Judy Mark has an adult son with autism, which led her to become co-founder and President of Disability Voices United. Judy leads DVU’s advocacy and programmatic efforts. Judy was instrumental in the passage of the Self-Determination Law and has been active in its implementation. Judy has written and edited two books on the Self-Determination Program and has spoken extensively throughout California and trained thousands of individuals and families. Judy also leads DVU’s legislative and advocacy efforts and has frequently testified before California’s legislature. Judy has appeared frequently in the media advocating for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and on other major issues such as police violence, access to voting, and the problems with conservatorship.
Judy also serves as a faculty member at UCLA, teaching undergraduate courses on autism in the Disability Studies Program. She led the Autism Media Lab, which produced seven short documentaries on the inclusion of people with non-speaking autism. Her past professional experience includes over 30 years leading communication and development efforts for national policy organizations, most extensively focusing on immigrant and refugee rights.
Judy has a BA from UCLA in Communications Studies and a Masters in Politics and Public Policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University with coursework at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Judy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, attorney Allen Erenbaum, and son, Joshua, and she visits her daughter, Emma, often wherever she may be across the globe.
Director of Policyarrow_forward_ios
Nina leads DVU’s policy and legislative efforts and assists with DVU programs.
Nina has an adult son with autism and is an active participant in parent advocacy efforts on behalf of the East Bay autism and developmental disability communities. She has played a key role in developing the East Bay Parents Housing Network into an effective family support and education group. She is currently working to focus attention of local agencies on the urgent need to improve crisis prevention and intervention services.
Nina retired in 2018 as an Associate Regional Counsel in the Office of Regional Counsel at the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Regional Office based in San Francisco. For over 30 years she supervised attorneys providing legal support for the agency’s implementation and enforcement of federal environmental statutes.
Director of Self-Determination Program Projectsarrow_forward_ios
Kristianna Moralls (she/her) is the Director of the Self-Determination Program Projects. As the director, Kristianna leads the SDP trainings and conferences. She supports the regional center’s local advisory committee contracts for training and resource fairs. Kristianna implements the competitive integrated employment project research and training.
Sharing a deep commitment to advocating for the civil rights of people with disabilities and a passion for person-centered planning, Kristianna brings dedication and thoughtfulness to her role. She has firsthand knowledge of the challenges of this community and has many years of experience navigating these systems with life experience both advocating for her Autistic son as well as supporting foster youth with disabilities.
Kristianna has almost two decades of professional experience with Special Education Advocacy and Regional Center Advocacy through private and non-profit organizations. She supported disabled foster youth as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and as an Educational Rights Holder through Children’s Law Center Los Angeles.
Kristianna completed training for Independent Facilitation with State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD), Autism Society of Los Angeles, Claudia Cares, and The Guidelight Group. She has a certificate from Helen Sanderson and Associates in Person-Centered Thinking. She earned a certificate and continues to work with the Disability Voices United (DVU) Emerging Leaders Program. Kristianna completed her COPAA/USC UCEDD Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT) and is a member of the Council of Parents, Attorneys & Advocates. Kristianna has Dispute Resolution Program Act (DRPA) certification from Loyola Law School. She is a certified Olweus Bully Prevention trainer and QPR Gatekeeper Instructor.
Born and raised in Los Angeles and Orange County, Kristianna obtained a Bachelor of Science in Applied Social Science, a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, and is a Doctoral student in Public Administration.
Director of Outreach & Leadership Trainingarrow_forward_ios
Gilda Giron is the Director of Outreach and Leadership Training for Disability Voices United. As director, Gilda is leading the Emerging Leaders Program, which focuses on growing and nurturing self-advocates and family advocates to become leaders.
Gilda earned a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from California State University, Los Angeles and has certification in Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship (DIR) based model and customized employment. She has been an advocate and ally to the disability community for over 18 years, specifically with underserved communities. Gilda has worked in various settings including community college, adult day programs, and state-funded programs that serve people with disabilities. Her most recent roles include supervisor for an adult day program and Floortime therapy working collaboratively and in a multidisciplinary approach with families.
Gilda is the mother of three children, two of whom have a disability. Over the course of her career, she has been passionate about disability rights and having a daughter with a disability led her towards furthering her advocacy for people with disabilities. Gilda and her daughter were the first to undergo an experimental fetal surgery procedure for spina bifida. She is a passionate family advocate, providing support to newly diagnosed parents considering fetal surgery and parents that have gone through the process.
