James A. Tucker, Director. James Tucker grew up and attended public schools in Decatur. He earned an undergraduate degree in finance from The University of Alabama in 1982 and his law degree from Emory University in 1986. He was worked at ADAP since 1997. He also has practiced with Florida Rural Legal Services, the ACLU of Alabama, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. James has litigated class actions in federal and state courts addressing disability, gender, and race discrimination as well as mental health, foster care, education, employment, housing, voting, corrections, and Medicaid issues. He is a member of the Bar in Alabama, Florida (inactive), and Georgia (inactive). He has received numerous awards for his disability advocacy work in Alabama. He has been married for more than 30 years and is the father of two adult daughters, one a Presbyterian minister in Georgia and the other is a doctoral student in Virginia.
Nancy E. Anderson, Associate Director. In addition to serving as ADAP’s associate director, Nancy chairs the agency’s Children’s Advocacy Team, coordinating its individual case and systems-change work, conducting outreach on disability rights issues, and representing young clients on a variety of issues including mental health access, special education, juvenile justice, and Medicaid. Nancy graduated from Wellesley College and received her law degree from Rutgers University in 1999.
Angie Allen, Senior Case Advocate. .Angie began working at ADAP in 1999. She received her undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Wyoming and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma. Angie is the intake specialist for ADAP’s Community Access Team and provides case advocacy services on a variety of issues. Angie is married and has three cats. She enjoys sports and spending time outdoors.
Vicky Butts, Sr. Case Advocate. Vicky grew up in small town in Mississippi. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Mississippi University for Women, and she also received a master's degree in Higher Science in Education from Purdue University. She began her career after college by working with Therapeutic Foster Care Children and lately received her certification with the Parents as Teachers program with children Birth to five years old. In 2016, Vicky began working with adults with Intellectual Disabilities as a QDDP and later became the Executive Director for a provider in Region V, which afforded her the opportunity to really learn the ins and outs of ADMH Residential and Day Habilitation programs. Vicky has worked with children and adults for 17 years with mental illnesses and/or developmental disabilities. She started with ADAP April of 2022 as a Senior Case Advocate Investigation and Monitoring Team.
Larry Canada, Senior Trial Counsel. Larry, "LC" to his friends, joined ADAP in 2019 after retiring from a large regional litigation firm. LC primarily works on ADAP’s Community Access Team. He has significant experience in handling large complex litigation involving a wide range of subject matters, including toxic torts, commercial and contractual disputes, insurance coverage, construction defects, professional malpractice, the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (on which he has written and lectured). LC earned his B.S. (chemistry, 1978), J.D. (1986), and LL.M. (2019, summa cum laude) from The University of Alabama. He is licensed in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas as well as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court. LC is "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was named a Super Lawyer (2012, 2014-2018) and included in the publication The Best Lawyers in America from 2012-2020. LC is also an Assistant Bar Examiner for the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Ashley Creamer, Case Advocate Fellow. Ashley graduated University of Alabama at Birmingham, Cum Laude in 2005 in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a minor in Criminal Justice. She began her career as a 310 case manager, moved into early intervention, and came back to working with adults with developmental disabilities. This is going on her 16th year and it is her passion. Ashley also enjoys spending time with family, working in the yard and watching her niece and nephew in the sports and activities that they participate in.
Brenden Crooks, Sr. Case Advocate.
Anita Davidson, Office Associate/Legal Assistant. Anita joined ADAP as the Community Access Team’s legal assistant in 2009. Prior to this, Anita worked in the steel industry in several sales and support capacities and for the law firm of Ritchie and Rediker in Birmingham. She graduated with honors from Shelton State Community College in 2012 with an associate degree in paralegal studies..
Andrea Fannin, Senior Case Advocate. Andrea, a Tuscaloosa native, joined ADAP in 2018 and is assigned to the agency’s Investigation and Monitoring team. Andrea earned a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University, graduating summa cum laude, and her law degree from Tulane Law School, graduating cum laude. Following law school, Andrea practiced law for nine years at Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C. in New Orleans where her practice focused on class action defense work. Andrea also worked for a company providing fair housing and accessibility resources to the multi-family housing industry before joining ADAP.
