Officers (2021 – 2023)
The Executive Officers are listed by position
Ty Smith, Chair
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 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.
Martha Mason runs Southwest Center for Independence (www.swindependence.org) in southwest Colorado. She has Bachelors in Psychology and Animal Behavior, and a Masters in Special Education. Martha has about 38 years experience in working with people with different disabilities – in direct services, service coordination, advocacy, and independent living. She ran employment programs in both the intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health systems. She started a free-standing Medicaid Waiver case management agency after she got written up for referring someone to another company’s therapist. She worked as an advocate through The Arc, doing grassroots community building through training and work groups, and saw people taking charge of their lives with support from each other. She has been with SWCI since 2010, growing the Center from 4 staff to 20.
Martha enjoys civil rights work, sharing information, and watching the community grow when people talk to each other about what’s important. She has 27 year old twins, a husband who is a chef and a woodworker, and various pets. She is very happy in her home in Hesperus, an unincorporated community outside Durango, with about 10 people per square mile. Martha has lived with mobility issues and chronic pain for about 20 years. She supports the American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women Voters, in addition to the independent living movement.
Council Members Listed in Alphabetical Order
Robert Matthew Bohanan
Susan Dameron is passionate about equity and diversity in employment and education. She currently works as a Supervisor for the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in Durango, Cortez, Montrose and Delta. Susan has been with DVR for 3 years and has over 17 years of experience in Higher Education and TRIO programs. She has earned a Bachelor’s in English, a Master’s in Education: Teaching, Learning and Leadership, and a PhD in Education: Curriculum and Social Foundations from Oklahoma State University.
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.
Lousie is a member of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. She has lived in Colorado over 40 years and has worked in many different human service roles for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Within the past three years she has been employed with the Southern Ute tribal Vocational Rehabilitation program as a Vocational Rehab Employment Specialist. Enjoys helping native people with disabilities find employment through the tribe and other local businesses. It brings her pride and joy to see more people with disabilities working in various places. She has earned a BS degree in Sociology/Human Services at Ft. Lewis College and a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW), University of Denver. Also, she has a certificate in Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation, Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA.
Currently, she is serving a second term with the Colorado State Independent Living Council (SILC). It has been a great learning experience to interact and work with the state and disability related programs. Enjoys serving on the SILC and participating in its subcommittees.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends, a college and NBA basketball fan, bowling, bicycle riding, sewing and reading. Actively participates in tribal ceremonies and cultural activities in the area as well as in Oklahoma.
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.