When we moved into our new location, we had 10 meeting rooms that needed to be named. We are proud to be part of a world -wide culture that advocates and supports everyone. No matter what their gifts and abilities, we all have a human right to a life we choose and will not be judged by a system that collectively places us in a setting based on a diagnosis.
Our meeting rooms have been named after leaders and advocates in the disability, brain injury, and elder care services field. We are inspired to have these passionate people honored in this small way.
Marsha Forest, EdD, was a pioneering advocate for inclusion. Throughout her career, she served as Assistant Professor of Education at York University, the Director of Education at Frontier College, and as a visiting scholar at the G. Allan Rocher Institute, formerly the National Institute on Mental Retardation.
Angela Amado, who worked for Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration for nearly twenty-five years, has spent her professional career promoting person-centered approaches and social inclusion.
Judith Snow, M.A., was an actor, artist, writer, nature enthusiast, and leading international activist for inclusion. She created Canada’s first post-secondary learning support program, at York University. She also served on the faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute, and was the founder and leader of several community-based non-profit organizations.
Michael Smull has been working with people who use long-term supports and services since 1972. He is the senior partner in Support Development Associates and the founder and Chair of The Learning Community for Person-Centered Practices. He is the co-developer of a person-centered thinking curricula and of essential lifestyle planning.
After her daughter sustained a brain injury in 1975 at age fifteen, and her son Jon was killed in a motorcycle accident only one year later, Marilyn co-founded both the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and the National Head Injury Foundation (NHIF), both with her husband Dr. Martin Spivak.
Kevin is a former professional snowboarder who broke records in his field. In 2009, while training for the Vancouver Olympics he sustained a TBI during a run on the half pipe.
Kevin started his career in Human Services in a New York institution when he was 16 years old. He continued his career with twelve years of service at Washington County Mental Health and for sixteen years he was the Executive Director of Sterling Area Services (presently named Green Mountain Support Services).
Herb Lovett was a beloved scholar, teacher, musician, writer, community activist, and fierce advocate for people with disabilities. His work has been instrumental in guiding us to understand that people use ‘difficult’ behavior to communicate their needs and life stories, and that respectful, positive approaches are necessary to effective support.
Ed Roberts is an American disability rights activist who is considered the founder of the independent-living movement. Roberts contracted polio at age 14 and was paralyzed from the neck down. Requiring a respirator to breathe, he experienced tremendous challenges obtaining his education during both high school and college but with his family’s support and his own clear-minded advocacy, he prevailed.
David Pitonyak is an internationally recognized behavioral consultant who works directly with individuals experiencing challenges, and also provides consultation and training to schools and agencies that provide support services.
Dan is a clinical psychologist and founder of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), a treatment approach for children who have experienced the trauma of abuse and/or neglect, and who demonstrate ongoing problems with relationships.
The Queen Mother of Gnarly” —At age 10 she was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Despite numerous surgeries during high school, she was educated in the public school system and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR), and an Alzheimer's caregiver. His mother Dorothy lived with Alzheimer's disease.
One of the most important characters in the history of services to persons with developmental disabilities in the US was Swedish. While Elizabeth Boggs had a major effect on increasing Federal involvement in financing of services for persons with developmental disabilities, Bengt Nirje greatly affected how the resources were used.