Section 3323.33 of Ohio HB 562 states that "the superintendent of public instruction shall establish an advisory board to assist and advise the Franklin County Educational Service Center (ESCCO) in the operation of the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)... As determined by the superintendent, the advisory board shall consist of individuals who are stakeholders in the service to persons with autism and low incidence disabilities, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Persons with autism and low incidence disabilities;
(B) Parents and family members;
(C) Educators and other professionals;
(D) Higher education instructors;
(E) Representatives from state agencies.
The advisory board shall be organized as determined by the superintendent."
Bylaws (2008) state that members should be geographically representative of Ohio as well.
Autism Society of Ohio
Barb Yavorcik is the Assistant Director of the Autism Society of Ohio (ASO) and former Executive Director. She has also served as president and secretary of the Autism Society of Northwest Ohio. Appointed as the chair of the Advisory Board for the OCALI in 2005, Yavorcik also serves as chair of the Ohio Autism Coalition. She acts as legislative liaison for the coalition and is active in public policy for the ASO. She served on a committee of the legislatively created Ohio Autism Task Force and the steering committee creating the Autism Service Guidelines.
Prentke Romich Company
Not only does Bill Adams serve on the advisory board as someone who receives waiver services, he is an expert on augmentative communication. Due to his severe speech problems, he relies on a ECO-14 to communicate. He is also an ambassador for the Prentke Romich Company, the designers for the ECO-14.
Regional Autism Advisory Council of SW Ohio
Kay Brown, M.Ed. LISW, has been the Coordinator of the Regional Autism Advisory Council (RAAC) of Southwest Ohio since January 2007. She has over 35 years of experience working with children and families within the child welfare, juvenile justice, developmental disabilities, and mental health community. Her work has included developing, implementing and administering services for a multi-system service delivery system for individuals with intense needs, including persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Kent State University
Dr. Richard Cowan completed his graduate training in school psychology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently an associate professor in the school psychology program at Kent State University. Richard has been involved in a number of research projects, publications, presentations, and grants focusing on the implementation and evaluation of positive behavioral supports across settings for a variety of learners, including students with disabilities (e.g., autism) and those who are at-risk for academic failure.
Ohio Northern University
Dr. Denise D’Arca is Professor of Music at Ohio Northern University. Experienced in teaching music for special learners of all ages, she now does music teacher education and directs the Women’s Chorus. She is a member of the OMEA Special Learners Committee, and is the mother of a 19-year-old son with autism and several low-incidence disabilities.
Michelle DePolo, Psy.D., is a clinical child/pediatric psychologist with KidsLink Neurobehavioral Center, which provides comprehensive services to children with ASD and their families. DePolo completed her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Wright State University and finished a postdoctoral fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism where she was on staff for 2 1/2 years. She joined the NeuroDevelopmental Center at Akron Children’s Hospital where she was clinical director of the autism program and founding member of the interdisciplinary feeding team.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Karen Edwards, MD, MPH, has been a LEND Program director for 10 years, first in New York and, since July 2010, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati. She was recently named director of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at UC and CCHMC. She was a coordinating member of Ohio’s Region 5 Act Early Summit Team and continues to provide leadership in the team’s ongoing activities. She brings the perspective of a general pediatrician trained in public health to the work of the team.
The Plain Dealer
Reginald Fields joined The Plain Dealer in November 2004 as a state government reporter and was promoted to Columbus Bureau Chief in November 2008. He previously worked at The Baltimore Sun and The Akron Beacon Journal.
KidsLink Neurobehavioral Center
Jocelyn Geib, M.A., CCC/SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and educational consultant with KidsLink Neurobehavioral Center. Geib is the former director of S.T.A.R.S., with the Geauga County ESC and currently and serves a consultant for them. She was recently appointed to the OCALI advisory board. Geib has worked with individuals with ASD and related developmental disabilities for the past 15 years. She has presented at several local and national conferences in the area of autism and is in the final stages of completing her Ph.D. in education from Cleveland State University.
Gallipolis City Schools
Leslie Henry is an Intervention Specialist serving students with mild/moderate disabilities in the Gallipolis City School District. She has experience working in a MRDD setting and providing ABA therapy to children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Leslie is active with H.O.P.E. Intervention, a local Autism Support group. She has a Bachelors degree in Intervention Specialist and a Masters in Educational Administration.
