Olivia Raynor, PhD

Olivia Raynor, PhD (President)
Tarjan Center, University of California Los Angeles

Olivia Raynor, Ph.D. is Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Director of the Tarjan Center, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the Semel Institute, University of California Los Angeles. For nearly 30 years Dr. Raynor has been engaged in projects addressing the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in employment, volunteerism and service, post secondary education, and the arts. Since 1994, she has also served as the founding Director of the National Arts and Disability Center, an internationally recognized information and training center dedicated to promoting the inclusion of artists and audiences with disabilities into the arts. Since 2001 she has administered the Statewide Forums on Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities Initiative, providing technical assistance and support to 26 state arts agencies conducting forums. She is also responsible for the overall leadership of the Consortium on Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Developmental Disabilities, a statewide group dedicated to improving access to college by students with developmental disabilities. Dr. Raynor holds degrees from Boston University and the University of Southern California in Occupational Therapy and a doctorate from the University of California Los Angeles in Educational Psychology. In 2006, Dr. Raynor was a recipient of a Visionary Award by Kern County Regional Center, California.

Executive Director
Andrew J. Imparato, JD

Andrew J. Imparato, JD
Executive Director

Andrew Imparato has served as executive director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) since September, 2013. As a disability rights lawyer and policy professional with more than two decades of experience in government and advocacy roles, Imparato has worked with bipartisan policymakers to advance disability policy at the national level in the areas of civil rights, workforce development, and disability benefits. Prior to coming to AUCD, he was senior counsel and disability policy director for Senator Tom Harkin on the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Before that, he spent 11 years as President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, a national membership organization working to grow the political and economic power of the disability community. Imparato's perspective is informed by his personal experience with bipolar disorder.

Since joining AUCD, a national network of over 100 university-based programs that conduct research, training and advocacy to improve the quality of life of children and adults with disabilities, Imparato has helped the organization broaden the scope of its advocacy and expand its leadership capacity. Imparato is currently serving on two bipartisan panels developing recommendations for reform of the Social Security Disability Insurance program and has spearheaded a national "Six by ‘15" campaign designed to leverage next year's milestone anniversaries of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to focus public attention on the areas where the disability community wants to see more progress. This campaign has been endorsed by over 140 disability organizations.

Imparato's work has been recognized by the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Transportation, the US Junior Chamber of Commerce, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Association of the Deaf, and the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. He has testified nine times before Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been interviewed on a wide range of disability issues by national television, radio and print media. He cultivates grassroots activism on social media and is known for seeking out and mentoring emerging leaders with disabilities. He co-authored articles that have been published in the Stanford Law and Policy Review and the Milbank Quarterly, and wrote a chapter on the Supreme Court's disability rulings in The Rehnquist Court: Judicial Activism on the Right (Hill & Wang 2003). Imparato graduated summa cum laude from Yale College and with distinction from Stanford Law School. He lives in Baltimore with his wife Betsy Nix and their 15 year-old son Nicholas.


Karen  Edwards, MD, MPH

Karen Edwards, MD, MPH
University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities


Dr. Karen Edwards has been a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program Director for ten years, first in New York and, since July 2010, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  She was recently named the Director of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Cincinnati.  Dr. Edwards was a coordinating member of Ohio's Region 5 Act Early Summit Team and continues to provide leadership in the Team's ongoing activities.  She also served on the New York Act Early Team.   Dr. Edwards also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.  Dr. Edwards describes her Ambassadorship as "a wonderful opportunity to further demonstrate ongoing commitment to the goals of "Learn the Signs. Act Early."  by training early intervention professionals and disseminating information and training for professionals and families. "



Leslie Cohen, JD

Leslie Cohen, JD (Past-President)
Sonoran UCEDD, University of Arizona

Leslie Cohen graduated with a bachelors degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a juris doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law.  She practiced law in the area of civil litigation for many years in both the private and public sectors.  She brings to the position extensive experience in developmental disabilities advocacy and policy as well as broad based community connections with stakeholders in government agencies, self-advocacy and family groups, provider agencies and ADD network partners.  Ms. Cohen's experience includes over ten years as Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Disability Law, Arizona's protection and advocacy system. She has been a long-time member of the Arizona's Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, including as Chair of its Legislative and Policy Committee. She has served as a consultant to organizations in Arizona and nationally on a wide variety of strategic planning, management and substantive disability  issues and as a peer program reviewer for the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services.  She is a member of the Advisory Council for the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University; Board of Directors of the Primavera Foundation; and the  State Bar Committee on Persons with Disabilities in the Legal Profession.  Ms. Cohen is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and adjunct faculty at the Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona.

