Fort Collins Staff
Joan has lived with her disability since the age of five. She credits her advocacy skills to her mother, who was an advocate extraordinaire…way before we knew what that was…okay, not way before. It was Joan’s mother who taught her to let nothing stand in her way of her dreams and to help others achieve their dreams. She has more than 35 years (both as a youth and an adult) within the disability movement.
Professionally, Joan was one of the founding members that began The Disability Network in Flint Michigan and as chair of the grant committee assisted with the application for their incorporation as a Center for Independent Living.
Since that time Joan has had almost every position within Centers for Independent Living (CIL) across the country. In particular, she has focused on oversight and expansion of programs, which included ensuring quality assurance and meeting regulations for a CIL for a variety of funding sources.
Nationally, Joan has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living. She co-facilitated planning their national conference for several years. She has also served on a variety of committees for the National Council on Independent Living.
Most recently she was part of the Administration on Community review team that selected the new SILC and CIL Technical Assistant Centers.
Marj has been with DRS since 2003. She worked at Hewlett-Packard for 23 years in Finance and Human Resources. She is a graduate of Colorado State University with a BA in Liberal Arts.
Director of Programs
Alison has a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in social work and psychology from The Evergreen State College. She has worked with Disabled Resource Services for over 10 years and has a passion for working with Independent Living centers and people with disabilities. Her personal experiences with disability give her a dynamic understanding of disability and the barriers that people with disabilities encounter. One of her passions is working on health care advocacy and ensuring that everyone has equal access to quality healthcare. Alison is Director of Programs where she supervises, trains and hires all direct line staff members, oversees direct line programs, and many other tasks to ensure that DRS provides quality, relevant services to consumers with disabilities.
Director of Development
Dave joined DRS in 2012 as the agency’s first full time development director. Since beginning his fundraising career in 1989, he has worked in development offices at a community hospital, a community college and a museum district. This well-rounded background has given him experience in most areas of development (and marketing). His extensive fundraising experience is complimented by his experience as a volunteer for a variety of community-oriented non-profits. Dave is a graduate of Colorado State University and in 2004 achieved CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) certification from CFRE International.
Lead Independent Living Specialist
Katie is an active intergenerational Independent Living specialist with education and experience that spans across a lifetime. Katie has a Bachelor’s of Science from CU Boulder and a Masters of Art, Gerontology from UNC, Greeley CO. She has studied and taught grief, loss, and its effects on individuals with disabilities. With over six years of experience working in Centers for Independence Living, Katie has developed a strong passion for the ILC philosophy and is a strong advocate for individual positive change and personal choice.
CCT and Housing Program Co-Coordinator
Emily has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from CSU. She lectures at Front Range Community College on autism spectrum disorders, and has longstanding experience working with a variety of disabilities. She also has personal experiences as a member of the disability community. Emily co-coordinates the Colorado Choice Transitions (CCT) program, helping people living in nursing homes regain autonomy through independent living. She also co-manages the housing voucher program, keeping track of the annual recertifications and housing inspections that are required of program participants.
CCT and Housing Program Co-Coordinator
Jennifer is a Montana native who moved to Colorado in 2010. She is in the process of receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology and intends to graduate in 2018. She has extensive experience working with disabilities, having worked in respite care and as a host home manager for Overture for 3 years. She also has personal experience in the disability community through members of her family, who helped her excel, and drove her passion for disability activism and independent living philosophy.
Youth Transitions Program Coordinator
Jessica has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in social work from Colorado State University. She has a passion for serving people with disabilities of all ages but has recently focused on youth. In addition to her work at DRS, Jessica works part time at Foothills Gateway in the Child Extensive Services/ Adult Care Services program providing respite for family members/ guardians. Jessica coordinates the youth transitions program which targets youth ages 14-26 as they transition from high school to adult life. As coordinator for the youth transitions program, she helps youth develop independent living skills, self-advocacy skills, job readiness skills and other relevant skills which will help ensure their independence as people with disabilities in the community.
Specialist for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Jenny has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and an Associate’s degree in interpreting. She has worked for DRS for over 10 years and has been an ASL interpreter for over 20 years. Her specialties include mental health, legal, and vocational rehabilitation. She is a member of the Colorado Association of the Deaf and the Colorado Registry for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Marketing and Development Manager
Jane joins DRS with more than 10 years’ experience in marketing communications, development, and special events. For the past five years, she has worked for four local nonprofits – Junior Achievement, CSU’s Little Shop of Physics, Larimer Humane Society and the Fort Collins Cat Rescue — dedicating her efforts towards surpassing these worthy organization’s objectives. Prior to this, she was an assistant director of communications and development at Colorado State University. Jane has a postgraduate certificate in journalism and a master’s degree in business with an emphasis in marketing. As Marketing & Development Manager, Jane is looking forward to continuing to grow DRS’s annual fundraiser – Wine Fest – and supporting strategic development initiatives.
Administrative Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator
Terry came to DRS through an internship and liked us so much, she ended up staying! Terry does a variety of things in her work at DRS. She is the main ‘voice’ of the DRS Fort Collins office answering phones and greeting people as they come in to our office. Additionally, she manages the Fort Collins loan closet, coordinates volunteers and completes many other tasks as needed.
Loan Closet Technician - Fort Collins
Evan comes to DRS with both handyman and customer service experience. He is excited about working at DRS and sharing his skills with us. He maintains our loan closet medical equipment at our Fort Collins office and performs other office tasks as needed.
Lead Independent Living Specialist
Denise has a Master’s of Science degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Science degree in Administration of Justice and Security. Denise is the Lead Independent Living Specialist in our Loveland Office. She has been working with people with disabilities for most of her career. She works with individuals with all types of disabilities who want to live more independently. Denise often works with individuals who wish to apply for SSI/SSDI, Food Stamps, and Aid to Needy and Disabled and more. In addition to working on benefits application, she advocates for people with disabilities for many reasons such as, but not limited to, landlord or employment disputes and service/companion animal related issues. She also runs the Loveland loan closet, provides information and referral and conducts community outreach in the community.
Independent Living Specialist
Loan Closet Technician - Loveland
Alfredo is originally from Lebbock, Texas and moved to Colorado in 1993. Alfredo’s professional background has been in maintenance and grounds keeping. He loves to keep things organized, clean, and in good working order. Alfredo prides himself in his work and is excited to be working for Disabled Resource Services.
“Vision Matters After 55” Program Coordinator
Karen has been with Disabled Resource Services’ “Vision Matters After 55” Program for more than 13 years. She became legally blind in her mid-20’s which caused her to re-focus and change her life goals. This transition between being sighted and without sight inspired her to work to increase awareness of, and expand, vision related services in Larimer and Jackson county while also sharing her experiences and helping others cope with similar issues.
Karen’s dog, Tomba joined DRS in 2015. He is Karen’s guide dog from Oregon’s Guide Dogs for the Blind. Tomba is not only Karen’s guide dog, but an ambassador who works hard to increase access, awareness and enhance peer support services.
“Vision Matters After 55” Program Community Outreach & Program Advocate
Terran worked with people with dementia and Alzheimer’s in Texas and found that she enjoys working with older people. She is now an integral part of the “Vision Matters After 55” Program, helping visually impaired seniors achieve a higher level of independence for themselves. With over three years’ experience working with DRS, Terran has made working with people with disabilities her priority, and continues to advocate for their continued success in the community.