Presenters [2013]



Laurie Ackles

Director, Spectrum Support Program

Rochester Institute of Technology

Laurie Ackles has spent the last 3-1/2 years proudly directing the Spectrum Support Program at Rochester Institute of Technology, one of the nation’s largest college based programs supporting highly capable students on the autism spectrum.  In this role, she currently supports about 70 students with ASD through coaching, case management, and specialized seminars focused building the skills for college and adult success.  In addition, she consults with faculty and staff at institutions around the nation who are looking for better ways to support this growing college population.  Laurie is a NYS licensed Master Social Worker who, before moving into higher education, worked with students and young adults with disabilities as a school social worker and career transition specialist. Laurie has recently authored an article in the Journal of College and University Student Housing entitled, “A Collaborative Support Model for Students on the Autism Spectrum in College Housing” published in May 2013.


Kristina Alvarado

Learning Specialist

University of Southern California

Kristina Alvarado, M.Ed. joined the University of Southern California in 2010 as the Learning Specialist for the Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity. Kristina served as the Director for the Center for Advising and Academic Success at Whittier College from 2005-2010.  Kristina has 13- years of experience in academic support primarily helping diverse populations of college students identify learning, organizational, and time management strategies as well as developing academic mentoring and tutoring programs. At USC, Kristina has a special focus in providing specialized learning assistance to students with executive functioning and other diagnosed learning disabilities.


Paula Barber

Senior Research Project Manager

Rutgers University-School of Social Work

Paula Barber, LCSW is the research project manager for the Evaluation of Discharges from Hagedorn State Hospital into the Community.   Most recently, she was the project manager responsible for planning, coordinating and managing the New Jersey Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (DiscoverAbility NJ) at the Rutgers University Heldrich Center for Workforce Development where she worked in  managing the partnership with the state and grant subcontractors to improve the employment of people with disabilities.   Paula has a BA from Binghamton University in NY, a Masters in Social Work from the University at Albany in NY and is a licensed clinical social worker and a graduate of Rutgers Certificate Program in Nonprofit and Public Management.  She has a wide range of experiences including roles in the private sector, the nonprofit sector and in community services for people with disabilities. She has developed an understanding of diverse cultures through her experience as a clinician doing home visits to individuals with medical challenges in need of community services in upstate New York and in urban and suburban New Jersey. Paula also has skill and a depth of knowledge in grant management, budgeting and finance, leadership, marketing, IT, human resources, strategic and change management and has a track record of managing a diverse portfolio of projects and constituents.


Mary Barrows

Director, Learning Disabilities Program

Northeastern University

Mary Barrows, M.Ed., is Director of the Learning Disabilities Program (LDP) at Northeastern University. Mary is responsible for administering all aspects of the LDP including fiscal oversight, and hiring, training, evaluating, and providing leadership to professional staff. Mary also directly instructs and advises students with LD and AD(H)D. Additionally, she is a member of the Documentation Review Committee, dedicated to the evaluation and interpretation of disability documentation with the purpose of determining reasonable accommodations. She has also served as Chairperson for the summer orientation/transition-to-college program offered through Northeastern’s Disability Resource Center. As a founding member of this committee, she has presented this model at the AHEAD annual conference in 2010 and 2011. In her many years of experience, Mary has developed a strong interest in collaborating with faculty and staff to raise awareness of diverse learning styles. Mary holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Boston College in special education as well as post graduate training in psycho-educational/neuropsychological assessment and in management leadership.


Andrew Cioffi

Assistant Director of Disability Services

Suffolk University

Andrew Cioffi is a graduate of Suffolk University in Boston Massachusetts, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education in Foundations of Education. Andrew has returned to Suffolk University professionally as the Assistant Director of Disability Services. His areas of expertise include integration of technology into all aspects of a disability services operation, as well as training faculty, staff, and students on the usage of academic and assistive technology, in addition to the creation of alternative format course materials, with particular focus on materials for blind and low vision students, and ultimately, universal design. Andrew’s adjunct teaching experience includes Anatomy and Physiology, First Year Seminar, and Career Exploration and Development. Currently, Andrew serves as the chair of the New England AHEAD Assistive Technology Committee.

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Della Clarke, Ed.D.

