University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)
985450 Nebraska medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5450
Rachel Ray is an assistant professor at MMI and has a Master’s of Arts in African American World Studies with post-graduate studies in education leadership, diversity and disability policy. She is the project coordinator for the National Core Indicators (NCI) In-Person Surveys and the National Core Indicators Aging and Disabilities (NCI-AD) surveys, which are contracted to the UCEDD through the Nebraska’s Divisions of Developmental Disabilities and Medicaid Long-Term Care as a part of the statewide quality assurance measures. Ms. Ray has also developed and coordinates the MMI-UNO Trailblazer Program, an inclusive postsecondary education program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. In addition to the Trailblazer Program, Ms. Ray has developed and coordinates the College and Career Exploration Program, an inclusive college and career exploration and advocacy program for area transition students to explore college options during their last year in transition. She also developed the Advocacy and the Arts Program which is an arts-based advocacy and independent living skills program for transition-aged students and young adults.
Ms. Ray serves on local education agencies’ Transition Strategic Planning Committees and provides technical assistance to area school districts in their efforts to increase access to postsecondary education to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In conjunction with Lutheran Family Services, she conducts Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trainings and Enhanced CIT trainings each year for law enforcement and draws on average 50 officers across Douglas, Sarpy, Washington, and Dodge counties. Ms. Ray also serves on the Douglas and Sarpy County Child Abuse and Neglect Treatment Team as the team’s disability resource specialist for her extensive experience working with individuals with a wide range of disabilities and challenging behaviors, as well as provides ongoing consultation and support for families, state staff, and community agencies affiliated with the team.
Ms. Ray’s dedication and passion for advocating for individuals with disabilities and special healthcare needs stems from advocating for her adult sons, one with intellectual disabilities and behavior and mental health disorders and the other with an autoimmune disease.