Reno Presenters

Diana Rovetti
Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED)
Partners in Policymaking Project Coordinator


Diana Rovetti is an energetic mother of five, active in volunteerism, church, and a leader in educating the community on disabilities issues.  She is a graduate of the University of Nevada Reno in Secondary Education and a Certified Personal Outcomes Interviewer with The Council on Quality and Leadership in Supports for People With Disabilities.  Previously, Diana served as Self-Advocacy Project Supervisor and People First of Nevada Statewide Advisor, and was appointed by the governor to serve on the Nevada Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council, ICC.   Rovetti is now the Director of Information Dissemination and Project Coordinator for Partners in Policymaking at the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities at the University of Nevada Reno.  She has worked at the University of Nevada Reno for the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities for the past thirteen years.  Diana is the President of the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada and a graduate of Nevada Partners in Policymaking.  Her son Jack has Down syndrome.

Travis Mills
Nevada Center For Excellence in Disabilities (NCED)
University of Nevada Employee, CO Trainer of Partners in Policy Making
I took Partners in Policy Making in 2010 is because to designed to help improve self-advocacy and self-determination skills, which enabled me to become a better advocate for others and myself in the community. Learned about federal legislation, inclusive communities, history of disability, independent, parent & self-advocacy movement and people first language, state resources, negotiating skills, State legislation and how the media field works.

Chapter Advisor on People First of Nevada my duties is too run the 2 chapters Reno, Carson, Chapters.  My duties is to provide any assistance to People with any help to prepare the monthly meetings and attend the monthly conference calls, Report to my supervisor with notes and information regarding the monthly meetings.

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service To America). I worked on a project called People First of Nevada, which is a statewide self-advocacy group run by and for individuals with disabilities. My duties included maintaining the People First of Nevada web site, helping to set up fundraising events, organizing the Reno chapter monthly meetings that included preparing all initial paperwork, obtaining guest speakers, maintaining the treasurer accounts, collecting, filing and entering all data from the meetings. I also participated in grant writing. I created the People First Facebook page, and designed business cards for all statewide chapters. Part of my duties also included presenting information to local high school students to help them be more self-determined.

Alexandar Cherup
Subject: History of Developmental Disabilities & The History and Role of the Parent Movement

Alex first became involved in disability advocacy during his time as an undergraduate student at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where he met his close friend Micah Fialka-Feldman, a fellow student and advocate and speaker. Micah successfully challenged the university housing policy that prohibited him from moving into the dorms; and was able to live on campus for his final semester.

Alex and Micah have spoke together at numerous disability advocacy conferences around the country about the importance of post-secondary opportunities. In May of 2014, Micah was appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Alex is originally from Troy, Michigan, and currently lives in Reno. He began his work in Nevada in 2008 as an AmeriCorps VISTA, working with the Youth Transition Project with the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities and with Family TIES of Nevada. As a VISTA, Alex worked to support and educate youth with disabilities about self-determination, self-advocacy and their transition out of high school into employment or college. After his term as a VISTA, he supervised the VISTA projects in Las Vegas for two more years. During his tenure, he supported the People First chapters, organized transition summer camps at UNLV, in Reno and Elko for youth with disabilities and assisted in the development of competitive and integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

In May of 2014, Alex graduated from Northeastern University School of Law, in Boston, Massachusetts with a Juris Doctor degree. While in law school, he focused his studies on civil rights and disability rights law, completing research on the law and advocacy surrounding competitive and integrated employment for workers with disabilities as well as comparative legal work with respect to Title II of the ADA and accessible transportation and Chinese disability law. He has completed legal internships at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in Ireland, the Labor Arbitration Council, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and in Las Vegas at the NAACP Las Vegas and the ACLU of Nevada. He currently is a member of the Board of Directors for Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center (NDALC).

Jeannie Dwyer, M.Ed.
Special Education Department

I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I moved to Reno after high school to attend UNR.  In my education at UNR I have attained a BS in Elementary and Special Education, a M.Ed. in Special Education and endorsements in Autism and School Administration.  This is my 18th year teaching special education in Washoe County School District.  I have taught students of all abilities ages 3 to 22.  I have also been a mentor and provided training to teachers.  Teaching is my passion and I am a strong advocate for all children and adults.  I am married with 3 beautiful girls and 1 yellow dog.  We enjoy spending time together doing anything outdoors, except in the winter.

Kelli Walker
Nevada PEP

Kelli Walker is a 2010 Partners in Policymaking graduate.  She currently works at Nevada PEP as the Programs Coordinator.  She has been with PEP for almost 5 years.  Kelli is married to her husband of 28 years, also a Partners graduate of 2014.  She is passionate about empowering families to be the best advocate they can possibly be for their children, as they know their children best.  She is the mother of 4 grown children, her youngest, Natalie, 19 is in the picture with her and happens to have autism and believes that advocating for her daughter is what has brought her to wanting to help others navigate through what can be challenging systems.

