As HSRI’s founder and President Emerita, Valerie energizes our team and provides essential guidance on assisting clients with policies and infrastructure to support inclusive and supportive communities. She frequently authors and co-authors journal articles and books on service approaches and practices that help facilitate full inclusion of people with disabilities, she speaks at more conferences than we can count, and she continues to lead engagements with clients around the country.
With more than 40 years of experience, Val is a nationally recognized expert in the intellectual and developmental disabilities field. She has devoted her career to working with public agencies and other researchers to strengthen services, improve programs, and inform policy—all as an early and staunch advocate for the direct participation of people with disabilities in these efforts. Val is particularly passionate about helping organizations measure and improve the quality of community-based services and supports. Having helped found the National Core Indicators, she’s relied on nationwide as an expert in best practices in performance measurement and quality improvement. She also helped to design skills standards for direct support professionals, was chair of the President’s Committee on Persons with Intellectual Disabilities under the Clinton administration, and is a past president of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
When Val founded HSRI in 1976, her vision was to combine a rigorous approach to research with the necessary technical assistance and advocacy to support valued lives in the community for all, with a focus on real choice and control for all people. Val’s original vision continues to guide the advancement of HSRI and its clients. Val and her husband, Lew, are 35-year residents of Cambridge, passionate supporters of the Red Sox, and avid mystery readers.
- Master’s degree in political science from the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University
- Bachelor’s degree in political science from Occidental College