Faculty within the Schools of Access and Health and Human Services

Nova Scotia Community College

Della Clarke has a MA in Special Education and an EdD in Adult Education from the University of Toronto. After working in a variety of research and teaching positions in Ontario, she moved to Nova Scotia in 1999 when she was offered a position with Nova Scotia Community College. She is presently faculty within the Schools of Access and Health and Human Services at Burridge Campus in Yarmouth, NS. Della has a continuing interest in the areas of reading instruction and learning disabilities.


Lori Corcoran

Dean of Special Populations

Quinsigamond Community College

Dr. Lori Corcoran received her doctorate in Educational Policy, Research, and Administration at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She serves as the Dean of Special Populations with her responsibilities as supervisor of Assistive Technology, the Office of Disability Services, Transition Center for First-Year Students, Veteran Support Office, and multiple grant projects. She has over 25 years of experience in the educational field. Her expertise is in the areas of disabilities, first year students, persistence/retention, and grants.


Parveen Dhatt-Sangha

Learning Startegist/Counsellor

Centennial College

Parveen Dhatt-Sangha has been working in the post secondary field for the past 12 years in the capacity of a Learning Strategist/Counsellor in the Centre for Students with Disabilities at Centennial College in Toronto Ontario. She has a special interest in training and creating awareness within the college community about the issues pertinent to students with disabilities and how disabilities intersect with various other “ism” such as ethnicity and gender. Parveen has always been a advocate for change, as a part of her recent sabbatical leave she researched and developed a transitions to employment program for students with disabilities, an area that has received less recognition than transitions into college. She is also committed to social justice issues and has presented at various college wide functions offering a framework or “cultural lens” to assist students with disabilities. Parveen has a B.Sc, as Psychology Specialist from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science in Counselling Therapy from Canisius College In Buffalo.

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Lauri DiGalbo, M.Ed., CRC, LPC

Disability Services Specialist for CREC/ATDN and Adjunct Faculty

Central Connecticut State University

Ms DiGalbo is a nationally recognized expert in post secondary education and psychiatric disabilities. She developed an interest in accommodating students with these disabilities during her 21 years as the Disability Consultant for the State of Connecticut focusing on the transition of youth with psychiatric disabilities to post secondary education and employment. Laura is currently on the graduate faculty of Central Connecticut State University and in private practice providing training and consultation to colleges and universities nationally, as well as internationally, with regard to accommodating students with psychiatric disabilities, cognition and behavior policy development


Vanessa Dominguez

Access Specialist; Internship , Counseling and Transition Services Coordinator

California Polytechnic State University – Disability Resource Center

Vanessa Dominguez has worked in the field of mental health for the past twelve years. After obtaining her B.A. from UC Berkeley, she attended a Counseling Psychology & Dance/Movement Therapy program at Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, NH. Vanessa is experienced working with a variety of disabilities, including developmental, psychiatric, learning, attentional, health and mobility related populations.  Vanessa interned as a counselor at TNT Alternative School in Keene, NH, and as an expressive arts therapist at CTDS in Lexington, MA. She worked as a rehabilitation counselor with Bay Cove Human Services in Boston, MA and managed a residential facility for adults with developmental disabilities with the Barry L. Price Rehabilitation Center in Newton, MA. Vanessa has held her current position with the Disability Resource Center at California Polytechnic State University for the past 4 ½ years.

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Mark Greenberg, Ph.D.


Harvard Medical School

Mark S. Greenberg, Ph.D., is Boston-based clinical neuropsychologist specializing in the diagnostic assessment and treatment of a range of medical, neurological and psychiatric conditions. Following his undergraduate years at SUNY Stony Brook, he pursued graduate study in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a Masters degree in 1979 and a Doctorate in 1981. Following an internship year, he accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at the New England Deaconess Hospital, where he went on to establish and head the Psychology Service. Since 1991, he has been engaged in private practice. In 2009 he joined a team at the Massachusetts General Hospital that is investigating the recovery of function from mild traumatic brain injury. Dr. Greenberg consults to a range of private and public sector agencies and institutions, and is an experienced teacher and lecturer. He holds the title of Clinical Instructor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School.


Karen Hamilton

Director of Student Academic Support Services

McDaniel College

Karen Hamilton, McDaniel College Director of Student Academic Support Services, is responsible for student disability services and the development and implementation of multiple academic support programs. Karen has a BA in Communications and a MA in Special Education from Shippensburg University. Karen’s professional experience in the business world, along with her educational experience, brings a unique set of skills to Student Academic Support Services. Since starting at McDaniel College in the spring of 2011, Karen has been restructuring, assessing, developing and implementing academic support programs, such as: Academic Skills Program, PASS, MAP, Jan-Term Study Abroad trips, and McDaniel Step Ahead. Karen is also certified to teach Special Education and English (7-12).


