Past NCAPPS Webinars

Build Back Better: Vision for a Post-pandemic World That Is Person-Centered and Inclusive for All People with Disabilities

Monday, December 13, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to drastic changes in the way people with disabilities engage with and access their communities for work, play, and to build and maintain relationships. The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the urgency to address health disparities, inaccessibility, ableism, and shift from segregated settings to accessible opportunities to engage in all aspects of life. This webinar will feature a panel of people with disabilities, family members, direct support professionals, and advocates reflecting on the lessons they have learned during the pandemic.

Meet the presenters

Nicole LeBlanc

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. Nicole is a natural leader chosen by her peers due to her unwavering commitment to speaking the truth to power. She currently works as the Person-Centered Advisory and Leadership Group (PAL) coordinator for NCAPPS. Her motto is “control your own destiny, or someone else will.”

Finn Gardiner

Finn Gardiner is a disability rights advocate with interests in educational equity, intersectional justice, comparative policy, and inclusive technology. Finn holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Tufts University. Finn is currently the Communications Specialist at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University.

Deyanelin Galvez

Deyanelin Galvez, DSP mentor for The Center for Family Support, is a member of the agency's workforce committee. She assists in the Individual Support Services (ISS) department, is a virtual support planning specialist with the innovative team, and recently received her CQL (Council of Quality and Leadership) certification to conduct people-centered interviews. Deyanelin wears many hats and is proud to wear each and every one of them. Her mission is to advocate for and assist those we support so that they can live their best lives.

Sarah Blahovec

Sarah Blahovec is a disability rights advocate and activist. She currently works as the Voting Rights and Civic Engagement Organizer for the National Council on Independent Living, where she advocates for greater accessibility in elections; educates the disability community on voting rights and works to energize a disability voting bloc; and addresses barriers to running for office for people with disabilities. Sarah is the creator of Elevate: Campaign Training for People with Disabilities.

Susan Yuan

Susan Yuan is the mother of Andreas Yuan, who is 47 years old. Andreas doesn’t speak but communicates by supported typing. Susan retired from the University of Vermont but continues training in Advocacy and Leadership and does parenting skills assessments of parents with IDD to help them keep custody of their children. She serves on the VT State Standing Committee for Developmental Services, and the board of Upper Valley Services, which serves Andreas.


NCAPPS is an initiative from the Administration for Community Living and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help States, Tribes, and Territories to implement person-centered practices. NCAPPS webinars are open to the public, and are geared toward human services administrators, providers, and people who use long-term services and supports. All NCAPPS webinars will be recorded and archived at