Naomi Brickel, M.S.Ed., is the Director of the Community Support Network and Policy at WIHD. In these roles she oversees WIHD’s Self-Advocacy programs, Self-Direction Services, the implementation of state grants and contracts related to education and technical assistance for families and professionals navigating disability services across the lifespan, provides professional development and assists school districts in program development and implementation, and oversees policy initiatives for the organization. Her areas of expertise and research interests include student and family engagement, student post-secondary transition and self-determination (including student-driven IEPs, school-to-work, and inclusive post-secondary education, and educational and adult systems policy. She has played an active role in state policy development in all of these areas and is appointed to NYSED’s Commissioner’s Advisory Panel. Naomi co-authored a NYSED Training curriculum and has developed online resources to assist families and students with disabilities to be more engaged in IEP development, including the Student “Draft IEP” Tool. Naomi oversaw establishment of two Project SEARCH programs, a regional SEARCH Consortium, and has provided consultation in the development of several inclusive post-secondary programs, She presents frequently at conferences and other events, which have included the National State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) Annual Conference, the U.S. OSEP National Leadership Conference, NYSED, state and national conferences of the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and others.
Naomi earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Special Education and Transition from the University of Kansas. She and her husband reside in New Rochelle, NY where her six children have or still attend public schools, and she served formerly on the Board of Education. She was also an active Parent Member, participating in hundreds of CSE and CPSE meetings over years. She is the recipient of the 2015 New Rochelle Special Education PTA Bridges Award, in recognition of her work to promote the meaningful inclusion of students with disabilities within school and the community, and the 2018 NYCASE Friend of Special Education Award, recognizing her career devoted to “advocating for children and families and improving opportunities and outcomes for all.”