RAISE is looking forward to seeing everyone MAY 6, at Hilton University Place in Charlotte, NC, for the 2019 Summit on professional development, networking, and sharing as we work together to improve transition outcomes for young adults with disabilities.

RAISE Summit Agenda

Monday, May 6, 2018 s 9:00 am–4:00 pm

* All sessions will take place in Room
Download Agenda (.doc)




9:00 – 9:05 am

Welcome, Introductions, Overview of the Day

Josie and Peg

9:10 – 9:45 am

NTACT Assessment Tool

Michal Stoehr and Ruth Allison

Session Description: To increase collaboration and coordination of transition assessment and planning, NTACT, WINTAC and YTAC joined forces to develop a Collaborative Transition Assessment Guide. Highlights of the newly developed Guide will be shared as well as how parents can play an integral part in the transition assessment planning process.

9:50 – 10:25 am

Stop, Look, and Listen: Planning for Independence and Adult Decision-Making Support

Charlie Walters

Session Description: Rather than focusing on individual deficits, the Adult Decision-Making Support Tool assesses the availability of one’s opportunities to learn and practice critical skills associated with adulthood.

10:25 – 10:35 am


10:35 – 11:10 am

Customized Employment and Collaborations

Michal Stoehr and Ruth Allison

Session Description: National TA Centers are working collaboratively to improve understanding and implementation of customized employment strategies. An overview of this work will be shared as well as how local partners in a rural district in NV are collaborating to provide customized employment opportunities for students.

11:15 – 11:50 am

The SEED Program-A Community-Based approach to Inclusive Higher Education

Everett Deibler

Session Description: This session will highlight the Success, Engagement, Education, Determination (SEED) program, which is a partnership between Lehigh Valley CIL and Lehigh Carbon Community College. Learn how the SEED Program provides comprehensive “direct” services for students with disabilities interested in a college experience to master skills in transition, academic, and/or career areas.

11:50 – 12:00 pm


12:00 – 1:30 pm

RSA PTI Spotlight and Continuity

10 minutes per RSA-PTIs

1:30 – 1:40 pm


1:40 – 2:15 pm

How Can Nonprofits and Grant Funded Organizations Advocate and Be Involved in Legislation

Debra Jennings and Peg Kinsell

Session Description: This session will address ways that nonprofits and grant funded organizations can educate public officials, spread information about the work that they are doing, and support others in improving public policy and legislation.

2:20 – 2:40 pm

#IWantToWork Pennsylvania and #HireMeSC

Charlie Walters and Josie Badger

Session Description: This session will present the statewide campaigns that have worked to improve legislation for individuals with disabilities and employment. Presenters will discuss important elements of including self-advocates, creating statewide coalitions, using social media, and ways that nonprofits can be engaged in these types of programs.

2:45 – 3:40 pm

Policy and Regulation Updates

Ron Hager

Session Description: This session will address policy changes and their effects on transition

3:45 – 4:00 pm

Wrap Up, Thank You, Housekeeping

Josie and Peg



Summit Presenters

Josie Badger

Dr. Josie Badger, DHCE, CRC

J Badger Consulting Inc.

Dr. Josie Badger received her Bachelor’s degree from Geneva College in Disability Law and Advocacy, a Master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Doctorate from Duquesne University in Healthcare Ethics. In 2014, Josie founded J Badger Consulting Inc., where she provides youth development and disability consulting services for organizations, on transition and leadership development. She is the Co-Director of the national RSA-Parent Training and Information Center technical assistance center (RAISE). She is also the Campaign Manager of the #IWantToWork Campaign, to improve the employment of people with disabilities and a Field Organizer for Denny Civic Solutions for a bill supporting paid family leave. She serves as a board member of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, The Woodlands Foundation, and FISA. In 2012, Dr. Badger was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America.

Ruth AllisonRuth Allison, MBA

Senior Research Associate, TransCen, Inc/NTACT

Ruth Allison, M.B.A, is a Senior Research Associate at TransCen, Inc. Ruth provides technical assistance for the implementation of a State RSA Grant and a State System Capacity Building Initiative. For the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT), Ms. Allison serves on the Knowledge and Development Team and provides technical assistance to state and local education and vocational rehabilitation agencies to implement effective practices to improve post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. Prior to working at TransCen, Ruth worked as an Administrative Consultant for Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services. In this role, Ruth worked collaboratively with diverse stakeholder groups to successfully implement system-level initiatives at both the local and state level to create consistency of services and to improve compliance with federal and state policies and procedures. From these experiences she found the biggest opportunities to improve the lives of student with disabilities is through effective collaboration and partnerships, a belief she still holds today.

Everett DeiblerEverett Deibler

Learning Specialist, Accessibility and Special Programs, Lehigh Carbon Community College

Everett Deibler is currently a Learning Specialist at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), where he coordinates college-wide accessibility efforts and supports the SEED Program, which is the college’s inclusive higher education initiative. Before joining LCCC, Everett spent the last decade supporting thousands of youth and young adults in exploring their leadership, employment, and independent living goals with various organizations across Pennsylvania, including the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), LVCIL, and the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network.

