Commissioners & Staff

The Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities is comprised of 23 volunteer commissioners and one dedicated staff member.

The Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities is a permanent independent state agency with a broad charge to advance the cause of all persons with disabilities in the Commonwealth. Comprised of volunteer commissioners from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and socio-economic backgrounds, members draw from personal and professional experience to passionately promote their charge and serve all individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

About the Commission

All Commissioners are appointed by one of the following appointing authorities:

  • seven (7) persons appointed by the Governor;
  • the Attorney General or their designee;
  • the State Treasurer or their designee;
  • the State Secretary or their designee;
  • the Executive Director of the Disabled Persons Protection Commission or their designee;
  • three (3) persons appointed by the Senate President;
  • three (3) persons appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
  • one (1) person appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate;
  • one (1) person appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives;
  • one (1) person from the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School Work Without Limits program;
  • one (1) person from the Massachusetts Disability Policy Consortium;
  • one (1) person from the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers, Inc.;
  • and one (1) person from the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.

A member of the commission shall serve a term of 3 years and until a successor is appointed, or the member is reappointed by their appointing or nominating authority.

Scope of Work

The scope of the Commission’s work includes examining ways to improve employment and transportation, assessing data and disparities, encourage inclusion of persons with disabilities as employees and vendors within the private and public sector workforce, assessing programs and practices in all state agencies as they affect persons with disabilities, advising the legislative and executive branches, and promoting and facilitating collaboration among local disability commissions, disability rights advocacy organizations and disability employment service providers.

The commission shall annually, not later than October 31, report the results of its findings and activities of the preceding fiscal year and its recommendations, which may include draft legislation, to the governor, the house and senate committees on ways and means, the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities and the joint committee on labor and workforce development.

The commission shall work to advance the cause of all persons with disabilities in the commonwealth. The commission shall be empowered to:

(i) study, review, advise and report on:

  • (A) any disparities across service or geographical areas concerning the range of available options within state disability services;
  • (B) the status of transportation for persons with disabilities including access to employment opportunities;
  • (C) the effect of public assistance for persons with disabilities as it pertains to earning limits and eligibility for subsidies for food, housing, child care and other benefits;
  • (D) establishing school-to-work activities for transition aged youth with disabilities that establish a bridge to self-sufficiency and engage school supports, family members and employers;
  • (E) the status of the strategic plan to make the commonwealth a model employer by seeking to increase the number of people with disabilities employed by the executive branch;
  • (F) the enhanced enforcement of state requirements that promote diversity in state government employment; and
  • (G) the number of persons with disabilities who apply for state disability services and are unsuccessful in receiving services;

(ii) facilitate and promote public awareness to encourage inclusion of persons with disabilities as employees and vendors within the private and public sector workforce, including under-represented business sectors of all sizes;

(iii) assess programs and practices in all state agencies as they affect persons with disabilities, as the commission deems necessary and appropriate;

(iv) advise executive and legislative bodies regarding the impact of proposed legislation on persons with disabilities; and

(v) promote and facilitate collaboration among local disability commissions, disability rights advocacy organizations and disability employment service providers.

Commission Membership

Photograph of Commissioner Gyasi Burks-Abbott

Gyasi Burks-Abbott
Self-Advocate, Faculty
LEND Program, Boston Children's Hospital/Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston
Appointed by the Governor

Gyasi Burks-Abbott is on the faculty of the LEND Program (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) at Boston Children’s Hospital and UMass Boston’s Institute for Community Inclusion. He serves on the boards, committees, and commissions of many autism and disability organizations: and he’s written for several autism and disability-related publications. Gyasi tells the story of how he became an autism self-advocate in his autobiography, My Mother’s Apprentice: An Autistic’s Rites of Passage. He lives in Bedford, Massachusetts.


Commission's Logo

Charles Carr
Legislative & Budget Subcommittee Co-Chair
Legislative Liaison, Disability Policy Consortium
Appointed by Disability Policy Consortium

Charlie Carr is an authentic disability rights pioneer who has been active in the independent living and disability rights community for over 40 years. He was institutionalized for seven years in his youth and fought his way out by laying the groundwork for the Boston Center for Independent Living in 1974. He went on to start his own Independent Living Center, the Northeast Independent Living Program in Lawrence, MA in 1980 and grew it to become a premier ILC nationally.

