nTIDE Deeper Dive - 11/17/2023

Online Only

November 17, 2023 | 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET | Free | Online | Contact

This month's Deeper Dive of the issues will look at Employment Trends for Veterans with Disabilities with guest speaker Lisa Ottomanelli from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who is currently a clinical psychologist at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics and an Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

  • 12:00 pm: Welcome and Purpose of this Deeper Dive
  • 12:05 pm: Updated numbers pertaining to today’s area of focus
  • 12:20 pm: Guest Presenter
    Lisa Ottomanelli. U.S Department of Veterans Affairs
  • 12:35 pm: Open discussion and questions for all

Note. All webinars will be recorded and closed captioned and will be added to our website archives along with full transcripts following the live broadcast.


Lisa Ottomanelli is a woman with long brown hair and black top smiling at the camera

Lisa Ottomanelli, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics and an Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She received her PhD from Texas Tech University and completed her internship at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center.  She has over 20 years of clinical and research experience in the area of disability and rehabilitation with an emphasis on spinal cord injury (SCI).

Dr. Ottomanelli’s research focuses on the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based practices to restore employment and community reintegration of Veterans with SCI and other disabilities. She served as the principal investigator of two consecutive multi-site, service-directed VA research projects, including the first randomized trial of vocational rehabilitation in SCI.  She extended this work to examine best practices for improving outcomes and implementation of individual placement and support (IPS) supported employment for Veterans with SCI, including producing a guide for VA clinicians and a toolkit for use by both VA and non-VA clinicians (see links above).

Her work, which has advanced and supported VA policy changes that have expanded evidence-informed employment services for Veterans with physical impairments, has been recognized with the following awards:

  • 2013 Elizabeth and Sidney Licht Award of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine 
  • 2016 Clinical Excellence Award of the Paralyzed Veterans of America 
  • 2020 Essie Morgan Excellence Award of the Psychologists, Social Workers, & Counselors Section of the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professional
Andrew Houtenville is a man with very short gray hair and beard in a brown suit

Andrew Houtenville, PhD, is a Professor of Economics and Research Director of the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Houtenville is extensively involved in disability statistics and employment policy research. He has published widely in the areas of disability statistics and the economic status of people with disabilities. He is the Principal Investigator on the NIDILRR-funded Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation and Research Training Center. Dr. Houtenville received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of New Hampshire in 1999 & was a National Institute on Aging Post-Doctoral Fellow at Syracuse University in 1998/1999.

John O'Neill is a man with short gray hair and round glasses, wearing a suit and tie.

John O'Neill, PhD is the director of employment and disability research at Kessler Foundation and has over 28 years of experience in vocational rehabilitation as a rehabilitation counselor educator, disability employment researcher, and advisor to state vocational rehabilitation agencies. Dr. O’Neill has been a PI or co-PI on six NIDILRR funded, five-year research and training centers focusing on TBI and community integration, disability statistics, disability employment service system, and how individual and contextual factors relate to employment outcomes among people with disabilities.

Elaine Katz is a woman with short auburn hair wearing glasses, a colorful necklace and bright blue sweater

Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP is Senior Vice President of Grants and Communications at Kessler Foundation. Elaine Katz oversees the Foundation’s comprehensive grantmaking program and its communications department. During her tenure, the Foundation has awarded more than $49 million in grant support for national and community-based employment programs. For more than 25 years, Elaine has worked with non-profit organizations in the areas of board development, fundraising, marketing, and business development. Elaine often speaks about innovative practices for employing people with disabilities, authors/co-authors articles and papers on related topics, and is a member of several aligned organizations.

Denise Rozell is a woman with short reddish blond hair and red glasses

Denise M. Rozell, JD is the Director of Policy Innovation at the AUCD. Prior to joining AUCD, she spent fifteen years as Assistant Vice President for State Government Relations with Easter Seals. Denise was the primary resource to Easter Seals 75 affiliates in building capacity to increase awareness of and support for Easter Seals in state government. Prior to that, Denise was the Executive Director of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, an international membership organization for the professionals serving individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Denise holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Occidental College in Los Angeles and a juris doctorate from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California in Berkeley.