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Debra L. Dunn, JD is a program consultant at the Center for Autism Research.
Debra L. Dunn, JD, works as a program consultant for the Center for Autism Research (CAR). She was CAR's first Director of Outreach and Study Recruitment from 2008-2013. Her current responsibilities include contract negotiations, donor relations, and helping to grow the PASSAGE Program, CAR's new transition to adulthood program.
Dunn has been active in the autism community for more than 20 years as a parent of a young adult diagnosed with autism. In addition to her work at CAR, she consulted with the Penn Center for Mental Health at the University of Pennsylvania to establish an inclusive lab preschool for autistic children – The Ability Academy. She served as a board member of the Autism Society of America Greater Philadelphia Chapter and was a founding board member of ASCEND Group, a local autism advocacy organization. She was a member of the Right to Education Task Force, where she led a team assisting the Pennsylvania Department of Education in monitoring special education programs in Delaware County, Pa.
Dunn contributed six articles related to education and advocacy to The Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders, (Editor-in-chief, Fred R. Volkmar) and was a parent reviewer for the Autism Toolkit from the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children With Disabilities.
Dunn graduated from Duke University and The University of North Carolina School of Law. Prior to her work in the autism community, she was a litigation attorney in Philadelphia. She continues to use her experience to help others become effective advocates.