Geauga County ESC
Sharon Knotek is the Director of Special Education and Related Operations for the Geauga County ESC. Ms. Knotek’s professional background includes roles as a secondary science teacher, school psychologist, and Special Education supervisor for the Kenston School District. During her tenure at the Geauga County ESC she has served as a member of Geauga County’s Multi-Disciplinary and Family Stability committees. She currently supervises the implementation of low incidence consortium programs for students K-22 which are imbedded in public school settings.
Trumbull County ESC
Dale Lennon has been Director of Pupil Services for the Trumbull County Educational Service Center since 1998. As Director Mr. Lennon is responsible for providing the leadership and direction for the design, development, implementation and evaluation of special education programs and related services.
The Rich Center
Renee McConnell received her master’s in moderate to intense disabilities with a specialization in ASD from Youngstown State University. She completed her graduate certificate in ABA at Penn State University and is finishing her clinical hours for certification. She has worked 20 years with adults and children with disabilities at the county DD, local schools and private residential facilities. Currently, she is the associate director of programs at the Rich Center for Autism at YSU, where she is responsible for program design, implementation, training, and oversight.
University of Toledo Center for Excellence in Autism
Sherry A. Moyer, M.S.W., is the executive/research director of the University of Toledo Center for Excellence in Autism, where she is focusing on building a lifespan of community-based services and scientific and translational research in ASD. Moyer is the author of The ECLIPSE Model: Teaching Self-Regulation, Executive Function, Attribution, and Sensory Awareness to Students with Asperger Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism, and Related Disorders (2009).
Washington County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Ginger O'Connor MA CCC/SLP received her undergraduate degree from Marietta College and her graduate degree from The Ohio State University. She is currently the Director of Early Childhood and Therapy for the Washington County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Marietta, OH. O'Connor also serves as speech/language pathologist for children enrolled in the Early Intervention program.
Putnam County ESC
Jan Osborn has worked for the Putnam County Educational Service Center for 39 years. His specialization is administration and special education.
Delaware County Office of Treasurer
As chair of the Ohio Autism Task Force, Peterson was instrumental in the creation of the Autism Scholarship Program. During his 10-year tenure as a state representative, he received the Legislative Advocacy Award from the Autism Society of Ohio along with many other accolades related to his promotion of the rights of seniors, children, and differently-abled individuals. The Autism Society recognized Jon as "Parent of the Year" in 2004.
Janet Seide is a parent of a sixteen-year-old son with high-functioning autism. She sat on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati and facilitated a support group for ASGC for family members of individuals with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome for six years.
Scott Short is the Family Coordinator Liaison for the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University. He has worked in the field of ASD for the past ten years. He spent eight years working in ASD and genetic research as a clinical studies coordinator for Duke Univ. and Univ. of Miami, Fla. He is the father of a child with autism. He is also the founder of a non-profit organization, H.O.P.E. Intervention, which serves as a resource for those affected by ASD in Southeast Ohio. Scott serves on the OCALI advisory board and ASA -ASO board of directors.
NBC 4 Columbus
Jerod Smalley has served as Sports Director for NBC4 since 2006. Jerod was named Best Anchor (news, weather or sports) by the Ohio Associated Press in 2010 and 2011. He was named Best Sports Broadcaster by the Ohio A.P. from 2007-2009. He and the NBC4 Sports team also received awards for A.P. Best Sports Operation in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Smalley’s sons, Brady and Tyler, are diagnosed with autism. He launched a campaign at the station to promote autism awareness and to raise money for research and educational programs.
Nationwide Children's Center for Autism
Jacqueline W. Wynn, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, is the director of Nationwide Children’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA, where she worked with Ivar Lovaas to research outcomes of behavioral intervention. She has taught behavioral interventions for autism at UCLA and The Ohio State University. Wynn is a clinical assistant professor of Pediatrics and an assistant adjunct professor of Special Education at OSU. She is a member of the Ohio Autism Coalition for Applied Behavior Analysis.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Melissa Bacon, Director of Legislative Affairs, Melissa Bacon will oversee all legislative activities for ODJFS, which provides Medicaid benefits to approximately 2.2 million Ohioans annually. Bacon holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Ohio State University and recently served as director of public policy and advocacy for the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association after working for 14 years as a policy aide in the Ohio Senate.
Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
Jody Fisher, M.Ed., is an autism project manager for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Her 30 years in the field of developmental disabilities includes direct service in home, clinical, and school-based settings as well as state and national policy work. Currently, Fisher coordinates Ohio's Interagency Work Group on Autism, partnering with individuals and families, service providers, advocates and state leadership in work to ensure the lives of individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities are happy, productive, and fulfilled.
Ohio Department of Education
ODJFS, Office of Ohio Health Plans