2020 Keynote speakers

Crystal Bell photo

 

Crystal Bell, National LifeCourse Nexus staff, certified Charting the LifeCourse trainer, and a mother of three children, two of whom have a developmental disability, represents the family perspective and focuses her education and training around family life and leadership.  She has helped numerous organizations utilize the CtLC framework to better serve individuals and their families.  Through daily implementation of the Charting the LifeCourse Tools and Framework, Crystal and her family have experienced the first-hand transformations that occur when an individual and their family are given the permission to dream and the tools to make those dreams a reality.

 

Lucy Gafford photoLucy Gafford, M.S., CRC

Director, UNT WISE\

Lucy is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from UNT. She was previously employed by the state VR agency in Texas for 11.5 years where she served as a transition vocational rehabilitation counselor, a unit program specialist, and an area manager. In her time with Vocational Rehabilitation she participated in many committees and task forces including the DARS Transition Taskforce and the Texas DRS Leadership Academy.  Currently, Lucy is the director of UNT WISE, a training and consultancy program housed in the College of Health and Public Service at UNT.  Training and mentoring staff continues to be a passion so she has served as an adjunct professor for the department of Rehabilitation and Health Services for the past decade. Lucy also enjoys working with businesses to improve diversity initiatives in relation to hiring people with disabilities and serving on the Advisory committee for UNT’s Neurodiveristy initative to improve post-secondary outcomes for neurodivergent students. 

Program Description:

ENGAGE serves neurodivergent students enrolled at UNT with reaching their academic and vocational goals through person-centered planning and individualized services.  Students participate in assessment and planning meetings to identify personal, academic and vocational goals.   ENGAGE staff support and guide students to reach those goals through weekly meetings, workshops and referrals.

 

Montisha Goosby photoMontisha Hines Goosby, LMSW

lifePATH Director – Lone Star College – Montgomery

Montisha Goosby has over 20 years’ experience serving the citizens of Texans. She began her career at University of Houston and after completing graduate school, she later worked for The Department of State Health Services working with Medicaid waiver programs for Medically Fragile children.  She joined the legacy agency, Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) in 2005 as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.  After only a few months on the job, she began working with the School Transition Program.    She progressed from DARS to Texas Workforce Commission as the regional transition specialist for the Greater Houston area (Texas Gulf Coast). She worked collaboratively with several organizations, agencies, and school districts to develop and create pre-employment transition programs.  This work ultimately led to her current role as lifePATH Director at Lone Star College Montgomery.  Montisha is working to model and expand the lifePATH program initially developed at the Tomball campus.  The lifePATH program works with students who have difficulty with executive functioning by focusing on academic skills, providing career exploration, and increasing social skills.   Montisha is most passionate about working with students with disabilities in order to advance and improve their post-secondary outcomes. 

Montisha is a Licensed Master Social Worker, earning a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston. She is also pursuing her Doctoral Degree in Higher Education Leadership from Sam Houston State University.  

Program Description:

Lone Star College lifePATH® provides a unique opportunity for adult students to learn the social and skill expectations needed in business, academics, and personal relationships. LSC lifePATH® is a four-year comprehensive model of post-secondary educational opportunities for students who have disabilities that affect executive functioning.

 

Cheryl GrenwelgeCheryl Grenwelge, Ph.D.

Director of Transition Services, Center on Disability and Development

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Transition and Disability

Dr. Cheryl Grenwelge is an Associate Professor and the Director of Transition Services with the Center on Disability and Development at Texas & M University. Cheryl is director and co-project director of multiple state and federal projects. Dr. Grenwelge received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University May, 2010 from the Department of Educational Psychology. She has a B.S. in Special Education and a M.Ed. in Education with an emphasis on Educational Diagnostics. She has teacher certifications in Special Education K-12, Elementary Education 1-8, and English as a Second Language. Previous to working with Texas A&M University, she was lead teacher of a large transition program at the secondary level.

Three of the projects/programs that Dr. Grenwelge developed or directs are related to transition issues at the high school and postsecondary levels. The Work and College Opportunities (W.A.C.O) project and the Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services program are connected to postsecondary education. The Leadership, Employability and Advocacy Program is for high school participants to gain the necessary skills connected to accessing postsecondary education and employment

 

Cindy Morgan photo

 

Cindy Morgan, Sr. Coordinator, Disability Support Services (DSS) at Palo Alto College. Primarily my role is meeting with students who self-disclose to our office that they have a disability and discuss reasonable accommodations needed for their classes.

PAC launched Project Access in August 2016, the first and only program of its kind in San Antonio offered to individuals with documented intellectual disabilities. The program is designed to support students in accessing post-secondary education and in developing skills for gainful employment. The credential for the program is the General Office Level 1 Certificate Program.

 

Rick Razo photoRick Razo has been an educator and advocate for students with disabilities and their families for over 37 years. He has served as a special education teacher, transition specialist, consultant and director of special education with the Education Service Center-Region 19. Eighteen years ago, he coordinated the development of the El Paso Del Norte Youth Leadership Forum, a leadership and advocacy training for young people with disabilities. He has been a coach and volunteer with Texas Special Olympics for the past 39 years. Most recently, he coordinated the development of the Project HIGHER Program at El Paso Community College for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend postsecondary education. Rick believes that having high expectations for all persons with disabilities is the key to success! He also believes persons with disabilities need the same opportunities and experiences as their peers without disabilities!

Program Description:

Project HIGHER is an innovative program that assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ages 18-25) in El Paso County to complete a level-one certificate at EPCC and find employment in their area of study.  Since the Fall 2015, a total of 36 students with intellectual and developmental disabilities have enrolled in a certificate program and 14 students have graduated.  Project HIGHER is a unique supported educational model based upon supported employment models.

 

Joe Tate photoJoe Tate, Project Coordinator for E4Texas

Joe has more than a decade of experience educating and advocating for Texans with disabilities.  He has worked as a high school special education teacher, educated youth on the legislative process in Texas, championed national disability history, and trained youth from across the country on how to effect social change.

Joe firmly believes that meaningful inclusion and having high expectations are the best ways to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities.

Program Description:

E4Texas is a post-secondary opportunity for people with or without a disability, who are over the age of 18, who have a high school diploma, and are employment-focused.

The E4Texas 3-semester experience combines classroom instruction with practical career building experiences, independent living skills, and self-determination.

During the course, students will learn the main aspects of independent living, will receive their caretaker certification, and will be supported as they find jobs in their final semester.

E4Texas has four goals:

1.         Empower Texans to become self-determined & independent.

2.         Educate Texans to gain employment, professional, and independent living skills.

3.         Employ Texans in the areas of caregiving.

4.         Give Texans the tools they need to excel in life!