Al sits down with Dori Ortman. Currently, Dori serves as Family Faculty at LEND (Leadership Education in Neuro/Developmental Disabilities) of Pittsburgh, a program affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. She is also LEND’s Family and Self-Advocacy Training Director and Clinic Coordinator. In addition to her roles at LEND, Dori is a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Trends, Inc. and the administrator of Special Needs C.A.R.E., a private online group providing Community, Advocacy, Resources, and Education to its members. Members include parents, caregivers, siblings, and other family members of children, adolescents, and young adults with special needs.
Dori's career in program management began nearly 20 years ago. After encountering a series of personal experiences related to caring for individuals with special health care needs, she began to focus on working and training specifically in the field of developmental disabilities. She has since completed countless hours of continuing education related to disability services, including an intensive, proficiency-based leadership program through the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University.
Throughout the course of her career, Dori has developed a multitude of educational materials on topics such as inclusive recreation and education, increasing interactions between children of varying abilities, and more. These materials have been widely used in trainings and conferences, classroom settings, handbooks, and other venues imparting skills and knowledge necessary to work with and include children with disabilities in a variety of settings.
She has also authored and received multiple local and national grants focused on her efforts to provide appropriate training and assistance to families, schools, and community organizations to maximize the potential of children with disabilities.
Additionally, Dori regularly conducts parent workshops and networking events and serves as a consultant to families and school districts. She has been a featured speaker at conferences on the local, statewide, and national level. She provides both a professional and parental perspective on disability.
Dori's passion is working with children with diverse abilities and their families to empower them to strive for success in all areas of life.
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