Janice Benton assumed the position of Executive Director of NCPD in May 2004 after twenty-five years in the field of ministry and advocacy for and with persons with disabilities. Benton assisted in setting up NCPD in 1982, after serving two years on the U.S. Bishops Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities. Throughout her tenure with NCPD she has guided numerous projects and initiatives to promote participation of persons with disabilities in the Catholic Church. She speaks throughout the U.S, and as a guest on Catholic radio. She consults with the U.S. Catholic bishops and other organizational partners on life and disability issues. She has spoken at two international conferences on autism (Vatican, 2014 and Monterrey, Mexico, 2015), and presented two posters at the Vatican 2016 Living Fully international symposium and conference. She assisted in coordinating an international catechetical conference at the Vatican in October 2017. Benton received national awards in 2012 from the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors and the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order, USA and in 2018 was awarded the People of Life Award from the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. She is a professed Secular Franciscan, wife and mother of two adult children, and “Grammie” to a delightful toddler.
Esther Garcia develops and coordinates effective community outreach with Catholic (arch)dioceses, parishes, and community, to support meaningful participation of individuals with disabilities in the Catholic Church and society and to enrich a varied audience on catechesis and cultural diversity.
Garcia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Certificate of Bible Studies, Pastoral Formation, Master Catechist and Catechetical Leadership training from the Diocese of Dallas, over 29 years of experience as a catechist, community and ecclesial volunteer, worked as Faith Formation Director at Sacred Heart Parish, Diocese of Dallas and teacher at Autism Treatment Center of Dallas, She is specialized in leading catechetical programs for children, youth, adults, and families. In addition, she leads programs in special education -autism/disabilities- early childhood in multicultural communities. Esther is a member of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL), Federation for Catechesis with Hispanic (FCH), Pastoral Juvenil LA RED, and the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM).
Julia Gilberto works to identify, share, and develop best practices, programs, and resources which reflect the mission of NCPD. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and Rehabilitation and Theology from Assumption College in Worcester MA, and a Master of Arts in Historical and Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Her graduate research focused on a theological narrative that reflects and fosters belonging with individuals profoundly affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has six years of experience working with individuals with disabilities in schools and as a personal care attendant.
Bob Quinlan joined NCPD as Project Manager in October 2007. He handles items such as the Large Print Liturgical Books, graphics, videos, newsletters and CRM management. He has an M.A. in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia and studied as an S.T.L. candidate at the John Paul II Institute in Washington DC. Quinlan has an ongoing music ministry and is currently an RCIA coordinator at a parish in downtown Washington DC.