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Meet our skilled volunteers: Lisa and Maria

DSI's training program provides critically needed disability information and strategies to DSI partners' local leaders, teachers, and parents to help build greater inclusion and educational opportunities, especially for children with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders, who are often the most excluded.


Two Minnesota-based speech-language pathologists, Lisa and Maria, have worked hard all year, helping to develop DSI's 3rd training module focused on communication strategies for children with disabilities. In July, DSI’s Executive Director, Jennie will travel to Cambodia along with these two amazing skilled volunteers, to train our Master Trainer cohort and begin the rollout of this much anticipated and needed content module.


Meet these two dedicated and passionate DSI volunteers:



Hello! My name is Lisa Giebink. I am a DSI volunteer module writer and trainer. I’m also a US-based certified speech-language pathologist with over 35 years of experience supporting individuals and families with communication challenges. I have a Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. I am also a certified Infant Massage Instructor.


I am passionate about early intervention with autism and facilitating parent and teacher learning. To relax, I like to sew purses, bags, wallets, stuffed animals, and umbrellas. I enjoy listening to audiobooks as I create hand-stitched projects as well. I am excited about joining the DSI organization as it aligns well with my desire to empower others to give people of all ages a ‘voice’ in their own lives.

Teaching teachers and parents allows children to learn from those who have the best interest of the child in mind.


Hey!  My name is Maria Hermanson. I am a DSI volunteer module writer and trainer. I’m also a US-based certified speech-language pathologist with 29 years of experience supporting individuals and families with communication challenges.  I have a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language/Hearing Sciences and a Bachelor's Degree in Speech Communication Theatre Arts and Spanish. I currently work as an early childhood speech-language pathologist in Minnesota and enjoy improving the communication skills of children.  Additionally, I love mentoring new clinicians just starting out in this field of work. In my free time, I love to travel, go to movies, read, and spend time with my family. I’m excited to partner with DSI to share my passion for my profession with others.


I believe that partnering with families, caregivers, teachers, and administrators is essential to providing the best opportunities for all learners. 

DSI's training program continues to have great and growing impact because of the dedicated people behind this mission work. Thank you for sharing your hearts and minds with DSI's mission Lisa and Maria!

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