In 2007, he entered public service and was the commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission until 2015. Today, he is working as the Disability Policy Consortium’s Legislative Liaison working on state and federal legislative advocacy, policy, and coalition building.


Photograph of Representative Gerard Cassidy

Representative Gerard Cassidy
State Representative
Massachusetts House of Representatives 
Appointed by the Speaker of the House





Photograph of Commissioner and State Representative Denise C. Garlick

Representative Denise Garlick
Chair, State Representative
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Appointed by the Speaker of the House

Denise Garlick is the State Representative for the 13th Norfolk District, representing Needham, Dover, and Medfield precincts 1 and 2. Prior to be elected as a State Representative, she served locally in Needham as a Town Meeting Member, a member of the Needham Select Board, and as Chair of the Needham Board of Health. Before running for office in 2010, she was a registered nurse for over 40 years, where she worked in the ICU of a major Boston hospital, with patients with mental health issues, with veterans at a VA hospital, with college students, and with individuals with developmental disabilities. She has served on all of the House’s major health care committees, and this legislative session she serves as the Co- Chair on the Joint Committee on Education. She is also the Chair of the permanent Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.


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Nancy Garr-Colzie
Member & Board Chair
Worcester Disability Commission / Center for Living & Working
Appointed by the Governor





Photograph of Commissioner Craig Hall

Craig Hall
Executive Director
Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council
Appointed by Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council





Photograph of Commissioner and Representative Kay Khan

Representative Kay Khan
State Representative
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Appointed by the Speaker of the House

State Representative Kay Khan represents Newton, currently serving the 11th Middlesex district. Representative Khan has lived in Newton for more than 50 years, where she and her husband raised their three children and now she enjoys her seven grandchildren.  Before joining the legislature, Representative Khan earned a master’s degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from BU School of Nursing and worked as an advanced practice psychiatric nurse. Representative Khan was sworn into the Massachusetts Legislature in 1995 and has spent her entire career in the legislature promoting better health outcomes for incarcerated women, expanding access to mental and physical healthcare, advocating for health care professionals, ensuring equitable access to services for people with disabilities, and more. 

In 2009, Representative Khan was appointed House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities by former Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and served in this capacity for 12 years. Her more recent legislative successes include but are not limited to: a ban on conversion therapy to protect LGBTQ youth, legislation to end child marriage under the age of 18 no exception, and expanded access to health care with the passage of legislation to study inequities in maternal health. This session, Representative Khan has a wide range of legislation and is a member of several committees, caucuses, and commissions.


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Andrew Levrault
Deputy General Counsel
Disabled Persons Protection Commission
Appointed by Disabled Persons Protection Commission





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Ann Lynch
Assistant Attorney General
Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
Appointed by the Attorney General's Office





Photograph of Commissioner Regina Marshall

Regina Marshall
Chief Operating Officer
Appointed by the Senate President

Regina Marshall is the Chief Operating Officer at Advocates. She joined the organization in 2015 with the goal of shaping policy and making systemic change to help Advocates provide the best possible services to the people it supports. Regina has a broad range of experience as a legal advocate and administrator at both the executive and operational levels of state government. During her tenure at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, she oversaw disability agencies that include the Department of Developmental Services, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Regina served as Center Director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, which serves over 1,200 clients, where she was responsible for all clinical and administrative operations.

Regina chairs the Racial and Ethnic Disparities work group for the MetroWest Health Foundation where she served as a trustee for 9 years. She is also on the board of the MetroWest YMCA.  In 2020, Regina joined the board of trustees at Bethany Hill Place. In 2021, Regina was awarded the Black Excellence Award at the at the Black Excellence on the Hill Celebration hosted by the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus after she was nominated by the Senate President Karen Spilka. A resident of Framingham, Regina holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and African American studies from Simmons College and a law degree from Northeastern University. She is the proud mom of three — twin daughters and a son. In the rare free time, she gets between working and parenting, Regina loves to cook.


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Feliz Martinez
Appointed by the Governor






Photograph of Commissioner Oswald Mondejar

Oswald Mondejar
President Mucho Gusto Consulting
Appointed by the Governor

Oz is a Mission Driven Consultant who works at the intersection of policy, advocacy and community and government relations. His engagements include human centered universal designs for accessibility, diversity recruitment, human resources, and leading DE&I initiatives for several organizations.

