Meet Our Staff
- Katherine Yoder, MS, CFI
- Leigha 소연 Shoup, MS, RA, CA
- Stacy Brannan-Smith
- Jackie Martin
- Kat Rogers, LSW
Meet Our Consultants
Meet Our Board
Mary is the Director of Policy and Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio, a global nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. She holds a Master of Science degree in Gender, Development, and Globalisation from the London School of Economics, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Denison University. Before working for The Nature Consercancy, Mary served Director of Public Affairs for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the state agency responsible for enforcing Ohio’s laws against discrimination, and was a Senior Policy Analyst for Disability Rights Ohio, Ohio’s Protection and Advocacy system for people with disabilities. In 2015, while at DRO, she researched and authored a white paper on the sexual abuse of individuals with developmental disabilities, including policy recommendations for Ohio. This research shined light on the many barriers to appropriate services for adult victims of crime with disabilities. Prior to her work at Disability Rights Ohio, Mary was a Senior Fiscal Analyst for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, conducting research and drafting legislation for the Ohio General Assembly. A committed advocate for civil and human rights, Mary currently serves on Ohio’s Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council and is an active committee member for The Matriots PAC, a nonpartisan political action committee dedicated to electing more Ohio women to public office. Mary’s dedication and passion for equity and justice drive her support and involvement in Adult Advocacy Centers.
With over 17 years of experience working with individuals with ID/DD, Madoussou is an accomplished advocate. She is very passionate about equal access, human rights and assistive technology. Madoussou received her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Franklin University and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management & International Business from DeVry University's Keller Graduate School of Management. In addition, Madoussou is a certified Scrum Master. While adhering to her commitment to corporate sustainability, Madoussou uses her skills in the global market through integrated information technology and digital marketing solutions. Gaining new perspectives and collaborating with people with different background has afforded Madoussou the opportunity to spend portions of her life abroad. Madoussou is fluent in four additional languages: French, Fulani, Mandingo and Susu. In her free time, Madoussou loves reading, yoga, traveling the world with her husband, and socializing with friends and family.
Samantha works as a Trust Examiner for the Ohio Department of Commerce, traveling to banks with trusts and non-depository trust companies throughout the state. With her legal background and passionate commitment to upholding standards, she works to ensure the banks are in compliance with fiduciary standards and sound banking practices. As a graduate of Kent State University, Samantha has a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies with a minor in Pre-Law Studies; she also obtained her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law, and has been licensed to practice law in Ohio since 2013. While in law school she devoted time to her community, serving as a Governor of The Florida Bar Law Student Division of Governors and working as a coordinator of Citizenship Day in Jacksonville, Florida. Samantha believes in empowering individuals and the community they create, striving to build others up in and outside of work. Prior to working as a Trust Examiner, she gained valuable experience writing legal memoranda, researching complex legal issues involving the ADA, and working on projects to find positive solutions while working at Disability Rights Ohio. Her upbeat attitude, optimistic approach, diverse legal experience, and dedication to be involved constantly inspire Samantha to do more. Never one to avoid a challenge, she aims to step into difficult scenarios that can benefit from her skillset.
Darcie has been championing for the rights of the disabled for over 10 years. She currently works as a Career Resources Caseload Assistant for Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.
She has been certified by the Social Security Administration to write benefits analyses for beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI, as well as to audit financial and management records of Representative Payees. She holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Hope College, a Master’s degree in Health Administration from The Ohio State University and an Economic Crime Investigation Certificate from Utica College. Caring for cats is Darcie’s favorite activity outside of work, and she is also a big fan of the e-reader.
Meet Our Staff
Katherine Yoder is a certified forensic interviewer and a person with disabilities herself. For more than 20 years she has worked with people with disabilities in various capacities, from direct care to investigating crimes against people with disabilities across the state of Ohio. She also served on the Mortality Review Committee for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. All of this work revealed the glaring gaps in the different systems when a crime is committed against a person with a disability. After co-authoring the Advanced Forensic Interviewing Individuals with Disabilities (Project FIND) protocol, Katherine founded the Adult Advocacy Centers (AACs) in March 2019 to serve crime victims with disabilities. Since then, she has co-authored the Project FIND Adapted protocol for individuals who do not speak and four AACs' ADEPT forensic interviewing protocols for crime victims with disabilities. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in social psychology from Park University and a Master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. She is a Nonviolence 365 Ambassador with the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Katherine has receved many awards, including the Equality in Advocacy Award from Ohio Victim Witness Association in 2018, the Social Justice Award from the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission in 2021 and the Ohio Attorney General's Promising Practice Award in 2022. She was also a Diversability D-30 Disability Impact List Honoree for 2023. In 2023, the AACs were granted special consultative status to the United Nations, opening new doors to collaborations with international nonprofits, disability organizations and medical crisis responders around the world.
