Leadership Team

Ohio TASH Board of Directors and Leadership Team

Katie Basford, Barb McKenzie, Leah Holden, Jack Pealer, Kathy Hulgin,Barb Jones, Julie Thompson, Dan Wilkins, Candee Basford

Katie Basford is a revolutionary force, an assuming leader in the quest for inclusion. Katie leads by example, through her actions, her voice, her dreams, her determination and courage. She has inspired books and book chapters (including a chapter in Jonathan Mooney’s new book – The Short Bus, A Journey Beyond Normal). She is organizing a rock band, writing a book and planning her wedding.

Barb McKenzie is an advocate, presenter, author and organizer of gatherings and spaces about inclusive education and inclusive communities. Although she considered herself a social justice activist in college during the 60’s, Barb came to realize when her daughter was born that she had much more to learn about welcoming all and discovering the gifts in each of us. After hearing Marsha Forest, Judith Snow, Norm Kunc and other international thinkers, she became a “born-again inclusionist.” The loving support of her family and other radical friends has nurtured her passion. Barb’s book “Reflections of Erin, The Importance of Belonging, Relationships and Learning with Each Other” published has received rave reviews.

Leah Holden has been associated professionally with Residential, Inc., and Family Advocacy in Perry County, where she was first exposed to the subversive teachings of Wolf Wolfensberger, Dan Young, Jack Pealer, Sandy Landis and John O’Brien about Normalization, PASS3, and CAPE. She interned for 14 years at the Arc of Ohio, where parents of young children with disabilities were her teachers. She was a founding member of Ohio-SAFE (RIP). She wandered the state of Ohio studying supported living and person-centered planning for several years. She spent several years at the Ohio Department of MRDD learning rudiments of public policy and landed 5 years ago at a County Board of MRDD.

Jack Pealer still writes for and edits The Safeguards Newsletter, an occasional publication of Ohio Safeguards that comment on the situation of people who are regular users of human services in community life. Jack still works at the Butler County MRDD Program. His current title is “Ombudsman,” and he listens for and tries to resolve problems or complaints about the quality of supports for people with developmental disabilities in Butler County. As well, Jack tries to help people with disabilities, families and useful organizations to think about and make positive (and possible) plans for a brighter future.

Kathy Hulgin is interested in systemic changes that support inclusion. She has a background in adult and educational services and is currently a professor at the College of Mount St. Joseph where she prepares teachers for inclusive settings. Her research focuses on understanding the organizational influences that promote and inhibit inclusion. Through the course of her work, she is particularly interested in supporting local networks of educators and allies to share successes, identify barriers, and advocate for change.

Barb Jones

Julie Thompson is a parent and is a current or past board member to several organizations supporting individuals with disabilities. Learning through and from her son, Julie strongly believes and advocates for all people to have choices and dreams but most importantly that those choices and dreams are lived out to the fullest. Awareness of the immeasurable value and opportunities for community participation and membership (work, education, activities, volunteering) for all is a strong belief and of great importance to Julie. Parent Share Groups, Action Learning groups and Path Planning continue to be supportive in moving forward a new reality.

Dan Wilkins aside from being a dad, husband, friend, chair-user, artist, writer, graphic designer, humorist, Brown’s fan and a million other things, Dan Wilkins is an outspoken advocate, storyteller and visionary for people living with disabilities and the culture to which they belong. Since 1989, he has been sharing stories and ideas with students from pre-school (tough crowd) to doctorate, parents, professionals in business, human resources and allied health, educators and administrators, and folks with disabilities on a broad range of topics from disability to diversity awareness, advocacy and self-advocacy, to the importance of humor, inclusion, community and seeing through bigger eyes. Dan is president and owner of The Nth Degree. Dan was recently inducted into the National Spinal Cord Injury Association SCI Hall of Fame. Congratulations Dan!

Candee Basford. When Katie invited her mom to become an activist and advocate for inclusive schools and communities she reluctantly accepted. Since then, she has learned many lessons about community living, inclusion and post secondary education and discovered new passions about the wonders of people power. Her goal is to share innovative yet simple ways to open minds, hearts and communities to the wondrous possibilities of including and valuing everyone in all aspects of life. Candee is the author of “We Dance Together, A Painted Essay about my Education with Katie.”


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