Donna Bouclier is a life time advocate, professional and mother to Alina Szamatowicz (age 22) who despite having Aicardi Syndrome is challenging paradigms. Prior to having Alina, Donna worked in the provider community for over 13 years, giving her a unique perspective as both provider and parent. This combination has been invaluable when it comes to understanding systems and the needs of those being supported. For over ten years, she advocated at the local, state and national level “influencing public policies” that impact people with disabilities and families. She was a member of the Intellectual Disability Caucus of the PA House of Representatives and in 2011, she worked on a special project in which over 20 families from across the state offered testimony before the PA House of Representatives Human Services Committee regarding the impact of PA’s proposed budget on families and individuals with disabilities.
Donna presents internationally, nationally, and locally on topics related to disability, inclusion, advocacy, employment first and assistive/augmentative communication. In 2004, at the request of the United States Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Donna presented to the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on the topic of Interagency Collaboration. As a consultant for Disability Rights International (DRI), she presents internationally promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and trains activists from those countries. She served as an Expert Consultant at the Caribbean Islands Meeting for UNICEF in 2011 for DRI.
Donna served as Co-Chair for the National Coalition on Self-Determination and the Philadelphia Intellectual Disabilities Public Awareness Committee. She was Secretary for the Local Right to Education Task Force and was a member of the Transition Council for the Philadelphia School District. She is currently the Board Chair for Partnership for Community Supports; a Supports Coordination Organization. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance. Over the past 10 years, she has been interviewed on national and local tv and radio regarding disability topics.
In her career, Donna held upper level-executive postions, most recently at The Arc of Philadelphia. In 2010, she co-wrote a grant that was awarded $100,000 to transition individuals with ID/DD from school to community. She drafted the position paper on employment for The Arc of PA that was adopted by the board in 2010. Donna has facilitated Strategic Planning sessions for non-profits and individuals using the PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) and co-wrote the 2nd edition of the Microboard Field Handbook with the team from Networks for Training and Development.
Additionally, she has experience in Case Management, Residential Services, Employment Supports, Public Awareness and Training.