Meet the Community Partners Council
Greg is the current Chair of the CPC. He is a community organizer and educator, advocate and member of the autism community in Portland, Oregon. He organizes and leads a support group for adults on the autism spectrum and also organizes self-advocacy events for the ASD community. Greg learned about UCEDD through his involvement with the Multnomah County SHEIDD project, which focuses on addressing inequities in sexual health education for individuals with developmental differences. He realized that there was increasing need for greater self-representation for the interests of adults on the autism spectrum within different ASD related organizations and is excited to be part of the CPC. Originally from Manchester, Connecticut, Greg has lived primarily in Portland (with a few extended stayed to conduct research in Tanzania) since 2008. When he is not working to increase awareness of the needs of people in the ASD community, he loves to drive laps around racetracks in one three of personally rebuilt vehicles.
Paulina currently serves as Secretary for the CPC. Originally from Chile, Paulina has lived in the Portland Metro area for 15 years and has a husband and two children. Her daughter guides Paulina in her commitment to advocate for a better life full of opportunities for her daughter, and for every person with disabilities. Representing a parent perspective on the CPC, Paulina also brings professional experience from her prior work at Family and Community Together (FACT) Oregon. She also has volunteered for the last three years on several projects for the UCEDD and the OHSU Child Development and Rehabilitation Center (CDRC). Paulina and family love going to the coast, to the cinema, meeting with friends, and visiting new places.
Sherri currently serves as Treasurer of the CPC. She is an active member of her community and a strong advocate. Sherri also serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for Inclusion Inc., works for Meals on Wheels, has experience as a Healthy Lifestyles Trainer, and recently retired after serving eight years with the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD). Sherri enjoys gardening, staying busy, and helping others get what they need!
Joe is one of the founding members of the CPC, and his enthusiasm shows no sign of wear after 13 years. Joe currently serves as Past Chair of the CPC. He has a strong interest in working on behalf of, and mentoring, high school youth with disabilities, and has been involved in a variety of trainings that teach individuals about self-advocacy and self-determination. Joe has also been a member of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) and the State Advisory Council for Special Education. He currently works for the City of Eugene in the Adaptive Recreation Program and loves watching Ducks basketball.
Kiersi recently finished her Associates Degree at Portland Community College (PCC) and is pursuing her Bachelors, and then hopefully Masters, of Social Work at Portland State University. She has also been working and volunteering for the UCEDD for over four years. Kiersi was a Student Leader at the PCC Multicultural Center and also a Student Educator for the Illumination Project, both projects promoting student equality on campus. Kiersi previously lived in an adult foster care home and is a strong advocate for community living and community integration for people with disabilities, as well as universal design within society. Kiersi lives independently with her cats, Rowena and Blue Raspberry. She loves exploring Portland.
Ryley has worked alongside the UCEDD as a DD network partner for five years at the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD). Ryley was initially introduced to the disability field as a family member of a person with a disability. He has worked for the past 10 years in the disability field in the role of expanding the involvement of people with disabilities and their families in social and policy change. Ryley has worked for the Oregon Self Advocacy Coalition (OSAC), the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), U.S. Senator Tom Harkin’s office, and with other local, state, and national organizations. When not working, he spends his time exploring and surfing in Oregon with his family.
Patty currently works for a Community Developmental Disability Program. She has also worked in the disability field as a music therapist for a number of years. Additionally when she received her doctorate, she taught in community colleges and at universities with a focus on disability studies and human development. Patty's interest in the CPC comes from her passion as an advocate and an ally trying to tie together the theoretical concepts of the social model of disability while creating relationships among providers, families, and individuals through the work that she does at the County level. She was born and raised in Salem, but currently reside in the Wilsonville area. Her favorite thing to do for leisure is create music and spoil her two dachshunds, Bugsy and Murphy.
Jason Schaffer is a self-advocate from Portland, Oregon. His favorite thing to do for fun is drawing. Jason is a facilitator with the Healthy Lifestyles Program, he has been a peer mentor with the Empowered Youth Leaders, he has taught multiple classes at the Public Annex Art Program, and he is a member of the OSAC. Jason is excited to be a member of the CPC because he wants to make a difference in the community and he wants to continue to advocate for the rights of the disability community.
Jacob is an educator, advocate, and behavior professional in several counties. He supports families and other professionals working with individuals with developmental disabilities and provide trainings in the community for a diverse group of learners. Jacob attended an UCEDD accredited program for graduate school and enjoys learning through research and community members' experiences about how to be the best advocate he can be. Originally from San Jose, California, Jacob has lived in Oregon since 2003 and has been working in the field for over 20 years. He enjoys dancing, gardening, and reading a good book while cozying close to, or on top of his dog.
Aleena is a family member of a person with a disability. Currently, Aleena is employed as a public health professional. She also works with a Special Olympics team and previously worked at the UCEDD as a summer intern, student worker, and research assistant. At the UCEDD, she worked on projects like the Disability Justice Snapshot and Advocacy and Building Community program. Outside of work, Aleena enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors. Aleena is excited to continue to advocate for people with disabilities and learn from others on the CPC.
Michelle Williams is a Public Health Specialist and Disability Systems Advocate with Independent Living Resources (ILR) in NE Portland, a practicing naturopathic physician, and family member of people with disabilities. Her first-hand experience with healthcare access and lack of disability awareness in healthcare and with providers has prompted her advocacy for individuals with disabilities in relationship to access to care as well as disability competencies in healthcare providers, administrations and organizations and support staff. Michelle grew up in SE Idaho and moved to the PNW in 2004, attending Evergreen State College in Olympia WA. She also recieved a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) from National University of Natural Medicine, Portland OR, in 2016 and is currently working on a Master of Business in Healthcare Administration, OHSU/PSU School of Public Health, 2024 Candidate.