Our Objective

Our goals are to prevent accident-related injuries, highlight the abilities of people with disabilities and break down attitudinal and program barriers that cause handicaps and discrimination. We aim to provide individuals with disabilities the tools they need to become self-sufficient, lead productive lives, and improve and maintain a life style of their choice.

Board of Directors

Erica Nash [ email ]
President of the Board, Chief Executive Officer

Erica Nash founded Help-Your-Self, Inc.® (HYS) in 2003 for the purpose of helping people with disabilities learn to help themselves to live independent and productive lives. This goal grew out of a need she felt to be proactive in breaking down barriers that limit people’s abilities to be productive, and to take steps to reduce preventable injuries.

Ms. Nash resides in Washington, D.C., where she continues her efforts to promote independent living, community integration, and prevention of injuries. She is an advisor to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a member of the Mayor's Committee on Persons with Disabilities and a participant on various policy committees including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the D.C. Medical Assistance Administration, the D.C. Office of Disabilities and Aging, and the Long-Term Care Coalition. Ms. Nash has a B.A. in International Communications and Public Relations, an Arts Management degree and an M.A. in Technology and Management for Non-profit and Arts Organizations. Over the years Ms. Nash has received much recognition for her contribution to improving long-term care, including the John Benjamin Nichols Award from the Medical Society of the District of Columbia for her outstanding contributions to the health of the community.

Ms. Nash broke her neck in a motorcycle accident when she was 23 years old suffering a (C4) complete spinal cord injury (SCI). She remains completely paralyzed from her neck down. She has worked twenty-two years developing policies and programs to improve accessibility, reduce barriers, increase healthcare options, improve people’s independent living skills, and reduce preventable injuries. Prior to running HYS, Ms. Nash worked several years increasing access to museums and theatres, including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, and The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Kirk Simon [ email ]
Vice-President of the Board, Member of the Executive Committee, Director of Education

Kirk Simon sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) from a bicycle fall during a national bicycling race sponsored by the United States Cycling Federation. As a result of his fall, which was caused by another cyclist’s negligence, he became an advocate for preventing SCIs and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Mr. Simon draws upon his own physical and emotional experience as a C-5 quadriplegic to advocate against discrimination, increase inclusion laws, and establish legal prevention of injury requirements. He started teaching a small amount of injury prevention seminars in Montgomery County, M.D. ten years ago. These seminars have been recognized by school administrators and county officials as an effective way to reduce injuries.

Mr. Simon enjoys using his knowledge and wisdom to break down communication and stigma barriers. He received the Pyramid Award from Montgomery County, M.D. for his contribution to an NBC Dateline editorial on housing and discrimination. 

Although paralyzed from his shoulders down, Mr. Simon continues his involvement in the world of sporting activities. He is a member of the Montgomery County, M.D. wheelchair rugby team, he founded a county disability Kart team, and encourages people with disabilities to be active, enjoy the outdoors and nature, and to live life to the fullest.

Caroline H. Joss [ email ]
Secretary of the Board, Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee, Consultant for Development and Outreach

Caroline H. Joss has over twenty years of experience in all aspects of non-profit operations, including: administration, fund-raising, grant research and preparation, membership, marketing, database design and management, and writing/editing of promotional materials. She holds a Master’s degree in Arts Administration and has extensive years of experience in management of associations, performing arts venues, and healthcare and social service organizations.

Ms. Joss is a champion for volunteer service to the D.C. community. Having worked for literacy programs, hospice programs, and the transportation industry, she encountered up-front about the multiple facets of people’s struggles and learned how to help people use their strength, determination and achieve their goals. She has always been involved with improving community life through her political work with Mayoral, Congressional and Presidential races; she has been a member of the Mayor's Commission on Resources and Budget, the D.C. State Committee, Ward Three Democratic Committee, and the Association for Fundraising Professionals.

Through her long association with the founder of Help-Your-Self, Ms. Joss has learned about the needs of people with a variety of disabilities and has eagerly joined the Board to assist in the development of programs, policies and services geared towards independent living and community integration.


Liane Adams [ email ]
Director of Personal Care Management

Liane Adams was born and raised in Great Britain. Her formal education in kinesiology, occupational and physical therapy, independent living skills, nursing, and case management, allow her to be extremely dexterous in transforming vision into action for people with disabilities. Ms. Adams has developed a sharp eye for discovering people’s needs and achieving solutions.

Ms. Adams has worked over fifteen years helping people with mobility impairments to achieve independent living and maintain a healthy lifestyle. She joined Help-Your-Self as a Personal Care Management Trainer and has enhanced our clients’ desires and abilities to achieve independent living and community integration.

Her knowledge about traveling and recreational needs of people with disabilities, and her ability to foresee problems even before they surface, ease our clients integration process. She is admired by everyone for her kindness and golden heart.

She has conducted one-on-one counseling and developed training workshops; her abilities to listen and communicate are highly praised. Her extensive experience in care-giving for people with disabilities has also exposed her to the world of assistance animals. She has worked with animal behaviorists, is able to train dogs, and can assist clients with their service animals.

Ms. Adams currently resides in Washington, D.C, where she continues to work with HYS, and is an advocate for independent living and community integration.