About the SARTAC Advisory Board

The Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) receives advice and guidance through an advisory board of self advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities from around the country. The 13 members of the advisory board meet on a monthly basis through teleconference calls and online forums to provide input on the work being done by SARTAC staff and its grant partners. Advisory members also serve as a think tank for the project and help form the policy positions of SARTAC on a variety of issues that affect people with a variety of different disabilities.

Once a year, SARTAC advisory board members meet face-to-face to discuss the progress being made in achieving the goals and objectives of SARTAC, and to learn about issues facing people with disabilities throughout the country. The face-to-face meeting also provides an opportunity for its members to meet and network with other self advocates from around the country.

To submit resources go to SARTAC's I Want to Share a Resource Page!

Meet the Advisory Board Members

Bernard Baker
Bernard Baker

Bernard Baker (Georgia)

I am the current president of People First of Georgia and a founding member. I am considered by many to be a disability civil rights pioneer. I have been there from the beginning. I fought to get the ADA passed and continue to lead.

Brad Linnenkamp
Brad Linnenkamp

Brad Linnenkamp (Kansas)

My focus is on training self advocates and empowering them to use their voices.  I participate in advocacy events locally, statewide and nationally.  I want the future of self advocacy to be in good hands.

I enjoy Kansas Jayhawk Basketball.  Major league baseball and football are on my list of activities that I enjoy.  I also really like cruising and traveling in my van.  Have gas money and driver…will go!

Cheri Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell

Cheri Mitchell (Georgia)

I am a former president of People First of Georgia and a leader. I love making a difference in people's lives. I do it every day in my work with self advocates and in my job at the Georgia’s P&A, the Georgia Advocacy office.

Chester Finn
Chester Finn

Chester Finn (New York)

I am employed by NYS OPWDD (New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities).  I served 3 terms as National President of SABE (Self Advocates Becoming Empowered) and I am the past President of SANYS (Self Advocacy Association of NYS). I was also appointed by President Obama to the National Council on Disability and I am also currently Advisor to the SANYS.

In my free time, I like to play all my instruments and attend sporting events like the New York Yankees and WWE wrestling.

David Frye looking at the camera
David Frye

David Frye (Vermont)


I am a board member of Green Mountain Self Advocates. In 2011, I began LGBTQA Support Groups for People with disabilities with the Pride Center of Vermont. I am working on expanding the network by reaching out to people with disabilities that are LGBTQA. The purpose is to promote health, wellness, and safety of this remarkable group of people. I received the Vermont Pride Award for Individual Activism on May 4th, 2013. From creating the support group and setting up a chat line to endless hours of outreach, I am in the process of connecting LGBTQA individuals with disabilities across Vermont. This innovative and tireless work has earned me several accolades including an invitation to speak at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s activist conference, Creating Change. I speak up for LGBTQA people with disabilities that can’t speak up for themselves. I stand up for equal rights for people with disabilities that are LGBTQA. I continue to see this needed work not just in Vermont, but around the world. My dedication is bringing much needed attention to this marginalized group of people.

I like to buy and sell Antiques and I have been doing it for 20 years. I like going to auctions, yard sales, and estate sales.

David Taylor
David Taylor

David Taylor (Michigan)

I speak to congress about Medicaid cuts and the Affordable Care Act.  I’m also a co-founder and on the board of Self-Advocates of MI.

I love working out, driving golf-carts, watching football, camping, listening to music, and hanging out with family.

Emily Rogers smiling
Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers (Washington)

I have a lifelong developmental disability. I worked in the developmental disability community in Washington State for my career. I have spent 15 years working in the advocacy arena teaching self advocacy skills and doing statewide legislative advocacy. I currently work for the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council. One of my roles is to co-coordinate and support the activities of the Equal Partners Interstate Congress (EPIC) a Project of National Significance grant.  I am also very involved in Allies in Advocacy. This group is responsible for writing “A Proclamation for the Dignity and Rights of All Human Beings”.

Finn Gardiner smiling
Finn Gardiner

Finn Gardiner (Massachusetts)

I am a Master of Public Policy student at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. I am the Regional Policy Analyst for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, where I build liaisons with local nonprofits and government agencies to advance disability rights, create disability-centric policy briefs, and approache policymakers to adopt laws that benefit the autistic community and people with disabilities generally.