Barbara Hammer

Director, Office of Disability Services

University of Missouri

Barbara Hammer is the Director of the Office of Disability Services at the University of Missouri.  Barb has over 12 years’ experience in disability services in higher education, and over 30 years in the field of disability services in general (public and private sector).  She is a seasoned counselor and consultant, and has a wide range of experience in the areas of education and employment of persons with disabilities.  Her interests are in universal design in education, study abroad, and technology accessibility.  She is a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), is Vice-President of the Missouri Association on Higher Education and Disability (MOAHEAD) and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Services for Independent Living in Columbia.


Debra Hart

Director, Education & Transition

University of Massachusetts Boston

Debra Hart is the Director of Education and Transition at the Institute for Community Inclusion at University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has over 30 years of experience working with youth with disabilities, their families, faculty, and professionals that support youth in becoming valued members of their community via participation in inclusive secondary and postsecondary education and integrated competitive employment. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator for two national postsecondary education grants. The National Coordinating Center is conducting an evaluation of 27 model postsecondary education initiatives to better understand their policies and practices in different postsecondary education options and their impact on student outcomes. The National Consortium on Postsecondary Education provides training and technical assistance to enhance existing postsecondary education initiatives and to grow the choice of a higher education for youth with intellectual disability nationwide.


Linda Hecker

Lead Education Specialist

Landmark College Institute for Research and Training

Linda R. Hecker, has taught at Landmark College since its founding in 1985. She has directed tutorial and teacher training programs, taught English, study skills, and music classes, and served as an academic advisor and academic dean. She was appointed to the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training in 2001, and currently serves as Lead Education Specialist. She frequently presents workshops, seminars and graduate courses for educators and parents. Ms. Hecker is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, including work on multisensory learning and Assistive Technology. In 2012 she developed and delivered a training series on implementing new state-wide standards for teaching writing to adults (Teaching Writing: Universally Designed Instruction for Adults) for the Washington State Board of Technical and Community Colleges. She received her B.A. from Brandeis University and her M. Ed from the University of Hartford.


Liz Henley

Associate Director, Office of Disability Services

Southern New Hampshire University

Liz Henley is the Associate Director of the Office of Disability Services at Southern New Hampshire University. She graduated from SNHU with her M.Ed. in Elementary Education with General Special Education certification. She is currently in the process of obtaining her Ph.D. in Education from Walden University where she is specializing in Educational Technology.  In addition to having a case load of students, she works with assistive technology and the textbook conversion process. Outside of disability services, she also teaches at SNHU in a variety of subject areas.


William E. Hitchings

Coordinator, Postsecondary Disability Certificate Program

St. Ambrose University

Mr. Hitchings is on the faculty of St. Ambrose Univeristy, Davenport, IA. He teaches in the special education program and serves as the co-ordinator for the graduate certificate in Post-secondary Disability Services. His research interests are transition, career decision-making and planning for college students, and effective teaching.


Jeanne Kincaid


Drummond, Woodsum, & MacMahon

Jeanne Kincaid is a nationally known disability lawyer and consultant, representing public schools, colleges and universities nationwide on a host of disability and special education issues, including the physical accessibility requirements imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Jeanne has been a special education hearing officer and mediator for the State of New Hampshire, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Hampshire’s Graduate School of Education, Antioch University and Franklin Pierce Law Center. Jeanne worked in an advisory capacity with AHEAD, a national organization with membership consisting of higher education staff that coordinate services for students with disabilities. She has held staff attorney positions with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the Oregon Department of Education, and served as a hearing officer for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and the New Hampshire Department of Education. She has been a contributing author to “Section 504, the ADA and the Schools” and “Disability Compliance for Higher Education.”


Kym Kleinsmith

Adaptive Technology Specialist/Educational Support Specialist

Reading Area Community College

Kym Kleinsmith has worked with adults with disabilities in various capacities for the last 17 years. She has been the Director of an ICCD-certified psychiatric rehabilitation program (Clubhouse), and a job coach for people with disabilities. Currently, she is not only a general Disability Services staff member, but also a specialist in Assistive Technology at Reading Area Community College in Pennsylvania. She is experienced at creating and presenting information sessions to faculty on disability-related topics, and partners with high schools to provide postsecondary transition programs and events.


