Disabled Resource Services empowers individuals with all types of ¬disabilities and all ages to achieve their maximum level of independence at home and in the community through setting and achieving goals, enhancing self-esteem, accessing resources, self-advocacy, peer support, and education.
People with disabilities face many daily challenges despite wanting to be independent, in other words, being able to make choices and direct their own lives. For many, daily tasks are so difficult that achieving independence may seem out of reach. When they fail to get the resources or develop the skills needed to manage the complexities imposed by the combination of disability and low income, they may lose control over their lives and become increasingly isolated or even homeless.
Disabled Resource Services is a state-certified Center for Independent Living (CIL) where they can find helpful solutions through services and guidance from our staff of skilled case managers, most whom live with disabilities themselves. This type of peer support offers new hope, positive role modeling and a problem-solving partnership. With helpful guidance they take charge of their lives with increased independence, dignity and success.
Together, staff and consumers assess problems and needs, then identify appropriate services to resolve them. Individuals trying to cope with disabilities, access services, and navigate complicated bureaucratic systems, find that our staff share their journeys by providing individualized support, encouragement and help. As a result, people's lives stabilize more quickly, and they move forward with greater independence toward a better life.
Disabled Resource Services began in 1978 by people with disabilities who saw the need for an agency in Larimer County that understood the complexity that the combination of disabilities and low incomes impose on people who want to live independently.
* 1978. The Handicapped Needs Assessment Project was started by the Larimer County Association of the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Its function was to survey the needs of Larimer County residents and determine whether an office was needed to provide information and referral, advocacy, and other services for people with disabilities. The survey results clearly indicated a need existed; therefore, an agency emerged to work with individuals with disabilities. The medical equipment "Loan Closet" rental program also was started at this time.
* 1980. The agency changed its name to the Handicapped Information Office. Through its growth, development, and acceptance in the community, the agency began receiving funding from local entities such as United Way and Larimer County Human Resource.
* 1984. The agency severed its association under the Larimer County Association of the Blind and Physically Handicapped in order to more clearly define its status as a service provider agency.
* 1987. The agency changed its name to Disabled Resource Services (DRS). In response to the growing demand for assistance by persons with disabilities. A satellite office was also established in south Larimer County. DRS also became a State certified Center for Independent Living for Larimer County, with services that include addressing these four Federally mandated core services: Advocacy, Information & Referral, Skills Development and Peer Support. (Recertification takes place every three years.)
* 1992. Volunteer coordination was added.
* 1995. Housing assistance was initiated.
* 2001. Community transitions from nursing homes to independent living was added.
* 2006. The agency initiated outreach into Jackson County, an underserved, rural county and
added Social Security advocacy assistance.
* 2012. DRS relocated its main (Fort Collins) office to better serve its clients by improving privacy/confidentiality, providing more storage capacity for its Loan Closet program and allowing for future growth.
* 2014. DRS relocated its Loveland satellite office to better serve clients from southern Larimer County. The result is increased privacy/confidentiality and the ability to inventory more durable medical equipment for rental.
* 2016. DRS begins plans to implement a 5th core service: adolescent transitions to adulthood.
- "Great organization that helped me get out of being homeless."
- "Staff were 150% on top of everything. They helped me a lot."
- "People like you who go above and beyond make this world a better place. Thank you so much!"
- DRS staff saved my life."
- "Staff helped me get employment."
- "Program is excellent working with at-risk youth."
- "You made me feel like I was important...like I mattered."