NCD Council Members

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The Council Members of NCD live across the country and each brings a unique perspective informed by varied personal and professional experiences. Council Members are people with disabilities, parents or guardians of people with disabilities, or other people who have substantial knowledge or experience of disability policy or programs. NCD Council Members are appointed to represent people with disabilities, national organizations concerned with disabilities, providers and administrators of services to people with disabilities, people engaged in conducting medical or scientific research related to disabilities, business concerns, and labor organizations. A majority of NCD Council Members are people with disabilities.

Clyde Terry

Clyde E. Terry

Concord, NH

Clyde E. Terry is the Chief Executive Officer of Granite State Independent Living in Concord, NH. Previously, Terry was the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council. His work has included spearheading a national coalition of disability organizations on election reform and election accessibility. In this role, he co-authored "Voters Denied Equal Access at the Polls; A Status Report of the Accessibility of Polling Places in the United States" in 2001. Terry received his B.S. from Emerson College and his J.D. from the Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the University Of New Hampshire School of Law.

Katherine Seelman

Katherine Seelman, Ph.D.

Co-Vice Chair
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Katherine D. Seelman, Ph.D. is associate dean of disability programs and professor of rehabilitation science and technology at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. She holds secondary appointments in the School of Public Health and the Center for Bioethics, an adjunct position at Xian Jiatong University, China and is senior policy adviser for the National Science Foundation-supported Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center. She was the recipient of the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award in 2007.     Dr. Seelman, who is hard-of-hearing, serves as adviser to the University’s Students for Disability Advocacy and is co-chair of the City of Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Task Force on Disability.  She was one of two from the U.S. serving on the World Health Organization’s 9-member international editorial committee to guide the development of the first World Report on Disability and presented a chapter of the Report, for which she was a principal author, in 2011 at the United Nations. During the Clinton Administration, she served for seven years as the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in Washington, D.C.  She is widely published and the recipient of many awards.

Royal Walker, Jr.

Royal P. Walker, Jr., J.D.

Co-Vice Chair
Jackson, Mississippi

Royal P. Walker, Jr., recently retired after 22 years of service as associate director then executive director of the Institute for Disability Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Upon retirement, Mr. Walker has joined the private sector. Mr. Walker was the first executive director of the Gaming Commission of the Mississippi State Tax Commission from 1991 to 1992, and director of the Division of Budget and Policy Development at the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration from 1990 to 1991. Walker is a past president and Outstanding Achievement Award recipient of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, a past chair of the Mississippi March of Dimes, and former vice president of Family Voices of Mississippi. He has served on the board of directors of the American Task Force for the Homeless, the Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council for Children with Special Needs, and the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities. He received a B.A. from Jackson State University and a J.D. from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

Gary Blumenthal

Gary Blumenthal

Sudbury, MA

Mr. Blumenthal is the President and CEO for the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP), which aims to promote and ensure the health of the community-based organizations that provide supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. He also served as the Executive Director for the Alta California Regional Center, which oversees service delivery for children and adults with developmental disabilities in the Sacramento region. Previously, Mr. Blumenthal was the Wichita Regional Director for the Kansas State Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, CEO for the Florida State Protection and Advocacy Programs for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Director of the President's Committee on Mental Retardation during the Clinton administration. Mr. Blumenthal was also a member of the Kansas State House of Representatives for 11 years. He was an American Government teacher in the Shawnee Mission Public Schools in Overland Park, Kansas for 12 years. Mr. Blumenthal a graduate of the University of Kansas, Lawrence and the University of Missouri, Kansas City.


Bob Brown

Las Vegas, NV

Bob Brown is currently the Foundation President of Opportunity Village, Nevada’s largest habilitation organization providing services to people with intellectual and related disabilities. Bob is also the incoming Chairman of the Board for the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. He is on the boards of directors of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, the Public Education Foundation, and the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. He was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Nevada 150th anniversary committee. He was a past publisher of the Las Vegas Review Journal. He was also a coach for the Special Olympics and served on the Board of the Special Olympics of Nevada. Bob is currently a member of ACCSES, which represents more than 1,200 disability service providers across the country as the Voice of Disability Service Providers. Bob is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley.

Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Gade

Lt. Col. Daniel Gade

New Windsor, NY

Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Gade is an assistant professor at the United States Military Academy, and the Deputy Director of the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic.  He led a tank company in battle in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, where he was wounded in action twice and decorated for valor.  A right leg amputee, Lieutenant Colonel Gade remains on active duty in the US Army.  He holds a Master’s Degree and a PhD from the University of Georgia, and worked as an Associate Director of the Domestic Policy Council in the White House from 2007-2008.

Janice Lehrer-Stein

Janice Lehrer-Stein

San Francisco, CA

Janice Lehrer-Stein is a member of the Board of Directors of Medical Research Charities -- a national federation of research focused non-profits, which solicits and directs employee donations to the Combined Federal and State Campaigns. She is a National Trustee of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and was Chair of the 2010 and 2011 Dining in the Dark dinner in San Francisco, which increased awareness about people with blindness and low vision. A board member of Disability Rights Advocates, a non-profit law firm working to improve access and secure the civil rights of individuals with disabilities, Lehrer-Stein holds a Juris Doctor degree from University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale. She was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in 1982 and is legally blind.

Benro T. Ogunyipe

Benro T. Ogunyipe

Chicago, IL

Benro T. Ogunyipe is an Accessibility Specialist for the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), a position he has held since 2004. In his capacity of the position, he directs and administers the program activities with special emphasis on Titles I-IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act at the DHS Bureau of Accessibility and Job Accommodation in Chicago. He also serves as a bureau legislative liaison and communications access trainer. He is a frequent presenter of sessions at national, regional, and state conferences on the topic of employment rights and responsibilities of deaf and hard of hearing individuals under the provisions of Title I of the ADA. He served as President of the National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. from 2011 to 2013, and served as Vice President and Chairman of the Board from 2007 to 2011. He was a Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission from 2007 to 2012.  Mr. Ogunyipe received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gallaudet University and a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from the School of Public Service at DePaul University.

Neil Romano

Neil Romano

New York, NY

Neil Romano has dedicated his career to the marketing of ideas and messages to help save lives and promote public policy.  Romano’s extensive professional background includes tenure as director of communications for the White House Office of Drug Abuse Policy. In that role, he worked on notable public awareness campaigns including “Just Say No” and “America Responds to AIDS.” In 2007, Romano was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As head of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Romano advised the Secretary of Labor and worked with all DOL agencies to lead a comprehensive and coordinated national policy regarding the employment of people with disabilities in the United States. His work as a member of the Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled, helped improve the quality of life for workers with disabilities. In 2010, Romano’s work as a member of that committee was recognized by the full committee with a special leadership award. As a producer/director, Romano’s film, “Youth Homicide: A Public Health Crisis,” earned a Best Director Emmy Nomination.

Lynnae Ruttledge

Lynnae Ruttledge

Salem, OR

Lynnae Ruttledge is a disability policy advisor to an Irish-based international research institute, DOCTRID (Daughters of Charity, Technology Research Into Disability). Ms. Ruttledge served as Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration with the U.S. Department of Education from 2010 to 2012. From 2005 to 2009, she served as the Director of the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Previously, Ms. Ruttledge held executive level leadership positions in the Oregon Department of Human Services, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Committed to international diplomacy and goodwill, she has been affiliated with Mobility International USA since 1988. In 2000, Ms. Ruttledge was honored with the Governor's Award as Disabled Oregonian of the Year. In 2007, she received the Washington Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management. Ms. Ruttledge received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Michigan University.