennessee Health Care Campaign.
Michelle Parker Priddy, M.Ed., is a Business owner and Teaching Director for a professional wellness and yoga
program specializing in development and public speaking company that provides individualized services to
individuals and groups.
Mona Overstreet has 30 years of experience serving persons with disabilities. She is an advocate for increasing
personal independence, self-esteem, and promoting outlets for success.
Monica Causey, MSSW, is the parent and grandparent of children with disabilities and works with Tennessee
Voices for Children as the project coordinator for two programs with strong academic components.
Narcel Reedus, MFA, is a writer, director, independent filmmaker and media artist. He won a Peabody award for
his writing on the NPR radio documentary Will the Circle Be Unbroken. He has also won national awards for his
dramatic short documentary Waddie Welcome. His films have screened at the Lincoln Center in New York, on
PBS, in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Austin, Chicago, Atlanta and in international film festivals in Rotterdam,
Speaker Bio Sketches
Bermuda, Milan and Berlin. Narcel earned his MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania and currently teaches at the Art Institute of Charlotte.
Natalie Henninger is a current undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, majoring in Psychology and Medicine,
Health, & Society. She has worked at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for 2 years on autism and transition research
with Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D. She is the sibling of an individual with autism spectrum disorder.
Pamela Scretchen, MS, BCBA, has experience which includes over ten years working in the field of applied
behavior analysis among children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Renee Lopez, MS, Community Work Incentives Coordinator - has been employed with the Benefits to Work
program as a Community Work Incentives Coordinator since 2003. Ms. Lopez's own experiences of living with a
disability motivated her to help others who have disabilities succeed in employment. She has an extensive
background in vocational rehabilitation services.
Rhonda Barnes has worked in the fields of mental health, geriatrics, and rehabilitation. She is NCTRC board
certified in Therapeutic Recreation.
Robin Hudson, Erin Hudson, and Harriet Moore are personal assistants to Lorri Mabry and may be reached
Robin Nobling serves as the Communications Coordinator for NAMI TN, an organization dedicated to improving
the quality of life for individuals with mental illness, their families, and communities.
Roger Dinwiddie, B.S., M.Ed., is a certified trainer and technical assistance consultant for the Olweus Bullying
Prevention Program (OBPP), and Safe Dates Program. He is the State Coordinator for the OBPP.
Ruth Hemphill has been director of the Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped since 1999. Prior
to that she worked in public and subscription libraries in Missouri in both rural and metropolitan areas, as well as
the library for the blind & physically handicapped in Missouri.
Sadie Slack holds a Bachelors Degree in cello performance from S.U.N.Y. Purchase Conservatory of Music in NY.
Slack is the recipient of several awards and honors. She attended Brevard Music Center on Scholarship for four
years and in 2001 received the Brevard Music Center's Outstanding Young Artist Award. Today, Slack teaches at
the Community School of the Arts and in her home studio in Clarksville TN.
Sarah Coffey, M.S.Ed., has worked with children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities for 11 years. Her
career has focused on using Applied Behavior Analysis to modify behavior and teach functional communication.
Sateesh Kumur Madireddy, M.S., is the Rehabilitation Technologist for Mid-South Access Center for Technology in
Memphis, Tennessee where he conducts evaluations, trainings and technical assistance for individuals with
disabilities. He earned his Bachelor of Technology in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and his Master's in
Management Information Systems. In addition, he holds a certification in management in software testing.
Sharon Bottorff, CMSW, has served as the Director of The Arc of Williamson County since October of 1996. Prior
to that she worked for Senior Citizens, Inc. Living at Home Program, the Department of Human Services and has
done contract work for many state agencies. She is also a member of the American Association of Persons with
Intellectual Disabilities, the Williamson County Geriatric Council and the Williamson County Community Services
Sherry Wilds, M.Ed., J.D. is a staff attorney with the Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee. She primarily
handles special education, community integration, and disability discrimination cases with an emphasis on
systemic issues in Tennessee. Before becoming an attorney, she taught in public schools, worked as Director of
Education in a day treatment program, and served as an education diagnostician at The Psychiatric Hospital at
Stephanie Brewer Cook, B.A., is the Disability Services Coordinator for the City of Knoxville with over twelve years
experience in helping change policy and effect systems change at the local government level.
