Advisory Council

The curriculum, along with many other aspects of Niagara University's First Responder Disability Awareness Training (FR-DAT) program, is carefully reviewed and edited by the grant's advisory council. The advisory council consists of members from across the first responder disciplines (law enforcement, fire, EMS, and 911), as well as disability advocates, parents, service providers, and state offices.

The advisory council meets tri-annually to discuss the progress, content, tactical approaches, and future direction of FR-DAT. Several of the members on the council double as content experts, providing information on specific disabilities which is used in the trainings. Other information is gathered to help achieve the goal of "best practice" for information dissemination and instruction. The diversity on the advisory council ensures all topic areas and concerns from all parties are identified and addressed.

Members include:

  • Dr. Timothy Ireland, Provost, Niagara University
  • David V. Whalen, Project Director
  • Cary Newman, Program Manager
  • Dr. Janine Hunt-Jackson, Project Assistant
  • Chief John Askey, Amherst Police Department
  • Jay Bowers, WNY Developmental Disabilities Services Office
  • Investigator Jim Buono, NYS Police
  • Tim Czypranski, Monroe County EMS, NYS EMS Council Chair
  • Peter Drew, Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara
  • Bonita Frazer, Metropolitan Medical Response System, Mental Health Emergency Planning
  • Nanette Harmon, Deaf Access Services, NU ASL Coordinator
  • Daniel Hausman, NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control
  • Richard Hermanson, Self-Advocacy Association of NYS
  • Robin Hickey, NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, parent
  • Undersheriff Chuck Holder, Chautauqua county Sheriff's Dept, Past President Law Enforcement Training Directors Association-NYS
  • Marc Kasprzak, Niagara Co. Sheriff's Office Dispatch
  • Jon Kemp, Main-Transit Fire Department, parent
  • Claudia Kurjakovic, Independent Living of Niagara County
  • Captain Patrick Mann, Buffalo Police Department
  • Sarah Milko, Autism Up President, parent
  • Renay Moran, Epilepsy Association of WNY, parent
  • Kevin Niedermaier, Livingston County Office of Emergency Management, NYS Emergency Management Association
  • Ashley Pacelli, NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council
  • Tanja Peters, Parent to Parent of WNY, parent
  • Julie Phillipson, National Federation of the Blind of NYS
  • Michael Reid, Firemen's Association of the State of New York
  • Lisa Scalzo, Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara
  • Captain Maria Walker, Albany Fire Department
  • Jim Zymanek, Town of Amherst Emergency Manager, NYS Fire Instructor

Meeting Minutes