Silver Spring, MD

Representing: Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates

Term Ends August 2024

Nicole LeBlanc has a keen ability and interest in public policy and excels at communicating the needs of people with developmental disabilities to public officials. She worked for over eight years at Green Mountain Self-Advocates (GMSA) in Vermont as Advocacy Director, supporting her peers with disabilities to feel comfortable talking to their elected officials about their needs. Also while at GMSA, Nicole served as the Project Assistant for the Inclusive Healthcare Partnership Project in which she researched tools that would assist people with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) in meeting their healthcare needs. In 2012, Nicole completed an internship at the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through the Washington Center in Washington, DC and earned a certificate of professional studies from the University of Vermont. In 2018, Nicole graduated from the VT LEND program, becoming the first self-advocate to complete it. She has presented keynotes on the dignity of risk at statewide self-advocacy conferences in Alabama, Missouri, and Rhode Island. Since 2011, Nicole has consulted for Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered and the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network developing self-advocacy tools and curriculums, presenting webinars and video blogs on the topics of health care, autism, presuming competence, self-managed services, voter access, and employment of people with disabilities. In August 2016, Nicole moved to Maryland to take part in the Paul Marchand Public Policy internship at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Nicole is not willing to shy away from taking on big challenges and new adventures. In 2017, Nicole traveled to Iceland and Ireland as part of the American Association on IDD delegation. In the fall of the same year, Nicole was the advocacy specialist for southern Maryland where she assisted self-advocates with challenges in the service system. In 2018, Nicole served as the Dr. Ruth Sullivan Policy Fellow. From March 2018 to March 2019, Nicole was the Self-Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center fellow for National Disability Rights Network where she created a booklet advocating for policies that promote competitive integrated employment. In April 2019, Nicole joined the Human Services Research Institute as the coordinator of the Person-Centered Advisory and Leadership Group (PAL-Group) within the National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices (NCAPPS). In addition to supporting communication with the PAL Group, she develops cognitively accessible project materials and resources that reflect the experiences of people with disabilities. In the summer of 2019, Nicole won the David Joyce Advocate of the Year award for outstanding policy advocacy on Capitol Hill.

In 2020, Nicole was a part of the social media team creating Facebook events for ADA30 and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In October of that same year, Nicole presented at the Inclusion Works conference, discussing “Turning Challenge into Opportunity - Getting People with IDD Work from Home Jobs in Light of COVID-19.” In December 2020, Nicole became a Self Advocate Advisor with TASH at the Administration on Disabilities Disability Employment Technical Assistance Center where she researches material on employment and self-advocacy, recruits focus group members, and drafts blogs and social media posts.

In May of 2021, she was a keynote speaker for the Wisconsin Board for People with Disabilities Employment First Conference on dignity of risk and person-centered planning in employment. In August 2021, Nicole began Person-Centered Planning with Shared Support Maryland for the Expectations Matter Grant. From September to March 2021, Nicole was a Care Fellow with Caring Across Generations, focusing on the voices and needs of seniors, people with disabilities, and caregivers.

Conflicts of Interest

No COIs declared.

Tags

Person Type
Panel / Committee