Board Members

John Ford

President
Pennsylvania
John Ford has been a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist since 1997. He has worked at the Berks County (PA) Intermediate Unit providing Travel Instruction and O&M since 2008. He is also an Adjunct Professor for the Salus University Orientation and Mobility graduate program. He served on the Board of Directors for the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals from 2007 - 2012, serving as Chair in 2011 and 2012. He has an M.A. in Orientation and Mobility from Western Michigan University.

Glenn Michael Beigay

Vice President
Pittsburgh, PA
Glenn Michael Beigay, has been an educator for 25 years working in the field of Special Education and Community Education. He is currently serving in the position of Travel Instructor with Allegheny Intermediate Unit, a regional educational support agency in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this role, he is accountable for providing individualized travel instruction services in school, training and work sites in the community, for those students with cognitive disabilities, excluding those with visual impairments, ages 14 through adulthood in order to enhance the individuals’ ability to work toward independence and employment. Prior to his current position, Glenn has worked as an educational coordinator for a private special education school where his responsibilities included overseeing the students’ special education services including the students’ transition program. Glenn currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in the area of Exceptional Students and is completing his Masters in the area of Special Education and Supervision.

Jay Furlong

Treasurer
Pennsylvania
Jay Furlong, M.Ed., is a certified special education teacher. Recently retired, Jay had been providing direct instruction to students with intellectual and/or physical disabilities since 1999. Prior to his current position, Jay spent twenty-seven years as a senior operations manager for the fifth largest transit agency in the nation. Jay was a co-author of the chapter “Travel Instruction for Individuals with Non-visual Disabilities” in Foundations of Orientation and Mobility, volume II, 3rd edition, 2010. Currently, Jay is a senior partner with JPF Associates, LLC; specializing in Travel Instruction with an emphasis on professional training and development.

Arleen Wheat

Arleen Wheat, Ed.D., is an associate professor of special education for Point Park University's School of Education. Prior to joining Point Park, she was assistant superintendent of special education and pupil services for North Allegheny School District. Before that, Wheat was North Allegheny's supervisor of special education. In addition, she has served in the roles of associate director of special education for Armstrong School District; supervisor of special education programs, Gateways inclusion specialist and special education teacher for Allegheny Intermediate Unit and director of U.S.A.A.C.'s summer program for the Education of Autistic Kids. Wheat has done various media interviews and has expertise in the areas of autism, special education, gifted education, health services, psychological services, student assistance programs, school counseling, social work, ESL, homeschooling and home education.

Alicia Chico, MSW, LSW

Pittsburgh, PA
Alicia Chico, has been a social worker for 23 years, spending the past 19 in the education system. She is currently employed with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU), as a school social worker providing consultation services to the non-public schools in Allegheny County. Over the past 14 years of her employment at the AIU, Alicia has had the opportunity to work with young adults with special needs at the AIU Life Program. The Life Program focused on teaching students to become independent, problem-solving adults in the home, community and workplace. During this time, she provided individual and group therapy, also offered educational groups on social skills, sex education, and self-advocacy, and worked with the Life Program staff to create an environment that fostered independence and pushed students outside of their comfort zone. This experience propelled her to educate others to promote independence in these young adults rather than foster dependency. Alicia holds a Master degree in Social work and is currently working towards her Doctorate of Social Work at Kutztown University.