Before becoming a trusted advisor to leaders in business, government and nonprofit sectors as Mucho Gusto Inc’s President and Lead Consultant, Oz most recently served as Senior Vice President of Mission and Advocacy for Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (SRN), the post-acute care services division of Mass General Brigham. His responsibilities included mission integration and administrative operations across Organizational Development and Community Relations, including Adaptive Sports. Oz led SRN’s Equity, Dignity and Respect (EDR). He also oversaw Human Resources, Marketing, and Communications.

Prior to joining Mass General Brigham in 2001, Oz led the Social Security Administration's New England Region's diversity recruitment and retention initiatives and worked as a Human Resources Executive in several different industries including manufacturing, hospitality, and finance. Internationally recognized for his expertise on accessibility, disability rights and workplace accommodations, Oz serves on several boards and is an advisor to others. He was recently appointed to serve on the Massachusetts Governor's Permanent Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and has also been by the Governor as Vice Chair, Board of Directors for the Commonwealth Corporation.

Oz has received numerous recognitions, including the President's Champions of Change Award, Social Security Administration's Commissioners Citation, Kraft Family MVP Recognition for Community Service, Hispanics Executives Making an Impact, 25 Most Influential LGBTQ+ Pioneers Award and the Disability Law Center Leadership Award. Oz earned his B.A, from Lesley University.


Photograph of Commissioner and Representative Mathew Muratore

Representative Mathew Muratore
State Representative
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Appointed by the House Minority Leader

Mathew Muratore, State Representative for the First Plymouth District is serving his fifth term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He serves on the Legislative Committees of Ways and Means, Health Care Financing, Community Development & Small Business, and Municipalities and Regional Government. He also serves on the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force, Permanent Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and on the Behavioral Health Advisory Commission.

Rep. Muratore has served as a member of the Public Records Conference Committee; Executive Office of Elder Affairs Citizens Advisory Committee; WorkAbility Subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities; Executive Committee of the Plymouth County Anti-Trafficking Task Force; Non-Emergency Human Service Transportation Task Force; Ocean Acidification Commission; Ocean Advisory Commission; Skilled Nursing Facility Task Force; and the Northeast Fire Protection Commission.

Rep. Muratore is a graduate of Northeastern University, a licensed nursing home administrator, and co-owner of Crayon College in Plymouth, and Kingston. He is the father of six daughters, grandfather to one granddaughter, and husband to Kristin, a local attorney.


Photograph of Commissioner Bridget Murphy

Bridget Murphy
Project Manager
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin
Appointed by the State Secretary

Bridget Simmons Murphy is a Project Manager in the Elections Division in the office of Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin.  She graduated from Stonehill College with a degree in International Studies and also studied at University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.  Bridget began her career working for the Fine Gael Political Party in Dublin, Ireland.  She has since worked in development for The American Ireland Fund, Partners Healthcare, and also as a consultant to several statewide, city, and local political campaigns in Massachusetts.  In January 2006 Bridget joined Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin’s office with the primary focus to ensure the voting process is accessible to all voters in Massachusetts by providing training to local election officials, surveying polling locations, providing assistance with all aspects of the accessible voting units, and working on the Accessible Vote by Mail team. She was also a part of the Census 2010 team working on the analysis of all Massachusetts’ voting precincts.

Bridget lives in Hyde Park, MA with her husband, Suffolk Register of Deeds Stephen Murphy.  She served as President of the Hyde Park Art Association at the Menino Arts Center for three years, she was a member of the HP150 Hyde Park’s 150th Anniversary steering committee, and she is a founding Board member of Boston Women Inc. Bridget was named Blue Hills Bank’s “Hometown Hero” in March 2018 for her enthusiasm, professionalism, and passion she brings to every aspect of her professional and personal life.  A certified Riding Instructor and lifelong Equestrian, Bridget enjoys teaching Dressage lessons.


