Ann Carrellas

Ann Carrellas

Associate Director for Research

Ann Carrellas



1978 B.A Boston University


Ph.D. Wayne State University, School of Social Work
2006 M.A. Madonna University, Elementary Education
1983 MSW University of Michigan, School of Social Work


I have extensive practice experience working with families and individuals with I/DD over the years as a case manager and advocate which led to a position as a division director with responsibilities for over 300 persons living in residential and their own homes. In the past 4 years as a research assistant at the Developmental Disabilities Institute, I have been the project manager for the Michigan National Core Indicators survey and Project TEAM, an empowerment intervention for youth with I/DD. I am an adjunct social work faculty at Wayne State University. I have completed all my classes and qualifying exams for a doctorate in social work and hope to complete my dissertation by the end of this year.



Child welfare and disability policies, transition of foster youth and individuals with disabilities from adolescences to emerging adulthood, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, self-determination, intersection of gender, race and class in social work policy and practice

Research Support: 

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (July 2016 to present)

The LEND program seeks to increase the knowledge and experience  in the use of evidence based practices to meet the complex needs of children and youth who have autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Role: Program Manager


National Core Indicators Survey-Michigan (2015 to present)

The goal of the National Core Indicators Survey is a collaborative project to assess the outcomes of services provided to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.  Indicators address key areas of concern including employment, rights, service planning, community inclusion, choice, and health and safety.

Role: Project Manager


The Arc Michigan, Michigan Alliance for Families, Educational Advocacy (current)

The goal of this project is to provide educational advocacy to families of children who have disabilities in order to facilitate inclusion.

Role: Program Evaluator


Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence(U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women): Partners Against Violence and Injustice in Michigan (2011-2015)

The goal of this project is to increase physical, programmatic and attitudinal accessibility for adults with disabilities who have experienced domestic and sexual violence.

Role: State collaboration partner



Boston University Subcontract (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research), Project TEAM (Teens making Environmental and Activity Modifications) (2012-2014)

Project TEAM is a manualized group intervention with teens who have developmental disabilities to increase their knowledge of environmental factors and modifications, participation in personal activity goals,and self-determination

Role: Project Director, Wayne State University Site


Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Project of National Significance: Family Support and Community Access Demonstration Projects, Michigan Family Support Initiative (completed)

The goal of the project is to assist Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens who have developmental disabilities to reunite, preserve, strengthen, and maintain their family units in their home communities. 

Role:  Evaluator



The Arc, Autism Now: The National Autism Resource and Information Center (Administration on Developmental Disabilities) (completed)

Autism Now is a national initiative to gather, organize and disseminate information and resources related to community based services, self-determination, supported independent living, treatment protocols that promote community based experiences and evidence based interventions.

Role: Research assistant. Technical writer.


Professional Memberships & Honors

Professional Memberships: 

1984-pres        Member, National Organization of Social Workers


1995-2002       Chairperson/Member, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities/Michigan


2006-pres        Coordinator/Member Michigan Statewide Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Task Force


2011-2013       Member, Mayor’s Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect-City of Detroit, Michigan


2011-2013       Member, Developmental Disabilities Council, Economic Justice Work Group

2012-2013       Member, Wayne State University, President’s Commission on the Status of Women


2003                Gail Allen Scholar, Center for the Continuing Education of Women, Ann Arbor, MI


2011                2nd Place Winner, Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute Graduate Researcher’s Lifespan Alliance Poster Day


2013-2014       Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute Graduate Fellow

2014-2015       Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute Graduate Fellow