SDMNY has an Advisory Council consisting of a wide variety of stakeholders, including persons with I/DD, family members, caregivers, service providers, special education professionals, regulators, disability scholars, legislators, lawyers, judges, and court personnel. We welcome the opportunity to learn from and involve experts, and experts by experience, in all aspects of our work.

  • Andrew Drobenko


  • Carrie Bateman

    Chief of Staff, Division of Specialized Instruction and Student Support, New York City Department of Education
    New York, NY

  • Kimberly Berg

    Program Planner, NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council
    Albany, NY

  • Naomi Brickel

    Director of Community and Family Education, Westchester Institute for Human Development
    Westchester, NY

  • Victor Calise

    Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities
    New York, NY

  • Tina Campanella

    Principle Investigator, National Resource Center on Supported Decision-Making
    Washington, DC

  • Leslie Ann Caraballo

    Parent Advocate; Citywide Council on Special Education; Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York Advocacy Council
    New York, NY

  • Bernard Carabello

    Founder of the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS); Institutional survivor, Willowbrook State School
    New York, NY

  • Louis Cavaliere

    Executive Vice President, Developmental Disabilities Division, Services for the Underserved (S:US)
    New York, NY

  • Suzanne Chen

    Parent; Outreach Coordinator, New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative
    Queens, NY

  • Natalie Chin

    Assistant Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law; Co-Director, Disability and Aging Justice Clinic
    Brooklyn, NY

  • Rebekah Diller

    Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Co-director, Bet Tzedek Civil Litigation Clinic
    New York, NY

  • Chester Finn

    Self-advocate; Vice President of Advocacy & Self-Advocacy, Community Empowerment Programs, Inc. (CEPI)
    Albany, NY

  • Stuart Flaum

    Parent advocate; Special Needs Planning Adviser
    Brooklyn, NY

  • Bob Fleischner

    Co-director, Supported Decision-Making Project, Center for Public Representation (CPR), (Retired)
    Northampton, MA

  • Lisa Friedman

    NYS Bar Association, Sections on Trusts & Estates and Elder Law & Special Needs
    New York, NY

  • Heather Green

    Transition Program Educator, Shenendehowa High School
    Saratoga County, NY

  • Hon. David Guy

    Surrogate Judge, Broome County
    Binghamton, NY

  • Beth Haroules

    New York Civil Liberties Union; Willowbrook class counsel
    New York, NY

  • John Hatton

    East End Disabilities Associates, Inc.
    Suffolk County, NY

  • Robin Hickey

    Albany, NY

  • Gerald Johnson

    Self-advocate, activist, author, and institutional survivor
    New York, NY

  • Michele Juda

    Executive Director, Parent to Parent of NYS
    Schenectady, NY

  • Julian Kane

    Student, SKILLs Program, Cooke Center Academy
    Queens, NY

  • Arlene Kanter

    Bond Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor of Law; Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program, Syracuse University College of Law
    Syracuse, NY

  • Hon. Peter Kelly

    Surrogate Judge, Queens County
    Queens, NY

  • Regina Lehman

    Associate Professor & Program Director, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, LaGuardia Community College
    Long Island City, NY

  • Tirza Leibowitz

    Associate Director for Legal Advocacy, Human Rights Initiative, Open Society Foundations
    New York, NY

  • Lori Lerner

    Coordinator of Family Services, Developmental Disabilities Division, Serving the UnderServed (S:US)
    New York, NY

  • Carol Lieb Himes

    Coordinator, Special Education, Early Intervention & ACCES-VR Mediation Programs, New York Peace Institute
    Brooklyn, NY

  • Hon. Margarita Lopez Torres

    Surrogate Judge, Kings County
    Brooklyn, NY

  • Diana Mendez

    Parent advocate; Parents for Inclusive Education (PIE); The ARISE Coalition; Advocates for Children
    Queens, NY

  • Marc Anthony Mendez

    Student and Self-advocate
    Queens, NY

  • Michael Middleton

    Klara & Larry Silverstein Dean of the School of Education, Hunter College
    New York, NY

  • Martha Mock

    Associate Director, Institute for Innovative Transition, Warner School of Education & Human Development, University of Rochester
    Rochester, NY

  • Tara Moffett

    Special Needs Attorney, Former Chair, NYS Bar Association Committee on Disability Rights
    Albany, NY

  • Arfa Mujahid

    Parent advocate
    Queens, NY

  • Shain M. Neumeier

    Self-advocate; PADD Staff Attorney Analyst
    Albany, NY

  • Hon. Juanita Bing Newton

    Judge, NYS Court of Claims; Dean, NYS Judicial Institute
    White Plains, NY

  • Tara Anne Pleat

    Co-editor, NYS Bar Association Elder Law & Special Needs Journal
    Saratoga County, NY

  • Katie Riordan

    Division Head, SKILLs Program, Cooke School and Institute
    New York, NY

  • Trina Hazell


  • Sheila Rothman

    Professor Emerita, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University; Co-author, The Willowbrook Wars

    New York, NY

  • Leslie Salzman

    Clinical Professor of Law, Cardozo School of Law; Co-director, Bet Tzedek Legal Services Clinic

    New York, NY

  • Diana Sanabria

    Chief Clerk, Surrogate’s Court, New York County

    New York, NY

  • Lisa Severino

    Self-advocate, Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS); Chairperson, Developmental Disabilities Planning Council Caucus

    Queens, NY

  • Sheila Ellen Shea

    Director, Mental Hygiene Legal Services, Third Judicial Department

    Albany, NY

  • Hon. Jo Anne Simon

    Assemblymember, NYS Assembly
    Brooklyn, NY

  • Gloria Smith

    Parent advocate; Citywide Education Council for District 75, New York City Department of Education
    Brooklyn, NY

  • Marna Solarsh

    Special Needs Attorney
    Scarsdale, NY

  • Jennifer Teisch

    Project Coordinator, AHRC
    New York, NY

  • Barbara Wale

    President & CEO, Arc of Monroe County
    Rochester, NY

  • Eric Yetter

    Guardianship Coordinator, Achieve, Inc.
    Binghamton, NY