Members


 

 

Michael Kadovitz, Chair
Curtis Garrett, Vice Chair
Ed Schneider, Secretary
Leah Huffer-Solomon, Treasurer
Julie Farrar, Communications
Aleaza Goldberg 
Anita Cameron
Kevin Grimsinger
Leah Huffer-Solomon
Mikelle Learned 
Michele McCandless 
Jennifer Reeves-Harris
Jessica Sweeney 
Elizabeth Woodruff

Members Biographies
 
 
Curtis Garrett is a third generation Colorado native, who was born in Denver and grew up in Lakewood. Curtis attended Fletcher Miller School and Green Mountain High School. He was one of the first groups of students with disabilities to be “mainstreamed” in the Jefferson County School District. Curtis received his bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from Metropolitan State College of Denver. For the past 14 years Curtis has coordinated after school programs, summer day camps and youth rugby programs for Denver Parks and Recreation, Community Recreation Office. He has been actively involved in advocating on behalf of people with disabilities and others who are disadvantaged.  He helped create the Freebirds, an integrated softball program for individuals with and without disabilities. He was also team member and organizer with the Denver Harlequins Quad Rugby Team.  Curtis’ life time goal is to view as many perspectives as possible. Separate we are only fragments. Only by bringing our diverse perspectives together, can we truly solve the challenges we face as a community.
 
Julie Farrar is a Colorado native, born and raised in Park Hill and Northeast Denver.  She was one of the first children with disabilities to attend a public school, she attended Philips Elementary, Smiley Middle School and East High School

She is also a community organizer for Service Employees International Union in the Long-Term Care Division. She recently graduated from Metropolitan State College with a degree in Human Services Non-Profit Administration. Julie has over twenty years of experience with community organizing and has been actively involved in local and state politics advocating on behalf of people with disabilities and their families. Growing up with a disability and raising three young daughters Julie knew first hand the challenges faced by those who  are stigmatized by others because of a difference. She sees the strengths in the diversity; the unique perspective based on life experiences inherent in the differences in age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and countless other subtleties that make each of us unique expressions of humanity. She understands the value each of us has and our right and ability to participate in our community based on our strengths, not defined by the labels others thrust upon us.

 

Amy Glatt moved to Denver after graduating from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Deaf Studies and American Sign Language.  Amy became inspired by the rich history of the disability rights movement and is now a passionate advocate for ensuring equal rights and opportunity in education and employment, and promoting independence and self-advocacy for people with disabilities within our community.  She has worked as an independent living program manager for the Center for People with Disabilities in Boulder, and currently works as a disability services coordinator for Jones International University in Centennnial, CO.  Amy is a member of the Rocky Mountain ADA Center, the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), and the Colorado/Wyoming Consortium of Support Programs for Students with Disabilities.  In 2011, she completed her ADA Coordinator Certification through the University of Missouri and Great Plains ADA Center, and she is now pursuing pre-requisite coursework for speech-language pathology at the University of Colorado.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering as a reader for the blind and for a therapeutic riding center in Littleton, CO.

 

Michael Kadovitz is a Denver native, growing up in NW Denver where he still lives today.  Having a sister who is developmentally disabled, he knows firsthand the importance of people with disabilities and special needs.  His mother was a primary advocate for special education in Denver Public Schools and learned early on, the need for continued community support and activism.  He believes in helping the disabled community become advocates themselves, by encouraging and enabling them to vote, and have every possible opportunity available to them.  He knows this is possible, as he saw his sister become a delegate to her first Democratic Party Convention in 2010.  During his many years as a Marketing Manager for AMC Theatres, he was instrumental in introducing Open Captioned and Descriptive Video films to the film exhibition industry.  He also has been active in other community affairs, including the Denver Citizen's Police Academy, The DPS LGBT Advisory Board and Sloan's Lake Neighborhood Association.

