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Supporter Spotlight: Nevalyn

Nevalyn, a former board member and avid APSI supporter, has worked in the developmental disabilities field since before APSI was formed in 1983. She started as a research assistant for The Ohio State University, conducting research at the Columbus Developmental Center where she fell in love with her work. "And once I did that work, which was the hardest I've ever done, then... that was my life commitment." She has since started her own practice as a Clinical Counselor for individuals with developmental disabilities.

She recalls how alone individuals at the Developmental Center (DC) were before APSI; some would end up homeless after leaving the DC due to a lack of support she says. "None of those residents had guardians; very few had family. They just didn't have any independent advocates to help them, and they needed a lot of help. So I was thrilled with APSI."

In 1995 Nevalyn joined APSI's Board of Trustees and has supported APSI since. In her decade tenure on the Board, she served as Secretary, Vice President, and President.

Nevalyn has witnessed APSI evolve greatly over the years. She says APSI was a leader in changing the culture from controlling individuals to encouraging their independence. "It's pretty exciting to me that they have actually helped a number of consumers regain their own guardianship. And that's something that years ago... was not happening."

In recent years, Nevalyn says, she's seen APSI not only improve the lives of its clients, but inform the community about guardianship. She says APSI leadership has built relationships with the legislature, even taking individuals APSI serves to testify to lawmakers. "I really respect the management team here at APSI. I trust them. I see them as extremely professional, extremely caring about their roles and what they do."

APSI has focused on how to make its Protective Services Representatives (PSRs) even more available to the people they serve, she says. Remote work flexibility has increased since the pandemic. "They want them out and about. They want them... visiting their clients and being more available."

"I've stayed with APSI for all these years because I highly respect the mission and the goals of the organization. And I continue to see tremendous need out in the community."

Nevalyn now lends her expertise to the Community Leadership Council and APSI's development Committee, and she has no plans of stopping anytime soon.


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