Creating a Culture in Your CIL to Guide Mental Health Transitions

IL-NET T&TA Center for Independent Living Presents… A National Webinar

September 20, 2023; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online ( or reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Leer en español (

The IL-NET National Training & Technical Assistance (T&TA) Center operated by ILRU in collaboration with NCIL, APRIL, and the University of Montana Rural Institute and RTC: Rural, supports CILs and SILCs in building capacity to run strong, effective organizations. This webinar will be a discussion highlighting varied approaches and strategies to creating a culture in your organization that allows you to support both employees and consumers with mental health disabilities.

Registration Fee: This event is free-of-charge.

Target Audience: Executive directors, program managers, and staff members of Centers for Independent Living

What you will Learn

  • Identify strategies to create a CIL culture that supports mental health transitions.
  • Understand how your CIL culture surrounding mental health can influence mental health transitions.
  • Identify best practices for working with your CIL Staff to grow your programs and work with mental health transitions.


Dr. Sharon McLennon-Wier is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Currently, she works for the Center for Independence of the Disabled of New York (CIDNY) as the Executive Director. Her employment history includes working for Berkeley College as the Director of Disability Services for their New York and New Jersey campuses, District Manager for the Harlem Office for the New York State Commission for the Blind, and as a Rehabilitation Consultant for Ultimate Consultation and Evaluation just to name a few. Dr. McLennon-Wier is a disability rights advocate and believes that access to one’s environment is crucial especially in the voting booths and the world of work.

Ann DeAngelis is the new Mental Health Services Program Coordinator for the Center for Independence of the Disabled NY, CIDNY. Ann has a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and holds a limited permit in Mental Health Counseling. In addition to her employment at CIDNY, she works part-time at a private practice specializing in behavioral mental health services. Previously, she worked in crisis work coordinating a crisis hotline and walking center for peer support.

Jesse Bethke Gomez has over 25 successive years as a Chief Executive Officer leading non-profit corporations in advancing the well-being of children, families, individuals, people with disabilities and older adults. He serves as Executive Director for Metropolitan Center for Independent Living. Thus far, Jesse has served on over 40 Boards of Directors, Commissions and Leadership Teams. Jesse was appointed to two consecutive terms by the Minnesota Supreme Court as At-Large Commissioner of the Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission. Jesse is listed as among the “100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders in Minnesota” by Minnesota Physician Publication, LLP (2020). Jesse personally trained with Dr. Edwards Deming who created the world-wide Quality Improvement Movement. Jesse was the first Minnesotan to receive the Reconocimento Ohtli award from the Country of Mexico and is a recipient of the Liberty Bell Award from the Ramsey County Bar Association. He is Co-Leader of the Minnesota Cardio Vascular & Diabetes State Leadership Team. Jesse is committed to advancing the ability of people to care for one another.

Sarah Wendell Launderville is a psychiatric survivor and the mother of three teens. She was introduced to the independent living movement when she was hired at the VT Center for Independent Living in 1997, and now is the Executive Director. She has a MS in Human Services, Organizational Management and Leadership and has been adjunct faculty teaching classes on the disability movement, politics, advocacy and economics. She serves on various boards and committees including the Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council, Vermont State Rehabilitation Council, President of Disability Rights Vermont, Future of Vermont Action Team, and is the former Board President of the National Council on Independent Living.


Presented by the IL-NET: The IL-NET National Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Center for Independent Living is operated by ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization). The IL-NET T&TA Center provides training and technical assistance to centers for independent living and statewide independent living councils. The IL-NET is supported by grant numbers 90ILTA0002 and 90ISTA0002 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.