• Meet the Team

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    Kara Ayers, PhD
    UCEDD Advocacy Coordinator

    Kara is an instructor at the University of Cincinnati and a clinician in psychology in the community.  Her advocacy experience includes:  at the National Youth Leadership Network as a strategic planner and chair of the Public Information Committee; as a continuing member of speakers’ bureaus for the United States Olympic Committee and the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation; and as a contracted feature writer for Disaboom, Inc., one of the largest online disability communities.  She coordinates advocacy activities at the local, state, and national level for the UCEDD and contributes through her writing to the UCEDD’s on-line presence.


    Amy Clawson, BA
    UCEDD Family Support Coordinator

    She has functioned in the role of parent and family coordinator for over a decade and brings great experience and knowledge to the UCEDD and division related to family support activities. As a parent of a child with a disability, she can also draw on her personal experiences navigating the health and service systems and participating in the community. Amy facilitates and leads family support activities, such as the Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome Support Group and the Parent Group Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, leads workshops and trainings on topics of importance to families of children with disabilities, disseminates resources to families and conducts outreach to underserved populations.


    Erica Coleman, MS
    UCEDD Health Activities Coordinator

    She received her MS in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida and has worked with and on behalf of people with disabilities and their families in the area of health promotion and access to health care for over ten years.  She is responsible for UCEDD activities related health care access and health promotion for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including activities that are part of the Ohio Disability and Health Program, and health care transition of youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs.


    Karen Edwards, MD MPH

    Director of the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) Program at CCHMC
    Director of  the UC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

    She is associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati.   She received her university and medical school education at the University of Connecticut, completed her residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Edwards currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI).   She is a member of the Academic Pediatric Association and the American Public Health Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.


    Victoria Hennessy, BS
    Training Coordinator for the UCEDD and the LEND program

    Vicki coordinates grant-related data collection and reporting for grant-funded programs, including the UCEDD and LEND Programs and coordinates administrative and regulatory aspects of the developmental and behavioral pediatrics fellowship in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.  She coordinates day to day training activities for the grant-funded training programs, recruitment and selection of trainees and fellows, and communications with partners and collaborators at the local, state and national level.


    Tom Hess, MA
    UCEDD Coordinator for Dissemination and Evaluation

    Tom has worked in Ohio in the area of disabilities, including in employment and post-secondary opportunities, for fifteen years. His career experience spans vocational rehabilitation, program management, Human Resources consulting and small business development.  He chairs the National Family Advisory Committee of the Autism Treatment Network.  He coordinates grant reporting and evaluation of the UCEDD’s grant-funded activities.  He represents the UCEDD in several state-level activities and coordinates dissemination of information on issues of importance to people with disabilities and their families.


    Ilka Riddle, PhD
    Assistant Professor and the Associate Director of the UCEDD

    She received her graduate-level education in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Delaware, with a focus on disability and its impact on children and their families. Dr. Riddle’s research interest is in health care transition of youth with disabilities and health disparities experienced by adults with disabilities. Dr. Riddle is particularly interested in systems change activities and health policy as they relate to accessibility and inclusiveness of individuals with disabilities in health care settings, and she frequently presents on these topics at state and national conferences. Dr. Riddle has experience as principle investigator for various federally funded grants addressing health promotion and disease prevention for individuals with disabilities and improving service systems for children and youth with special health care needs. As associate director of the UCEDD, she manages health-related activities, works with the Community Advisory Committee and provides leadership to the UCEDD.


    Brady Sellet
    UCEDD Self-Advocacy Representative

    In this role, Brady represents the interest and voice of individuals with disabilities on health care and community councils, boards, work groups and taskforces, disseminates research, policy and self-advocacy information to self-advocates in the community, provides support and guidance to other self-advocates and participates in national self-advocacy activities.  Brady also works on building and maintaining relationships and collaborations with and among various community organizations that address the needs of individuals with disabilities.