Regina Snowden Inducted into Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Regina Snowden into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Regina Snowden, M.S.W., is the Founder of Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc. and has been the Executive Director since its inception. She brings a wealth of knowledge on mentoring and management, and works closely with the Board of Directors to oversee and manage the agency. Regina Snowden has over 28 years of experience in managing not-for-profit organizations. Since founding PYD in 1985, she has played a major role in the creation of successful programs and securing funding which has enabled the organization to help Massachusetts youth with disabilities overcome barriers by providing mentoring, education, entrepreneurship, health, recreational and cultural opportunities. Ms. Snowden designed the Mentor Match program which has received the Award of Excellence in Children’s Health from the Harvard School of Public Health as well as an award from the National Organization on Disability. She has secured the financial growth of the organization through proposals and presentations to foundations, corporations, trusts, United Way, federal, state and local government sources and through special events. Ms. Snowden and the story of PYD have been featured by local and national media, including CBS This Morning, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald and the Chicago Tribune.  Ms. Snowden was selected by the Governor’s Commission on the Employment of People with Disabilities and the President’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities to assist in developing leadership skills building forums for youth with disabilities on a state and national basis. In addition to those already mentioned, she was selected by the Boston Public Schools to chair a committee for the School-to-Career Initiative.

Ms. Snowden and PYD programs have received awards and recognition from organizations and entities including the American Red Cross (Clara Barton Award), Citizens Bank (Champion in Action Award), United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Harvard School of Public Health, Children’s Hospital, the City of Boston, and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. In 2003, the Rehabilitation Services Administration published an article written by Ms. Snowden entitled “Mentoring Youth with Disabilities” in the American Rehabilitation Journal.  In the Fall of 2005, Ms. Snowden was selected to attend Laura Bush’s “White House Conference on Helping America’s Youth” with a reception at the White House. In 2008, Ms. Snowden was recognized by the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Inc. for excellence in nonprofit administration. Ms. Snowden was honored by BOSTnet with their Disability Inclusion STAR award in 2010 for her extraordinary commitment to serving youth of ALL abilities. Ms. Snowden was selected as one of the “100 Women We Admire” by the Ad’s Club’s Women’s Leadership Forum in 2013 and was also selected as a 2013 nominee for the  “Women Who Live United Award” from the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

Under Ms. Snowden’s direction, PYD created and launched PYD’s National Center for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities. Currently, the National Center is finishing up the first phase of the Mentoring for All Initiative.  Funded by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, this initiative has the goal of increasing the availability of quality mentoring programs for youth with disabilities throughout the country, starting with three regional Big Brothers/Big Sisters affiliates. The National Center’s Inclusive Fitness for Youth Initiative also began in 2012. In partnership with the Boston Foundation, this three-year initiative proposes to increase youth with physical disabilities’ access to fitness and recreation facilities throughout Boston. Having engaged the collaboration of Spaulding’s Adaptive Sports Program, PYD is working the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston in efforts to remodel their fitness room to improve inclusivity, expand access to their sports and fitness programs through staff training, and strengthen their reputation in the community as an organization that welcomes youth with all abilities. In addition, the National Center began a new partnership with the Liberty Mutual Foundation (LMF) to assist Liberty Mutual in bringing a new level of focused attention and priority to the well-being of youth with disabilities within its service areas.

PYD’s Mentor Match program was selected as an inaugural member of the Mass Mentoring Partnership’s Quality-Based Membership initiative, which places Mentor Match among those Massachusetts mentoring programs whose practices most accurately reflect and utilize the National Mentoring Partnership’s Elements of Effective Practice. PYD’s Mentor Match program collaborated with Children’s Hospital Boston on Project Adventure, a research study designed to assess the impact of a mentored, inclusive recreational program on feelings of recreational self-efficacy in children with disabilities. Project Adventure sought to provide the necessary support so that any child with any special health care need and/or disability could choose any activity and participate alongside peers in the general community.  Under Ms. Snowden’s leadership, PYD is currently collaborating with Tufts Medical Center in a demonstration research project aimed to evaluate the efficacy of site-based mentoring for improving self-esteem, social comfort and quality of life for youth with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. PYD received the AccesSportAmerica 2012 Award of Excellence.

Ms. Snowden received a B.A. in Social Work from Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana and an M.S.W. in Social Work from Boston University.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Kathy Petkauskos Inducted into Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct  Kathleen A. Petkauskos into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Ms. Petkauskos has over twenty years of experience delivering and managing vocational evaluation, supported employment, benefits planning, and job placement services for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. Ms. Petkauskos has successfully implemented several federal disability-employment initiatives and has extensive experience designing, managing and delivering disability-employment related services to the Massachusetts business community.

