Naomi Swiezy, PhD, HSPP
Dr. Swiezy founded and started directing HANDS in Autism® in 2004. Her areas of research and career interest include Applied Behavior Analysis, staff and caregiver training, and the behavioral assessment and treatment of autism spectrum and related disorders as well as global systems change and implementation efforts. As the Director of HANDS in Autism®, she provides consultation in clinic as well as in the community through home intervention and school contracts and collaborations.
Tiffany Neal, PhD
Dr. Neal joined the HANDS team in 2011. Her areas of research and career interest include school-based trainings related to functional behavioral assessments (FBAs), behavioral interventions, observational methods, data collection, ASDs, and RtI. Dr. Neal’s training efforts as the Assistant Director at HANDS in Autism® have focused on training across disciplines, diagnostic considerations, and how to develop collaborative partnerships within school systems and between schools and families.
SPECIAL EDUCATION SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Macy joined the HANDS team in 2018 after earning a teaching license in k-6 general education, k-6 mild disabilities and in P-12 severe disabilities. She has worked in a variety of settings from urban to rural, elementary to middle school, and resource to self-contained settings. Macy takes interest in helping individuals become independent and how a multi-sensory approach can be used throughout education. Macy currently works to provide training and support on the HANDS team as a Special Education Support Specialist on coaching to families, schools and various community members to increase positive outcomes with individuals.
Craig Bixler, M.S.Ed
TRANSITION SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Craig joined the HANDS team in 2021 after earning his Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He has worked within the field of disability services in several roles, most recently as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. He has also worked extensively within the LGBTQ+ community. Craig’s areas of research interest include exploring the intersectionality between autism and sexual/gender minorities. Craig’s goal is to empower those with disabilities to lead their most authentic life and provide them with the knowledge, support, and resources to do so in his current role as a Transition Support Specialist on the HANDS team.
Kurt joined the HANDS team in 2017, coming from a wide range of experience, including; 4 years as a records manager at IDOE, 5 years as a cart collector at Walmart, interning for the Arc of Us, and a teacher aid at his church’s preschool. He volunteers at Riley Hospital, the Children’s Museum, and the Indianapolis Zoo. His hobbies include watching TV, reading history books, sailing, going on vacation with my family cooking, and play with his dog. Kurt currently works to help put materials together for schools and trainings, host Coffee With Kurt, and assist on other office responsibilities on the HANDS team as a Program Assistant.
Iryna Ashby, MA, MSEd
Iryna joined the HANDS team in 2008 and is currently a PhD candidate in curriculum and instruction, focusing on learning design and technology. She has extensive experience with course development for online and face-to-face learners, data visualization, and information architecture to support diverse learners. Her research interests include competency-based education, interdisciplinary education and collaboration within and across interdisciplinary teams, lifelong learning, and improvement of online learning experiences and environments. Iryna currently pursues these interests through her position on the HANDS team as an Instructional Designer.
Ryan has been a part of the HANDS team since 2018. His areas of interest include social media planning, Salesforce/Marketing Cloud, media strategy development, market research and video design and production. Ryan currently works to use all of these tools to help promote the needs with ASD with outreach and information for the community through his role on the HANDS team as a Multimedia Specialist.
Aditi Deodhar, PhD
Aditi joined the HANDS team in 2019 after completing her PhD in Developmental Psychology at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her research focused on the development of self-regulation and socio-emotional processes during early childhood. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and loves to travel. Aditi is a Research Specialist at HANDS in Autism® collaborating on multiple ongoing research and service projects, as well as communicating research & data with diverse stakeholders including families, educators, medical professionals, and other community providers.
Lori joined the HANDS team in 2021, after serving as a graduate coordinator at Florida State University, where she earned her MA in Arts Administration. She started her career 20 years ago as a teacher in the Ohio public school system. Lori takes interest in supporting administrators and professional staff by facilitating logistics in conducting services, sharing resources, and assisting the daily flow and productivity. Lori is excited to assist the HANDS team as the Office Manager in working to provide services to a full range of consumers in the field of autism and related disorders.
Claire joined the HANDS team in 2021 after earning her Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in Marketing and Management. She takes interest in combining her love for the community affected by ASD with her desire to create and design effective communication tools. Claire is working to make the services of HANDS more widely known and utilized in her current role as a Multimedia Specialist for HANDS in Autism®.
STUDENT SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Rebeca joined the HANDS team in 2021 and is currently a senior at IUPUI in the Purdue School of Science studying Psychology with a minor in Spanish. With an academic & research interest in positive psychology and autism, Rebeca will be planning on going to graduate school to pursue a degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, with an emphasis in autism, in hopes of becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst working at an ABA center. At HANDS, she is eager to help and learn as one of our Student Support Specialists.
STUDENT SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Afnan joined the HANDS team in 2021 and is a Dentist currently pursuing a Master’s in Health Informatics Program at IUPUI. His areas of academic & research interest are reflected in his experience as a Research Assistant at PHI Lab, School of Informatics and Computing for Security, as well as interest in Privacy and Regulation in Healthcare focusing on HIPAA. He brings his wide range of skills and experience to the HANDS team as a Student Support Specialist.
STUDENT SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Jennah joined the HANDS team in 2021 and is in her second year of her Master’s in Kinesiology at IUPUI. She has been working at IU Health West as a patient care assistant on the medical/surgical floor and brings a wide range of skills and experience to the HANDS team as a Student Support Specialist.
DIRECT SUPPORT ASSISTANT
Mackenzie joined the HANDS team in 2021 and is currently a senior at IUPUI in the Purdue School of Science studying Psychology and Neuroscience. Her current areas of academic and research interest include cognition, behavior, and abnormal psychology. She hopes to grow her experience and learning through her role as a Direct Support Specialist.
Lizbeth Navarrete joined the HANDS team in 2021 and is currently in her junior year at IUPUI in the Purdue School of Science studying Psychology. Her academic and research interests include cognitive, behavioral, and speech/language development. Lizbeth plans on going to graduate school to pursue a degree in Child Development and hopes to gain more skills and experience in her role as a Program Assistant with HANDS in Autism®.
Tanpreet joined the HANDS team in 2021 and is currently in her junior year at IUPUI in the School of Informatics studying Health Information Management. Her current areas of academic and research interests include data analysis and abnormal psychology. She hopes to gain more experience in her role as a Research Assistant with HANDS in Autism®.