Julie Fodor, PhD

Julie Fodor, PhD (Past-Past-President)
Center on Disabilities and Human Development, University of Idaho

Julie Fodor, PhD, is the Director of the Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD) (Idaho's UCEDD) at the University of Idaho. The CDHD supports 71 employees, 20 trainees, and 27 work study students. We operate three regional assistive technology centers and seven regional child care resources and referral centers and provide on-going technical assistance to schools, providers, families, and agencies across the state. Dr. Fodor is the principal investigator on seven CDHD programs and initiated our direct service programs for both children and youth. She is also an associate professor for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and senior faculty in Special Education.

Dr. Fodor has worked with and for people with disabilities for over 30 years as a personal care attendant, classroom aide, teacher, researcher, administrator, and as an advocate. She has engaged in numerous systems change activities during her tenure in Idaho that include the creation of a statewide structure for technical assistance and training in positive behavioral supports, a certification process and training curricula for Medicaid providers of children's services, a birth to grade three early childhood teaching certification that blends content knowledge in special education and general education, several family support initiatives, development and implementation of the Idaho self-determination waiver, and the creation of Idaho's child care system that now includes a professional development career lattice and a focus on inclusive practices. Dr Fodor co-directed a project for 15 years that focused on supporting special education services in tribal schools across four states which eventually resulted in a federally funded master's degree program for tribal school teachers. Also, over the years she provided countless trainings and on-site technical assistance to school personnel, preschool staff, and head start employees on fostering social competence and reducing aggression in young children.

Dr. Fodor has authored numerous curricula, grant applications, technical reports, and policy briefs, and she continues to teach both graduate and undergraduate courses in special education and is the chair for several doctoral and master level students. Finally, Dr. Fodor maintains an active role on state, national, and university committees and plays a significant role in the state's advocacy of human rights and self-determination.

Brent Askvig, PhD

Brent Askvig, PhD (Secretary)
North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, Minot State University

Brent A. Askvig, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University in Minot, ND. Dr. Askvig holds the rank of Professor of Special Education in the Department of Special Education, College of Education and Health Sciences at Minot State and has been on the faculty for 25 years. He has served as chair of the Department of Special Education, as well as coordinator of the undergraduate program in intellectual disabilities and the graduate programs in severe disabilities and early childhood special education. In addition he served as Assistant to the Dean for the MSU Graduate School.

Dr. Askvig completed his undergraduate studies with a double major in Special Education and Elementary Education at Minot State University, and his completed his Master's degree in Special Education/Severe Disabilities also at MSU. He completed his Doctorate in Special Education at the University of Idaho with a focus on higher education and research.

Dr. Askvig began his career as a direct service provider to individuals who moved from the state institution to community programs. He started the first public school classroom for students with significant support needs in Bismarck, ND. Dr. Askvig has also provided home based early intervention services to rural ND families, and was the program coordinator for a regional Part C early intervention program.

Personnel preparation, deinstitutionalization, and international disability issues are the most frequent research, writing and presentation topics for Dr. Askvig. He has directed several federal personnel preparation programs, written on ND's institution for persons with intellectual disabilities, and co-hosted the Midwest's only international Nordic conference on intellectual disabilities. Dr. Askvig serves on numerous state committees and task forces including the state council on developmental disabilities and state committees on transition and seclusion and restraint.

Treasurer / Finance and Audit Committee Chair
Harold Kleinert, EdD

Harold Kleinert, EdD (Treasurer)
Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky

Dr. Harold L. Kleinert is currently the Executive Director of the Human Development Institute - University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service at the University of Kentucky, and Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Sciences. In his 40 plus years in the field of developmental disabilities, he has taught students with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities in settings ranging from state institutions to regular classrooms with typical peers. He has directed a broad range of federally funded demonstration and research projects, especially in the area of education of children and youth with significant disabilities, including research focused on alternate assessment, peer tutoring, and inclusive service learning opportunities for high school students with developmental disabilities.

His work in Kentucky led to the first fully inclusive educational assessment and accountability system in the nation.  He was lead author of the first text published in alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities:  Alternate Assessment:  Measuring Outcomes and Supports for Students with Disabilities, as well as a second text on alternate assessment and access to the general curriculum: Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities An Educator's Guide.

He has also directed projects designed to teach physicians, as well as medical, dental, nursing, and physician assistant students, how to provide high quality care to patients with developmental disabilities.  He served as Principal Investigator for Brighter Tomorrows - created to teach resident physicians how to deliver a prenatal or newborn diagnosis of Down syndrome with supportive, balanced and accurate information.  Dr. Kleinert has published over 60 refereed manuscripts and book chapters across his areas of research interest.