As the Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer at Able SC, Jerri manages Able SC’s consumer services and programming. She also focuses on collaborative projects to address systemic barriers to access and inclusion and regularly educates professionals on the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Jerri is responsible for creating 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 national audiences. 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 moving forward. 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. Before 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 Service 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.