Blog Author Profile: Donna Davidson

President and Chief Executive Officer
Easter Seals North Georgia (Atlanta)

Donna Davidson began her professional career as a speech pathologist, working with young children and their families in the Marblehead, Massachusetts public schools. As a speech and language professional, she developed and implemented Individualized Education Plans for students aged 3 to 15 years old. She also developed special needs assessment tools and innovative language programs for children aged 3 to 5, the ages when many children were first identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Today, as chief executive officer of Easter Seals North Georgia, Davidson has created an inclusive child care program that includes five centers and provides care for 850 children and their families -- 90 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Davidson’s inclusive child care settings offer families of all children a place where early diagnosis and essential early intervention services are a part of each day in the centers, not additional appointments. As she says, "families don’t have to go to 10 different places to get the services they need. We have the therapist coming in to deliver the services that are needed. We have social workers working with the family to get them the necessary resources. And we have community, huge community partnerships to align all of those services that are necessary for the families."

As an advocate of education and awareness training, Davidson believes in helping people understand that people with disabilities, whether it be autism or another disability, are just like anybody else ... "that they have strengths and they have needs," she says, "and with the correct resources and supports, they can be productive citizens in the community."

Davidson earned her master’s of education degree in speech pathology at Northeastern University in Boston and her bachelor’s degree in psychology and speech pathology at Boston College. She has also completed all core course requirements for a master's degree in business administration at the University of Massachusetts, in Lowell. Professionally, she is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Speech and Hearing Association, and considers working with the Georgia legislature to fund disability and early childhood services a critical part of her work.

Contact Donna Davidson and read more Easterseals blogs.

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