Heidi Lawyer


Executive Director
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities

Heidi has spent her career in public service. She has served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD), the Commonwealth’s Developmental Disabilities Council for nearly a decade. She began her career in the area of disability policy at the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services in 1992 shortly after her oldest son, now 25, was diagnosed with autism. She also spend 6 years with the Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy. In 1995, Heidi and a group of parents co-founded The Autism Program of Virginia, now Commonwealth Autism Services, and she served as its Board Chair for 5 years.

VBPD worked with the VABLN years ago, and Heidi is excited about renewal of a collaborative relationship between the two organizations. Heidi has worked with her Board to increase its policy emphasis and influence in areas that include employment. It was through a recent VBPD grant that an Executive Order was issued by then Governor Kaine encouraging state agencies to recruit and hire individuals with disabilities and requiring them to report on these efforts.

Although Heidi claims to live a boring life, it’s anything but quiet with four cats and two dogs in the house. She loves the beach and goes there as often as possible.