Disability Zoom Support Network

Staying safe, supported, and connected in turbulent times


What Do We Do?

The Disability Support Network provides weekly support and training to people with disabilities, families, professionals, advocates, and direct support professionals to be more effective in their online work. It began as a response to the Coronavirus and is an all-volunteer effort.

In the first 10 weeks, we held 40 sessions reaching 1,800 participants, with more than 100 people attending weekly. We provide weekly group support where people can meet and learn from others similarly situated  around the US and Canada.


Two Sessions Every Thursday!

Support Sessions:  Meet and learn from people around the US and Canada. Our participants are sharing best practices being used to effectively support people with disabilities, families and professionals. Join the Zoom Support meetings every Thursday at 12 noon EDT.

Zoom Training Sessions: Learn the five proven practices to fully engage participants in virtual meetings. Learn to use Zoom more effectively to support people with disabilities, families, professionals, advocates, and direct support professionals. Learn how to host and facilitate meetings, use polls, chat boxes, 'round robins' and break-out rooms. There will be time to answer tech questions. Join the Zoom Training meetings every Thursday at 4 p.m. EDT.


The Zoom Training Sessions Offer:

  1. Five Tips for Engaging Participants in Zoom Meetings
  2. How to Host Breakout Rooms
  3. How to Create Effective Discussion Questions
  4. Security Settings for Safe Zoom Meetings
  5. How to teach people with disabilities to use Zoom
  6. Using smartphones and Tablets with Zoom

Who Are We?

Our leadership team has expanded since the network started as people moved naturally from 'particpant' to 'leader' roles, but the idea started when two of us were considering what we could offer with  tools we had in hand to engage and support people in this COVID crisis.

Don O'Callaghan has advocated for accessible communication for people with Intellectual Disability for over 30 years. From the mid-1990s, he worked with the Massachusetts Assistive Technology Partnership on cross-disability access with commissioners from blind, deaf, and mobility constituencies.  Don has extensive experience recycling computers and providing support to people across the United States and Canada. 

Don now devotes all of his efforts toward expanding and perfecting Free, Safe, and Fun communication strategies across the entire global disability community. He has aggressively advocated for inclusion into the digital world for people with IDD and is excited at the vast collaboration opportunities opening up as a result of the broad use of Zoom. Don is now running Zoom practice sessions where people can refine their abilities to host and facilitate meetings.

Mary Angus' passion for civil and human rights for people with disabilities has driven her since the late 1990s. Her experience as a person with a disability has had a profound effect on her advocacy. She is proud to have served as part of Disability Rights Nebraska in their advisory council and board for over 20 years. She has been able to provide the first-hand perspective by volunteering for many organizations and agencies. After a start focusing on mental illness, she branched out to work in the areas of developmental disabilities, voting rights, and independent living.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in educational psychology. She found working with children came naturally to her. She became a therapist for abused children, worked to prevent substance use among students in east-central Nebraska, and provided social services. The prevention program she developed received a national award as a youth health program. 

Mary has developed and supported disability rights, leadership training, and voting rights activities. She currently is the Self Advocate faculty for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities at Munroe-Meyer Institute. With the restrictions of the pandemic, Mary changed to working virtually and has developed skills using zoom and logistics.

She lives in Omaha, Nebraska. She was born in South Bend, Indiana and lived with her parents and siblings in married student housing on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. More importantly, she is the mother of two daughters, grandmother of six, and has one great-grandchild. These are the lights in her life.

Ar'tanya Norman-Yusuf originally hails from Oakland, California, home of the Oakland A's. Currently, she resides with her family near Sacramento, California. She received her bachelor's degree in Science in Psychology from California State University, Hayward, and is a Certified Administrator in California. Professionally, Ar'tanya has been serving people with disabilities since 2003.  She is the Founder and Executive Director of an Adult Residential Facility (Level 4I) and an Adult Day Program.

Ar'tanya has a great passion for her career serving and supporting adults with disabilities as she has family members with disabilities. She developed the Unique Abilities' Seven Modules of Leadership Training with a desire to prepare each individual to take a seat at the table. Ar'tanya strives to give an exceptional experience with an opportunity to grow and assist people to move toward their dreams, joys, and passions. Moreover, gaining comfort in sharing and respecting ALL cultures and having the courage to see the real value and beauty in diversity is emphasized.

The COVID-19 Pandemic opened the door of opportunity for Ar'tanya to serve the day program's clientele on ZOOM by way of alternative services for day programming. The Disability Network provided tremendous support through the online conference style of supporting and training to promote viability through technology. Ar'tanya stands delighted for the opportunity to serve and connect with other professionals and the community at large, who have been tremendously generous, committed, and brilliant. 


What Our Members Are Saying:


The session helped me connect to others who are passionate about supporting people with disabilities in their communities. It was a great platform to learn, share ideas, and problem solve with leaders from other states who understand the complexities of living life with a disability during these unprecedented times. The breakout rooms were most helpful.

Alex Poindexter


My name is Eric Stoker and I'm the Information Specialist for the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council and a self-advocate as well. I wanted to say thank you so much for the awesome Zoom Call today. Can you please keep me in the loop for the meeting next Thursday.

Eric Stoker


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