2024 Charting the LifeCourse Ohio Showcase

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Meet our Speakers

Keynote: Dr. Al Condeluci

Dr. Al Condeluci has been a leader in community building, human services, and inclusive advocacy work for the past 50 years. Holding a PhD and MSW from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Condeluci served as the CEO of CLASS (Community Living and Support Services) a major nonprofit, community-building organization in Pittsburgh, PA from 1973 to 2019. He holds faculty status at the University of Pittsburgh in the Schools of Social Work, and Health, Rehab Sciences and is the author of 7 books including the acclaimed, Interdependence: The Route to Community (1995) and Social Capital: The Key to Macro Change (2014). In 2018, he received the “Key to the City of Pittsburgh,” the highest civilian honor that can be given to a community member. He serves as a consultant, advisor, and human service coach and is on several nonprofit boards and government commissions on state, local, and national levels. He can be reached at www.alcondeluci.com, or @acondeluci on X (Formerly Twitter).

Session 1A: Forging the Way with CtLC

Nicole Bowen is the Director of Service and Support Administration with the Hancock County Board of DD, also known as Blanchard Valley Center. Nicole has been with Blanchard Valley Center for 12 years. She started as a Service and Support Administrator, gradually advancing through different roles over the years. She is actively involved in several community groups, including the Great Lakes Guardianship Services Board, Family Stability, Hancock County Crisis Committee, Suicide Prevention Committee, and more. Before working at Blanchard Valley Center, Nicole held roles in the juvenile justice system, and mental health services, as well as assisting the homeless population before finding her passion for working with people with developmental disabilities. She lives in Findlay, Ohio with her husband and two children. In her free time, she loves spending time outside going on walks, hikes, and watching her son play baseball. 

Session 1B: Disrupting the Status Quo

Lynne Shields is a supervisor at West Geauga Local School District with over 30 years of experience in the field of special education. She became a Charting the LifeCourse ambassador in June 2023 and has been working with her colleagues to integrate the framework and principles into the district's systems to help students lead their best lives. Lynne holds a Ph.D. in Educational Services and Research (Applied Behavior Analysis), an M.A. in Special Education, and a B.A. in Physical Education from The Ohio State University. 

Amy LaMotte Davis is a Pupil Services Director in the West Geauga Local School District.

Previously, she worked in the Shaker Heights City Schools as a Curriculum Director, principal, intervention specialist and history teacher.

Amy holds a B.A. in French from Allegheny College, an M.A. in Education from Baldwin-Wallace University, an M.A. in Leadership from John Carroll University, and is working toward a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership this summer. 

Michelle Frygier served as a Parent Mentor for the five school districts in Geauga County from August 2020 to December 2023. She became a Charting the LifeCourse ambassador in December 2023 and presented on the postsecondary transition process for special education students at OCALICON 2022 and the Let’s Connect Conference in May 2023. Michelle received her Board Certification for Advocacy in Special Education through the National Association of Special Education Teachers in June 2023. She previously held various positions in development and marketing at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Michelle holds a B.A. in Psychology and Art History and an M.A. in Art History from Case Western Reserve University. 

Sara Salsbury is an Intervention Specialist at West Geauga Local School District. She has been teaching special education since 2001 and has previously worked at ESC of the Western Reserve and Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Sara has experience teaching students with disabilities from kindergarten to high school in various classroom settings. She holds teaching licenses in Mild to Moderate and Moderate to Intensive with endorsements in Reading (PreK-12) and Transition to Work (7-12). In December 2023, Sara became a Charting the LifeCourse ambassador and is working to incorporate the tools across her school district, not just in her classroom. Sara is passionate about the postsecondary transition process for all special education students, especially those with the most intensive needs. She firmly believes that all individuals can find happiness and success within their community. Sara holds a B.S. in Education and an M.Ed. in Professional Teacher of Reading.

Session 2-Ohio Education -Building Champions

Dr. Sarah Westerfield Brooks is the Assistant Director for Supports and Monitoring in the Office for Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education. Sarah has a PhD in Special Education from the University of Pittsburgh and has a range of experience from early intervention through college transition for individuals with differences. She specializes in family-professional partnerships and collaboration between teams in special education.  

My name is Dawn Millhouse and I am the Parent Mentor for Centerville and Oakwood Schools. I am also a wife and mother to 3 children who are all adults now. Madison is 24, Jacki is 22 and Alan is 19. Jacki was on a IEP from the 2nd grade until her junior year for a specific reading disability and ADHD. Alan has Down syndrome and went through Help Me Grow, transitioned to school-aged services at age 3, and will graduate this year; however, we will defer his diploma and continue with Centerville in their transitional program. As a Parent Mentor, I love making sure that parents feel supported through the special education process because I remember feeling alone and unsure along the way. 

