Ohio National Core Indicators Staff
Hello Everyone! I am Annamarie Sigman, I go by Anna. I am the NCI project coordinator for the state of Ohio. I started working on NCI in 2016. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and I am currently working on getting my masters in Social Work at the Ohio State University. I am passionate about advocating for people with disabilities and other populations. If I am not at work or school you will often find me spending time with friends or family. I also love to travel, my favorite destinations are Germany and the United Kingdom.
My name is Emily Ebert and I am a program assistant for the National Core Indicators Project. I have lived in central Ohio my entire life and I love living in Columbus! I enjoy biking, rock climbing, painting, and traveling. My favorite hobby is teaching the color guard in the Grove City High School Marching Band. I am excited to work on a project that has a positive impact on the community with disabilities.
My name is Julia Grant; I was born and raised in central Ohio. I graduated with my BA from the Ohio State University. I am a program assistant to the National Core indicators Project and program assistant to The Family Resource Network of Ohio. I have one daughter who keeps me pretty busy. I enjoy traveling, cruising, wall climbing and bargain shopping. I wish to travel to Japan and Barbados in the near future. Working on the NCI project I get to meet a lot of new people which is the best part of my Job. This project has taught me many new things about individuals who have a disability and has opened my eyes to a new way of thinking. I look forward to growing with NCI!
NCI interviewers are responsible for meeting with people who have been randomly selected to participate in the National Core indicators project (NCI). Each year interviewers receive a list of people selected to participate in the area in which they live. NCI interviewers come from all different backgrounds, whether they are a self-advocate (person with a disability), a family member (parent, sibling, etc) of a person with a disability, or someone who is a professional working with individuals who have disabilities. To learn more, or If you are interested in becoming an NCI interviewer, please call NCI Coordinator Annamarie Sigman at 888-685-0984.
Allison Smith ( Not Pictured)
Angela Walters ( Not Pictured)
Hi, My name is Barb Sapharas. I was born and have lived in NE Ohio my entire life. I worked with people with disabilities and their families and retired 5 years ago. I had 2 brothers with disabilities and am a Board Member of the Sibling Leadership Network. I have been for NCI for 2 years and enjoy meeting people and having conversations about what is important to them in their lives. I enjoy reading, walking and traveling. I look forward to meeting new people.
My name is Brandy Wagner. I was born in Tennessee and have lived in many states prior to moving to Tiffin, Ohio where I live now. We have 3 horses, a dog, a cat and 3 cows. Did I mention we live in the country? I enjoy fishing, swimming, horseback riding and cooking. My husband and I have a special needs daughter who is 27 years old and lives with us. This is my second year as a Nisonger NCI Interviewer. I think it’s an amazing opportunity for people to get to say what they really think about things and I am very happy to get to be part of the project!
Brian Fitch (Not Pictured)
Carolina ” Ann” Thomas (Not Pictured)
Dana Shawler (Not Pictured)
Hi! My name is Denise Benight and I am both a family advocate and a nurse in the field of developmental disabilities. I’m married to the love of my life and have three beautiful, independent daughters. I love to ride our motorcycle, read everything from self-help to fiction and hang out with my family! This is my 3rd year with NCI and I absolutely love it!
My name is Emma Keen. I am from Holmes County Ohio, I was born and raised Amish, and have left the Amish culture to live my dream of earning my MBA. I enjoy advocating for other people every day. I love to travel to a new destination at least once a year. My youngest daughter who is 14 and a freshman this year is a softball player and I enjoy attending her games and tournaments, I am her biggest fan! This is my 3rd year working for NCI and I enjoy meeting all the wonderful people.
Gail Basine (Not Pictured)
My name is Jana Soltman. I retired from teaching in 2000 and enjoyed another career as an Early Intervention Developmental Specialist until June of 2014. Traveling, volunteering at my grandson’s school, and gardening fill my days since retirement. I have enjoyed being an NCI interviewer for 3 years and look forward to each interview.
My name is Jill Radler and I was born in Ohio. I previously lived in North Carolina and New Jersey, but have lived in Ohio now for the last twelve years. During the day, I am an Intervention Specialist who works with high school students with developmental disabilities. I am also a mom to four amazing children! One of my children is on the autism spectrum so advocating for the rights of people with disabilities is very important to me. I enjoy traveling and reading. I have been working for NCI two years and I really enjoy my job. I like meeting new people and getting the opportunity to talk to them and learn all about them.
Hi! My name is Jody Stanley. I am married, have two beautiful children, and a little 3lb Yorkie named Tiki. I have a degree in Criminal Justice and also a national certification as a Registered Behavior Technician. I currently provide ABA therapy to children with Autism but I have worked for many years with individuals with disabilities in a school and home setting. I love what I do and I love being an advocate for those individuals who can’t advocate for themselves. I never cease to be amazed at the special qualities, talents, and potential that each individual that I come in contact has. I am a third-year interviewer and have really enjoyed the opportunity given to me by the Nisonger Center to conduct these surveys and to meet all of the amazing people I’ve had the opportunity to speak with. When I’m not working I enjoy hiking, movies, spending time with my friends and family, and traveling.