Martha Lee-Sullivan

Learning Instructor for Students with Disabilities

University of Pennsylvania

Marty Lee-Sullivan is the Learning Instructor for Students with Disabilities at University of Pennsylvania’s Weingarten Learning Resources Center. She has worked with children and adults with disabilities for 18 years including the last six years in Higher Education. Marty received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Education from Cedar Crest College and her Master’s Degree in Education from Lehigh University. At UPenn, she provides individual instruction in academic reading, writing, studying and time management for Penn students, develops and facilitates workshops and outreach events on a variety of learning and study strategies and serves on several university-wide committees.

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Janet Levey, MSN, RN-BC, CNE

Assistant Professor

Concordia University Wisconsin

Janet Levey earned her B.S.N. with honors from De Paul University in 1982 and her M.S.N. from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2008. She is currently working on her doctorate in Nursing at Marquette University. Janet is a Nurses Certified Nurse Educator (NLN) and is also board certified in Ambulatory Care Nursing (ANCC). Janet began her professional nursing career as a pediatric nurse clinician at Evanston Hospital, Evanston, IL. She gained additional pediatric experience at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL where she worked as a charge nurse in the thirty-two specialty clinics of the Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center. Janet has worked for Aurora Healthcare in Pediatrics, Family Practice and Urgent Care and consulted on the development of high-fidelity simulation scenarios/workshops for Aurora Healthcare’s Nurse Residency Program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In academia, Janet has taught in Wisconsin pre-licensure and RN-to-BSN completion programs. Currently, Janet is an assistant professor at Concordia University Wisconsin teaching in the classroom, simulation lab, and long-term care setting with her service dog

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Will Lindstrom, Ph.D.


Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders, University of Georgia

Will Lindstrom earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia (UGA) in 2005. He completed postdoctoral training at the Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders (RCLD) at UGA and the Neurocognitive Assessment Lab of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He returned to the RCLD at UGA as Head of Evaluation in 2007, becoming the Director in 2009. Will is licensed as a psychologist in Georgia and Virginia. He is a member of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Georgia Association of School Psychologists. His research interests relate to postsecondary students with high-incidence disabilities and include secondary to postsecondary transition, retention and graduation for students with learning disorders, and symptom validity assessment. First-authored papers have been published in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, The Clinical Neuropsychologist, Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Psychology in the Schools, and Social Psychology of Education.


Anne Lundquist

Doctoral Associate

Western Michigan University

Anne Lundquist has twenty years of increasing administrative responsibilities in higher education, having served as the dean of students at four liberal arts colleges. Using her expertise in several areas, Anne has presented on risk management, institutional liability, students with psychiatric disabilities, assessment and strategic planning, and the development and implementation of integrated community standards/restorative justice judicial models. She is the co-author of The Student Affairs Handbook: Translating Legal Principles into Effective Policies (LRP, 2007). Anne received her BA in Religious Studies from Albion College and her MFA from Western Michigan University in Creative Writing. Currently, Anne is a PhD candidate in the Educational Leadership program at Western Michigan University with a concentration in Higher Education Administration, where she works with the vice president of student affairs on student affairs assessment and strategic planning. Her dissertation research study is entitled Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) in Colleges and Universities: Decision-making and Administration Processes Regarding the Adoption, Implementation and Integration of ERM.


Joseph Madaus

Associate Professor, Educational Psychology and Director, Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability

University of Connecticut

Dr. Joseph Madaus is the Director of the Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. In 2007, Dr. Madaus received both the Teaching Promise and Teaching Innovation award from the University of Connecticut chapter of the American Association of University Professors. In 2008, he was named as a University Teaching Fellow, the highest teaching honor at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Madaus was a Distinguished Research Fellow in the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Mary Switzer Fellowship program in 2003-2004. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, Learning Disabilities Quarterly, Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, and Career Development for Exceptional Individuals. He was named reviewer of the year for CDEI in 2008. Dr. Madaus is a co-editor of Preparing Students with Disabilities for College: A Practical Guide for Transition. He is the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator for over $1.3 million in grants, including UDI On-Line (, a current three-year project funded by the Office for Postsecondary Education, United States Department of Education


Larry Markle

Director, Disability Services

Ball State University

Larry Markle is the director of disability services at Ball State University where he oversees the university’s efforts to serve over 600 students with disabilities.  Larry is a past president of the Indiana Association on Higher Education and Disability and serves on the review board for the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability.  He was also the project director for “Ensuring a Quality Education for Indiana’s Students with Disabilities,” a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education.  Larry’s research interests include the transition to higher education for students with disabilities and athletic opportunities for students with disabilities.


