Featured Speakers

AADMD is honored to have the following speakers join us in Rochester!



- P R O U D L Y P R E S E N T S -


Joseph Shapiro

NPR Investigations Correspondent

Friday May 10 | 9:15 AM

Joseph Shapiro is a NPR News Investigations correspondent.

In this role, Shapiro takes on long-term reporting projects and covers breaking news stories for NPR's news shows.

Shapiro's major investigative stories include his reports on the way rising court fines and fees create an unequal system of justice for the poor and the rise of what critics call "modern day debtors' prisons," the failure of colleges and universities to punish for on-campus sexual assaults, the epidemic of sexual assault of people with intellectual disabilities, the problems with solitary confinement, the inadequacy of civil rights laws designed to get the elderly and people with disabilities out of nursing homes, and the little-known profits involved in the production of medical products from donated human cadavers.

His reporting has generated wide-spread attention to serious issues here and abroad. His "Child Cases" series, reported with PBS Frontline and ProPublica, found two dozen cases in the U.S. and Canada where parents and caregivers were charged with killing children, but the charges were later reversed or dropped. Since that series, a Texas man who was the focus of one story was released from prison. And in California, a woman, who was the subject of another story, had her sentence commuted.

Shapiro joined NPR in November 2001 and spent eight years covering health, aging, disability and children's and family issues on the Science Desk. He reported on the health issues of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and helped start NPR's 2005 Impact of Warseries with reporting from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. He covered stories from Hurricane Katrina to the debate over overhauling the nation's health care system.

Before coming to NPR, Shapiro spent 19 years at U.S. News & World Report, as a Senior Writer on social policy and served as the magazine's Rome bureau chief, White House correspondent and congressional reporter.

Among honors for his investigative journalism, Shapiro has received a duPont Award, George Foster Peabody Award, George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, Sigma Delta Chi, IRE, Dart and Gracie awards, and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Award.

Shapiro is the author of the award-winning NO PITY: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement (Random House/Three Rivers Press), which is widely read in disability studies classes.

Shapiro studied long-term care and end-of-life issues as a participant in the yearlong 1997 Kaiser Media Fellowship in Health program. In 1990, he explored the changing world of people with disabilities as an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow.

Shapiro attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Carleton College. He's a native of Washington, D.C., and lives there now with his family.


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Neil Romano

Chairman of the National Council on Disability

Friday May 10 | 11:55 AM

Mr. Romano was designated as Chairman of the National Council on Disability by the White House on February 26.  In 2015, Romano was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a congressional appointee to the Council.   As Chairman to the Council, Mr. Romano advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. 

Chairman Romano has dedicated his career to the marketing of ideas and messages to help save lives and promote public policy.  Romano’s extensive professional background includes tenure as director of communications for the White House Office of Drug Abuse Policy. In that role, he worked on notable public awareness campaigns including “Just Say No” and “America Responds to AIDS.” In 2007, Romano was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As head of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Romano advised the Secretary of Labor and worked with all DOL agencies to lead a comprehensive and coordinated national policy regarding the employment of people with disabilities in the United States. His work as a member of the Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled, helped improve the quality of life for workers with disabilities. In 2010, Romano’s work as a member of that committee was recognized by the full committee with a special leadership award. As a producer/director, Romano’s film, “Youth Homicide: A Public Health Crisis,” earned a Best Director Emmy Nomination.




Joseph Morelle

U.S. Representative, New York's 25th Congressional District

Saturday May 11 | 8:30 AM

Congressman Joe Morelle is proud to represent New York’s 25th Congressional District, which includes almost the entirety of Monroe County.  A lifelong resident of Upstate New York, Rep. Morelle is a former small business owner and was previously elected to the Monroe County Legislature as well as the New York State Assembly, where he served as Majority Leader from 2013-2018. Throughout his career, Rep. Morelle has worked diligently to improve and expand access to healthcare for all people, grow our economy, and protect our communities by passing legislation to ban assault weapons and strengthen gun background checks.

A graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo, Rep. Morelle resides in the town of Irondequoit in Rochester, New York, with his wife, Mary Beth. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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Theodore Kastner MD, MS

Commissioner of the NYS Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

saturday May 11 | 9:00 AM

Theodore Kastner MD, MS is a developmental/behavioral pediatrician with an unparalleled breadth of service and advocacy for families and children with disabilities. He currently serves as Commissioner of the NYS Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities where he oversees a budget of $8.0B and a staff of 19,000 supporting 140,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. He is also President of Developmental Disabilities Health Alliance, an integrated primary care/mental health practice which, since 1995 operated in three states and supported 4,000 individuals with disabilities.

