Consumer/Community Advisory Board(CCAB)
The USC UCEDD California Community Advisory Board (CCAB) consists of consumers, parents, and professionals from across the state of California. The board meets three times a year to oversee activities within the UCEDD and give feedback and input as to our direction. These meetings are designed to:
- Gain feedback from the community we are serving
- Keep statewide communities aware of our progress
- Assure we are addressing pertinent issues for people with developmental disabilities
- Rayvone Douthard
- Mike Robin
- Vincent Chow
- Liz Spencer
Cathay Liu has a B.S. from the University of California Los Angeles and a Master's degree in cross cultural mental health counseling from the University of Western Washington in 1991. Prior to joining parents and professionals in the field of developmental disabilities, Ms. Liu was in the field of mental health counseling. She worked as a crisis counselor in Sacramento County from 1991 to 1993.
A mother of two children with developmental disabilities, Ms. Liu has worked at the Family Resource Center in the East Los Angeles area (one of 55 statewide), since September, 1999. As the Outreach and Training coordinator, she is a parent mentor to the Peer Support Staff, develops parent training materials, and conducts staff and parent training and development activities. Ms. Liu leads the FRC's efforts to conduct meaningful outreach to one of the largest Chinese constituencies of the 21 regional centers statewide.
In 1998, Ms. Liu became a member of the Chinese Parents Association for the Disabled (CPAD), when her first child was diagnosed with developmental disabilities. A firm believer in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, Ms. Liu focuses her work on community awareness and family-centered care. It is her life long goal to see that the systems and policies grow and reflect the needs of the diverse communities they serve.
Tim Jin has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from California State University, Long Beach, where he used to work at the Disabled High Tech Center on campus. He is currently employed at an educational publisher in Orange County. Assistive Technology is a major interest in Mr. Jin's professional life. He is on several committees, such as the Department of Rehabilitation's Assistive Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC). He is also a strong believer in fitness and working out, no matter one's limitations.
Mr. Jin's role in CCAB is from a consumer's point of view. He likes to advocate for others because he understands what it's like to be disabled and have challenges. Technology plays a big role in Mr. Jin's well being. He believes communication is a key aspect of being able to achieve one's goals.
Lisa Schoyer, Parent and Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Prenatal to Five Program Administration
Lisa Schoyer has a B.A. in Art from Yale College and a Masters in Fine Arts from California Institute for the Arts. With the birth of her son, Quin, she learned to be his advocate, navigating the health, developmental and educational fields. In 1999, she participated in the LA Care parent focus groups when Governor Gray Davis was considering putting all people with Medi-Cal into Managed Care; from there she joined the LA Care Advisory Board until the year of her son's death, 2002. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Schoyer worked as Chief of Family Support at the County of Los Angeles Children's Medical Services. In March 2009, she moved to the Department of Mental Health's Prenatal to Five Program Administration.
Raising Quin redirected Ms. Schoyer from her intended field of contemporary art to that of children with special needs and children with special health care needs. Ms. Schoyer is the Past President and Secretary for the Costello Syndrome Family Network and Lifetime Trustee of the International Costello Syndrome Support Group. Ms. Schoyer is also involved in developing an international Ras pathway advocacy/support foundation.
Prior to joining the Department of Mental Health, Ms. Schoyer's role on CCAB was as parent and CCS parent liaison. Her current position with the LA County Department of Mental Health Prenatal to Five Program also allows her to share mental health resources for children ages 0-5 among the USC UCEDD, the LA County Department of Mental Health Prenatal to Five Program, and the networks in which the Prenatal to Five Program is an active member.
Vincent Chow has been a Consumer member of CCAB since 2007. Mr. Chow was diagnosed with Autism at age 5 at UCLA. He is now 26 years old. Currently, Mr. Chow is taking computer courses at Pasadena Community College and is working on his 4th certificate to eventually become a Business Software Specialist. His goal is to get a job as an office assistant and live independently.
Josefina Nieves is a parent of two children with disabilities. She has been a disability parent leader for more than 10 years in the community. Ms. Nieves coordinates monthly support meetings and does consultations, referrals, home visits, and outreach. She coordinates trainings for parents who have children with developmental disabilities, and she refers parents to a variety of services in the areas of education, regional center services, and community resources. Ms. Nieves assists in the coordination of the annual statewide conference. She also collaborates on conferences in Spanish regarding autism and represents the agency on outreach activities. She has served on the Family Advisory Committee at Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center (ELARC) for more than six years.