Bridget McNamee

Assistant Director of Disability Services

Wentworth Institute of Technology

The Interview Preparation Team at Wentworth Institute of Technology is comprised of Co-op Advisor Bridget Aureli, Technology and Events Specialist Peter Cochrane, and Bridget McNamee and Judy Moss, both Assistant Directors of Wellness and Disability Services. Bridget Aureli has a degree from Gordon College and a background in education and human resources and came to Wentworth 2 years ago after working in talent acquisition for Osram Sylvania. Peter Cochrane has been in the Career Services department for 6 years and is currently working on his M.S. in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College. Bridget McNamee has a M.S. Ed from Simmons College and came to Wentworth 5 years ago after working as a special education teacher. Judy Moss has been at Wentworth for 9 years and holds advanced degrees in education and counseling from the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts and is a candidate to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.


Jeffrey Nolan


Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, PC

Jeffrey J. Nolan’s litigation and counseling practice with Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C. focuses on: representing employers and institutions of higher education before courts and administrative agencies in employment and student-related matters; advising employers and institutions of higher education on the resolution and legal implications of employment and student-related issues; and assisting employers and institutions of higher education in the development and implementation of appropriate policies, handbooks and training programs. Mr. Nolan speaks regularly at national, regional and local-audience seminars on employment law issues and legal issues affecting colleges and universities. He often provides training for and consults with clients around the country regarding workplace violence prevention, campus threat assessment, and sexual violence prevention and response. In 2009-2011, Mr. Nolan participated as a subject matter expert in the development of the curriculum for a U.S. Department of Justice-funded program, “Campus Threat Assessment Training: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Institutions of Higher Education,” and co-presented that training at 10 locations throughout the United States. Mr. Nolan has published numerous nationally-distributed articles regarding threat assessment (in both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed journals), employment law, and related issues, and he contributes regularly to the Vermont Employment Law Letter authored and edited by the firm. Mr. Nolan is listed in Chambers & Partners America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Labor and Employment law, in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Labor and Employment law, and in New England Super Lawyers in the area of Employment and Labor law.

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Amy Silverman, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Regents Center for Learning Disorders at Georgia State University

Amy Silverman, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and Director of Research at Georgia State University’s Regents Center for Learning Disorders (RCLD). She received her Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and completed a 2-year APA-sponsored research fellowship at the University of Maryland that focused on conducting program evaluation in school-based settings. Dr. Silverman’s current clinical work at the RCLD involves training doctoral psychology students and conducting comprehensive psycho-educational evaluations on students seeking college-level accommodations for learning difficulties. Current research involves surveying the approximately 100 students seen each year at the RCLD to better understand what accommodations they are using or not using, barriers to accommodation usage, and whether accommodation usage leads to improved educational outcomes (e.g., better grades, graduation rate). Areas of expertise include neuropsychological assessment of children and adults with learning disabilities and program evaluation.

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Jane Thierfeld Brown

Director of Student Services

University of Connecticut School of Law

Jane Thierfeld Brown is Director of Student Services at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She has worked in Disability Services for 34 years. Dr. Brown received her B.A. from the University of Rhode Island in Speech Pathology. While coordinator of disability services at URI she received her M.S. in Counseling and M.A. in Education. She holds an Ed.D from Columbia University, Teachers College. At Barnard College she directed a federal grant program on women with disabilities in higher education. Dr. Brown’s main research interests are students with Asperger’s Syndrome in higher education and students with disabilities in high stakes graduate programs. She consults at many higher education institutions and is a frequent speaker at conferences on Asperger’s Syndrome. She co-authored, “Students with Asperger’s : A Guide for College Professionals,” which was published in 2009. The second volume, “The Parent’s Guide to College for Students on the Autism Spectrum,” was published in 2012 and “Social Behavior and Self Regulation,” also published in 2012. Dr. Brown consults with colleges, students and families around the country on issues for students with autism spectrum disorders. She has three children, the youngest being a 21 year old son on the spectrum.