Tiffany Montgomery
Information & Training Specialist
Nevada PEP

Tiffany Montgomery is the Information and Training Specialist at Nevada PEP.  She is a mother of two energetic children that keep her on her toes.  Her son who has ADD, Dyslexia and Executive Functioning Disorder inspired Tiffany to go back to school to major in Human Development and Family Services with a minor in Developmental Disabilities.  She wants to help other parents who want to know more about how to help support their child and to encourage, empower and educate them to be the best advocate they can be.

Malena Raymond
Washoe County School District
Board of Trustees

Trustee Malena Raymond has built a career around her passion for the Northern Nevada community. As a non-profit professional she has collaborated with other organizations to connect important services with those in need. As a trustee she hopes to use this passion to inspire collaborations between the Washoe County School District and area non-profits. Collaborations like the Sierra Arts Foundation/Veterans Memorial STEM Academy Arts Integration Program, which integrates the arts into student’s curriculum and personal life, providing a creative approach to all subjects.

Ann Bingham, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of Nevada
ECHOSSEE Project Director
Early Childhood Hybrid Online Special Educator Education

Dr. Ann Bingham is an Associate Professor of Special Education. Her work focuses on early intervention and early childhood special education as well as engaging families of children with disabilities. She received her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Florida with minors in early intervention and research. She previously worked as a speech-language pathologist and developmental specialist providing early intervention services. Dr. Bingham has a dual appointment with the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities where she is the Coordinator for Interdisciplinary Pre-Service Training. She serves on the state leadership teams for the Nevada TACSEI Pyramid Model Partnership and the Nevada Expanding Opportunities Inclusion Project. Dr. Bingham is the Principal Investigator for ECHOSEE, a federally funded grant to support master’s level study in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education.

Carolyn A. Wilson
Developmental Specialist Supervisor IV

Carolyn Wilson graduated with honors from Strathclyde University in the United Kingdom with a BA in Education. She has additionally studied at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Nevada, Reno.

Carolyn is passionate about empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and helping them choose their own pathways to success. Carolyn is currently working as Developmental Special IV Supervisor at Sierra Regional Center. She provides leadership and advocacy in the planning, development and delivery of a high quality comprehensive support service system across the lifespan to individuals’ with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live independent, meaningful and dignified lives.

Previously Carolyn worked at the Department of Child and Family Services at Northern Nevada Child & Adolescent Services as a Psychiatric Caseworker. This allowed Carolyn to collaborate and provide interface between Nevada’s Department of Child & Family Service Mental Health Programs and other key developmental disability agencies and community organizations. As an Intermediate Case Specialist with the Department of Child and Family Services in Scotland, Carolyn delivered innovate programs and group work; gaining experience providing direct services, counseling, Applied Behavior Analysis supports and case management. As a Psychiatric Nursing Assistant at the Argyll & Bute Hospital, Carolyn implemented patient care plans direct care and gained extensive experience in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies and providing crisis intervention to individuals with intellectual disabilities and a wide range of mental health disorders.

Carolyn has served on numerous Committees and Boards advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities including: The Chrysalis Human Rights Committee, the Behavior Intervention Committee, The Community Connection Committee and the Northern Nevada Down Syndrome Network.

Honorable Frances Doherty
Second Judicial District Court

Judge Frances M. Doherty currently presides in Department 12 – Family Division of the Second Judicial District Court in Washoe County, Nevada. She oversees civil family court cases including dissolution of marriage, custody, adoption and guardianship matters. She was elected in November 2002 and re-elected in 2008. Judge Doherty previously served as a Family Division Master in the Second Judicial District Court for a period of five years.

Judge Doherty has spoken and trained nationally and in Nevada on issues affecting children and families in our court system and has received recognition for her work in a variety of venues. Prior to joining the Court, Judge Doherty worked as a legal services attorney with Washoe Legal Services and in Illinois with Prairie State Legal Services. Judge Doherty also served as a Nevada Deputy Attorney General for the Nevada Commission on Ethics; the Consumer Protection Division and the Nevada Domestic Violence Task Force. Judge Doherty currently lives with her spouse and two children in Reno, Nevada.  Judge Doherty leads the way for the State of Nevada for education on adult guardianship issues.

