Leadership

 
President
Bruce Keisling, PhD

Bruce Keisling, PhD (President)
Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
email

Bruce Keisling is the executive director of the Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities and Shainberg Chair of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and serves as the director of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) on campus.

Dr. Keisling graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He attended graduate school at Auburn University where he earned masters and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology. He complete a pre-doctoral internship through the University of Virginia School of Medicine and a post-doctoral fellowship in developmental disabilities and behavioral pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Keisling has over 20 years of experience in the field of developmental disabilities. Previous positions include a clinical faculty appointment through the Emory University School of Medicine and a four-year tenure as the regional director of a statewide, not-for-profit center that serves adults and children with developmental disabilities. He is a board member of the national Association of University Centers on Disabilities and serves statewide interests through his board membership on the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities.

 
 
Executive Director
Andrew J. Imparato, JD

Andrew J. Imparato, JD
Executive Director
email

Andrew Imparato has served as executive director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) since 2013. As a disability rights lawyer and policy professional with more than 25 years of experience in government and advocacy roles, Imparato has worked with bipartisan policymakers to advance disability policy at the national level in the areas of civil rights, workforce development, and disability benefits. Prior to coming to AUCD, he was senior counsel and disability policy director for Chairman Tom Harkin on the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Before that, he spent 11 years as President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, a national organization working to grow the political and economic power of the disability community. Imparato's perspective is informed by his personal experience with bipolar disorder.

Since joining AUCD, a national network of over 100 university-based programs that conduct research, training and advocacy to improve the quality of life of children and adults with disabilities, Imparato has helped the organization nearly triple its budget, broaden the scope of its advocacy and expand its leadership capacity. In recent years, AUCD has connected in a deeper way with the broader civil rights community and with private sector partners like the Council on Foundations and the US Business Leadership Network, helping the network share its expertise with a broader group of stakeholders. 

Imparato's work has been recognized by the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Transportation, the US Junior Chamber of Commerce, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Association of the Deaf, and the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. He has testified nine times before Committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been interviewed on a wide range of disability issues by national television, radio and print media. He cultivates grassroots activism on social media and is known for seeking out and mentoring emerging leaders with disabilities. 

Imparato co-authored articles that have been published in the Stanford Law and Policy Review and the Milbank Quarterly, and wrote a chapter on the Supreme Court's disability rulings in The Rehnquist Court: Judicial Activism on the Right (Hill & Wang 2003). He has been an adviser on accessibility, recruiting and corporate social responsibility to Centene, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, Walmart, Anthem, and other leading businesses. He currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Policy Research Scholars program, the Centene National Disability Advisory Council, and the Ruderman Family Foundation's International Advisory Council. Imparato graduated summa cum laude from Yale College and with distinction from Stanford Law School. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, historian Elizabeth Nix, Ph.D. They have two sons. Gareth is a writer in Los Angeles and Nicholas is an undergraduate at Pomona College in Claremont, California.

 
 
President-Elect
Amy Hewitt, PhD

Amy Hewitt, PhD (President-Elect)
Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota
email

Dr. Hewitt has an extensive background and work history in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and has worked in various positions over the past 28 years to improve community inclusion and quality of for children and adults with disabilities and their families. She is the Director of the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration and the Associate Director for the MN LEND. She directs several federal and state research, evaluation and demonstration projects in the area of community services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She currently has research projects that focus on community living, direct support workforce development, and positive behavior support. She is also a founder of the College of Direct Support a national training curriculum development project that currently delivers training to 280,000+ direct support professionals each day throughout the United States and has delivered over 4 million completed hours of training to these Direct Support Professionals.

Dr. Hewitt is a national leader in the area of community supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the direct support workforce. She was a founder of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and has been instrumental in the development of the NADSP national credentialing and accreditation program. Dr. Hewitt has authored and co-authored many curriculum, journal articles and manuscripts. She is a managing editor of Frontline Initiative a national newsletter for DSPs; a contributing editor for LINKS a newsletter of ANCOR and guest editor of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities a journal of the AAIDD. She is currently a Board member for the national American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the national Association of University Centers on Disability, Arc Minnesota and Arc Greater Twin Cities.