Christy Johnson, Investigator Supervisor. Christy, who joined ADAP in 1994, coordinates and supervises ADAP’s Investigation and Monitoring team. She also manages ADAP’s traumatic brain injury grant work. Prior to joining ADAP, Christy had a broad range of experience with persons with disabilities, including coordinating a rehabilitation program for homeless adults with mental illness, working as a service provider to children with emotional disturbance, and directing a social services ministry. Christy received her undergraduate degree in education from The University of Alabama. She is passionate about volunteering in developing countries, where she is committed to sharing hope and ending poverty and sickness.
Barbara Lawrence, Senior Staff Attorney. Barbara joined ADAP in 1997 and, for many years, represented children with disabilities in foster care, dependency, juvenile justice, special education, and mental health matters. Currently, Barbara conducts and coordinates the agency’s representative payee reviews. Barbara graduated from The University of Alabama School of Law in 1992. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from UA. Prior to coming to ADAP, Barbara practiced in the areas of family law, dependency, child custody, domestic violence, housing, Social Security, as well as other general civil matters.
Andrea Mixson, Senior Staff Attorney. Andrea has been employed with ADAP as a staff attorney since 2005. Andrea is engaged in a variety of individual and systemic advocacy efforts related to children with disabilities including special education, juvenile justice, mental health, and child welfare. She is a graduate of the Cumberland School of Law and holds a Masters of Education degree from Auburn University.
Shandra Monterastelli, Senior Staff Attorney. Shandra has been with ADAP since 2016 and leads ADAP’s Community Access Team. She began working at ADAP as a law clerk while attending The University of Alabama School of Law. After graduating cum laude from UA in 2018, she joined ADAP full-time. Shandra is ADAP’s lead counsel in the Hunter v. Boswell litigation and is responsible for monitoring compliance with the consent decree. Her other primary responsibilities include advocacy on behalf of individuals in facilities, and both systemic and individual advocacy on behalf of individuals who receive Medicaid or Medicaid waiver services. A native of Lacey, Washington, Shandra graduated from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. Before moving to Alabama to attend law school, Shandra taught special education at the elementary level through AmeriCorps in Rochester, Washington.
Christina Norris, Senior Case Advocate. Christina re-joined ADAP as Senior Case Advocate in 2017, after having left the agency to move out of state with her family. She received her undergraduate degree in social work from The University of Alabama and has served as an advocate to children, families, and the elderly in several capacities throughout the state of Alabama. Her primary focus with ADAP is advocacy related to special education.
Porsharee Ray, Sr. Case Advocate. As part of the ADAP team, Porsharee conducts SSA Representative Payee Reviews. Porsharee earned her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Alabama A &M University and her master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix. Prior to joining ADAP Porsharee worked for Social Security Administration over 6 years, and she has worked in a range of positions serving various community populations. Porsharee enjoys singing and spending time with her family and her niece and nephews
Dana Rester, Sr. Case Advocate. Dana joined ADAP in 2020, where she conducts representative payee reviews. She is a Tuscaloosa native and received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from The University of Alabama. Dana has over 15 years of experience in social services working with the elderly and disabled population of West Alabama. Prior to joining ADAP, Dana was the long-term care ombudsman for the West Alabama Area Agency on Aging. In her spare time, Dana enjoys reading and traveling.
Margarita Rodriguez, Office Associate II. Margarita re-joined ADAP as an Office Associate II in November 2021. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Commerce & Business Administration in 2019. Margarita is the first point of contact for clients calling ADAP requesting the agency’s advocacy help. Margarita starts the intake process – collecting contact information and a summary of the client’s concern and setting the client up with an appointment with the agency’s intake staff. She assists callers requesting agency publications and referral information to outside agencies.
Rosemary Beck Ruffo, Information Systems Administrator. Rosemary joined ADAP in 1997. Rosemary is responsible for writing and submitting grant applications and program performance reports to ADAP’s federal authorities. She provides IT support to all ADAP staff. Rosemary also administers the agency’s client database system and provides training and support to all staff and students at ADAP on the use of the system.