Stephanie Cowherd has over 25 years of experience coordinating employment resources in the business
community. She is currently the Manager of marketing and consulting programs funded by the TN Division of
Rehabilitation Services and administered by the University of Tennessee.
Susanne Bennett, B.A., has worked at the Tennessee Justice Center since March of 2008, reaching out to
TennCare enrollees and advocates for children and educating them about the rights of those enrolled in TennCare.
Speaker Bio Sketches
Tammy Day, BS, M.Ed., works at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, as the Program Director for Next Steps at
Tammy Vice is a recording artist with GodsChild Records. As a singer and songwriter, she has had four songs hit
number one in independent Christian and Country charts. She is the originator and host of the annual “Breaking
The Chains” event, now in it's tenth year, held at the Bluebird Cafe to promote autism awareness. She has become
a strong advocate after her younger daughter, Morgan, who was diagnosed at age 3.
Teresa Schweinsberg, B.S. M.Ed., has been a deaf educator for 29 years and an instructional coach in the area of
transition for 2 years. Prior to moving to Tennessee, she was a transition specialist in Ohio for 15 years. In Ohio,
Teresa successfully worked on research pilot programs in the area of transition for Ohio State University,
University of Oregon, University of Oklahoma, University of Hawaii, and The Arc.
Thom Roberts, Executive Director of the Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, has been losing his
hearing for approximately 15 years. He is very informative and witty.
Thomas Boehm has a unique blend of work experiences (social services and ministry), education (MA in
Counseling Psychology and M.Div. in Divinity), in addition to being the parent of a child with disabilities.
Tim Benthal, B.S., Community Work Incentives Coordinator has been employed with the Benefits To Work
program for nine (9) years. He is an Air Force Veteran with a B.S. in Social Work and extensive experience as a
medical social worker in the home health.
Todd Kennedy has worked in the design and construction industry for over 13 years.
Now serving as the Construction Management Supervisor for the City of Knoxville’s - Community Development
Department he is providing leadership to four Rehab Specialists, who carry out the daily task of improving
Knoxville’s affordable housing stock. His knowledge of lead-based paint regulations, the healthy homes initiative,
visitability requirements, energy efficiency measures, and several federal funding sources, assist with the
implementation of various housing activities.
Tony Garr, B.A., has been Director of the TN Health Care Campaign since 1988. He worked for health care reform
in 1993 with President Clinton, TennCare expansion in 1994, and President Obama's reform in 2010.
Treva Maitland, M.S., F.C.S, is a Transition Project Specialist for The Arc of Tennessee. She is the proud mom of
Syler & Sydney.
Valery Shaw Hanks, OTR/L, CPAM, is a licensed Occupational Therapist. She received her Bachelor of Science in
Occupational Therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. Valery coordinates the OT
student program and is a Certified Fieldwork Educator through the American Occupational Therapy Association.
She is certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment and the use of physical agent modalities. She has specialty
training in vision and cognitive rehabilitation, in constraint induced movement therapy, and in neurological
treatment and splinting of the upper extremity.
Waverly Harris-Christopher, BA, has served as Program Manager for Project HEALTH for two years. She and the
Wellness Coordinator, Megan Graf, have always been involved in advocating for healthy lifestyles and personal
wellness. Their special skills are in communication and presentation so that ALL people can participate and learn
how to live more active and healthier lives. Waverly is also co-chair on the Disability Team for the Tennessee
Obesity Taskforce., Yes, Project HEALTH does offer to teach private classes for agencies for a fee. This is always a
resource that is open to large groups, however, the presentation's emphasis is on the free community classes as
well as each participant taking the initiative to incorporate healthier habits for daily living.
Jami Brown is from Chattanooga, Tennessee and serves Hamilton and surrounding counties. She is a certified
Community Work Incentive Coordinator and has been doing this for four years. Her previous experience includes
working at the Tennessee Department of Human Services as an Eligibility Counselor. She has a thorough
knowledge of work incentives and federal benefits to assist beneficiaries make informed decisions about their