As Senior Program Director of the Disability, Health and Employment Policy Unit at UMass Medical School, Ms. Petkauskos provides expert guidance, direction and leadership on the development and implementation of various disability programs and services. She is Director of Work Without Limits, a Massachusetts statewide initiative managed by UMass Medical School that brings together employers and community partners to increase the employment of people with disabilities. Work Without Limits aims to improve the infrastructure in the state so that more individuals with disabilities will enter and advance in the employment arena.

Ms. Petkauskos has been instrumental in building the Work Without Limits B2B Network, which provides opportunities for business peers to share best practices around disability employment and build disability diversity confidence of organizations. Another resource created under Ms. Petkauskos’ leadership is Jobs Without Limits, an online job portal for people with disabilities seeking work in Massachusetts and the employers who are looking to hire them.

Among Ms. Petkauskos’ responsibilities is building and maintaining effective relationships with a variety of stakeholders including state and federal agencies, consumer and provider organizations, businesses and employers, and grant partners.

Prior to coming to UMass Medical School, Ms. Petkauskos was President at Resource Partnership, a private non-profit organization that worked to support non-traditional job candidates including individuals with disabilities to secure employment.

Ms. Petkauskos received an Associates of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from Becker College; a certificate in Vocational Evaluation from Assumption College; and a certificate in Nonprofit Finance and Administration from Suffolk University.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Matthew McCollough Inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Matthew McCollough into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

As a Filipino American with developmental disabilities, Mathew McCollough is currently the Executive Director of the District of Columbia Developmental Disabilities Council, which promotes independence and equal opportunity for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prior to assuming this position, he served as the Communications Manager for the DC Office of Disability Rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance office for the District Government.  He has been recognized for his communication and training expertise in the areas of education, diversity and sensitivity, cultural competency, and disability issues to a broad spectrum of audiences—students, advocates, parents, managers, community leaders, and other stakeholders.

Since 2009, the Developmental Disabilities Council has conducted the Disability Mentoring Days (DMD) program during October and parts of November, in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month.  This annual program has introduced over 200 high school and college students with disabilities to potential employment and internship opportunities within approximately 60 government agencies and private companies in the DC metropolitan area during the seven-year time span.

In addition to the DMD program, Mr. McCollough has volunteered to serve as a mentor to several professionals, with and without disabilities, throughout his career.  Serving as a mentor holds great value and responsibility to him.  His grandfather, Norman “Bud” Iehl served as his greatest mentor during his childhood.  As a member of “The Greatest Generation”, this gentleman acquired his disability during World War II, and he taught his grandson how to live with a great sense of purpose, integrity and honor.

Mr. McCollough has been appointed to several commissions and boards with emphasis on health equity and human rights, including the Chair of the District of Columbia State Rehabilitation Council, Mid-Atlantic Regional Health Equity Council, District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights, and the Vice President of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities Board of Directors.  Additionally, Mr. McCollough has had the privilege of serving as staff faculty with the Leadership Institute for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence since 2015.

In 2011, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the United States Access Board, an independent Federal agency devoted to establishing accessibility standards that promote the full integration and participation of people with disabilities. In 2015, President Obama reappointed Mr. McCollough to serve a second term on the U.S. Access Board.  Previously, he served as a Grants Manager and Trainer with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and for the National Service Inclusion Project—a training and technical assistance provider that advocates on the behalf of individuals with disabilities to fully participate in service and civic-minded programs within their communities.

Mr. McCollough received an MPA from American University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from James Madison University.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Renee Kirby Inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Renee Kirby into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.  Renee Kirby is the Associate Director of Disability Resources and Services at Temple University, a large urban university with over 38,000 students. A leader within the division of student affairs, she has advocated for the inclusion of students with disabilities in higher education and civic life throughout her 35 year career.  In collaboration with the director, Kirby provides strategic leadership to campus stakeholders, and shares administrative oversight to guide the university’s mission for the inclusion of over 2500 students with disabilities.

A former Paralympian, Ms. Kirby has an acute awareness of the challenges individuals with disabilities can face when pursing higher education.  She arrived at Temple University in 1981 with a vision of students with disabilities being fully active in campus life by involving them in recreation and sports.  As a Therapeutic Recreation intern, she designed and implemented Temple’s adapted recreation and sports program as her senior project and founded the Rollin Owls, who became the first nationally ranked collegiate wheelchair basketball team on the east coast. Temple’s Adapted Recreation and Sports Programs was the recipient of a 3-year grant from the Department of Education and Kirby given the Harold K. Jack award for Outstanding Senior of the Year in the College of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance.

Kirby has a demonstrated mastery of disability legislation and is a key collaborator with university leadership on issues involving access and inclusion of students with disabilities in university housing, career development, student activities and campus accessibility.

