RTC/OM HCBS Measurement Education Modules

Expert Bios


Brian Abery headshot

Dr. Brian Abery

University of Minnesota

Brian Abery, Ph.D., is Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the RRTC/OM. He is a Research Associate in the RTC/CL and is an adjunct faculty member in the Institute of Child Development and Educational Psychology Programs. Dr. Abery has been a Principal Investigator of numerous federal projects funded through OSERS, NIDILRR, and the CDC, as well as state agencies designed to promote self-determination, social/community inclusion, inclusive education, employment, and health care for children, youth, and adults with a variety of disabilities. In the assessment area, he has recently conducted or is currently undertaking programs of research designed to: assess the self-determination of adults with IDD from both a self-report and behavioral observation perspective; investigate the consequential validity of Alternate Assessment Based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS) for children and youth with the most significant disabilities; develop general outcome measures (CBM) to evaluate the academic progress of students with IDD, and improve the educational performance of children and youth from India through implementation and evaluation of curriculum-based measurement and response to intervention program in Tamil Nadu State.


Renáta Tichá headshot

Dr. Renáta Tichá

University of Minnesota

Renáta Tichá Ph.D., is Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the RTCOM. Dr. Tichá is a Research Associate at the Institute on Community Integration. She currently works as a co-PI on the RRTC/CL on which she directs a study on secondary data analysis of the National Core Indicators data and as co-PI on a study investigating the facilitating factors and barriers of intervention implementation and a self-determination study of people with IDD in family settings. She coordinated two longitudinal randomized control trials in the previous RRTC cycle with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Active Support Interventions and Their Effect on Increased Participation of Persons with Severe Impairments (NIDRR) and on Developing Exemplary Practices to Support Self-Determination of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (NIDRR).


Don Lavin

Don Lavin, M.A., Principal

Strengths@Work LLC

Don Lavin has worked in the fields of disability advocacy and employment in a variety of administrative and direct service capacities for more than 48 years. Presently, he serves as Principal of his organizational consultancy called Strengths@Work, LLC. As a leader in the management of disability service and employment programs, Lavin has been actively involved in collaborative research, program service demonstrations, and uses of outcome measurement systems to inform better public policies, advance promising practices, and secure the best results possible for customers of disability services.


Katrina Simons

Katrina Simons, Community Program Specialist

Institute on Community Integration-University of Minnesota

Katrina Simons currently works at ICI as the Community Program specialist. In this role, Katrina works to engage community partners to further the Self Advocacy movement across Minnesota and the nation. Previously, Katrina worked on a number of projects examining the relationship between Quality of Life and Chronic Illness and Disability across the lifespan.


Roger Stancliffe

Roger Stancliffe, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor

Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney

Roger Stancliffe is Professor Emeritus of Intellectual Disability at the University of Sydney’s (Australia) Centre for Disability Research and Policy.  He has a 25-year ongoing collaboration with disability researchers at the University of Minnesota.  His research focuses on making a difference in the everyday lives of people with intellectual and developmental disability, ranging from research on transition to work to studies on ageing.  He has written almost 200 academic publications on disability and has presented papers at research conferences in five continents.


David Rotholz

David A. Rotholz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director and Professor

Center for Disability Resources (UCEDD), Co-Director SC LEND, University of South Carolina School of Medicine

David Rotholz has been a leader in statewide system change in positive behavior support (PBS) and evaluation of state disability quality assurance/improvement systems. He has collaborated with state DD agencies on policy, evaluation and research, and with national associations (e.g., NASDDDS, AAIDD) on issues related to PBS, rights, supports, and policy.

His disability research/policy experience has included positive behavior support, person-centered planning, residential setting use, statewide system change, and early intervention systems for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


John Tschida

John Tschida, MPP, Executive Director


John Tschida is the acting executive director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. He previously served as director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. He’s spent more than 20 years using data and research to drive change at the policy and provider level for individuals with disabilities. This includes improving outcome measures across the continuum of care.


Henan Li

Henan Li, PhD, MS, Research Associate

Human Services Research Institute

Dr. Henan Li is a member of the team behind the National Core Indicators project, which administers a large-scale (47 states) annual cross-sectional survey among recipients of state DD services (including HCBS). Dr. Li’s areas of interest include obesity and physical activity, health disparities, and health care utilization and spending among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities


Dr. Beth Pfeiffer headshot

Dr. Beth Pfeiffer

Temple University

Dr. Pfeiffer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University and the Director of the REACH (Research, Engagement and Advocacy for Community Participation and Health) lab. She is a licensed occupational therapist and special educator. Dr. Pfeiffer has an extensive history of funded research focusing on intervention and measurement development for individuals with disabilities. She is the primary or lead investigator on a number of projects to development outcome measures for transition age youth and young adults with developmental disabilities including measures of employment, transportation, participation and independent living. Additionally, she works with a team of researchers to develop person-centered outcome measures for individuals across a range of disabilities.


Dr. Gretchen Snethen headshot

Dr. Gretchen Snethen

Temple University

Dr. Gretchen Snethen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University and the Associate Director for the NIDILRR funded Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses. She is a certified Recreational Therapist. Her work centers around the idea that community participation is both a right and a medical necessity; specifically, exploring factors that may prevent or facilitate community participation, developing interventions that aim to promote community participation, and supporting communities to create more welcoming environments for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, she works with the RTC/OM researchers to develop person-centered outcomes measures for individuals with diverse disabilities.