Photograph of Senator Patrick O'Connor

Senator Patrick O'Connor
State Senator
Massachusetts Senate
Appointed by the Senate Minority Leader

Patrick O’Connor is the State Senator for the Plymouth & Norfolk District, which is comprised of the Towns of Cohasset, Duxbury, Hingham, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Scituate, and Weymouth. Patrick has committed his career to public service – having won a seat on the Weymouth Town Council at 21 years old, serving as then-State Senator Hedlund’s Legislative Director for eight years, and having served as the South Shore’s State Senator since winning a special election in May 2016. As State Senator, Patrick has geared his efforts toward economic growth, education enrichment, substance use treatment, veteran services, environmental protection, and advocating for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Patrick has established a strong reputation among his colleagues as a Legislator who values bipartisanship, fiscal responsibility, governmental transparency, and constituent services. In his free time, Patrick can often be found watching or talking about Boston sports and is an avid Celtics fan. Patrick attended Weymouth Public Schools and Kingston University in England.


Photograph of Commissioner Angela Ortiz

Angela Ortiz
Workforce Supports Subcommittee Chair
Director of Business Development & Strategy
Partners for Youth with Disabilities
Parent & Founder of Massachusetts Pediatric Home Nursing Campaign
Appointed by the Governor

Angela recently joined Partners for Youth with Disabilities as Director of Operations to lead in the transformation of PYD from its current state to a more mature and impactful organization. She is a past Governor-appointee to the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council where she was elected Chair of the Public Policy Committee and later hired by the state as Policy Analyst to advance priority legislation that impacts individuals with disabilities and their families. Angela completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMass Chan Medical School while earning her second masters, Master of Public Administration in Health & Disability Policy, from Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School.

After experiencing barriers to access Continuous Skilled Nursing services that her daughter with complex medical needs requires, she participated in the Mass Families Northeast Family Leadership Series in 2016, which became a springboard to her launching the Massachusetts Pediatric Home Nursing Campaign, a statewide grassroots coalition of stakeholders to advocate for authorized services needed to keep the state’s most medically fragile children and adults safe at home and in the community. Angela was honored as a Commonwealth Heroine, Class of 2018, by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, nominated by Senator Cindy Friedman, as a result of her advocacy and contributions to this effort.

Prior to having her twin daughters in 2013, the disability and medical community were central to Angela’s mission-driven work and aspirations. She was the first Development and Communications Director at the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress after being a Special Events Coordinator at Boston Children’s Hospital Trust working with grateful patient families. She credits both these organizations for giving her invaluable insights, resources, and the “diagnosis doesn’t define the child” type of expectations she would hold on to during her own lived experiences of parenting and advocating for her daughter Ayla. Angela also holds a Master's in Business Administration from Assumption University.


Photograph of Commissioner Kathy Petkauskos

Kathy Petkauskos
Disability Employment Subcommittee Chair, Director
Work Without Limits, ForHealth Consulting, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
Appointed by the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School

Kathleen A. Petkauskos is the director of Work Without Limits and oversees all its programs and services including training and consulting, networks and events, benefits counseling services, and its Employment Network under Social Security’s Ticket to Work program. Under her direction, Work Without Limits received the UMass Chan Chancellor’s Award for exemplifying the mission of the medical school, and the Northeast Human Resources Association’s Diversity Champion Award for consistently demonstrating an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Ms. Petkauskos is an inductee of the Susan M. Daniels National Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and has extensive experience in vocational evaluation, supported employment, benefits planning, and job placement for people with disabilities.

Prior to coming to UMass Chan, Ms. Petkauskos was president of the Massachusetts Project With Industry, Inc., dba Resource Partnership, a private non-profit organization that engaged and educated employers on disability inclusion strategies and best practices, and assisted individuals with a wide range of disabilities to secure employment and advance their careers. Ms. Petkauskos has an associate degree in Physical Therapy and certificates in Vocational Evaluation from Assumption College and Non-profit Finance and Administration from Suffolk University.


Photograph of Commissioner Carl Richardson

Carl Richardson
Legislative & Budget Subcommittee Co-Chair, Treasurer
ADA Coordinator / 504 Diversity Officer

Massachusetts State House
Appointed by the Senate President

Carl Richardson identifies as DeafBlind and serves as the ADA Coordinator/504/Diversity Officer for the Massachusetts State House. In this role, Carl works with the Governor and Executive branch, as well as with members of the legislature and leadership from state agencies to serve individuals with disabilities across the Commonwealth, ensuring that the State House is an accessible, inclusive, and welcoming environment.

