Nominee Bios


Jason Varnado

I am an Associate Director in Gonzaga’s Center for Student Academic Success (CSAS), and I oversee the Disability Access office within that Center. I am close to entering my 13th year working in Disability support – my favorite thing about this work is the creativity involved in creation of accommodations and problem solving for universal access. As my predecessor always said “our answer shouldn’t ever be ‘No’, but rather, ‘how’.” I am running for president because no one else would… just kidding, I am running for president because after my time on the Board as Tech Adviser and a short stint as secretary, I want to continue to support the membership, the organization, and the board. I vow to solve the issue of what candy should and should not be offered on tables at the conference.


Kendall Smart

I am a Disability Consultant at Central Washington University. My favorite thing about this work, in short, is connecting with college students to help them navigate the complexities of post-secondary. Specifically, working with students with disabilities aligns with my desire to assist students achieve their academic goals. I am running for the board, because, after becoming a member and attending my first WAPED meeting I greatly appreciated the networking, camaraderie and information presented. Because of that experience, I knew I wanted to be a more integral part of the team.

4-year Representative

Katie McCray

I am the Coordinator of Educational Support Services at Whitworth University. I have spent 5 years in disability support services and 2 years working with individuals with developmental disabilities in Montana. My favorite thing about this work is educating and encouraging students in their disability identity. I also enjoy engaging in these same conversations with faculty; by how they respond to the impact of disability a student faces in the classroom, they are directly impacting (changing even) the kind of life students will aspire to live beyond college. I am running for the board because Aimee Elber was probably going to write my name down this year. More seriously, I would like to deepen my relationships within the WAPED community and expand my knowledge base by serving on the board.

Jake Swanke

I am the Senior Access Coordinator at University of Washington. I have been working in disability services in Washington state for over 8 years. In this work I enjoy being able to approach a unique access situation, critically analyze it from multiple perspectives, and arrive at a solution that balances the needs of all involved. Throughout my career the support of colleagues and WAPED has been important to my work and development as a professional. I am interested in the four-year representative position as an opportunity to give back to the organization and my colleagues that have been so helpful to me.

2-Year Representative

Bobbie Sue Arias

I’m the coordinator for Disability Support Services and Adjunct Instructor at WWCC. My favorite things about this work: the relationships developed with students. Advocacy and observing the change that reasonable and appropriate accommodations can create for students. I enjoy working with faculty and staff to learn about and embrace diversity among students that includes disability status and considers representation. I am running for the board because it affords me the opportunity to become more involved, which better informs and shapes my services to the changing and evolving needs of students.