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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.

OCALI Advisory Board - Co-Chairs

Reginald Fields

Ohio State Medical Association

Reginald Fields is the director of communications and external affairs at the Ohio State Medical Association. He is also co-chair of the OCALI Advisory Board. Fields has over 20 years of experience as an award-winning major daily newspaper reporter and manager with assignments ranging from presidential and gubernatorial elections, state General Assembly, Ohio Supreme Court and education and state budgeting. He previously worked at The Plain Dealer, The Baltimore Sun and The Akron Beacon Journal.

Email: fields818@aol.com

Jon Peterson

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.

Email: delawarepete@columbus.rr.com

OCALI Advisory Board - Members

Kay Brown

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.

Email: kay.brown@cchmc.org

Richard Cowan

Kent State University

Richard Cowan, Ph.D., NCSP, 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. Cowan has been involved in 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 students at risk for academic failure.

Email: rcowan1@kent.edu

Michelle DePolo

KidsLink Neurobehavioral Center

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.

Email: michelledepolo@gmail.com

Jocelyn Geib

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.

Email: gc_mills@lgca.org

Aimee Gilman

Siegel, Agins Gilman

Email: agilman@idealaw.org

William (BJ) Henry

Washington County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Email: henryot98@gmail.com

Sharon Knotek

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.

Email: sharon.knotek@geaugaesc.org

Mary Murray

Bowling Green State University

Mary Murray, Ed.D., is an associate professor at Bowling Green State University, where she has been instrumental in developing the courses required for the autism certificate program. Murray has over 25 years' experience working with children with ASD and severe disabilities in inclusive settings. She serves on the board for the Autism Society of Ohio and the State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children. She has written numerous articles and implemented multiple grants, four of which are designed to train parents and professionals to serve as mentors in autism and low-incidence disabilities.

Email: mmurray@bgsu.edu

Ginger O'Connor

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.

Email: goconnor@wcbdd.org

Jan Osborn

Putnam County ESC

Jan Osborn has worked for the Putnam County Educational Service Center for 39 years. His specialization is administration and special education.

Email: josborn@pm.noacsc.org

Chloe Rothschild

Chloe Rothschild is a young adult who has PDD-NOS. She enjoys using her talent and love for writing to raise awareness about autism. Rothschild is a young leader for the Autistic Global Initiative (a program through the Autism Research Institute), an editor-in-training for the Autism Research Institute's Adults with Autism eBulletin, and a member of the OCALI Advisory Board. Rothschild also writes for Squag blog and Special-ism.

Email: horselovertothemax@gmail.com

Janet Seide


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.

Email: jseide@cinci.rr.com

Scott Short

HOPE Intervention

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 10 years. He spent eight years working in ASD and genetic research as a clinical studies coordinator for Duke University and University of Miami, FL. 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. He also serves on the OCALI advisory board.

Email: shortw@marshall.edu

Jerod Smalley

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.

Email: jsmalley@wcmh.com

Sarah Walker

Region 2 SST

Email: walker@esclc.org

Sondra Williams

Autism Society of Ohio

Sondra Williams is an adult diagnosed with high-functioning autism. She has been married for almost 21 years and has 4 children, all officially diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome with varying degrees of challenges. Williams is the author of Reflections of Self and a video entitled Define Me.

Email: hfa2@columbus.rr.com

Jacqueline Wynn

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.

Email: jacquie.wynn@nationwidechildrens.org

Barb Yavorcik

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.

Email: byavorcik@gmail.com

OCALI Advisory Board - Ex-Officio

Melissa Bacon

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.

Email: mbacon78@hotmail.com

Wendy Stoica

Ohio Department of Education

Email: wendy.stoica@education.ohio.gov

Yolanda Talley Cudney

ODJFS, Office of Ohio Health Plans

Email: Yolanda.Talley@medicaid.ohio.gov