Leigha is the Deputy Director of the Adult Advocacy Centers. Leigha holds a Master’s of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Therapy from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences from Ohio University. She is a Registered Advocate with Advanced Standing in the State of Ohio, a Credentialed Advocate at the Intermediate Level with the designations of child abuse intervention specialist and sexual assault specialist through the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP), and is an Anti-Oppression Informed Practitioner (AOIP). Leigha has over 18 years of experience working with children and adolescents with disabilities. She is a state, national, and international presenter on the topics of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility when working with multi-disciplinary teams to serve survivors of crime. In July 2018, she co-published Serving Survivors with Disabilities - An Advocate’s Guide, and in 2019 she co-authored with national experts a first-of-its-kind protocol for interviewing individuals with disabilities called Advanced Forensic Interviewing Individuals with Disabilities (Project FIND). She was the recipient of the Children Safety Award in Allen County in 2017. Leigha works at the state and regional levels to review and create best practices that are inclusive and accessible to under-served populations. As a member of the disability community, her extensive knowledge of educational and victim advocacy for individuals with disabilities propels her to learn and lead in this movement.
Director of Communications and Outreach
Stacy has worked in the communications field for more than 20 years, including nearly seven years at Disability Rights Ohio, where she managed the website, branding, social media, public relations, media relations and graphic design for Ohio’s Protection & Advocacy system. She has presented locally and nationally about voting rights for people with disabilities and nonprofit media strategy, and she is passionate about creating accessible, inclusive resources for the disability community. Stacy has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Comparative Religion from Otterbein University.
Jackie Martin has been an advocate for people with disabilities for over 20 years, both professionally and personally, in her roles with the Cerebral Palsy Association of Ohio, the former OLRS Family Support Council and as a parent of a young adult with a disability. She has experience working with vulnerable populations in her role as Associate Director at the Family & Youth Law Center at Capital University Law School. In that role, she was responsible for grant compliance, reporting and fiscal management, as well as representing the Center in the community.
Forensic Interview Coordinator
Kat Rogers is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, where she earned a Master's degree in Social Work, with a focus in Mental Health and Substance Abuse. As a social worker, Kat is passionate about community outreach and activism. Throughout her Master's program, Kat focused on the specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community and, as a social work intern, co-founded a Queer Clinic Night at the Columbus Free Clinic. Kat has also provided education on LGBTQ+ and intersecting identities in many settings throughout her education and is a volunteer with the Trevor Project.
Meet Our Consultants
Shari is a strong advocate for everyone who lives with a disability. In her position as Public Relations Assistant for Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, Shari is the “blogger-in-chief.” She’s also a frequent blogger for the Adult Advocacy Centers, a columnist for the Dayton Daily News Editorial pages and an award-winning speaker. She frequently serves as the official emcee for DD Statehouse Advocacy Day, introducing advocates as well as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, the Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and other speakers. She even gave a TED talk at TEDx Dayton in 2014 called “Are you OK with yourself?” But the role she cherishes most is that of disability awareness advocate.
Shari’s impact as an advocate is far-reaching. She has served on the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities and on the Ohio Secretary of State’s Americans with Disabilities Council. In 2008, she was elected to the Board of Directors for the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. She’s served on the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Disability Foundation.
Mary's career has included investigating financial exploitation against people with disabilities and supporting transitional youth. She has been an advocate for over 25 years, and she is very passionate about ensuring equality and equity for people with disabilities in every aspect of society.
Dr. Diana Spore is an advocate for individuals facing mental health challenges, those who have dementia and disabled people, focusing on those people in these three groups who are victims of crime. She is an older adult, a writer/editor and has a psychiatric disability. Spore received her Master’s degree in Gerontological Studies from Miami University (Ohio), earned a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies, with a concentration in aging, from Penn State and received postdoctoral training from Brown University. She completed postdoctoral training at Brown University. Spore's areas of expertise include mental health and aging, mental health recovery and trauma-informed care, elder abuse, medication optimization, and long-term care. She has also acquired expertise in psychotropic drug use and inappropriate drug use among older adults, and supported decision-making and shared decision making by disabled individuals. She is a former Board member of the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County (MHRB). She was Editor-in-Chief of TAPESTRY OF OUR LIVES, an anthology of works created by individuals in recovery, a project that was done under the auspices of the MHRB. Spore served as Project Lead for a “Writing for Recovery” initiative at MHRB and engaged in all aspects of the project, which has resulted in spin-off efforts. Diana Spore has expertise in creative writing, writing for recovery, journaling for caregivers, legacy writing, and advocacy writing.
Adonna Wilson-Baney has a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University, a B.S. in Accounting from Franklin University, and an MPA from Franklin University. She started her career as a Case Manager for the Morrow County Board of Developmental Disabilities, where she investigated Major Unusual Incidents, and continued her investigative work as a supervisor of the abuse and neglect team at Ohio’s Protection and Advocacy system. In total, Adonna has more than 33 years of experience conducting investigations and interviewing victims, witnesses and alleged perpetrators. She has also successfully completed forensic interview training at the National Children's Advocacy Centers (NCAC), Project (FIND) Forensic Interviewing for Individuals with Disabilities and Finding Words with the Ohio Attorney General's office.