Jean Searle smiling
Jean Searle

Jean Searle (Pennsylvania)

I do a lot of different stuff like talking to Legislatures about different stuff like ACA which is Health Care for all and maybe others that is important to everyone.

I like to go home and watch TV and then get ready for work. I live a very lonely life. I like to make people life better than mine. I also talk to Legislatures about Health Care for everyone and I also do Employment Stuff and do some speaking Presentations all over the States and I talk about Pennhurst which used to be an institution for people with Disabilities.

I am the co- President of Pennhurst Memorial Preservation Alliance along with a great friend and his name is Dr. Jim Conroy. We also have banners that travels all over for people to understand what it used to be. Our web site is www.perservepennhurst.org where you will be able to find everything.

I have also been working with the Legislatures on the Budget and on the Able Act which was fun to work with them. I have also been working on Voting, Shelter workshops and some new bills that might come our way to see if we can work with them on it.

I am also the first Self Advocate to become President of an agency called Penn Tash which we travel all over the States to talk about Disabilities stuff. I am also on the board of the DDC here in Harrisburg for a couple of years and what I do is chair a program called Public Information Exchange or as we like to call it (PIE). I also have had my picture taken with some special people at the Capital like Ted Dallas and also the Governor.

Jeiri Flores smiling
Jeiri Flores

Jeiri Flores (New York)

My name is Jeiri Flores (pronounced Jay-ree) and I am from Rochester, New York. I live self advocacy. I am on committees, I volunteer at different events, and I also teach others how to be self advocates. I eat, sleep and breathe self advocacy honestly but what I do for self advocacy on a more consist bases is present; I share my lived experience often with professionals and or students. I also serve on committees and consult.

While I was in college I founded an advocacy club/student organization where we put together programs that would raise disability awareness throughout campus. I also served on committees and planning broads to help address the inaccessibility of our campus. If I'm honest self advocacy is one of the build blocks of my personality it empowered me to act and push for change.

I like to read for fun, go to the movies, and hang out with my family. I also like to cause trouble, shake up the world with my thoughts.

Krista Howard smiling
Krista Howard

Krista Howard (Arizona)

I SPEAK up about my needs and wants and in groups to help each other for self advocate.

I would like to start or work in self-advocates to grow people up and homeless people with mentally and physical disabilities too. I like to work my job skills to make my career going better. I would like to see more helpful materials for disabilities people.  I love to help people and impact lives. I love to start a career and life skills center.

Nicole LeBlanc smiling
Nicole LeBlanc

Nicole LeBlanc (Maryland)

I am originally from VT, I now live in Silver Spring Maryland.  Mobilize my peers to stop back breaking budget cuts on the backs of the disability community-AKA SAVE Medicaid! Provide updates on policy issues impacting the I/DD community, train peers on how work affects your benefits, legislative advocacy etc. Offer peer mentoring services.   My hobbies are reading, surfing the net, hiking, ice skating, getting massages, walking on treadmill, traveling, argue with my conservative relatives, march in protest, go ice skating, give keynote speeches at self-advocacy conference’s, biking, riding, and attending conferences.

Thelma Green smiling
Thelma Green

Thelma Green (Washington, DC)

I was born in Baltimore, MD and grew up in Brown Town, MD until I was about 10 years old. Then I moved into Washington, DC and I have lived there ever since.  I am involved in a grant from the DOJ called Project Peer which focuses on women with disabilities and sexual and physical violence issues. I am the past Co-President of Project ACTION! and now I am serving as Co-Treasure of Project ACTION! I provide education to law students and medical students with another Project ACTION! member about how to work with people with disabilities. I am a member of the Shared Horizons Board which is an organization created out of a Class Action lawsuit closing a local institution and a Trust was developed for those clients.

I like to go out with my friends to bowling and movies especially going out with my boyfriend. I also like to do puzzle books like Sudoku, word searches and adult coloring books. I like working out at the gym for people with disabilities at the National Rehab Hospital (NRH).