 
 
Past-President
Celia Feinstein, MA

Celia Feinstein, MA (Past-President)
Institute on Disabilities, Temple University
email

Celia S. Feinstein is the Director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. Ms. Feinstein has been with the Institute since 1979.

Ms. Feinstein completed her undergraduate studies in physiological psychology at Temple University and her Master's Degree in Medical Sociology at Temple University. Ms. Feinstein has completed her coursework in partial fulfillment of the PhD in medical sociology.

Ms. Feinstein has extensive experience working with people with disabilities and families through her training, technical assistance and research activities, specifically in the areas of leadership development, community-based training and technical assistance, quality of life assessment and waiting list development and management. Ms. Feinstein has also done a significant amount of work in the area of deinstitutionalization and has published extensively. She has also been extremely involved in the development of the self-advocacy and family support movements in PA and provided consultation to many states in regarding deinstitutionalization policy and research, quality of life assessment and waiting list strategies. Ms. Feinstein has served on legislative committees regarding waiting list issues and has served on a number of community and professional boards and committees including the Developmental Disabilities Council, the Disability Rights Network of PA, The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and Vision for Equality.

 
 
Secretary
Sachin  Pavithran, PhD

Sachin Pavithran, PhD (Secretary)
Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University
email

Sachin Pavithran was born in India, but grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sachin came to the US at the age of 17 to start his college career at Utah State University. He graduated from USU with a degree in Business Information Systems, and another degree in Marketing. Sachin received his Masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and a PhD in Disability Disciplines from Utah State University.

Sachin is currently the Program Director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP) and the Disability Policy Analyst for the Center for Persons with Disabilities. Sachin enjoys being an advocate for people with disabilities. He keeps up with the research and development of various assistive technologies, and is involved nationally in working with legislators in the Federal Government to bring a change in various Federal Policies for the benefit of individuals with disabilities. He has reached out to the international community on Disability Policy and Infra Structure Development based on the requirements set forth by the UNCRPD. He has trained and presented in several countries such as Egypt, Syria, Philippines, and Turkey.

Sachin has over twelve years of direct involvement in development, testing, and training for accessibility for assistive technology, extensive experience in lecturing and training others in accessible technology. Sachin provides technical assistance on accessible information technology for individuals and groups. He helps in the evaluation of products related to web accessibility and design. He sits on various boards nationally, such as, The Research and Development committee for the National Federation of the Blind, The National Multicultural Council, and Senator Hatch's Advisory board for disability policy. He was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Access Board where he currently serves as the Chairman of this agency.

Sachin aspires to be in the fore-front of establishing and implementing national and international policy that impacts people with disabilities around the world.

 
 
Treasurer / Finance and Audit Committee Chair
Stephan  Viehweg, MSW, ACSW, LCSW

Stephan Viehweg, MSW, ACSW, LCSW (Treasurer)
Riley Child Development Center, Indiana University
email

Stephan Viehweg, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, IMH-E®(IV), CYC-P is Associate Director of the Riley Child Development Center - Indiana LEND, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary leadership training program supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and faculty member of the IU School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and the IU School of Social Work. He also is Associate Director of the IUPUI Center for Translating Research Into Practice. His practice and research interest is in social-emotional development of infants and toddlers.

He is founding chair of Infancy Onward (Indiana's infant mental health association) and Founding President of Family Voices Indiana. He serves a governor appointment and as Chair to the Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board. He partners with a variety of state and local organizations and agencies to promote best practices for infant and toddlers. He is co-author of Tackling the Tough Stuff: A Home Visitor's Guide to Supporting Families at Risk. Steve's experience as a social work provider with families and their children with delays as well as adults with disabilities, and his ability to communicate in Spanish and American Sign Language, make him a well-respected, sought after therapist, presenter, and consultant.