Dr. Kastner has directed interdisciplinary service, training and research programs at Morristown Memorial Hospital and Montefiore Health Systems/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. While at Montefiore he was the Co-Director of the Rose F. Kennedy (RFK) Center, and Director of the RFK Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (RFK CERC) which provides 50,000 annual service contacts and supports 6,000 children with disabilities. He was also Director of the RFK Leadership in Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (RFK LEND) and RFK University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (RFK UCEDD). He was also the Principal Investigator for the LEND Audiology Training Program and the HRSA-funded Developmental Disabilities Training Grant. Finally, he launched two Health Home models (HH Serving Children and HH Serving Individuals with I/DD) at RFK CERC. He holds the rank of Professor in both the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry/Behavioral Health.

During his career he has published more than 100 manuscripts, presented at hundreds of conferences and between 1988 and 1998 self-published Exceptional Health Care, a monthly CME program which offered 100,000 hours of CME. He has served on the Board of Directors and Advisory Committees for numerous local, state and national organizations including two Medicaid managed care organizations and two terms as a member of the AAP COCWD (1997-2003). He has received more than a dozen awards recognizing his commitment to children with disabilities including the Health Care Professional of the Year (NJ ARC) and the Elizabeth Boggs Award (UCP NJ).


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Ann Costello

Executive DIRECTOR OF The Golisano Foundation

Ann Costello is Executive Director of the Golisano Foundation, one of the nation’s leading foundations dedicated exclusively to helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Foundation was established in 1985 by Tom Golisano, the Founder and Chairman of Paychex, Inc., a leader in the payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing industry.

Ann has worked for more than 30 years in the non-profit sector, primarily in human service administration, philanthropy, and organizational policy development.

She joined the Foundation as Director in 1999 and has witnessed its rapid growth and change in total Foundation assets and annual distribution of funds. Ann has redefined the Foundation’s role in the intellectual disabilities service arena as proactive partner and catalyst for transformation. Under her leadership, the Foundation has also supported and launched innovative partnerships and programs.

With the support of two historic donations from Tom Golisano to Special Olympics - $12 million in 2012 and $25 million in 2015 - Ann is working as an integral advocate and participant in the strategy to advance Special Olympics Global Healthy Communities initiative to expand inclusive access to health-related services to people with intellectual disabilities around the world.

Ann earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice, and also served as a Research Fellow at the School’s City and Regional Planning. Ann also completed the Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders at Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2007.

Awards & Honors






Rick Rader, MD, FAAIDD, DHL (hon)


Rick Rader, MD is the Director of the Habilitation Center at the Orange Grove Center in Chattanooga where he is responsible for the creation, implementation and evaluation of innovative and novel programs of healthcare delivery systems for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He is the Editor in chief of Exceptional Parent Magazine and has published over 300 article in the field. He is the VP of Public Policy and Advocacy at the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and serves on the Board of the American Association on Health and Disability. He is a member of the Medical Advisory Committee at Special Olympics International and is the Medical Adviser at the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. Dr. Rader is a member of the Steering Committee at the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices. He is an adjunct professor of Human Development at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Keynote: Foundations of Developmental Medicine

How did a ragtag group of clinicians with no formal training, no recognized specialty, no certifications, no guidelines, no journals and no resources evolve into the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) to become the global leader in collaborative healthcare for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This ongoing series showcases the historic contribution of maverick physicians with new beliefs, new ideas, new approaches and new insights and how they became the cornerstone of the respected policies and practices of the AADMD.


Stephen Sulkes, MD

President, AADMD; Professor of Pediatrics, Golisano Children's Hospital

Dr. Stephen Sulkes attended Boston University for college and medical school. He was fortunate to experience pediatric residency in Syracuse, NY, under Frank Oski, and completed his fellowship in developmental pediatrics (in the era before Boards) at Boston Children’s Hospital, mentored by Dr. Allen Crocker. He then followed his wife and US 90 for two tanks of gas and found himself in Rochester, NY, where he has spent the rest of his career.

Steve has provided primary care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in residential and community settings, and developmental-behavioral pediatric specialty care at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester. In 1985, he developed Rochester’s fellowship program in developmental-behavioral pediatrics, initially funded by New York State, then by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) program.

A glutton for punishment, he then took on leadership of Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, the Rochester University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), which he now co-directs. These two programs have given him the opportunity to hang out with colleagues from around the country at meetings of the Association for University Centers on Disability, on whose board he has served, and of the AADMD, where he currently serves as President.

His research and advocacy passions merge around improving health care delivery for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. When he is not working or thanking the nearest deity for his phenomenal family, he leads the Performance Measures, an ad hoc group of obviously non-professional and under-rehearsed singers of song parodies.