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.
Disabled Resource Services (DRS) began in 1978, an outgrowth of the Handicapped Needs Assessment Project conducted by the Larimer County Association of the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The project clearly showed a need existed for an agency that understood the unique struggles of people with disabilities around poverty and discrimination. From the beginning, DRS has addressed those issues by assisting people in accessing community resources, providing specific services and giving on-going peer support to navigate challenges, pressing needs and complex social systems.
DRS continues to evolve, adapting to changes in society and law. In 1984 DRS became an independent organization and adopted its current name. It attained 501(c)(3) status in 1985 and became a certified Center for Independent living in 1987. As a Center for Independent Living we have 5 core services: Independent Living Skills Training, Advocacy (teaching self-advocacy and systems advocacy), Information and Referral, Peer Mentoring, and Transitions. Additional services added since its founding include volunteer coordination (1992), housing assistance (1995), Older Individuals with Blindness (year unknown), social security advocacy (2006), and adolescent transitions to adulthood (2016). A satellite office in Loveland was added in 1989 to serve southern Larimer County and Jackson County was added to our service area in 2006.
Though we have grown, our focus remains on assisting people of any age and any disability(s) in achieving greater quality of life and independence at home and in their community. Through our Access to Independence program, staff, in partnership with the individual, create an Independent Living Plan to achieve goals they decide on. Assistance takes many forms, but key is providing peer support, teaching self-advocacy skills and ensuring consumer-control, a combination unique in this area to DRS.
- "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."