A California native, Gilda lives in Orange County with her husband of 11 years and three children.
Director of Empowerment Programsarrow_forward_ios
Born with cerebral palsy, Tim Jin advocates for the rights of anyone with a speech-related disability to have access to the communication tools and support they need. He has used an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device since elementary school in the 1980s. His work has been featured by TEDx and other publications. Mr. Jin graduated from California State University in Long Beach with a degree in speech communication. He lives in Southern California , and also serves on the boards of several nonprofits. Mr. Jin is in Self Determination and achieving life to the fullest
Director of Administrationarrow_forward_ios
Monica Rejniak is a human resources and operations management leader. As the Director of Administration, Monica ensures DVU is compliant with the regulations and compliance issues that dictate how California employers conduct business. Her primary objective is to streamline processes and establish policies that enable staff and volunteers to focus on driving the DVU mission forward.
She brings over 15 years of experience working with the I/DD community and prides herself on being a community builder. In addition, she brings her own experience, as a person who lives with the challenges of epilepsy, to DVU.
Monica earned her BA in Anthropology from San Francisco State University. She uses cultural anthropology to inform and guide her in the business environment. Understanding the people and culture of DVU provides insight on how to best support the team. Monica seeks to listen and learn the “other” perspective in order to build partnerships within DVU. She believes that partnerships, built on mutual trust and respect, are the basis for a successful organization.
Monica is a California native and enjoys exploring the world with her husband, Mick. They have two adult daughters that amaze them on a daily basis.
Darlene Hanson holds a Master of Arts in Communication Disorders from Whittier College in California. She is a Training Coordinator at DVU, co-hosting the Communication Access Connect and other groups at DVU.
In Southern California, Darlene runs a private practice, specializing in communication development for individuals and their support networks. Her background includes work in public schools, private practice, and as a Director of Communication Services for a Non-Profit.
As a speech and language pathologist, she conducts assessments in speech, language, and augmentative communication. Darlene has been a Master Trainer for Facilitated Communication Training since 1991 and contributed to the Best Practice Standards for Facilitated Communication Training by the Institute for Communication and Inclusion at Syracuse University.
Darlene also serves as a Board Member of the Wellspring Guild and has co-authored research and articles, including “Investigation of Authorship in Facilitated Communication” in the Journal of Mental Retardation (Aug. 1996).
Miguel is an Outreach Specialist for Disabilities Voiced United. Miguel’s goals align with the mission statement of DVU, which is to empower the disability community with the knowledge, experience, and encouragement of their given rights.
Miguel lives with a disability known as Cerebral Palsy (CP). Miguel was diagnosed with CP at the age of four, and his parents were told he would never walk. Miguel went on to live the life of a “typical disabled child” by going through special education with the uncertainty of what life after school really meant for him. He gave his first steps at the age of 11yrs old and without realizing it, Miguel made the choice to take his future into his own hands by pushing his parents to enroll him in regular education at the age of 14yrs old.
Miguel then went on to graduate from Montebello High School, and later attended community college. After which he became an advocate for disabled rights and was involved at the city and state levels. For four years Miguel has worked for a non-profit, assisting disabled adults in finding gainful employment and speaking to parents on the importance of not “disabling” their disabled child. Miguel has decided to challenge himself yet again by getting on stage and performing his “sit down comedy” routine. He has performed throughout California and parts of Mexico by raising awareness and infusing humor into what he considers the gift of life.
Miguel run his own business as a motivational speaker. He wrote a film on disability awareness called My Reality which is based on a poem that he wrote as well. In the poem, Miguel talks about how he believes society views his as well as other disabilities. Miguel’s goal is to prove that we can all turn a blind eye to the ‘dis’ and extenuate everyone’s abilities!
Tina is an Outreach Specialist for Disability Voices United. She is a self-advocate who has over 20 years of experience in the Self-Determination Program. Tina entered the Self-Determination pilot project in 2001.
Tina owns her own home and is working on turning her crochet skills into a micro-enterprise. She manages her team of caregivers with a little help from her IF. She has her certificate for completing DVU’s Self-Advocates Speakers Bureau training and enjoys being paid for public speaking.
Tina has a service dog named Rosie and is an advocate for service dog access and the rights of the disabled. She served in the DDS CAC from 2000 to 2006. Tina wants to change the world by educating away misconceptions. Knowledge is power.