My name is Caitlin Kosec. I am a Special Education Supervisor at the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio. I supervise all transition services for our districts. This school year is my 13th year in education, and my seventh year working with transitional-age students (age 14-22+). My current position allows me to help students transition to employment, further education, enlisting in a branch of the military. It also allows me to provide resources for students and their families to promote independence and allow their dreams to become reality. I got involved in Charting the Life Course last school year through the Ambassador training and I have continued to use the tools with the students and their families that I work with

Amy Freeman is the Statewide Transition Programs Coordinator and 1:1 Reading Mentoring Program Director for the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD). She provides both transition training/support and reading mentoring training/support to youth, families, schools, and organizations statewide. Amy has been on the staff of OCECD since 2014. She collaborates with other agencies to provide transition resources for youth and families. Amy is also the lead for ODE’s Reading Tips for Families website. Amy holds an M.Ed. in Special Education. She was the former director of Project MORE and has over 45 years of experience working as a teacher, workshop director, behavior specialist, superintendent, statewide preschool reviewer, and DD consultant. Amy’s youngest brother had Down Syndrome and was the inspiration for her life’s work. 

Session 3A: CtLC-It Starts in Early Intervention

Erica Wallace is the Children and Families Advisor at the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities. She is passionate about supporting and advocating for all children and families throughout the state of Ohio. Prior to her current role, she served in Early Intervention in Scioto County for approximately 14 years working with children and families. She also serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate(CASA) for Children and strives to make a small difference in any child's life. 

Susan Jones is a trainer, advocate, and facilitator of supporting families in their journey with their loved ones from birth throughout the lifespan. She has worked as a speech-language pathologist, developmental specialist, administrator, and most recently as a consultant with the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD. Her credentials include a B.S. in Speech, Language, and Audiology from BGSU and an MS in Education Administration from the University of Dayton.

Session 3B-Empowering Change-CtLC for Enhancing Adult Day Support Service Quality

Britta Hough is a regional Community Life Engagement Project Manager with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Britta holds a Master of Education Degree in Special Education with a specialization in Secondary Transition. She has been providing training and technical assistance to stakeholders in NE Ohio since 2016, and prior to that has experience as an intervention specialist and service and support administrator at the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Britta became a Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador in 2021. Her primary focus is to ensure that people eligible for services through Ohio’s developmental disability system will have increased opportunities to live, work, and thrive in their homes and communities through state-of-the-art planning, innovative technology and supports that focus on their talents, interests, and skills.

Jenna Allen is a Transition to Adulthood Consultant in the OCALI Lifespan Transitions Center. Her professional experience includes provision and supervision of services to youth and adults with disabilities, with a primary focus on community inclusion and integrated employment, and frontline roles in the fields of education and community health. She is also a Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador and Presenter.

Session 4A-Empowering Independence: Unveiling SafeinHome's Integration of the LifeCourse Framework to Support Individuals with IDD

With over 25 years of experience in learning and development, Suzanne Ivie is a dedicated leader at SafeinHome. As the National Training Manager, she skillfully shapes and implements expansive learning initiatives, elevating employee performance and aligning seamlessly with SafeinHome's mission. Suzanne's innovative spirit and commitment extend to her advocacy for the IDD community, making her a respected figure in her field and a catalyst for positive change. Based in Fleming Island, Florida, Suzanne holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology, serves as a master facilitator for various training programs, and enjoys family time, gardening, writing, and supporting animal welfare non-profits.

Christopher Cooley, a legally blind and deaf individual from Portsmouth, Ohio, thrives with his golden retriever service dog, Larkin. A former Helen Keller Institute student, Chris is a positive dreamer and a staunch advocate for disabled rights. His collaboration with Ohio lawmakers led to the passage of Ohio Bill 121 in May 2016, establishing the first "Service Dog Awareness Week" in the U.S. every July.

Passionate about remote support technologies, Chris promotes their role in enhancing independence for those with disabilities. His mantra is clear: "Individuals with disabilities can achieve their goals, doing things differently if needed."

Session 4B-Supporting SSAs Around Supportive Tech and the Ohio ISP

Tracey Schalk has worked in the DD field for 11 years and has been an SSA for 9 years. She has worked for small and large County Boards of DD and has served people from age three through advanced ages. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and Disability Studies from The Ohio State University. She currently works for the Clearwater COG as a Services Specialist. In this position, she determines eligibility for County Board services, is on the mock accreditation team, provides substitute SSA services, and conducts Services Excellence Reviews. She has lived with a physical disability since birth and has a passion for ensuring other people with disabilities have access to everything, they need to live their best life.