Commission for People with Disabilities

The mission of the Denver Commission for People with Disabilities (DCPD) is to promote and enhance equality for people with disabilities through empowerment, advocacy, and education by working with community members, as well as City and County of Denver officials and employees who have the ability to affect change. 


Commission Meetings

Join in on our next Denver Commission for People with Disabilities meeting to learn more about the Commission's work and impact in the City of Denver, hear what our goals and plans are for 2022, and meet other leaders in the community. If you're interested in becoming a commission member, we can assist you with the application process and requirements.

DCPD meetings are virtual until further notice.

The DCPD meets from 5:30pm – 7pm, on the first Tuesday of every month.  We use the same Zoom link every month!

Monthly Meeting Information:


Commission Members

Wade Balmer *Co-Chair

Wade Balmer joined the commission to help people with disabilities feel connected and find community.

In his previous work, Wade was with the Arthritis Foundation for 15 years. His role included telling the stories of those affected by arthritis, medical professionals, and volunteers through marketing and communications projects. He also focused on advocacy work and led educational summits, self-help courses, and regional and national conferences. Wade served as the director of Camp JRA for 10 years, a week-long adaptive residential summer camp for children with arthritis and other related diseases such as lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, and dermatomyositis. After the Arthritis Foundation, Wade served as a public information officer for the City and County of Denver for six years. In that time, he enjoyed developing resources, information and communities for people across Denver to feel more connected to their communities. He currently works in communications for The North Face in Denver.

Wade was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis when he was five years old, which causes muscle weakness and inflammation and impacted many aspects of his life. Wade believes that the key to managing his health is being constantly curious and regularly living outside his comfort zone to find new ways to be active and healthy. He is passionate about adaptive recreation programs for people with disabilities.

 

 

Natasha Gardner *Co-Chair

Natasha Gardner is an award-winning writer and editor. She has more than a decade of experience covering civic journalism topics, including disability rights. Gardner joined the commission in 2020 because she is passionate about advocating for people with disabilities.  

 

Oliver Giminaro *Vice-Chair

For the last 30 years Oliver has lived with a C4 spinal cord injury.  During these nearly three decades, he has continued to educate himself and others, sharing his experiences and knowledge with the Denver community and beyond in the service of disability awareness and advocacy. 

Oliver earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern Colorado.  He now serves on the Board of Directors for the Chanda Plan Foundation, a non-profit that provides integrative therapies for persons with neurological disorders, Oliver is a patient advocate for Denver Health’s new Mobility Disability Clinic.

Oliver is a native of Colorado.  He enjoys spending time walking his dog, practicing yoga, and being a member of the Rolling Rapids power wheelchair soccer team.

 

 

Carol Reagan *Secretary

Carol was officially appointed to the Commission in January 2018. Carol is a native of Denver and she currently works as the ADA Administrator for Denver International Airport.

Carol has a master’s degree in Health Services Administration. Her background consists of working in various sectors of health/health care. Her professional and volunteer work has been driven by her interest to improve health and educational equity in underserved communities.

When Carol is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, international travel, going to the movies, playing board games, and listening to audio books.

 

Alicia Cooper

Alicia Cooper is a disabled Army Veteran originally from North Carolina.  She is most passionate about solving the Homeless Veteran crisis and assisting at risk youths. Her time in service and twenty years of professional healthcare career have paved the way to become a strong advocate for the LGBTQIA+ and Disabled communities. She strives to be the example of what she’d want her 4-year-old daughter to immolate i.e.  strength, compassion, empathy, determination, and integrity. In her spare time, she loves to prepare gourmet meals, travel, participate in creative art events and most importantly, create space for her daughter to flourish.

 

Brandon Selinsky

Brandon M. Selinsky is an attorney and director with Whitcomb, Selinsky, McAuliffe, PC. His areas of focus include Social Security disability, veterans law, and trademark/copyright law.

Selinsky joined the commission in January of 2018 in the hopes of helping the commission to improve the city for people with disabilities in new and impactful ways and, more than anything else, to leave the city much better than we found it.

Outside of work and the commission, Brandon enjoys playing with his funny, happy kids and if they aren’t around, brewing beer.

 

Joanne Stranahan

Joanne Stranahan was officially appointed to the Commission in January 2020. Joanne is a St. Louis native and has lived in Denver for the past 15 years. She currently works for Comcast in the DTC area.

Joanne has a master’s degree in Business Management with a minor in HR. She is a member of many employee resources groups within her organization.

During her spare time, she enjoys listening to audio books, gardening, spending time with family and trying new recipes.

