Officers (2021 – 2023)
The Executive Officers are listed by position
Ty Smith is a Colorado native and long-time peer (person with a disability), advocate, specializing in the mental health system, quality of life measures, and trauma informed care. He created and implemented Youth Voice, a cross-disability coalition that focused on creating youth subject matter experts, providing training for effective policy and advocacy activities, and providing on-going supports to encourage community engagement. At age 36, Ty has thirteen years as a state and federal public health policymaker and eight years as a peer provider in the Colorado behavioral health system, and is Bachelor of Science Candidate, Administering Nonprofits for Youth. He is currently the Vise-Chair of Colorado Statewide Independent Living Council (CSILC) and Chair of the CSILC Policy Committee, a member of Securing Employment and Economic Keys to Stability (SEEKS) Chair of the Peer Subcommittee for SEEKS, member of Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council (BHPAC), member of Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal & Juvenile Justice System Task Force (MHDCJS), and member of Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) and sits on numerous committees.
Joan LaBelle, Secretary
Joan LaBelle is the Executive Director of Disabled Resource Services (DRS), one of nine Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in Colorado. DRS provides services to people with disabilities in Larimer and Jackson Counties. 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 her mother that taught her to let nothing stand in the 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. Joan has been involved with CILs across the country. In particular, she has focused on oversight and expansions of programs, which included ensuring quality assurance and meeting regulations for a CIL from a variety of funding sources. She has been active on SILCs across the country, serving on several committees. In Colorado she is active on SILC committees such as the SPIL Committee, the 501c3 Committee, and most recently, the Membership Committee. She has served on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Legislative Committee. Nationally, Joan has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living. She has also served on a variety of committees for the National Council on Independent Living. Most recently she has been a reviewer for the Administration on Community Living.
Council Members Listed in Alphabetical Order
Robert Matthew Bohanan
Charlotte is passionate about making a positive difference in other’s lives. She received a Bachelor’s in Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. Her Master’s is in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Colorado at Denver. Professionally, she has been a counselor and educator for 35 years. Her career began at Red Rocks Community College in the Office of Disabilities Services. She also enjoyed employment in the Women’s Center, and as an instructional assistant in a remedial lab teaching English, Math, Spelling and pre-GED instruction. During this tenure, her biggest success was creating Empathy training for staff and faculty working with students with disabilities. She also created learning seminars such as: Learning Styles, Test Anxiety, and Test Taking Techniques. Stress management was another popular seminar she developed and taught. Her employment at Arapahoe Community College was as a Vocational Assessment Specialist helping students with learning disabilities create realistic career goals. In 2005, she was hired at Connections for Independent Living as a coordinator of Multiple Sclerosis Services and also an Independent Living Specialist. This employment began her involvement in the independent living movement, an exciting change from the academic world. Another new beginning was teaching Psychology at Aims Junior College in Greeley. This was a big breakthrough as an adjunct faculty teaching in a classroom setting. It was very rewarding interacting and learning with the students. From 1985-1991, she was a member of the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council’s (CDDC) planning group. She enjoyed this involvement and is grateful again for the exclusive appointment to another state board. She presently serves on the Public Policy and Executive Committees and Chairs the Membership Committee. Her special interests are: nature, music, sailing, and travel.
Peter J. Pike, Program Manager
Office of Independent Living Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Peter Pike serves as the Program Manager of the Office of Independent Living Services. The Office of Independent Living Services was established as a new unit within Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation enacted by SB16-093. The Office of Independent Living Services (Office) oversees and manages the State’s contracts with the nine Centers for Independent Living (CILs) also called Independent Living Centers. The Office of Independent Living Services provides staff to the Colorado SILC, partners in the State Plan for Independent Living, and serves as the fiscal sponsor. Additionally, the Office works to
- Increase the visibility and understanding of the core services delivered by the Centers for Independent Living and Colorado SILC;
- Increase partnerships among Federal agencies; State agencies; Advisory Councils; community-based service system networks; and, Centers for Independent Living;
- Collaboratively partner with the Centers for Independent Living and Colorado SILC to build capacities.