Joy Lawrence-Slater (Not Pictured)
My name is Joy Lawrence-Slater and I have lived in Cincinnati since I was 16. I serve as an advocate for those living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and I also work as a mediator. I love spending time with my daughter, Rosie. I enjoy reading history and biographies, visiting museums, traveling, herb gardening and arranging flowers and visiting the Ohio legislature while it’s in session. In November, 2017, I will begin my third year with the NCI Project. Rosie and I often team up to do NCI interviews. Sometimes she asks the questions and I type the answers into the laptop and sometimes I ask the questions and she types the answers. Working with Nisonger staff on the NCI Project has helped me to learn more about what services and supports people need to live successfully in the community.
My name is Julie Geiger and I live in Sandusky, OH, on beautiful Lake Erie. I am the sister of an adult brother with disabilities. I am also a licensed social worker and I work for the county early intervention program through the Erie County Board of DD. When I am not working, you will find me and my family cheering on the Cleveland Indians, or the Ohio State Buckeyes, enjoying the lake, supporting our high school music program by working in the football concession stand, or just hanging out with our kids and our border collie.
My name is Justin Bloomquist. I have lived in Streetsboro, Ohio all my life. I have a rare muscle disorder called Arthrogryposis. I went to Kent State University and studied Computer Information Systems. In my leisure time I like movies, music, playing poker, watching Cleveland sports, and being with friends and family.
Hi! My name is Karen Thorp. I was born in Cleveland, but came to Cincinnati for college and never left. I taught preschoolers for 30 years, and still go in to help with lunch. For the past 12 years I have been enjoying more and more of my time as an independent provider helping people to do what they want. After work I’m glad to come home to my husband and cat. I like to read mysteries and science fiction, cook, garden and go for walks – on a warm beach if possible! I am new to NCI and am excited to meet new people through this opportunity!
Greetings! My name is Karly Strukamp and I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. I’ve also lived a small portion of this life in Athens, Ohio, where the hills embrace you. The National Core Indicators Project is meaningful because it is the groundwork that lays the foundation for just and well-rounded communities. As of recent, I’m interested in self-study where I analyze my thoughts and responses to internal and external stimuli. I enjoy going for walks outside, frequenting public libraries, learning about food and spending time with new and old friends. I look forward to conversing with various communities through NCI and I want to thank NCI for allowing me to participate in this important work.
Ken & Valerie Hoegler
I am Ken Hoegler. I am a lifetime resident of Cleveland who just turned 60. I have had a career in customer service, technical support and problem resolution in both the insurance and financial arenas. Though I am retired, I do stay active in several ways. Being vision impaired, I employ the services of Seeing Eye Dog guides. Pictured with me and my wife is Artie. He is my fifth guide. He is a golden yellow lab cross. I just returned from the campus of The Seeing Eye in mid-November with him. He is really two dogs. He is focused and dedicated when in harness, and a complete play-puppy when out of harness. He loves his work and his play as well. I still have my retired guide Aaron who is nine and a half now and though he moves a bit slower, he still loves playing with Artie. My canine housemates add such wonderful enhancements to my life and my family’s lives.
Alongside my work with the N C I project, I am the audio engineer for my church. The quality of sound means more to me than most others. I enjoy lending my expertise to my church family. I also do freelance home theater installations, configurations and performance evaluations. I am a fan of sports, science fiction, progressive rock and so much more. I and Val have been married for 36 years and have one daughter who recently graduated from Bowling Green State University. Valerie is retired from MetroHealth Hospital where she served as a medical records transcriptionist for 31 years. Since her retirement, she does senior care for several elderly people. She is a soprano in our church choir and belongs to 2 poetry groups. She enjoys canning grape jelly as well as other fruits. Trust me,,, the results are really tasty! Together we have rescued 9 dogs from the A P L and county kennels over many years and will continue to do so as long as we can.
We both find the interviews we do gratifying and inspirational. We have met so many unsung heroes who give their lives to care for severely disabled family members. We have met some of the most delightful and interesting people over the last 3 years. We both agree that working with the N C I project gives us a sense of dignity and value as we feel that the efforts being made on the project’s behalf are a truly worthy and useful need that is being met. We are happy to serve the N C I project and hope to continue to serve as long as we can.
Kevin & Victoria Williford (Not Pictured)
Laryssa began her career with OCECD as of September 2014. Laryssa holds an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting and worked in Pediatrics prior to being a stay at home mom for 14 years before becoming a Parent Mentor for Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center. Laryssa is a mother of 3 children. Two of her children have given her experience with Down Syndrome, Autism, Metabolic Disorder, ADHD, severe behavior challenges and non-verbal communication, as well as navigating the special education system. Laryssa resides in Carroll County and provides information, training and support to families in East Central Ohio. Laryssa also does fundraising for the organization.