 

Anita Cameron hails from Chicago, IL, and is the younger of twins. She holds degrees in Biology, and Computer Information Systems. Drawing on her passion for social justice and change, she became involved in several movements, culminating in her introduction to the Disability Rights Movement. In 1986, Anita joined ADAPT, a national, grassroots disability rights organization. In over 25 years of involvement, she has risen to a position of national leadership. She helped to write a piece of national legislation, was invited to the White House on two occasions, has met three sitting U.S. Presidents and one Vice-President, helped to organize a national, 144-mile March, and was published in a book by the late internationally renowned, award-winning historian and writer, Howard Zinn. Anita has had well over twenty years of experience in transportation issues, beginning with her employment as a Transit Information Agent with the Chicago Transit Authority, where she first became aware of transportation issues affecting people with disabilities. Since then, Anita has served on transit advisory committees around the nation and has trained people with disabilities to form their own advisory councils to their local transportation authorities. Giving back to her community has always been very important to Anita, who has served on neighborhood and community steering committees in several states. Her commitment to the participation of people with disabilities in the political process led to her becoming an election judge and poll worker in several states, and recruiting over 65 people with disabilities to serve as poll workers in Washington, DC. In working to ensure that people with disabilities are equal participants in all aspects of society, not only as recipients of services, but as valued members of, and contributors to the well-being of their communities, Anita trained to serve as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member. Since 2005 she has worked collaboratively with teams in three states consisting of first responders, planners and governmental agencies to develop and implement emergency management plans, particularly for people with disabilities. Anita loves cats, computers, music, books, blogging, traveling, and collecting coins. She lives in Denver with her wife, Lisa.

 

Leah Huffer-Solomon, CTRS is a native of Colorado who grew up in what is now called Centennial.  She completed her degree in Leisure and Education Services with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1998.  After completing her degree, she became a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and for the first 4 years of Leah’s career, she worked as the Training and Outreach coordinator and Area Manager for Special Olympics Colorado.  In 2003, she began working for Denver Parks and Recreation Adaptive Recreation department (then called the Special Needs program) as a Recreation Therapist and now as the Supervisor.  During her career, Leah has been involved in a number of boards such as the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association Therapeutic Recreation division as the Treasurer and Vice President as well as the Denver Intra-Agency Transition Team.  Being an advocate for people with disabilities to function in the least restrictive environment has always been a goal for Leah and ensuring people with disabilities have a variety of opportunities to maintain a healthy lifestyle and quality of life through recreation. 


Mikelle Learned. Abandoned as a orphan in Korea, Mikelle Learned found herself on a United Airlines flight destined for a new family in Denver, Colorado.  Diagnosed at 6 months old with cerebral palsy, her path in life would one day lead her to the halls of Congress and the National Press Club.  Mikelle has spoken in 11 states, graduated outstanding senior from her high school, owns her own condo, owns a small business and has loads of friends. Her forte’; show young people how to overcome life’s challenges.  Not bad for someone who can’t walk and can’t talk, that is without her technology.  This young woman will tickle your funny bone, inspire you to move beyond your limitations, show you how to create a supportive community full of love, which loves and supports each other.  Her presentation, Shining Beautiful, the English translation of her Korea name, shares tips and strategies for creating a meaningful life, no matter what life gives you.  Mikelle's new book, Shining Beautiful, The Brilliance of Community in Action can be found along with other resources at www.TheShiningBeautifulSeries.com  


Elizabeth Woodruff moved to Denver in 2007 to attend graduate school at the University of Colorado Denver where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Political Science. While a student, Beth began working for Assistive Technology Partners (ATP), a program under the School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She started out as an assistant to the Loan Bank Coordinator and the SWAAAC program which works with school providers throughout the state of Colorado to provide appropriate Assistive Technology devices and services to students with disabilities. After graduation, Beth was promoted to Education Coordinator at ATP where she is responsible for coordinating trainings for individuals with disabilities, their families and service providers along with marketing educational opportunities to faculty and community. Beth provides information and assistance with the Assistive Technology Program of Colorado, a federally funded program to promote statewide access to and acquisition of Assistive Technology. In 2012, she organized the largest AT Expo of devices and services in Colorado and has now instituted the AT Expo as an annual event. Beth’s passion lies in serving underrepresented minorities and helping to ensure access to appropriate assistive technologies for people with disabilities. Her current goal is to make Denver and Colorado more accessible to better serve its citizens. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering as a reader for Learning Ally.

 

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