Nick Winges-Yanez, Ph.D., LMSW is an adjunct assistant professor at the Texas Center for Disability Studies (TCDS) through the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. She directs the Disability Studies program and the project manager of the Texas Sibling Network and the Healthy Relationships project. Dr. Winges-Yanez holds a master’s and a PhD in social work from Portland State University in Portland, OR, her home for fifteen years, prior to moving to Austin to be closer to her parents and her sister. As a sibling to someone labeled with ID, she is interested in creating a community for other adult siblings.
She teaches several Disability Studies courses and leads the programming for the Disability Awareness Speaker Series. Dr. Winges-Yanez works with several partners on UT campus to deepen understanding of disability studies.
Dr. Winges-Yanez worked in residential settings for adults labeled with I/DD and co-occurring mental health conditions for more than 10 years. For more than half that time, she worked in a house with men labeled with I/DD who had sexual-offending behaviors. It was this experience that led her to return to university. Her main research focus has been on sexuality and intellectual disability, specifically how the two have intertwined throughout history. She facilitates a Healthy Relationships course for self-advocates with IDD labels, as well as workshops for professionals and family on how to effectively
communicate about sexuality.