Team Leader

Mark Starford


Mark Starford

In 1994 Mark Starford (BRC Director) recognized an ongoing need and established The Board Resource Center to provide facilitation and leadership development for non-profit organizations, community advocacy groups and government agencies that advocate for or serve people with diverse abilities and function and access needs. He is known for “plain language” technical planning materials, adapting governance procedures for diverse members who serve as volunteers, and training for boards of directors.

Under Mark’s leadership, BRC provides strategic consultation, interactive training and development of person-centered systems. BRC has developed a comprehensive library of accessible publications and digital tools available that make complex ideas easy to access and apply.

In 2002 BRC partnered with the California Department of Developmental Services to create innovative tools that enhance self-direction and leadership for persons with developmental disabilities. This partnership has created and disseminated more than 25 digital teaching tools and published 10 books that facilitate increased participation in decision-making and choice, community access, personal rights and responsibility, employment, healthcare and emergency preparedness. The consumer-driven publications and videos are used statewide and the Feeling Safe, Being Safe emergency preparedness tools have been adapted by other states with BRC support.

Mark’s work in the field of education and social services began in 1972 as a Montessori teacher. He was founder and Head of School for twelve years of a nonpublic elementary and middle school in Texas that demonstrated the effectiveness of inclusive teaching. The school was among the first to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in 1986 as exemplary for effectively creating a “real community of learners.”

Mark is founding director and key consultant for The SCILS Group (, a non-profit community inclusion consulting group established in 1977. The SCILS Group focuses its consulting and coaching to ensure children with disabilities and their families have opportunities to attend inclusive schools, participate in neighborhood activities and access to community and natural supports. The SCILS Group and Mark provide family coaching, universal design materials and media that develop greater community involvement.