Carl also serves as Treasurer for the Mayor’s Office for the City of Boston Disability Commission, as well as Treasurer for the Commission on the Permanent Status of Persons with Disabilities, president of the Guide Dog Users  of Massachusetts, and is co-chair of the Audio description Project for the American Council of the Blind.


Photograph of Commissioner Rachel Stanton

Rachel Stanton
Investor Relations and Communications Graphic Designer
Clean Water Trust | Debt Management
Treasurer's Office Designee

Rachel Stanton is the Investor Relations and Communications Graphic Designer for the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust and Debt Management at the Office of the State Treasurer and Receiver General. Rachel is responsible for the graphic design, marketing, social media, and investor relations for both departments. Her passion for accessibility and transparency in the public sector drives her to educate and implement best practices when designing and publishing content.


Photograph of Commissioner Meghan Todd

Meghan Todd
Grants Manager City of Framingham
Appointed by the Senate President

Meghan L. Todd joined the Commission in early 2023 after being appointed by Senate President Karen Spilka. Meghan lives with a visual disability and has been an active advocate for disability rights since her time as President of the Disability Student Union while a college student at the University of Florida. Having the opportunity to affect tangible change for herself and other students with disabilities ensured that Meghan would spend her life working to demand equal access as a civil right, educating others about the disability experience, and highlighting the critical importance of defining disability as a natural part of human diversity.

One of Meghan’s goals as an advocate is to shift how our culture understands, perceives, and speaks colloquially about disability itself and about persons with disabilities. Professionally, Meghan has spent much of her career in higher education administration, often working with students with disabilities to mentor them in gaining skills related to disability pride and self-advocacy. More recently, after completing her Ph.D. at UMass Boston, Meghan shifted her professional focus to working in the public sector. Meghan currently serves as Grants Manager for City of Framingham, where she has the opportunity to partner with City leadership, as well as state and  federal legislators, taking the lead on projects that are making a meaningful impact on her community. She also continues to advocate for disability rights in her community as Vice-Chair of Framingham’s Disability Commission.

Meghan lives in Framingham with her wife, Jaime, and their two children, Emmie and Ellis.


Photograph of Commissioner Chris White

Christopher T. S. White, Ed. D.
Vice-Chair, President / CEO
Road to Responsibility, Inc.
Appointed by the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers, Inc.

Dr. White has been working in the human services field since 1980 in a variety of roles and sectors. He graduated from Bridgewater State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 1982 (cum laude). He received graduate training in Counseling Psychology from Harvard University (Masters ‘84) and Northeastern University (CAGS ’87; Doctorate ‘92). In 2013 he completed a five-course series in Applied Behavior Analysis through Endicott College. He is currently the President/CEO of Road To Responsibility, Inc., a large, private, nonprofit corporation serving adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Dr. White is a Board Member of two human services trade associations (The Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and the Mass. Council of Human Services Providers) and is a Commissioner and Vice-Chair of the MA Permanent Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

He is also a Licensed Psychologist and a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst. He served as a Lecturer in the Graduate Department of Counseling and Applied Psychology at Northeastern University from 1994-2014. He has extensive clinical and management experience with expertise in the areas of developmental disabilities, applied behavior analysis, Positive Behavior Support (PBS), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), neuropsychological/psychological assessment, forensic psychology, brief therapeutic interventions, and the treatment of complex psychological disorders.


Photograph of Executive Director Imene Bouziane Saidi

Imene Bouziane Saidi
Executive Director

As the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Permanent Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Imene’s primary role is to lead in the research and development of studies and reports required by the Commission’s enabling statute, including the annual reporting on the status of persons with disabilities and other initiatives as determined by the commission to advance the cause of all persons with disabilities. She is also in charge of the commission’s brand and outreach efforts. Previously, Imene worked as an educational advocate for several years where she helped families and students navigate the special education process. Imene has served as the Vice President of her local Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) where she and her team lead efforts in advising the district on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities.

Imene’s passions include advocating to amplify the voices of persons with disabilities, promoting meaningful inclusion and staying up to date with different assistive technologies. Imene completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMass Chan Medical School while earning her Master of Social Impact Business Administration with a focus on Child, Youth and Family Services at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Commissioners Emeriti

  • Carla Kath
  • Nancy Rumbolt-Trzcisnki
  • Dan Shannon
  • Paul Spooner
  • Kerry Thompson
  • Melinda Troy
  • Liz Zelnick

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