Left to Right: Linda Sandman, Leanne Mull, Shirley Paceley, Krescene Beck

Linda Sandman has 30 years of clinical experience working with adults with disabilities, including mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). She is an experienced trainer and consultant to agencies and organizations working with people with disabilities. While a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Disability and Human Development, Linda served as Director of Clinical Services for the Developmental Disabilities Family Clinics, which provided direct service annually to over 1,000 individuals with disabilities and their families. In addition, Linda is a founding member of the Sexuality and Disability Consortium at IDHD and played an instrumental role in ground-breaking research in the area of sexual self-advocacy for people with disabilities.  Linda is passionate about promoting inclusion and full participation in community life for people with disabilities. She is bilingual (Spanish/English) and bicultural and is also deeply committed to promoting diversity and empowerment for all.

Leanne Mull has been supporting people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to achieve their dreams since 1999 when, after her work as a corporate trainer, she hired someone with a job coach to work in a store she managed.  She spent the next 15 years at a traditional agency in a variety of roles including Director of Employment and Advocacy, and QIDP.  Leanne believes that the key to meaningful lives for people who receive services is to encourage, empower and enlighten the staff who work for them.  Currently, Leanne fulfils that dream as co-director of Blue Tower Solutions where projects include serving as the Chair of the Responding with Victims with Disabilities Committee for the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council, a project of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. The Responding to Victims with Disabilities committee is responsible for the creation and revision of protocols for law enforcement and Prosecutors for responding to victims with disabilities and older adults Systems Advocacy Coordinator for The Illinois Self Advocacy Alliance.  Leanne holds a BA in Psychology and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration.

Shirley Paceley is the founder and former director of Blue Tower Training, which has resources in 48 states and 15 countries.  Shirley has worked with people with disabilities for over 40 years and is a published author, international trainer, counselor, consultant, advocate and visionary.  Shirley has served on several projects funded by the Office on Violence Against Women to address sexual and domestic violence in the lives of people with disabilities.  Shirley led a team that developed model protocols for law enforcement and prosecutors to work effectively with victims with disabilities in Illinois. Shirley participated in the national roundtable to develop a strategic plan to end sexual violence against children with disabilities.   Shirley served on the Board of Directors of End Violence Against Women International, the Editorial Board of Sexual Assault Report, and is a Project Advisor to the National Center for Criminal Justice and Disabilities.  Shirley works tirelessly at the intersection of violence and disabilities. 

Krescene Beck has a lifetime of experience supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Her enthusiasm and zest for life provide inspiration to everyone she meets as a regular presenter at statewide and national conferences.  As a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and former Executive Vice President of a large social service agency, Krescene has spent the past ten years working on statewide grants focused on self-advocacy and on building collaborations to better respond to people with disabilities who experience violence. Krescene’s vision is simply put: Find your passion. Live your purpose. Celebrate your journey.