Michelle Hunt (Not Pictured)
My name is Nicole Eberly and I was born and raised in Ohio. I have been married for 21 years and have 2 daughters. I also love animals and have 5 dogs. My youngest daughter is autistic and has many other diagnosis. I advocate for her and someday want to teach her to advocate for herself. I really have enjoyed working for NCI for the last 2 years and am looking forward to another great year.
Hello! I am Patrick Meehan. I work for Disability Rights Ohio and I have worked on the National Core Indicators project since 2015. I identify as a self-advocate and care about the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. I am currently enrolled at Columbus State Community College to become a stronger advocate for the Autism community.
My name is Raquel Bravo. I am a retired School Administrator who supervised Special Needs and Career Education for the Toledo, Ohio Public Schools. I enjoy traveling all over the world; am an avid reader of historical fiction; and love art and gardening. I am a board member of a Bilingual elementary school and teach conversation Spanish part time at Lourdes University.
Hi my name is Raymil Norton or Ray for short. I’m 24 years old and I was born in Cleveland Ohio but raised in Ravenna. I have Cerebral Palsy which affects most aspects of my life. I have been working for NCI, a.k.a. National Core Indicators, for about two years. It’s been a great experience. It gives me the opportunity to meet new people and use one of my greatest strengths which is to communicate. Working for NCI has opened my eyes to so many other disabilities and has shown me what other people have to offer. It also has given me the ability to gain some experience talking to, and helping people, which will help me in the long run to reach my goal, which is to become a school counselor. In my spare time I enjoy playing video games, watching TV, especially sports, listening to music, making people laugh, texting, talking on the phone, and just having a good time
Hi my name is Ronda Parsons. I was born and raised in central Ohio. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts. My husband and I have three girls, ages 20, 16 and 13. My 20 year old has a seizure related disability. This is my second year as an NCI interviewer. I really enjoy meeting new people and learning how the various services and programs have supported them. I do whatever I can to advocate for my daughter and those individuals with disabilities.
My name is Rosie Lawrence-Slater. I have always lived in Cincinnati. I work at the Kroger Bakery; I started as a bagger. I enjoy hanging out with my Mom and my family and friends. In my free time, I love to bake and hang out with family and friends .I also like to play softball and played for a number of years on a Special Olympics Team. I do the NCI interviews with my mom.
My name is Ruth Dodge and I live in Columbus, Ohio. My career has focused on managing operational and clinical services to individuals with various strengths and needs, including those with developmental disabilities. I value the technical aspects of tasks as well as supporting individuals, families, and staff in the joys and challenges of life. My personal life is filled with family and friends, playing musical instruments and attending cultural events, the love of dogs, and travel. I enjoy meeting new people, applying newly-acquired information, and making contributions that are helpful to others. That’s why I’m so excited to assist in the NCI Project.
Hello I am Samantha Perry, and I work at Open Arms Health Systems. At Open Arms I work with a computer or IPAD and I am learning how to type and make newletters for them. I also work at open door as an artist and have worked with different stuff at the Art Studio. I am also a member of Ohio Self Determination Association (OSDA) and Project Stir as a strong self advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities.
My name is Sarah Mushenheim and I have been working with the NCI as an interviewer since 2015. I keep myself busy as an independent provider, figure skating coach for the Special Olympics, and a writer for my blog called lifewithlilred. My mother is a Developmental Pediatrician and I am a sib, so working in the field is something that I have wanted to do since I was little and I love every minute of it. When I’m not working, I like to read, watch movies, and walk my two precious rescue pups, Gem and Ollie.
Hello! My name is Shelby and I’m a Psychology graduate from Wright State University. I was born and raised in Ohio. I’m a bookworm, coffee enthusiast, and I have dreams of seeing the world! My day time job is in social work, where I work to eliminate homelessness. This is my second year with with National Core Indicators project and I’ve enjoyed meeting the individuals served throughout Montgomery County!
Terri Ross (Not Pictured)
Hi my name is Tom Linn. I have been involved with NCI for three years. I have many hobbies including treasure hunting, hiking, camping and working out. I have an Associate’s degree in Wildlife Management, a Bachelor’s degree in outdoor education, a Master’s degree in addiction counseling and I am working on a Ph. D. in sports performance psychology. I also like traveling to sporting events and concerts.
My name is Tulika Prasad. I’ve lived in Cincinnati for the last 13 yrs. I’m mom to 9 yr. old Vedant who has autism. I’m a blogger and an AutismSpeaks Advocacy Ambassador for Ohio. I’m very passionate about inclusion and acceptance of people with different abilities.I’m a software engineer by education but an Autism advocate by passion.