Transition Leadership Program Alum Profile: Kerry Watson

Community Inclusion
2 min readMay 22, 2024


Young professional woman, with short brown hair, and wearing red blouse is smiling at camera

2021 UMass Boston Transition Leadership Program Alumna

Why did you want to get a Transition Leadership certificate initially?

The goal of my studies was to enhance post-school transition services in Australia through the promotion of self-determination for individuals with intellectual disability.

What first attracted you to UMass Boston? Why did you choose the UMass Boston Transition Leadership program over other similar programs?

I was aware of the Institute for Community Inclusion’s (ICI) progressive disability inclusion initiatives, and the ICI sits within UMass Boston’s School for Global Inclusion and Social Development. I have always been passionate about the link between inclusive education and community inclusion outcomes for adults with disability, so when I found the Transition Leadership program for youth with disability leaving school, I knew it was for me.

Since I live in Australia, I attended remotely and learned so much about best practice in transition and leading systems change. I now have the opportunity to apply this in the current context of disability reform in Australia.

How has getting this certification helped your career?

Soon after completing the program, I assumed the position of Senior Manager for Inclusion Projects at Council for Intellectual Disability in New South Wales, Australia. I advanced issues — such as supported decision-making and inclusive employment and education — through projects, systemic advocacy, and sharing leadership with people with lived experience of intellectual disability to make change.

I recently took a new position as Assistant Director of Ecosystem Reform at the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS). The goal is to advance the sustainability of the NDIS through policy adjustments that ensure disability supports are available for people with disability throughout their lifetime, both within the NDIS and by accessing inclusive mainstream services and systems.

Learn more and connect with Kerry on LinkedIn!

Apply for the UMass Boston Transition Leadership program

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Community Inclusion

The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in school, work, health care and community activities.