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Governor Abbott Appoints 12 to Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities

Governor Abbott Appoints 12 to Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities

Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed eight members of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) and appointed four new members. Ellen Bauman, Archer Hadley, and Dylan Rafaty have been reappointed for terms set to expire on February 1, 2021. Aaron Bangor, Ph.D., Evelyn Cano, Richard Martinez, Emma Faye Rudkin, and Amy Scott have been reappointed for terms set to expire on February 1, 2022.

Newly Appointed Members

Eric Lindsay of San Antonio is the Vice President and Legislative Director for the Paralyzed Veterans of America Texas Chapter. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving in the United States Army for 21 years. Lindsay received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Washington State University and a Master of Arts in Diplomacy and a Master of Science in International Business from Seton Hall University.

Elyse Lieberman, Ph.D. of Liberty Hill is a faculty member of Western Governors University in the Educational Leadership Department of the Teachers College and currently serves as the Director of Compliance for Liberty Hill ISD. She is a member of the Texas Council of Administrators for Special Education and the Council for Exceptional Children. She has over twenty years of special education experience with students in diverse settings. Lieberman received a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Science in American Studies and Psychology from the University of Delaware and a Master of Education in Education Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration from Texas A&M College Station.

Kristie Orr, Ph.D. of College Station is disability resources director for Texas A&M University. She is president of the Association on Higher Education and Disability and a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability in Texas. She frequently provides peer workshops, lectures, and external reviews at state and national conferences and on campuses throughout the United States. Orr received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology from Texas A&M University, College Station and a Master of Education in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Kori Allen of Plano is ADA & Capital Programs coordinator for the City of Coppell. She is Committee Chair of the City of Coppell ADA Liaison Advocates and a member of the United States Access Board. Additionally, she is Vice President of Little People of America and a volunteer for Metrocrest Services. Allen received a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies from The University of Texas at Tyler and is working toward certification by the Texas Accessibility Academy as a Registered Accessibility Specialist.

Reappointed Members

Ellen M. Bauman of Joshua is the special needs ministry liaison for First United Methodist Church in Arlington. She is an advisory committee member of the North Central Texas Aging Disability Resource Center and a member of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Council of Tarrant County and the Texas Oral Health Coalition. Additionally, she is the board president of the Arc of DFW Area, a committee member for the Arc of Texas, and vice chair of Texas Parent to Parent. Bauman attended Texas Wesleyan University and Tarrant County College and received a certificate of Christian Education from Columbia College in Columbia South Carolina.

Archer Hadley of Austin is a student at The University of Texas at Austin and founder of Archer’s Challenge, a non-profit organization focused on promoting accessibility for those who are mobility impaired. Previously, he successfully raised funds to install several automatic doors at Austin High School. He is an Eagle Scout and volunteer counselor for Camp Grace and Pathways. Hadley is the recipient several awards including the Austin Outstanding Philanthropic Youth Award and the International Carter Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy.

Dylan M. Rafaty of Plano is founder/chief navigator of DylanListed, a support services provider focusing on consulting, employment, and training opportunities for people with disabilities and director of Business Development Partnerships of C-Hear, Inc., a technology company focused on digital accessibility. He proudly serves on numerous executive boards including as Social Responsibility Committee chairman of IAICDV, an Advisory Council Member of Angel City Sports, and an Advisory Board Member of Sandlot Children’s Charity, and Care and Mercy Foundation. Additionally, he is Dallas ambassador for the Abilities Expo, a member of the Plano Chamber of Commerce, Success North Dallas, Disability:IN North Texas, North Texas Industry Liaison Group, and National Disability Mentoring Coalition. Rafaty received an Associate degree from Collin College and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of Phoenix.

Aaron Bangor, Ph.D. of Austin is director of Accessibility Solutions at AT&T. He is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and is board certified as both a Human Factors Professional and an Accessibility Professional. Additionally, he is the chair of Disability:IN Central Texas and has served as a technical and policy expert for accessibility and disability issues with the Federal Communications Commission, Council of State Governments, and is active in national and international standards. Bangor received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Master of Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Factors Engineering from Virginia Tech.

Evelyn Cano of Pharr is co-owner of Grande Produce LTD and Cano & Sons Trucking. She is also the co-founder and president of Disability Chamber of Commerce-RGV. She is a certified Texas Educator having previously taught for six years for McAllen ISD. Previously, she served on the board of AWARE RGV (Advocates Working to Provide Autism Resources and Education) and as interim executive director and board member of the Capable Kids Foundation. She is a member of the Council of Parent Advocates Attorneys (COPAA) and a member of the International Museum of Arts & Sciences Education Committee. Cano received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Richard Martinez of San Antonio works in the Office of Diversity and Federal Compliance for VIA Metropolitan Transit. He served in the Administration of President George H.W. Bush in the Department of Transportation and the Executive Office of the President. He also served as a district director for Congressman Henry Bonilla of San Antonio. Additionally, he has worked for multiple state-wide elected officials, the Texas Department of Transportation, and was assistant to the Border Commerce Coordinator in the Office of the Secretary of State. He is a graduate of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Alex Briseño Leadership Development Program and former parish council member and former Archbishop’s Appeal Chair for St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. Martinez received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas A&M International University.

Emma F. Rudkin of Boerne is CEO and founder of Aid the Silent, a nonprofit that advocates for deaf and hard of hearing children. She is also a musician and speaker, and was a finalist in the Miss Texas Pageant in 2017. Through Aid the Silent, she organizes the annual Good Vibrations Music and Arts Festival, the largest all-day, deaf accessible festival in the U.S. Rudkin received a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Nonprofit Management from The University of Texas at San Antonio Honors College.

Amy L. Scott of Austin is a warehouse administrative specialist for the Travis Association for the Blind and a former peer counselor and teacher of the blind. She is a former member of the Disability Advisory Council of New York, Tompkins County Area Transit Committee, Council for Exceptional Children, and Human Rights Committee of Ithaca New York. Scott received a Bachelor of Science in Education from The University of Texas at Austin.

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