Conference Header
Conference Header

AUCD - Workshop: NSIP

<< Back to Program

Bringing National Service Opportunities to Scale within your UCEDD and Community

Sunday, October 31, 2010 9:00 am - 11:30 am

Location: Potomac Room I

Session Description

Many University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) have embraced national service as a valued option for individuals with disabilities to gain skills, build self-confidence, and explore career and/or post-secondary opportunities while contributing to their communities in a meaningful way. Join us as we explore how UCEDDs and LENDs have integrated national service into their programs and the resources they have utilized to further connect with their respective communities through service.

Featured Presenter(s)


Paula Sotnik: Paula has over twenty-five years of experience working as a director, curriculum developer, trainer, and diversity and disability specialist. She oversees the National Service Inclusion Project, the national T&TA center on accessibility and disability issues since 2001, funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Ms. Sotnik has served as a lead training consultant and author on culture brokering for the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Prior to this project, she developed and coordinated several capacity-building projects with community organizations that examined the experiences of individuals with disabilities from diverse cultures related to person-centered planning and assistive technology. Paula has served on several consumer advocacy boards, consulted nationally, and conducted presentations and published on topics related to diversity and disability, accommodations, responsive outreach strategies, and developing the capacity of organizations to include individuals with disabilities. She is a current member of AUCD's Multicultural Council. Paula has undergraduate degrees in social work and psychology and has taken graduate courses in business and nonprofit management.

Jason Wheeler:   Senior Program Manager, Institute for Community Inclusion/UCEDD. For the past 16 years, Jason has been professionally committed to youth leadership and development. Jason's experience was catalyzed by his extensive involvement in National Service programs focused on issues related to education, disability inclusion and social justice. Before joining the NSIP Team, Jason worked extensively with a wide range of people with disabilities in the areas of independent living, access to technology, community involvement, employment, and case management. He has, throughout his life, served as a volunteer and in community service roles. Jason is a graduate trainee of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program at Children's Hospital Boston, a graduate level interdisciplinary training for health professionals. 

Sheila Fesko: Project Director, National Service to Employment Project (NextSTEP),Institute for Community Inclusion/UCEDD. Sheila L. Fesko. is the program manager at the Institute for Community Inclusion based at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and has 25 years of experience working on the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. As the director of National Service to Employment Program (NextSTEP) Sheila is working with the Corporation for National Community Service on the identification of best practices and models that support employment opportunities for youth with disability through community service and volunteerism. Areas of her research include inclusion of people with disabilities in the generic workforce development system, effective job development strategies and universal strategies to support inclusion of all employees in the workplace. Sheila has an extensive history of national and international training of employers, community providers and workforce development personnel. Sheila has a Ph.D. from Boston College in Rehabilitation Administration. She has also worked at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (the state vocational rehabilitation commission) and as a program manager for a community-based employment program, and is a certified rehabilitation counselor.

Bob Shogren:   Bob Shogren, Executive Director, Arizona Governor's Commission on Service and Volunteerism. Bob Shogren serves the as the Executive Director of the Arizona Governor's Commission on Service and Volunteerism.  The Commission is comprised of 26 Arizona citizens appointed by the Governor, provides oversight to Arizona's AmeriCorps programs, recommends volunteer and national service policy to the Governor and endeavors to promote the volunteerism of people of all ages and abilities throughout the state. In October 2009, the Arizona Commission was recognized with the Spirit of Inclusion in Service Award for Excellence in Partnering by the CNCS, NSIP, ICI at UMass and the AUCD.  In addition, the Arizona Commission was also recognized with the Community Partnership Awards by the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Division for leadership in expanding the observance of the King Holiday through volunteer service. Through the efforts of the Commission in partnership with the Northern Arizona University Institute for Human Development, the Arizona National Service Inclusion Work Team has successfully contributed to increasing the number of people with disabilities to 13% of the AmeriCorps*State member slots, significantly increased participation of people with in AmeriCorps*VISTA and Learn and Serve Arizona programs, had has been working to institutionalize the diversity and disability inclusion initiative across Commission policy and practice.

Jewel Bazilio-Bellegarde :  Jewel Bazilio-Bellegarde, Sr. Training Officer for Disability Inclusion and Evaluation, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Jewel Bazilio-Bellegarde, joined CNCS in its formative days in 1994 and currently serves as a Senior Training Officer for Disability Inclusion and Evaluation in the Office of Leadership Development and Training.  Her responsibilities include working to strengthen the capacity of national service grantees to effectively develop, manage and implement training and disability inclusion plans; managing the provider agreement for the Corporation's disability inclusion and evaluation initiatives; representing the Corporation on various disability inclusion federal initiatives; and working to ensure that national service grantees develop and sustain inclusive environments that welcome and meaningfully integrate people with disabilities.  This includes building partnerships between the national service and disability communities and strengthening the knowledge and skills of national service programs so that they can be fully inclusive.  Jewel has extensive experience in program management, cross-cultural communication, and human and community development through training and technical assistance, and is passionate about helping others realize their full potential.  Her previous assignments before joining the Corporation include directing a multi-disciplined clinical fellowship program; managing an international primary health care and community development project; and working on the faculty and institutional development of an international university.  Jewel is fluent in four languages and has a Bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a Master's from Columbia University in New York, N.Y.

Diane Lenz: Diane Lenz has over 25 years experience in the field of developmental and other disabilities. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Therapy and a Master's Degree in Special Education. In 2000-2001 she spent 18 months in Washington, D.C. working with the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee as a Disability Policy Fellow. Diane has been a Project Coordinator at the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University since 1984 and currently leads implementation teams on three of the Institute's projects:*The Arizona National Service Inclusion Project*The Disability Experience*The Navajo Nation First Things First Home Visiting Program. Diane's professional passions include family support, self-determination, and public policy. 

Anne Riordan: Anne is a Project Specialist with AUCD and works with both the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) and University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) Technical Assistance projects. Anne was a Fulbright Fellow in Mongolia (2007-2008), where she conducted research on Mongolian teachers' perceptions of disability in the classroom. She has presented the results of her research internationally at the 2008 International Conference on Modern Mongolia, at the University of British Columbia, and more recently at The Council for Exceptional Children's International Conference on Inclusive Education in July 2010, Riga, Latvia. Anne served in the United States Peace Corps, Choibalsan City, Mongolia 2003-2005, and is currently the Co-Director of Friends of Mongolia, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, focusing on scholarships and community grants in Mongolia.  Anne completed a master's degree in Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, and graduated from DePaul University, Chicago with a degree in Secondary Education in 2003.