The Council Members of NCD live across the country and each brings a unique perspective informed by varied personal and professional experiences. Council Members are people with disabilities, parents or guardians of people with disabilities, or other people who have substantial knowledge or experience of disability policy or programs. NCD Council Members are appointed to represent people with disabilities, national organizations concerned with disabilities, providers and administrators of services to people with disabilities, people engaged in conducting medical or scientific research related to disabilities, business concerns, and labor organizations. A majority of NCD Council Members are people with disabilities.
Neil Romano has dedicated his career to the marketing of ideas and messages to help save lives and promote public policy. Romano’s extensive professional background includes tenure as director of communications for the White House Office of Drug Abuse Policy. In that role, he worked on notable public awareness campaigns including “Just Say No” and “America Responds to AIDS.” In 2007, Romano was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As head of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Romano advised the Secretary of Labor and worked with all DOL agencies to lead a comprehensive and coordinated national policy regarding the employment of people with disabilities in the United States. His work as a member of the Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled, helped improve the quality of life for workers with disabilities. In 2010, Romano’s work as a member of that committee was recognized by the full committee with a special leadership award. As a producer/director, Romano’s film, “Youth Homicide: A Public Health Crisis,” earned a Best Director Emmy Nomination.
James T. Brett
James T. Brett served for more than fifteen years as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Brett served as the Chairman of the Presidents Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and remains a member of its Committee. He is Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability in Massachusetts. He is also a Commissioner of the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission. He is the former President of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health. In 2014, he was inducted into the Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall of Fame. Also in 2014, the Disability Law Center bestowed upon him the Edward M. Kennedy Leadership award. In 2013, the University of Massachusetts Boston established the James T. Brett Chair in Disability and Workforce Development, the nation’s only endowed chair in disability and workforce development. In 1996, Bay Cove Human Services of Boston named a new community home for disabled adults “Brett House” in his honor.
Billy W. Altom
Little Rock, Arkansas
Billy W. Altom is the Executive Director of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living. APRIL is a national membership organization dedicated to advancing the rights and responsibilities of people with disabilities living in rural America. APRIL provides leadership and resources on rural independent living through a national network of rural centers for independent living, programs and individuals concerned with the unique aspect of rural independent living. The goal of APRIL is to work together to find solutions to common problems and to bring rural issues in independent living into focus on the national level. Altom is a member of the Rural Transportation Policy Group of the National Rural Assembly, the National AgrAbility Advisory Committee, the Transportation Equity Caucus and the Arkansas Public Transportation Coordination Council. He recently served as chair of the Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee of the United States Access Board and continues to work with Amtrak to ensure accessibility to all their amenities. He also represents APRIL as a member of the National Disability Leadership Alliance.
Jim Baldwin has a business background in banking. He has been President of Bakersfield Arc (BARC) since 2001. He has worked with local nonprofits to establish a countywide collaboration called VOICED. It is a group of executive Directors of organizations that provide jobs and services to people with disabilities and their families. Over the 18 years as BARC’s President and 7 years on the BARC Board, Jim is actively involved in the local, state and national level of the Arc. He is well known by the elected officials and is a recognized advocate at the local, county, state and national levels.
Dr. Rabia Belt is an Assistant Professor at Stanford Law School. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Disability Rights Bar Association. She is a legal historian specializing in mental disability and citizenship and is at work on a book manuscript titled Disabling Democracy in America: Disability, Citizenship, Suffrage, and the Law, 1819-1920. She lectures frequently on the rights of people with disabilities, especially people with mental disabilities. She received an A.B. from Harvard College, a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.<
Andrés J. Gallegos, Esq. is a shareholder with the law firm of Robbins, Salomon and Patt, Ltd., in Chicago, Illinois, where he focuses his practice on disability rights and healthcare law. Andrés founded and directs the law firm’s disability rights practice, which has as its emphasis on improving access to healthcare and wellness programs for persons across all types of disabilities. Andrés is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago’s Center for Independent Living, and is a recent two-term past-member of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois, having been appointed by the governor. Andrés is the 2015 recipient of the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities. He has written numerous articles for national and state professional healthcare and legal organizations on matters relating to the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to healthcare providers, and is a highly-sought out lecturer on accessible healthcare and disability rights. Andrés graduated with Honors from the University of Southern Mississippi, with a B.S. in Business Administration, and he attained a Juris Doctorate from the St. Louis University School of Law. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving honorably for 14 years.
Daniel C. Schreck
Daniel C. Schreck is a partner at the investment firm, Equinox Partners. Previously, Daniel was the founding Director of Young Adult Outreach for the Archdiocese of New York and was an international marketing consultant for Sony Music. He is an adjunct professor of finance and strategy at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Daniel graduated cum laude from the Franciscan University of Steubenville with a BA in Biology, studied philosophy at the University of Santa Croce, Rome, earned a Licentiate in Bioethics, summa cum laude, from Regina Apostolorum University, Rome, and earned an MBA, graduating with Dean’s Honors with Distinction, from Columbia Business School. He serves on the boards of Avail, The Jerome LeJeune Foundation USA, The Knights of Columbus Charitable Fund, The Catholic Artists Society, and the Culture of Life Foundation. Daniel lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his incredible wife, Annie, and their seven children. The Schreck family is blessed to have a daughter, Rose, who has Down syndrome along with two lovely nieces with the same syndrome.
Concord, New Hampshire
Clyde E. Terry is the Chief Executive Officer of Granite State Independent Living in Concord, NH. Previously, Terry was the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council. His work has included spearheading a national coalition of disability organizations on election reform and election accessibility. In this role, he co-authored "Voters Denied Equal Access at the Polls; A Status Report of the Accessibility of Polling Places in the United States" in 2001. Terry received his B.S. from Emerson College and his J.D. from the Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the University Of New Hampshire School of Law.
Mary G. Vought
Mary G. Vought is the President and Founder of Vought Strategies and the Executive Director of the Senate Conservatives Fund in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she worked in the U.S. Senate for Senator Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) as his communications director and then senior advisor. She also worked in the U.S. House for several Members of Congress, including serving on the House leadership staff for then-Representative Mike Pence (Indiana). Mary has had several pieces on the topics of disability and health published in national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, and the New York Post. Mary has been a strong advocate for those with cystic fibrosis like her youngest daughter. Vought has a bachelor's degree in communications and one in political science from Vanguard University in Southern California.