President's Message

I am humbled to serve as your 2017-18 DCDT President. As the national organization representing over 1200 transition professionals across the country we are a mighty group. In our current times of fiscal uncertainty, political divisiveness, and educational fragmentation, it is important that we be as cohesive and united as a CEC Division as possible. As President, I look forward to working with you to ensure this happens – and I hope that the current DCDT tone of inclusiveness and approachability to DCDT leadership can continue.

I follow the path of some of the best researchers and practitioners in our industry who have also served in DCDT leadership positions. Thanks to our outgoing DCDT President, Darlene Unger, who has been my mentor and friend as I began my DCDT Leadership Journey. I am also thankful to an amazing Executive Board, including President-elect Valerie Mazzotti, Secretary Kendra Williams-Williams, Treasurer Deanne Unruh, and Executive Director, Jane Razeghi, and now Past-Past President, Jim Martin. As an Executive Board we work for you – to make decisions that represent the interests of our diverse membership. We work hard, play hard, and sometimes don’t always agree, but, being on the Board is fulfilling and rewarding. You may want to consider participating on a committee to learn about DCDT and get your feet wet at the national level.  I encourage all of you to consider a leadership position in DCDT!

We have board members and committee chairs who are moving to new DCDT leadership positions, or who are transitioning off of the board for now. I say now, because from personal experience, I know that DCDT is always part of you – and it’s likely, that at some time in the future, those who have left – will come back. I want to create this same sentiment across members. My hope is that members will see the value and strength in being part of this great organization, and if membership does lapse, they will come back!

I come into this position with a focus on two important topics that provide a foundation for our work as transition professionals. One is to ensure our membership remains representative of the range of professions that encompass our industry. We all don’t work at universities or serve in research roles. We all don’t work in school systems as transition practitioners. The breadth of transition professions extends from K12 schools and districts, to higher education, to the workforce, and to human services organizations and community providers. These professions and employment sectors represent the diverse range of positions that DCDT members assume. Our organization must be a welcoming place for all transition professions, regardless of job title or employment setting. We hope to do this through focused recruitment efforts, recognition programs, conference programs, and leadership opportunities for our professional colleagues who may work outside of higher education or school-based settings.

In addition to ensuring that our membership is representative of the diverse professional settings for transition professionals, a second focus will be to support DCDT activities that facilitate connection between our organization and those that represent other professional disciplines. For example, legislation such as the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires improved collaboration across education and workforce development, and transportation legislation (FAST Act) necessitates coordination across education, workforce, and transit. Let’s figure out ways to connect, coordinate, and collaborate with the organizations that represent the interests of members with whom we may not automatically think of as part of education sectors. 

DCDT benefits from the many talents and perspectives of a robust board. We hope you will consider becoming active on a DCDT committee and welcome the opportunity to meet you at our Fall conference in Milwaukee. We have a content-rich program planned including nationally recognized keynoters, over 250 presentations, interactive pre-conference workshops, and of course, well known DCDT award programs and receptions. Join us to engage in learning and laughter and please reach out to your peers who may represent diverse professional disciplines or non-traditional transition-related organizations. All of us on the Board feel fortunate to represent you and the interests of transition professionals everywhere. Thank you for your membership and commitment to furthering outcomes for youth with disabilities.


Judy L. Shanley, Ph.D.

Easterseals National Office, Chicago

DCDT President,


Introducing our DCDT Board

As President, I am so grateful for the many board members and committee chairs who have paved the way for our current work. In addition to the Executive Board that I referenced in Message from the President, I would like to introduce you to existing and new board members and say thank you to those who have left our board.

  • President-Elect – Karrie Shogren, former Research Committee Chair
  • Secretary – Donna Wandry
  • Conference Planner – Cindi Nixon
  • Web Editor - Al Daviso, former Representative Assembly
  • Representative Assembly – Lynn Newman and John McNaught, former Southeast Representative
  • Northeast Representative – Clare Papay
  • Southeast Representative - Joy Ivester
  • Northwest Representative – Dawn Rowe
  • Southwest Representative – Kendra Williams-Diehm
  • Marketing Chair – Stacie Dojonovic
  • Research Chair - Allison Lombardi
  • Policy & Advocacy Chair – Kimberly Osmani
  • Human Rights & Diversity Chair – Laurie Kahn
  • Parent Representative – Kara Hirato
  • Knowledge and Skills Committee Chair - Maria Paiewonsky and Jane Razeghi
  • Student Representative – Jennifer Bumble
  • Publications Chair – Amber McConnell
  • CDTEI Co-editors – David Test & Bob Algozzine
  • Newsletter Editor – Thomas Simmons


Thank you to outgoing board members including Mary Morningstar, Tiana Provenmire-Kirk, Mary Pearson, Michelle Doty, Ryan Kellems, and Meg Grigal.