Cheryl Theis
Education Advocate


  • Legal issues
  • Special education and learning disabilities

Cheryl Theis joins the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund team with a background in case management, consulting, advocacy and program development for students with neurocognitive disabilities such as Asperger’s syndrome and nonverbal learning disorder. She has a bachelor’s degree in social welfare, and a master’s in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her previous experience is as a researcher, project coordinator and interviewer for both Stanford University and the California Department of Health Services on childhood autism and cystic fibrosis-related projects. She also has experience as a life skills and college prep teacher and co-developed and implemented a transitional support program and careers and college curriculum for students at a specialized high school for Asperger’s and nonverbal learning disorder students. In addition to her professional experience, Theis is the mother of four children – two with special needs. She is also a foster and adoptive parent and has advocated for foster children in need of special support or funding based through the Adoption Assistance Program in California’s Alameda and Contra Costa counties.