Meet The Team
Stephanie Woodward (she/her)
An attorney, activist, and organizer, Stephanie is passionate about Disability Rights and empowering people with disabilities. Stephanie has litigated, worked for two U.S. Senators, and led a disaster response ground team in Puerto Rico to assist disabled people in distress after Hurricane Maria. As a proud disabled woman, Stephanie credits her success to mentoring she received from member of the Disability Community starting in her early twenties and is committed to helping even more girls and young women with disabilities through mentoring.
Sophie Poost (she/her)
Director of Programs
Sophie is a disabled bisexual woman who loves to create spaces where disabled women and girls have the opportunity and support to embrace their leadership potential and follow their passions. Throughout her career she’s been committed to the Disability Community, specifically helping youth and disabled people find their voices. Most recently, Sophie worked at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) as the Summer Internship Program Coordinator. Previously, Sophie worked in the Office of Student Life at Mars Hill University in rural North Carolina and before that as a Systems Advocate at a disability rights organization. Sophie has long been supported by incredible mentors and supportive communities and she hopes to pay it forward by helping other disabled women see their full worth.
Curran Brown (she/her)
Curran is a thriving disabled woman aiming to make her mark on this world while breaking barriers and stereotypes about the Disability Community along the way. Born and raised in Georgia, USA but now living in London, England, she just completed her studies to become an occupational therapist this year! Curran previously served as a mentor for EmpowHer Camp and is excited to continue providing enriching experiences for young women to become leaders as the EmpowHer Camp Director. Throughout her life, Curran did not have disabled women mentors besides in sports, and she did not really have a clear direction on what she could accomplish. Curran grew up playing wheelchair basketball which led her to become a student athlete at the University of Illinois. After graduation, she found her love for occupational therapy while working as a peer mentor at the Shepherd Center. Curran believes it is imperative to have disabled representation in the able-bodied dominant healthcare field. Curran was recently inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame for her great mentoring efforts.
Meet The Board
Kathryn Carroll (she/her)
Kathryn is a lawyer who has a history of working to advance disability rights and change public policy to support inclusion and accessibility. She works in aging services and volunteers in numerous capacities, including as Vice Chairperson of the State Independent Living Council (NYSILC) and Vice Chairperson of the Accessibility Advisory Committee to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency. She serves as a mentor to a Young Leader graduate of EmpowHer Camp.
Amy Tweedle (she/her)
Amy began her journey into the world of disability justice as a child of a step-father with a disability. Early on she began noticing the places they could not go as a family because of inaccessibility. Amy began working at her local center for independent living and went to her first national disability civil disobedience event at 19. In her work at the center for independent living, she has held a variety of positions giving her the opportunity to broaden her advocacy skills. After going through a mental health crisis, Amy realized the importance of taking care of your mental health and how many of the preventive mental health services are not available to people with disabilities. Amy went back to school and obtained her certification as a Health and Life Coach and began offering these much-needed services at her center. Amy is excited about the opportunity to use her skills and life experiences to help other young women with disabilities.
Katie Shelley (she/her)
Katie Shelley serves as the Conda Family Manager of Access Initiatives at the Toledo Museum of Art. Originally from the Detroit area, Katie is now a proud Toledoan, but will always remain a Michigander at heart. Katie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Western Michigan University, a Master of Library Science degree from Wayne State University, and a Master of Liberal Studies degree with a focus on Disability Studies from the University of Toledo. Katie is honored to be a Board Member of Disability EmpowHer Network, a natural next step after participating in almost every program DEN has to offer -- from EmpowHer Expressions to being an EmpowHer Camp mentor for the EmpowHer Class of 2024. Additionally, Katie is a member of the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council, and most importantly, is mom to Petunia, her service dog.
Abby Ritter (she/they)
Abby Ritter is a Disabled music therapist and activist from Worcester, MA. They completed both Bachelor’s and their Master’s degrees from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, and have a passion for working in and with the Disability community. She is the Youth Advisory Specialist at the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, or APRIL. APRIL is a national grassroots, nonprofit membership organization consisting of over 260 members from center for independent living, their satellites and branch offices, statewide independent living councils, other organizations and individuals concerned with the independent living issues of people with disabilities living in rural America. Outside of their work with APRIL, Abby has been both a mentor and an ally with Disability EmpowHer Network's EmpowHer Camp program.
Saphire Murphy (she/her)
Saphire Murphy is currently doing the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida, and finishing her double master’s program at the University of Toledo. Saphire has always wanted people to see the impact of representation on women with disabilities. As a child, she always wondered why no women looked like her. She turned that wonder into a passion as she decided to study the impact of disability representation in our community and society. It led Saphire to participate in APRIL’s “Lead On” Collaborative, AAPD’s Summer Internship, and AAPD’s Fannie Lou Hamer Program. Through her work with these intersectional spaces and volunteering with Disability EmpowHer Network, she’s able to understand and see the importance of representation every day and apply that to her future journey as she goes through life.