Christine Liao is the Programs Director at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). She coordinates and implements all of AAPD’s national programs, including the Summer Internship Program, AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards, Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship, and NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship.
Prior to joining AAPD, Christine worked at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). She collaborated with diverse stakeholders to rebrand and strengthen the infrastructure of the AUCD Emerging Leaders Community, an initiative that serves as a professional home to thousands of current and former trainees and early career professionals. She also provided technical assistance to 64 federally-funded interdisciplinary training programs aimed to enhance the clinical and leadership skills of professionals who serve children with disabilities and their families.
Christine has extensive experience serving the deaf and disability communities in mental health, health care, academic, and community settings in both of her native languages, American Sign Language and English. She has supported deaf refugees through a global non-governmental organization, deaf children and adults with developmental and other disabilities, and adults who became deaf due to brain and/or physical injury. Through these activities, Christine gained experienced in universal design, program planning, community outreach, and community organizing; she also developed expertise in disseminating information using technology accessible to a variety of audiences.
Christine earned her MSW from Arizona State University’s School of Social Work, with an emphasis on policy, planning and community organizing. She holds a BS degree in Psychology with a minor in American Sign Language from the University of Washington.