USAO Honors Easley, Pioneer in Disabilities Care
Dr. Vicki Easley has spent the majority of her career rejecting the notions that mental retardation equaled hopelessness and that status quo services were acceptable. Dr. Easley will be honored this year as she is inducted into the USAO Alumni Hall of Fame during Alumni Homecoming at the University of Science and Arts Nov. 6-8.
Easley will be honored along with fellow inductee Emma Jean Smith Stover and Young Alumni Award recipient Andrea Wood Brock during the Nov. 7 ceremony. Homecoming registrations still are being accepted for all alums and former students at the USAO Alumni Development Office, (405) 574-1290. Registration packages for the entire weekend are $50, which is an all-inclusive package that includes all meals.
Easley graduated from the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts (now USAO) in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in art education and commercial design. She earned a master's degree in diagnostic/prescriptive teaching for emotionally disturbed (special education) from Coppin State College in Baltimore in 1969 and a doctorate of education in psychoeducational assessment, curriculum design and instructional techniques for special populations from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1976.
Dr. Vicki Easley will be honored this year as she is inducted into the USAO Alumni Hall of Fame during Alumni Homecoming at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Nov. 6-8. Registrations for Homecoming are being accepted for all USAO alumni at the USAO Alumni Development Office, (405) 574-1290.
Her career in developmental disabilities began in 1967 and continues today. Easley entered the field at a time when the "medical model" and "warehousing" were the common approaches used to provide services to the mentally retarded.
Easley has worked to improve the quality of services for developmentally disabled adults including the design and implementation of needs assessments, individualized treatment programs and behavioral support interventions. She places emphasis on interdisciplinary team effectiveness and provided in-service instruction to both professional and direct-care staff in a wide area of subjects.
Easley has served as a mentor to staff, as a client advocate and has provided the vision and leadership needed to effect positive change in the developmental disabilities field.
Her career began as a special education teacher. Easley served numerous other roles throughout her career, but was employed by the State of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Developmental Disabilities Administration's Rosewood Center for the majority of her career.
Rosewood was Maryland's largest residential treatment center for the developmentally disabled and was a licensed intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded. The center provided residential, therapeutic and clinical services for individuals having disabilities ranging from severe/profound retardation/significant medical involvement to those having a dual diagnosis of mental illness/mental retardation with extremely challenging behaviors and, in many cases, criminal court involvement.
During her tenure at the center, Easley was credited as playing a significant role in achieving Rosewood's release from a seven year Consent Decree from the Department of Justice. Easley provided leadership and direction needed to effect center-wide changes.
As director of Rosewood Center's Therapeutic Program services, she completely transformed the center's day programs into a system of individualized therapeutic programming emphasizing integration of specialized disciplines. The program was recognized as a state of the art program on a national level.
Easley had leadership responsibilities in a vocational rehabilitation unit, adult activity workshop program, staff development department and therapeutic program services. She was the facility director and director of clinical and program services of a 300 bed intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled, where she directed more than 700 staff.
She established the first supported employment program in the nation to operate from an intermediate care facility. She received the Maryland’s Governor’s Citation for Outstanding Service and the Maryland Department of Mental Hygiene Outstanding Administrator Award.
Easley serves as a Colonial Williamsburg Foundation volunteer, a member of her local SPCA and enjoys a range of hobbies.