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AUCD - Your Voice in Advocacy for Inclusive Communities

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pdf File Sample Phone Script (722KB) [download]

pdf File Contacting Congress (747KB) [download]

pdf File Agenda (53KB) [download]

pdf File Money Follows the Person (668KB) [download]

pdf File Medicaid (725KB) [download]

pdf File CARES (1,969KB) [download]

pdf File State Advocacy (1,650KB) [download]

Sunday, November 11, 2018 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Location: Congressional B

Session Description

Hosted by AUCD's Public Policy Committee, this Driving Change Session will explore how public policy impacts access to inclusive communities. Join us to hear from a panel about experience and strategies to translate your knowledge and background into relationships and messages that influence policy at the local, state and federal level and drive change.  

Participants will be able to:

  • Increase skill and comfort with policy advocacy
  • Increase understanding education vs advocacy
  • Build strategies to match advocacy message to audience
  • Have new connections to resources to support policy advocacy



Jamie Ray-Leonetti. Institute on Disabilities at Temple University: Philadelphia, PA

Julie Christensen, MSW, PhD. Iowa's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the Center for Disabilities and Development: Iowa City, IA

Maureen van Stone, Esq. MS. Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute: Baltimore, MD



Sachin Pavithran, PhD. Center for Persons with Disabilities: Logan, UT


orange badge with letters CEU1.5 CEUs hours (social work) are available for this session through the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. Learn more, including how to get your certificate.


About Our Speakers

Photo of Jamie Ray-LeonettiJamie Ray-Leonetti

Jamie Ray-Leonetti is the Associate Director of Policy, responsible for coordinating all policy-related activities for the Institute and working on other grants and contracts related to public policy, such as the implementation of the CMS Final Rule for Home and Community-based Services. Before joining the Institute, Ms. Ray-Leonetti spent the first 20 years of her professional career advocating for individuals with disabilities throughout Pennsylvania. She has a BA in Humanities from York College of Pennsylvania and a JD from Temple University School of Law.

Julie Christensen, MSW, PhD

Photo of Julie ChristensenJulie Christensen, MSW, PhD, is the Director of Iowa's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) within University of Iowa Health Care. Christensen's background includes over 15 years' experience working with youth and young adults with disabilities and mental health challenges and their families, with an emphasis on work with urban poor and other underrepresented populations.

Christensen received undergraduate degrees from Syracuse University and a MSW from Roberts Wesleyan College. She received a PhD in Health Practice Research at the University of Rochester, with a research emphasis on quality of life for adolescents and young adults with intellectual developmental disabilities.

Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS

Photo of Maureen van StoneMaureen is the Associate Director of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute and the founding director of Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), a MCDD community-based program. Project HEAL is Maryland's only comprehensive medical-legal partnership, which provides advocacy and legal services to families and children with disabilities who receive clinical services at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Maureen is faculty for Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education and adjunct faculty at Towson University and The University of Baltimore School of Law. Maureen is a member of Kennedy Krieger Institute's ethics committee.

Maureen serves as the Vice Chair, on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, for the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. She also serves on the Committee on Improving Health Outcomes for Children with Disabilities through The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; she serves on two advisory committees for the National Council on Disability; and she serves as an expert on the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, Community of Practice on youth receiving Supplemental Security Income.

Maureen earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Southern California, a master's degree in developmental psychology at The Johns Hopkins University, and a Juris Doctor at Whittier Law School, with a concentration on children's legal issues. Prior to law school, Maureen worked as a clinician on the Neurobehavioral Unit in the Department of Behavioral Psychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute for six years. Maureen is a graduate of the Leadership Maryland Class of 2012 and received the following awards from Maryland's business and legal newspaper, The Daily Record: 2018 Top 100 Women award, 2016 Innovator of the Year, 2014 Very Important Professionals award, 2013 Maryland's Top 100 Women award, 2012 Leadership in Law award, and 2011 Leading Women award.

Sachin Pavithran, PhD

Photo of Sachin PavithranSachin Pavithran was born in India, but grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sachin came to the US at the age of 17 to start his college career at Utah State University. He graduated from USU with a degree in Business Information Systems, and another degree in Marketing. Sachin received his Masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and a PhD in Disability Disciplines from Utah State University.

Sachin has over twelve years of direct involvement in development, testing, and training for accessibility for assistive technology, extensive experience in lecturing and training others in accessible technology. Sachin provides technical assistance on accessible information technology for individuals and groups. He helps in the evaluation of products related to web accessibility and design. He sits on various boards nationally, such as, The Research and Development committee for the National Federation of the Blind, The National Multicultural Council, and Senator Hatch's Advisory board for disability policy. He was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Access Board where he currently serves as the Chairman of this agency.

Sachin aspires to be in the fore-front of establishing and implementing national and international policy that impacts people with disabilities around the world.