Jenny Ryan, Sr. Staff Attorney. Jenny, a native of Hale County, received her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate from The University of Alabama. She previously served as a law clerk for former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb while she was on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. She was in private practice for a number of years with a focus on juvenile justice, family law, and appeals before joining ADAP in 2013. She is a member of ADAP’s Children’s Advocacy Team with a specialty in special education law and is the director of the Children’s Rights Clinic at The University of Alabama School of Law. Jenny enjoys being active in the community and is involved with both Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre as secretary and Theatre Tuscaloosa where she currently serves as immediate past President of the Board of Directors. She also continues to act in many productions.
Garrett Sanders, Peer Support Specialist. Garrett joined ADAP in 2022. Garrett recently just earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism at Troy University and has future plans to continue on his education at Troy to earn his Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. In his free time, Garrett loves to spend time with his church family, watch and talk about sports, and listen to some Country & Southern Gospel music.
Terrika Shaw, Elder Law Attorney. Terrika Shaw joined ADAP in 2021. Prior to joining, she was the Interim Director and Supervising Attorney in the Elder Law Clinic at the University of Alabama School of Law. She is a former Legal Services Attorney where she represented clients in the Black Belt of Alabama and the surrounding counties. She has represented clients across the state of Alabama from the booming Birmingham metro area to some of the poorest, most rural counties in both the state and our nation. Her primary practice is in civil litigation that include public benefits, domestic relations, consumer law, and housing law. She received her law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, LA.
Katrina Smith, Law Fellow
Ryne Smith, Law Fellow
Bill Van Der Pol, Senior Trial Counsel. Bill holds a B.S. from Indiana University – Bloomington (1981) and a J.D. from Indiana University – Indianapolis (1984). Prior to joining ADAP in 2013, he practiced for 29 years in Indiana, primarily in the areas of mental health law and criminal defense. He provided defense services for over 5,000 individuals, up to and including lead capital defense responsibilities. At ADAP, his area of primary responsibility is in advocating for, and protecting the interests of, individuals with mental illness or intellectual disabilities in institutions and community settings. He is currently ADAP’s lead counsel in the agency’s on-going lawsuit on behalf of prisoners in the Alabama Department of Corrections.
Nicky Watkins, Senior Voting Rights Advocate and Outreach Coordinator. Nicky joined ADAP in 2022 and their work revolves around voter education, voting rights, voting law in Alabama, voting with a disability, and outreach and communications. Nicky was born with spina bifida and has been a lifelong disability advocate. Nicky has a B.A. and an M.A. in History from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. They taught history at Lawson State Community College for several years before becoming a professional advocate, first at Planned Parenthood Southeast and then working as a Peer Advocate in the Independent Living field. Nicky has a relatively dark and cynical sense of humor, but in spite of the world, the pandemic, and occasionally their better judgment, they remain hopeful and focused on justice and liberation for the disability community. When they are not working, Nicky enjoys quality time with their partner and their shared love of Dungeons & Dragons, video games, and snuggles with their two terriers and cat.
Molly White, Accounting Specialist. Molly joined ADAP in 2020 as the Children Advocacy Team’s legal assistant and in 2022 as the Accounting Specialist. Molly attended Shelton State Community College where she obtained her Associate Degree in Office Administration in 2013. Before coming to ADAP, Molly worked in Continuing Education at the University of Alabama as a registrar and served as a medical records clerk at a local medical office. She enjoys classic rock, thrifting and hours on the water in her spare time.
Lonnie Williams, Staff Attorney. Lonnie has been with ADAP since 2005 and works on the agency’s Community Access Team. Lonnie has an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and a law degree from Birmingham School of Law. Lonnie provides services in several different issue areas, such as appropriate treatment and placement, abuse and neglect investigations, guardianship and conservatorship, Medicaid rights, ADA/504 rights, and fair housing rights.
Santita Word, Senior Case Advocate. As part of the ADAP team Santita conducts SSA Representative Payee Reviews. Santita earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Mississippi State University and her master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama. Prior to joining ADAP Santita worked in a range of positions servicing diverse populations. Santita is married with two daughters. She enjoys DIY, crafting and couponing.