Kathy Roberson, MSW

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Pediatrics
335 George Street
Suite 3500
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
 
Phone: 732-235-9317
Email: kathy.roberson@umdnj.edu
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Last Updated: October 08, 2009

 

Project/Program/Clinic Contacts: Policy and Information Coordinator
 
Discipline(s): Social Work
 
AUCD Council Membership: Council on Community Advocacy
 
Service: Community Support, Dissemination, Family Support, Program Evaluation, Public Policy, Transition to Adult Life

Vita/Bio

 

EDUCATION

  • Masters of Social Work, 2004, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

  • Masters of English/Creative Writing, 1985, State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY.

  • B.A, English Major, 1980, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY.

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • August 2003 - present, Policy and Information Coordinator (initially student intern and research assistant) at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities/UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Pediatrics, New Brunswick, NJ. Co-authored (with Rick Blumberg, Ph.D. and Dan Baker, Ph.D.) a curriculum, Keeping It Real: How to Get the Support You Need for the Life You Want, to teach high school students with disabilities how to get and manage their own supports. This included writing most of the curriculum, editing the writing of other contributors, presenting the curriculum to educators and other interested stakeholders, and working closely with the school districts who are implementing the curriculum. In addition, I have played an active role in the Center's dissemination of information. This includes the co-writing (with Deborah Spitalnik, Ph.D.) and dissemination of two policy briefs: "Why Does Medicaid Matter to People with Disabilities and Their Families? " and "People with Disabilities and Social Security."  As part of the Evaluation team, I assisted in the development a new program evaluation process for The Boggs Center. My committee work includes: the New Jersey Family Support Coalition (vice president), the State Special Education Advisory Council, the New Jersey Statewide Interagency Transition Group, and the Middlesex Regional Education Services Commission's Transition Committee.

  • September 2001- April 2002, Social Work intern at the Jerry Davis Early Childhood Center/Somerset Arc, Manville, NJ.  Provided a variety of support services for families with children who are enrolled in the Early Intervention program (for children with special needs who are between birth and 3 years of age), as well as for individual adults with developmental disabilities.

  • April 1996-June 2001 (except for the 1998-99 school year, when I was living abroad), Instructional Aid for first grade classes, for student with a disability, and then for kindergarten classes, at Parker Elementary School, Middlesex, NJ. 

  • January 1989-April 1996, Full-time mother of three children, including one child with significant developmental disabilities.

  • September 1987-January 1989, Harvard University, Staff Assistant for the Education Department of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, MA.  Responsible for the logistics of all school group visits and after-school programs at the museum.

  • January 1986-May 1987, Employee Benefits Representative, St. John's Hospital, Smithtown, NY.  Responsible for the processing of medical insurance claims for employees.

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  • August 1981-September 1985, Program Coordinator for International Art of Jazz, Stony Brook, NY.  Responsible for helping to plan and produce concerts, workshops, and educational programs for schools.

  • November 1980-June 1981, Secretary for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo, NY.  Responsible for general secretarial duties in the Marketing and Education Department.

  • Spring 1986, Instructor of poetry writing workshop at Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY.

  • Spring 1984 and Fall 1984, Instructor of Poetry Writing Workshop (EGL 286) at State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY. 

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

  • August 2001- present, member of a Regional Family Support Planning Council.  The Council is made up of individuals caring for a family member with a developmental disability at home. The purpose of the Council is to keep the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities, service providers, and legislators informed about the needs of families in our region.

  • 2003 - 2005, founding member of the Special Education Parents' Group in Middlesex, NJ. The purpose of the group was to inform parents about issues related to special education, and create opportunities for parents, teachers and Special Education administrators to meet with and learn from one another.

  • April 2004 - November 2004, member of New Jersey's Partners in Policymaking class.  Was chosen by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities to participate in this eight month course, which is designed to teach parents of children with disabilities and adults with disabilities effective advocacy skills.

  • Spring 1991, Tutor for Literacy Volunteers of America (an adult literacy program), Bound Brook, NJ.

  • September 1985-May 1987, Group Coordinator for local Amnesty International group, Stony Brook, NY.

  • Summer 1984, Facilitator of writing workshops at Brookhaven Women's Center, Port Jefferson, NY.

INTERESTS  

  • Creative writing. Thoughts While Braiding My Daughter's Hair, a collection of poetry, was published by Sunstone Press in 1996.  Have also published poetry in various literary journals.

  • Traveling.  As an undergraduate spent one semester living and studying in India.  From August 1998 to August 1999 lived in Edinburgh, Scotland.