Joan B Beasley, PhD is a Research Professor and Director of the National Research Consortium in IDD-MH at the National Center for START Services, Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Beasley is a licensed mental health counselor and holds a Ph.D. from the Heller School at Brandeis University. She is the author and co-founder of the START model, first implemented in 1988, a service linkage crisis prevention and intervention program to improve capacity for effective services and supports for children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health needs. START is an evidence-informed model and a nationally recognized best practice for children and adults with IDD and mental health needs implemented across the U.S. In addition to the START model, The National Center for START Services provides professional development courses, research, and community service system evaluations, along with a host of resources and national partnerships. All projects of NCSS include contributions of people with disabilities and family members.