Rachel Simon is the award-winning author of six books and a nationally-recognized public speaker. Her titles include the bestsellers, The Story of Beautiful Girl and Riding The Bus with My Sister. Both books have been selections of book clubs and school reading programs around the country. Rachel's work has been adapted for theater, NPR, the Lifetime Channel, and Hallmark Hall of Fame, whose adaptation of Riding The Bus With My Sister starred Rosie O' Donnell and Andie McDowell, and was directed by Anjelica Huston.
Bill Baldini was one of the first newscasters in the US to break the story of the squalid conditions inside state institutions. As a young TV reporter he took his camera crew to Pennhurst and was not allowed inside. Under threat of exposure, the Superintendent allowed them entrance and they filmed 8 hours a day for a week. The story was so explosive it ran as a series on the news for five days. The story was headline news throughout the City of Philadelphia and the State. It led to the ground breaking Pennhurst Federal Court case which went to the Supreme Court three times and set legal precedents still in place today.
Judith Snow is a transformational leader, speaker, organizer, artist, trainer and coach. She works mentoring and teaching others how diversities create opportunities to give and receive gifts born of varying perspectives and challenges. Having been quadriplegic from birth, Judith brings a personal perspective to the work of valuing diversity.
Peter Leidy has been learning from people with disabilities since 1983. For almost 20 years he has worked for Options in Community Living; a supported living agency in Madison, Wisconsin. Peter is a consultant, facilitator, listener, learner, improvisor, and speaker who focuses on personalized supports and community membership for people with disabilities.
Al Condeluci has been serving the Pittsburgh human service community for nearly four decades. He has dedicated his life's work to providing community supports to individuals with disabilities and educating others about the importance of creating a culture of acceptance of others.
Marca Bristo is President and Chief Executive Officer of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, one of the nation's foremost disability rights organizations. From 1994-2002, Bristo served as the Presidentially-appointed Chairperson of the National Council on Disability (NCD). Currently Ms. Bristo serves as Vice President for North America of Rehabilitation International, President of U.S. International Council on Disabilities and serves on the Boards of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the United States International Council on Disability, and Citizen Action of Illinois Board.
Michael J. Kendrick is an independent international consultant in human services and community work as it relates to aging, disability and mental health. His interests, involvements and writings include such topics as: leadership, service quality, social integration, innovation and alternatives to bureaucracy. He has evaluated hundreds of programs, agencies and systems over the past four decades with ongoing involvements in the United States, Canada, Australia, Ethiopia, United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Guatemala, and many other countries around the world.
Valerie Bradley, M.A., has been the President of the Human Services Research Institute since its inception in 1976. Ms. Bradley has directed numerous state and federal policy evaluations that have contributed to the expansion, enhancement and responsiveness of services and supports to people with disabilities and their families. She is the principal investigator of a national technical assistance initiative dedicated to quality assurance; she co-directs the National Core Indicators, a national 30 state initiative on performance measurement.
Jack Pearpoint & Lynda Kahn
Together, Jack and Lynda share a passion for life, as husband and wife, and as partners in their work. They create books and learning materials that assist people experiencing disability to live full lives. They share a wealth of knowledge and skill developed through experience as executive leaders in government and non-proit organizations, as educators, and as facilitators of processes of collaborative change.
Eric Rosenthal is founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International ("DRI"). Since establishing DRI in 1993, Rosenthal has trained human rights and disability activists and provided technical assistance to governments and international development organizations worldwide. Rosenthal has conducted investigations in over two dozen countries and published reports on the human rights of people with disabilities in 9 countries. Disability Rights International has also brought successful petitions to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ordering life-saving protections and community integration of institutionalized people with disabilities in Guatemala and Paraguay. Rosenthal and his work have been profiled in The New York Times Magazine, ABC News 20/20, Good Morning America, and Nightline and has been the subject of main editorials in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, and The Washington Post.
Dohn Hoyle is the Executive Director of The Arc of Michigan and long-time advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. A respected leader and innovator in the disability movement, Dohn helped to rewrite the Michigan Mental Health Code to include person-centered planning and to eliminate the term mental retardation. He was instrumental in the closure of specialized nursing homes for children and people with developmental disabilities.