As the Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer at Able SC, Jerri manages services and programming through her oversight of program compliance, implementation, and reporting. Jerri also focuses on collaborative projects to address systemic barriers to access and inclusion; educating professionals on the rights of individuals with disabilities; and the professional development of Able SC staff.
Jerri organized and leads the South Carolina Supported Decision Making Project, the state’s first collaborative effort to address the overuse of guardianship and unnecessary restriction of individual rights. She has trained hundreds of professionals and parents on this topic and presented to a national audience on multiple occasions. The South Carolina Employment First Initiative, a statewide systems project to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities, is another interagency effort that Jerri has been instrumental in developing and leading. Additionally, Jerri has helped build and provide oversight to Able SC’s diverse and thriving youth programs, which have been recognized as a national model for Centers for Independent Living.
Jerri graduated with honors from Clemson University and went on to earn her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to coming to Able SC, she worked as a disability rights attorney for six years, where she focused on community integration and abuse and neglect issues. She co-authored a report about sub-standard residential facility conditions and a manual about Home and Community Based Waivers, and she successfully represented dozens of individuals who were facing Medicaid service reductions and denials. Jerri was drawn to Able SC’s grassroots movement for access, equality, and independence for the disability community and loves being a part of an organization run and driven by people with disabilities. On a more personal note, Jerri isn’t ashamed to dance in public and could subsist on a diet of French fries alone.