Welcome to the 2023 APRIL CONFERENCE 

Diversity without Inclusion is not enough

Kim Gibson and William Thomas

Session Description:

This workshop will provide steps that can be taken to move beyond diversity and into inclusion. Best practices for creating programming, workshops, office spaces, and policies that provide inclusivity in the work environment. This workshop will share best practices and what programming that has been successful within disABILITY LINK with disABILITIES and intersection of different identities.


Additional Materials for this Session:


About your Presenters:

Kim Gibson (she/her), disABILITY Link

Kim grew up in Idaho and moved to Wyoming to go to college. She moved to Pennsylvania in 2011 and Texas in 2013. In August 2013, Kim accepted the position as Executive Director of disABILITY LINK and moved to Georgia. Before coming to disABILITY LINK, Kim was the Executive Director at two other Centers for Independent Living. She gained knowledge that she brought with her to expand programs here, focusing on diversity and inclusion.
Kim has one son, Dustin, and his fiancé, Pushee, whom she adores. Kim has a new service animal, Chipper, after the passing of her 12+ years with Charlie, whom she loved and was grateful for the years of service to her. She has a Doctorate in Social Work. Kim has worked with individuals with disabilities since 1988. She also has personal experience with disabilities.

Kim believes in being involved in her community through boards, community involvement, providing educational opportunities to others, and advocacy. She serves on several local, regional, and national boards and committees throughout the state. Currently, she serves as the president of APRIL (Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living).
Through APRIL’s peer-to-peer mentorship program, Kim is a peer mentor for other CILS (Centers for Independent Living). Kim has served in the past as the vice-chair of the Southeastern Center Directors Association, board member of NCIL (National Council of Independent Living), SILC of GA, and a variety of NCIL subcommittees. She currently serves on several local boards and has, in the past, served on various advisory boards in Wyoming appointed by the Governor and boards in Pennsylvania. Kim has volunteered in several community events focusing on suicide prevention, women’s rights, disability rights, and civil rights. She is a field instructor for individuals with and without disabilities pursuing their social work, educational, and occupational degrees. She dedicates her time to others’ learning.

She has received many nominations and awards for her work with people with disabilities. She is the proudest of the 2014 National Council of Independent Living (NCIL) “Women’s Caucus Hall of Fame Award,” which she received because of the mentorship she has provided to other women in the world of disabilities. She is active in the community, creating inclusive spaces, working with marginalized groups, and learning new things along the way.

William Thomas (he/him), disABILITY LINK

William currently serves as the Deputy Director at disABILITY LINK. He comes with 33 years of experience working with youth in the areas of education and recreation. William has worked for the YWCA, various school districts (public and private) in multiple states, Rutgers and NYACK University, non-profit and for-profit organizations in the planning, developing and implementing of educational programs for k through 16 learners. He has served as a mentor, teacher, vice-principal, principal, chief school administrator and professor. William considers himself to be a family man. He has seven (7) children (blended family) and four (4) grandchildren. He enjoys gardening, reading, basketball/football, nature and home improvement projects. William’s educational background consists of a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mathematics and Chemistry from the New Jersey City State University, a Master’s degree in Administration & Supervision from Saint Peter’s University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University. He is currently a Law student at EMORY University in pursuit of the JM/JD degree with a concentration in Business/Corporate Law. William shares in the philosophy of “each one teach one” believing that “we all learn from one another”. He is excited and humbled to be a part of the disABILITY LINK community.

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