Jo Ann Simons has over 30 years of experience in the intellectual and developmental disabilities field. When she became the president and CEO of the Cardinal Cushing Centers, Inc. in 2008, she brought with her 15 years of experience leading The Arc of East Middlesex as its executive director. She has also worked as deputy facility director of the Fernald Developmental Center in Waltham; director of policy initiatives and acting director of Family Support Services for the Massachusetts Department of Disability Services and director of the Community Division of the North Shore Arc and is the mother of Jon, an independent young man with Down syndrome.
Jo Ann is known as a champion of providing children and adults with intellectual disabilities with the supports they need to be as independent as possible. Jo Ann is immediate past chair of the National Down Syndrome Society and past member of the board of directors of Special Olympics International. She advises Special Olympics on family issues and The Ruderman Family Foundation on disability issues. She lectures on transition, employment, housing, parenting and programmatic issues regarding people with intellectual disabilities.