Ron HagerRon Hager

Senior Staff Attorney, National Disability Rights Network

Ron Hager is a Senior Staff Attorney at the National Disability Rights Network in Washington, DC.  Ron provides training and technical assistance to the P&A/CAP network on special education and assists in overseeing training and technical assistance to CAP. He has specialized in disability law, particularly special education, since 1979, when he started his legal career in Buffalo as a VISTA attorney. After that, he was a Clinical Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School for nine years, supervising the Education Law Clinic. In 1991, Ron moved to Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) where he represented clients in a wide variety of disability-related cases. As part of NLS’s National AT Advocacy Project, Ron also was a frequent author on disability-law-related issues. He was co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities for four years, and was the President of the Board of Directors of Autistic Services, Inc., in Western New York, for 10 years. Ron earned a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.

Deborah JenningsDebra Jennings

Executive Co-Director, SPAN Parent Advocacy Network

Debra Jennings leads SPAN’s national efforts to promote the capacities of the approximately 100 Parent Training & Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) assisting families with children with disabilities in each state, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and Palau. These projects provide Parent Centers with the information and materials that support their individual parent advocacy efforts and systemic improvement activities across disabilities and across age spans from birth to 26. Debra’s experience as an advocate and leader includes organizing and supporting grassroots parent advocacy organizations and efforts around general and special education issues. She joined SPAN in 1997 to lead its “Parents Engaged in Public Policy Project.” On several state and national advisory committees, Debra is committed to ensuring that the voices of parents/families and communities are not left out of discussions of policies and practices impacting children and families. Debra is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Economics and has completed coursework in business, finance, public administration, and non-profit management at the Kellogg School of Management and Seton Hall University Center for Public Service. Her eclectic professional experience prior to joining SPAN in 1997 includes construction, economic development, finance, and constituent affairs. Debra also served on a local school board. She is the mom and first advocate of two daughters, one of whom received special education services and the other who participated in Title I Basic Skills; both are college graduates. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a middle school administrator.

Peg KinsellPeg Kinsell

Co-Director of the RAISE Center

Co-Director of RAISE, Peg Kinsell currently serves as the Director of Public Policy for SPAN Parent Advocacy Network, where she works on both state and federal legislation that impact children with the greatest need due to disability; special healthcare needs; poverty; discrimination based on race, sex, immigrant or homeless status; involvement in foster care, child welfare, or juvenile justice systems; and geographic location or other special circumstances. Peg serves on numerous state and national committees and coalitions related to mental health, child welfare, poverty, and education. She has presented at statewide, regional, and national conferences on the issues of public policy advocacy, juvenile justice, and restraint and seclusion as they pertain to students with disabilities. Peg is a member of APRAIS, the leading national coalition fighting to abolish the use of restraint and seclusion in schools; she is also a member of TASH’s Human Rights Committee, the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities Education Task Force, NJ Anti-Poverty Network, and Time To Care Coalition, along with many other statewide taskforces and workgroups. She is the recipient of the Elizabeth Boggs Family Member Advocate Award and was named one of Burlington County’s “People Making a Difference.” Additionally, Peg has expertise working with military families of children with disabilities and directs the Military Family Support 360 Project at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. She is the proud mother of three young adults with a variety of talents and abilities.

Michael Stoehr

Knowledge Development and Technical Assistance Specialist, National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT)
UNC Charlotte—Cato College of Education

Michael Stoehr is a Knowledge Development and Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT). Michael assists states in collaborative inter-agency engagement to ensure the successful implementation of secondary transition legislation and effective practices. Michael holds a Masters in Secondary Special Education and Transition from The University of Kansas. Prior to working at NTACT, Michael worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, through the PATTAN system as the statewide lead educational consultant for Secondary Transition. He has worked in the special education field for the past 34 years and has extensive experience in the areas of secondary transition, assessment, job analysis, and job coaching. Michael has presented extensively throughout Pennsylvania and nationally on a variety of topics including transition communities of practice, effective transition planning, inter-agency collaboration, and youth engagement and self-advocacy    


Charlie WaltersCharlie Walters

Director of Transition Programs, Able South Carolina

Charlie Walters serves as the Director of Transition Programs at Able South Carolina. He is currently the Co-Chair for the Transition Alliance of SC and lead for a SC Disability Employment Coalition project on the participation of youth with disabilities in career and technical education. From youth involvement in statewide Employment First initiatives to the oversight of youth programming at Able SC, Charlie lives his belief that the empowerment of youth to be self-determined should be the chief aim of all professionals working alongside young adults with disabilities. Charlie holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of South Carolina, and he has been working in education since 2009, including roles in museum education, outdoor education, and inclusive higher education.

He is proud to call himself the husband of Dorothee and the father of Sebastian. When he is not working to foster inclusivity and access, Charlie enjoys spending time with his beautiful family, fishing, surfing, riding dirt bikes, and drinking coffee.

Hilton Charlotte University Place
8629 J M Keynes Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina

Register for the event here: Summit 2019 Registration.

We look forward to seeing everyone soon!

This year, the RAISE Summit will precede NTACT’s Capacity Building Institute for Interdisciplinary State Teams, May 7–9, 2019, at the same locale. You can register for NTACT at the following link: https://uncc.surveyshare.com/s/AYAUYRB?survey_key=AYAUYRB.

For more information, please contact:
Maria Rodriguez
(862) 214-2813