Outreach and Leadership Training Assistantarrow_forward_ios
Kristina graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology and a double minor in Chicanx Studies and Disability Studies. As Outreach and Leadership Team Assistant, Kristina helped formulate the Emerging Leaders Program alongside Gilda and Miguel to provide self-advocates and family-advocates the skills necessary to become leaders in their communities and state to advocate for systemic changes.
She is currently working on her medical school application and plans to apply the next cycle. In the future, she would love to co-own a medical clinic that will cater towards people with low incomes and people with developmental disabilities in helping transition away from the medical model of disability and creating a space where all patients and families feel seen and heard.
Kyra (they/she) is the Events Coordinator at Disability Voices United. Prior to working at DVU, Kyra worked in Health Insurance as an Account Manager.
Kyra graduated from the University of California with a Bachelor’s in Feminist Studies. In their undergraduate studies, Kyra focused on conducting research in the following fields: LGBTQIA+ rights, accessibility issues, racial disparities in education, and pragmatic applications for Feminist Science Fiction.
Kyra is vocal about their experiences with ADHD and mental illness; they hope that honest interpersonal communication will help grow community awareness and understanding.
Kyra was born in Hawaii and raised in sunny California where she lives with her girlfriend and four leopard geckos, whose names are Cardamom, Clove, Cinnamon, & Ginger.
Daniel serves as a Program Assistant at Disability Voices United. He is currently a senior at Pomona College pursuing a Bachelor’s in Political Science with a focus on comparative social policy. Daniel assists the policy team and supports other teams as well. Daniel previously assisted with volunteer training at DVU’s Self Determination Conference and worked as a Policy Intern in 2023.
Daniel is the nephew of a person with disabilities and both of his parents have worked at regional centers during their careers. He has a particular passion for housing and criminal justice, and currently represents DVU on the ACLU’s Check the Sheriff Coalition working to prevent police violence against individuals with disabilities. Daniel is planning on attending law school where he hopes to pursue a career in public interest law.
Daniel is also a proud Los Angeles native, growing up in Pasadena and currently residing in Glendora with his family and two cats (Karl and Nacho).
Outreach and Leadership Program Assistantarrow_forward_ios
Fidelia Sillas serves as the dynamic Outreach and leadership Program Assistant at Disability Voices United. In collaboration with the director, she seamlessly integrates her extensive experience in project management and community outreach into executing program tasks. Fidelia provides valuable administrative support for the Leadership Community Connect, Emerging Leaders, and Ambassador programs.
Motivated by the belief that everyone deserves respect and equal opportunities, Fidelia joined DVU. She embraces inclusivity, recognizing and valuing each person’s unique strengths, contributing to the strength of our society.
In addition to her professional achievements, Fidelia takes pride in being a devoted mother of three and resides in Los Angeles County.
Self-Determination Program Assistantarrow_forward_ios
Erick Rocha, currently serving as a Self-Determination Program Assistant at DVU, holds a
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from California State University, San Bernardino. As
someone with a disability, he passionately advocates for the inclusion and representation of
individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life.
During his free time, Erick enjoys immersing himself in books accompanied by a cup of coffee,
particularly favoring poetry that resonates with his life as a Hispanic and as a paraplegic. He
credits his achievements, aspirations, and positive outlook to the loyal support from his family
and the exceptional professional relationships he has built over the years.
Erick’s outstanding qualities mark him as an unstoppable and determined force in his pursuits.
Self-Determination Program Assistantarrow_forward_ios
Elena is a Self-Determination Program Assistant for Disability Voices United. She is an autistic and epileptic self-advocate, involved in multiple local and state-wide self-advocacy groups. Elena graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s in Marketing. She lives in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. In her spare time, she enjoys going out in the community, cooking, jewelry-making, knitting, and reading sci-fi & nonfiction books.
William Del Rosario
Communication Disabilities Access Network Internarrow_forward_ios
William is a high school student currently in transition. He has autism, is non-speaking and types to communicate. As an intern with CDAN he has been an active advocate for access to communication and education while promoting inclusion.
William enjoys presenting at conferences demonstrating that non-speaking doesn’t mean non-thinking. He would like to seek post-secondary education by attending college to pursue writing and continue with his advocacy work. He enjoys spending time with friends, swimming and traveling with his family.