Marisol Rodriguez
Developmental Specialist / Intake Coordinator

Marisol Rodriguez received her BA in Psychology from UNR. She participated for 2 years in the UNR Early Childhood Autism Program at UNR, working as a tutor and implementing discrete trials and collecting data along with implementing behavior plans. Marisol also provided ABA supports to children with Autism for 6 years, she developed and implemented discrete trials and collected data along with behavior plans. She then worked for WCSD in an early childhood program for 6 years. Marisol implemented IEP goals and collected data and worked closely with Speech, OT and PT professionals and taught pre-academic skills in a reverse mainstream classroom.  Marisol is currently a Developmental Specialist/bilingual intake coordinator for Sierra Regional Center and has worked there for 5 years. She monitors, assesses and provides supports for individuals with Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disabilities. She provides supports for the entire spectrum, from young children to seniors with the support of team members and family members. She meets with individuals who may qualify for services and gathers information from them necessary to complete the initial assessment and determine eligibility for SRC services.

Brianna Hammon
Center for Self Determination, Inc.
Library & Training Project
Children’s Advocacy Project

My name is Brianna Hammon, and I can be a quiet listener to the world around me but when I speak, there is no mistaking that you are being asked to touch your own humanity in an effort to be a part of the solution to creating a more compassionate, just and inclusive community in your very own neighborhood, city, state or country. I was the first person in Nevada to file an ADA complaint. Result: all elementary schools in Washoe County built after 1992 are built to children’s wheelchair standards which exist nowhere else in the United States. I testified to the legislature in 1999 at the age of 16 about being locked in school closets by segregated classroom teachers. Result: passage of the prohibition on the use of aversive interventions against students with disabilities in Nevada.  I wrote for a civil rights magazine – MOUTH – which is now a part of the Smithsonian collection on disability culture. At 23, I traveled to Washington DC after winning an essay contest on paratransit to work with leaders in the disability community on paratransit and other transportation issues. At 24, I confronted Nevada Medicaid about a rule that prevented people from getting Augmentative Alternative Communication devices. They ignored me, so I contacted the National Assistive Technology Law Project and got them together with my ADA attorney, and we organized a class action law suit. Result: the rule was changed and Medicaid recipients can now get dedicated Dynavox devices. In 2010, I testified to a special session of the legislature after a long day waiting with lots of frightened people. I spoke for less than three minutes. Result: restored 16 million dollars in proposed cuts to the developmental disabilities budget. In 2012, I traveled to Long Beach California paid for by the National Association of State Directors of Mental Health, to be featured in the documentary Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories. Result: First Prize in two international film festivals, one in the US and one in Canada. I am a Librarian in a library I started with materials written by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. I am an international advocate. And I am public speaker and Training Specialists. I also work for the Children’s Advocacy Project.

George McKinlay
University of Nevada Reno
Nevada Center For Excellence in Disabilities

George McKinlay is the Data Systems Manager for the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities and also a Project Director for the Nevada Assistive Technology Resource Center.  George has an extensive background in Data Management, Web Development and Accessibility, Universal Design and Assistive Technology for people with disabilities.  He also teaches a Disabilities Issues class in Community Health Sciences at UNR and engages his students in several projects regarding assistive technology and community accessibility each semester.

Scott W. Youngs
University of Nevada Reno
Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities

Scott Youngs has been a trainer, educator, and advocate for individuals with disabilities for almost 30 years. He is the Project Director for ADA Nevada and the Nevada Assistive Technology Resource Center, with the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities at the University of Nevada, Reno. He provides statewide training, technical assistance, assessments, and other services to individuals with disabilities, service providers and businesses in the public and private sector regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and Assistive Technology. He volunteers his time on several boards and committees statewide and is a strong promoter of improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and our communities.

Cheryl M. Dinnell

Life planning Consultant

Cheryl Dinnell is the parent of a son with multiple disabilities, a disability advocate, and a specialist in microboards, respite, and future planning.  She has degrees in business management, finance and economics, and has held several licenses in financial services.  She currently works with clients as a budget counselor and employment specialist.

Cheryl began her work as a disability advocate at UNR, writing grants as the Director of Family & Consumer Programs, and developed and directed programs such as the Nevada Parent Network, Family Voices of Nevada, Nevada Respite Coalition, and Nevada Partners In Policymaking.  In 2000, she hosted the International Parent-to-Parent Conference.

She is a founder of Family TIES, and served as Executive Director and President of the Board for several years.  She has taught college classes, given training to professionals, and spoken to many audiences.  She has also written many articles for disability publications.  She also produces a newsletter for DeBarsy Syndrome International.

Cheryl has received awards and recognition for her work in the disability field, including the Polly Arango National Family Leadership Award from Family Voices, and the Family Advocate Award from Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center.

Over the years, Cheryl has been a member on many boards and advisory groups, including the Nevada Special Education Advisory Committee, the National Microboard Association, the Nevada Governor’s Commission on Services for People with Disabilities, and the Nevada Interagency Transition Advisory Board.  She also worked as the Nevada Lifespan Respite Care Coordinator.

Currently, she works as a Lifeplanning Consultant, a Management Analyst for Aging & Disability Services, and as Service Coordinator for DeBarsy Syndrome International.


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