Resources. Equality. Independence.
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Our staff is some of the most talented and top notched people in the industry. Without their hard work and dedication we would not be able to empower our consumers and work for social change.

Let me introduce you to the team

Welcome to the Disability Resource Center! My name is Pam Heavens and I am honored to serve as executive director of the Center. I am a native of Coal City and have lived in Joliet since 1983. I am a graduate of Joliet Junior College and the University of Illinois. I have been involved with the Center since 1985, when the first Board of Directors was developed. It is a pleasure to see how our Center has grown since that time and the positive changes we are making in the community for people with disabilities. My major responsibilities include making sure that our Center has enough money to operate, ensuring that the daily activities of the Center are carried out, participating in advocacy efforts, and raising funds.

Pam Heavens

Executive Director

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I am the Program Manager at the Disability Resource Center. Some of my duties include supervising our direct support staff, completing various reports, monitoring our programs, representing the Center at various policy meetings and many other tasks.  I am very pleased to be associated with an organization that works to empower people with disabilities to live self-sufficient lives.

Missy Martin

Program Manager

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Hello, my name is Debbie Tarrant and I am an Independent Living Advocate. Along with our four core services: Advocacy, Information and Referral, Independent Living Skills training, and Peer Support; I can assist you on your journey to independence.

We provide Disability Awareness to students in grade schools and conduct Youth Leadership in high schools.

Around 2009, I lost the vision in both of my eyes, first my left eye and then the right eye. I am a wife and the mother of two sons and I have ten grandchildren. I have a lot of hobbies and interests that I enjoy doing on weekends, mostly doing what activities involves the grandchildren. I enjoy reading, camping, being out of doors, and animals.

Please contact me for more information. I am looking forward to meeting with you!

Deborah Tarrant

Independent Living Advocate

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Hi my name is Sam Knight and I am the Community Organizer at the Disability Resource Center. DRC is a grassroots, consumer-controlled organization. In our efforts to become more membership based, it is my job to help aid in the Leadership Development. Our leaders will include our consumers, volunteers, and members in their efforts to become the leaders that we need. These leaders will help us develop the presence that is necessary to address the issues and concerns around which we organize. We will be working on issue campaigns such as the lack of affordable, accessible, integrated housing and the need to increase public transportation options in Will and Grundy Counties. We look forward to working with everyone to increase our presence and grow our numbers. This work will increase our power. We say in organizing that there are two types of power: the power of organized money and the power of organized people. We don’t have the power of organized money. Through our development of leaders, however, we can and will have the kind of power that organized people bring with them. This is the power to achieve equal access for people with disabilities!!!

Sam Knight

Community Organizer

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Hi, I’m Olivia Cruickshank and I’m a Community Reintegration Transitional Coordinator at the Disability Resource Center. The Community Reintegration Program is available for individuals with disabilities who currently reside in a nursing home, who are between the ages of 18-59, and who are interested in reintegrating into the community.

I have numerous years of experience working with people with disabilities. In my spare time I love spending time with my sons, other family members, and friends. I also enjoy writing poems, reading, and shopping. Two of my biggest goals in life are: to help others, and being a mother.

Olivia Cruickshank

Community Reintegration Transitional Coordinator

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My name is Marjuen.

I’m employed at the Disability Resource Center as a Community Reintegration Transitional Coordinator.  The main focus of my job is to advocate for individuals who are eligible for home service programs and who reside in nursing homes to return to the community with adequate services and supports to ensure success.

My education background is an Associate in Medical assistance and a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Social Work and minor in Education.

I am very excited to be a part of an organization that strives for equality and empowerment of persons with disabilities to provide support services, promote advocacy, and raise community awareness about disability issues.

Marjuen Wannah

Community Reintegration Transitional Coordinator

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Marie performs clerical duties including answering phones, greeting guests, assisting with the amplified telephone program, and many other tasks.

Marie Malfatti

Clerical Assistant

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Hello! My name is Tabitha Boshears. I am the Development Associate at Disability Resource Center. I’ve grown up in a large family, which included many Deaf members. I learned sign language at an early age and continue to use sign language at DRC. I attended both Joliet Junior College and Cornell College. I spent my first years out of school working in a nursing home and in home health care. These experiences drove me to want to make changes in the way people with disabilities are treated.

At the Center, I plan our development activities, design our print and digital newsletters, complete state and federal reports, provide support for our direct service staff, and assist with fundraising events and material. I also coordinate our annual Disability Mentoring Day activities which provides students with disabilities and local businesses a day to work together.

Away from work, I spend time with my wife and our two beautiful sons. We enjoy hiking, going to the movies, trying new recipes, and spending time with our large extended family.

Tabitha Boshears

Development Associate

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