Josefina Nieves es una madre líder, ya que tiene dos hijos con discapacidad. Ha trabajado y estado de voluntaria en diferentes sistemas de nuestra comunidad por 10 anos. También coordina grupos de apoyo mensualmente, puede ir a los hogares de las familias para explicar los sistemas por los que sus hijos pasaran, provee información acerca de los servicios disponibles en el sistema escolar, centro regional y la comunidad. Asiste en la conferencia anual de Fiesta Educativa. Ha participado en diferentes comités incluyendo el centro regional al que pertenecen sus hijos.
Esther Kelsey is an Associated Teacher and Westside Regional Center Consumer. Ms. Kelsey has an A.A. degree from El Camino College in Torrance, California. She majored in Early Childhood Development and is currently working as an Associated Teacher at Golden Day School in Los Angeles, California.
Ms. Kelsey was placed in foster care at an early age. In middle school, she was determined to have a developmental disability and was placed into Special Education classes. She received her high school diploma from Inglewood High School of Inglewood, California. Ms. Kelsey's work experience began at Southwest Industries, a workshop in Gardena. She excelled in her work performance and was selected to participate in the Supportive Program. Her experience working with children at Garr Nursery School in Los Angeles presented new opportunities. She enrolled in El Camino College and graduated with an A.A. degree.
Ms. Kelsey has been a consumer of Westside Regional Center for several years and has participated in many of their programs, such as Southwest Industries Workshop and Supportive Employment, Peer Mentoring and Partners in Policymaking. Counseling from Westside Regional Center and participating within their system has provided Ms. Kelsey with a wealth of knowledge. She wants to share this knowledge by educating parents of children with developmental disabilities and consumers. Ms. Kelsey also wants to advocate for consumers, establish a family friendly service system and develop a public policy initiative that will bring about change, giving full inclusion to people with developmental disabilities in everyday life.
Brigitte Ammons has special education credentials and many years of teaching experience in special education, working with a wide range of children with severe and multiple disabilities. She was lead teacher and program coordinator for Centro de Niños y Padres early intervention program at California State University, Los Angeles for five years. Throughout her career, she has been a strong child advocate and has particularly focused on parent training in the area of special education. For the past twelve years Ms. Ammons has held a position as an advocate with the Los Angeles Office of Disability Rights California. In this capacity, she works closely with families of children with disabilities and participates in activities related to special education and least restrictive environment.
Roberta Newton has been the Executive Director of Developmental Disabilities Area Board 10 for the past 13 years. During her 31 years in the developmental disability system, she has worked in a number of different capacities in both California and Pennsylvania. She has experience as a behavioral psychologist, service coordinator, family therapist, regional center quality assurance specialist, sex educator and early intervention specialist.
Among her areas of expertise, Ms. Newton cites a strong interest in providing parent and consumer education, in advocating for a consumer- and family-friendly service system, and in developing public policy initiatives that will increase the full inclusion and productivity of persons with developmental disabilities in their communities.
Ms. Newton represents one of the 13 Developmental Disabilities Boards in the state, monitoring agencies established under state law, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, and administered by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Eileen Fowler, PhD, PT, represents UCLA's Tarjan Center, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities partner organization. She is an Associate Professor in the UCLA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Director for Research and Education for the UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital Center for Cerebral Palsy, the Director of the Kameron Gait & Motion Analysis Laboratory and the Peter William Shapiro Chair for the Center for Cerebral Palsy. She is on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Disabilities. She serves on the UCLA University Committee on Disability.
Dr. Fowler has over 20 years of clinical and research experience in the area of developmental disabilities. Her research focuses on causes of movement problems in developmental disabilities and identifying successful treatments to improve physical function. Her current physical therapy research is directed toward stationary cycling and robotics. Duchenne muscular dystrophy and prosthetic gait are other areas of interest. She is active in the disability community to promote exercise and recreation in order to maximize function and prevent secondary conditions associated with developmental disabilities.