2022 Therap National Conference Speaker Bio


Michelle “Sheli” C. Reynolds, Ph.D
Chief Inspiration Officer (CIO)
Charting the LifeCourse Nexus

Dr. Reynolds’ passion, knowledge, and experience come from growing up as a sibling of a brother with developmental disabilities. She is Director of Individual Advocacy and Family Support at the UMKC-Institute for Human Development (UCEDD) where she has worked for over 20 years. In this role she is responsible for projects that directly impact the lives of persons with disabilities and their families such as the HRSA Family-to-Family Health Information Center for Missouri, Sharing Our Strengths Parent-to-Parent program housed within the Missouri Developmental Disability Resource Center and by providing direct support to People First of Missouri and Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, the state and national self-advocacy movement for adults with developmental disabilities for over 12 years.
Her work focuses on the transformation of state systems through the implementation of the Supporting Families LifeCourse Framework and Tools.

Nationally, she is able to impact state systems in her role as the co-principal investigator on the National Community of Practice on Supports to Families grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in collaboration with National Association on State Developmental Disability Directors. In May 2014, she was appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID). She received her doctorate in Public Administration and Sociology from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, with a focus on family support research and policy for families of individuals with disabilities across the lifespan.