Kirby has served as the campus liaison for the Federal Workforce Recruitment Program since 1996, mentoring over 300 students with disabilities through pre-employment training under her leadership.  In 2015, Kirby launched Career Gateway (CG) in collaboration with the 25 year celebration of the ADA and implemented a workshop series to train CG students on their employment rights under Title I of the ADA, disability disclosure and how to request reasonable accommodations in the workplace. The Career Gateway program also provided opportunities for students to attend regional and national career networking events that included COSD, the USBLN Conference and the Careers for People with Disabilities Federal Job Fair in Washington, D.C. An estimated 100 Temple students have been placed in internships since the program’s inception.

Kirby serves as the career representative between the Disability Service office and the university Career Center and is a seated member of the campus career network group that include professional career stakeholders from various schools and colleges throughout the university.  She also serves as a key contributor in strategic planning and administrative planning for accessible housing selections for students with disabilities.

Kirby was appointed to the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities in 1985 by Mayor Wilson Goode, and recently re-appointed under the newly elect Mayor, Jim Kenny. She currently chairs the education committee responsible for establishing the Oliver H.M. Jordon Scholarship, which has given away over $100,000 to Philadelphia residents with disabilities pursuing higher education.

Kirby previously co-chaired the accessibility and compliance committee and collaborated with city of Philadelphia officials to complete their accessibility transition plan.  Her work along with colleagues, contributed to the success of the city’s barrier-removal projects providing access to public services and facilities throughout the Philadelphia region.

Most notable projects include, the Center City district curb cuts, Avenue of the Arts, subway accessibility on the Temple University campus, SEPTA mass transportation and Para transit systems, Wachovia Sports Stadium, Liacouras Center stadium, Independence Mall, Philadelphia Airport, audible traffic signals and legislation for the provision of residential and public handicapped parking spaces in Philadelphia.

Before coming to Temple in 1981, Kirby was a recreation leader for the city of Philadelphia Department of Recreation for 12 years. While there she successfully designed, implemented and coached competitive sport programs for youth and adults with disabilities. As a community recreation leader, she advocated for individuals with disabilities to have full access to recreation programs and sport facilities in their local community and developed program opportunities to create a greater public awareness of athletes with disabilities.  She was instrumental in forming the city’s first regional wheelchair basketball and tennis tournaments as well the 3 on 3 summer wheelchair basketball league.

Other professional involvement include, serving on the Citizens Advisory Council for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind and Visual Services, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Scholarship Committee and the National ADA Leadership Network.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Daniel Davis Inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Daniel Davis into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.  Daniel Davis works as a policy analyst with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living,  Center for Policy and Evaluation, Office of Policy Analysis and Development, focusing on a range of issues including ensuring that the health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act and other health care delivery systems are accessible to, culturally competent for and meet the needs of consumers with disabilities. His portfolio also includes work coordinating home and community based services for persons with disabilities with accessible, affordable housing, employment of persons with disabilities in the federal workforce, Section 508 compliance and access to health information technology.

Daniel has worked tirelessly within HHS to make the agency a model employer and to increase the recruitment and retention of employees with disabilities. Since Daniel’s arrival at HHS, the percentages of employees with disabilities has increased by over two percent and the percentage of individuals with targeted disabilities has increased by about one-third of a percent. A number of architectural and IT barriers to accessibility have been removed across HHS in part because of his effort. Throughout his career Daniel has informally mentored numbers of young professionals with disabilities, reviewed their resumes and offered informational interviews and advice to support their job search and development efforts.

Previously Daniel worked as a Professional Staff Member for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, as well as the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  In this capacity he was a subject matter expert on disability policy and was involved in investigations of military mental health policy, mistreatment of wounded warriors at Walter Reed, a hearing on how improve the collection of disability data across federal agencies and abusive practices of insurance companies against those with pre-existing conditions.

Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Daniel served for over four years as a Policy Analyst and Acting Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the National Council on Independent Living. In this capacity he was involved in the passage of disability related provisions in the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act and the adoption of the Money Follows the Person Act. As a college student he co-founded the National Disabled Students Union to call attention to issues college students with disabilities face and how national policy debates impact the rights of people with disabilities and was vice-President of Advocacy of the Disabled Students Union at University of California at Berkeley.

As a person with an invisible disability and a dedicated disability rights and independent living advocate, Daniel has worked on policy and legislation impacting the lives of people with disabilities for over a decade. A resident of Arlington, Danielmoved to Northern Virginia after graduating from the University of California Berkeley with Highest Honors with a Bachelors of Arts in History. He is a recipient of the NCIL President’s Award, the Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award, and the 2015 FEDS Hidden Hero Award.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Page 10 of 19« First...89101112...Last »