 

Julie Bernard

Julie is an accomplished patent and intellectual property attorney who focuses on providing creative and balanced legal advice to entrepreneurs and start-ups. Prior to her current private practice, Julie was the Chief Patent Counsel with Roche Pharmaceuticals, Chief IP Counsel with BaroFold, Inc., and Special Counsel with the law firm of Faegre & Benson in Denver. Before her legal career, Julie spent time at Norden Laboratories and National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine.

At the age of 25, Julie had a catastrophic equine accident that opened her eyes to, among other things, mortality, community service, and public perception. Julie is passionate about causes related to disabilities, women, and animal welfare. To that end, she currently sits on several advisory boards, volunteers, and mentors.

 

Lacey Henderson

Lacey is a Denver native, a small business owner, a 2016 Paralympian and American Record Holder. She has a passion for sports after being an athlete at the University of Denver and being on the USA National Paralympic Track and Field Team. She is a national public speaker, hosts podcasts and videos web series including Microsoft's In Culture, and her own show called Picked Last in Gym Class. Currently Lacey is getting her Master's in Sport and Performance Psychology with an aspiration to further serve the disabled sport population. Her life through athletics has paved the way of disability advocacy on an international level and she believes making change should start in our own backyards.

 

Michael Pearl

Michael Pearl, a person living with disabilities, is a full-time volunteer working independent of agencies to assist individuals who require assistance with medical care navigation. In addition, Michael is a board member of the Colorado HIV Alliance for Prevention, Treatment and Care as well as a board member of the Colorado HIV and AIDS Prevention Grant Program.

Michael has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Loyola Marymount University. In addition, he has a Master of Business Administration and a Masters of Telecommunication from the University of Denver

 

Rachel Malone

Lifelong paraplegic. Born and raised in MN living in Boulder County. Has been a national disability advisor. Is an adaptive athlete with a 2019 silver medal from a curling national championship in Golden. Has a medal in air rifle.  Exhibits her photography all over the world. Has been featured in sports n spokes magazine and new mobility. Is a writer and disability consultant.

 

Tara Wolfe

Tara Wolfe is a disabled theater artist, advocate, and writer from Colorado. She is the Producing Artistic Director of Kinship Theater in Denver, and is devoted to increasing visibility and access for folx with disabilities, especially in artistic spaces. A certified advocate with the Colorado-Cross Disability Coalition, Tara's primary focus is individuals with invisible disabilities. When not fighting the good fight, she can be found having fabulous misadventures with her service dog Bitta and beloved partner Sebastian.

 

Tim Dodd

Tim began service on the Commission in the spring of 2022.  Originally from suburban Boston, Massachusetts, Tim also lived in Baltimore, Maryland and El Segundo, California before relocating to Denver in the summer of 2020 for work.  He has worked in state and local government for over fifteen years where his work primarily focused on strategic planning, performance management, and data analytics.  Currently, he serves as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Englewood, and also teaches classes on government performance and data analytics at The Johns Hopkins University. Tim is passionate about public service, and served as an elected member of the Select Board in his hometown of Westborough, Massachusetts; the Baltimore Regional Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee; and the El Segundo Technology Committee.  Additionally, he has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.  He holds a BA in Political Science and History from American University; an MA in History from Providence College; and a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University. 

 

 

Tim Digiau

For the last 24 years, Tim has managed uncontrolled epilepsy. Despite five neurosurgeries, he has not found relief from seizures. Today, he considers his condition to be his source of motivation and inspiration to help others in the disability community. In his spare time, Tim is an avid cyclist, writer, activist, yogi, and loves exploring all the wonders that Colorado has to offer. Currently working on his master’s in healthcare administration, Tim aspires to remain in healthcare and continue to progress equality for all.

 

 

Vee Daise

Venissa (Vee) Daise is a mental health therapist serving individuals living with a more silent disability, mental health diseases such as, Paranoia, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar Disorders in her private practice Fund-A-Mental Health Therapies, LLC.  Vee is a Texas native, mother of three and a wife who loves to travel.  She pursued her master’s degree in social work and graduated from the University of Denver. Vee is passionate about being a voice for those who are voiceless!

 

   


Commission Bylaws 

Denver Commission for People with Disabilities Bylaws.pdf(PDF, 251KB)

6ARTICLE VII. BYLAWS1.Each Commission will develop and adopt bylaws concerning internal affairs, including, without limitation, membership qualifications, governance, and operation of the commission.2.The Bylaws shall be amended as necessary to conform to the Charter and Code, Executive orders, fiscal rules, and official policies of the City and County of Denver and the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships.3.The bylaws of the Commission shall be subject to alteration, amendment or repeal, and new bylaws may be adopted, by the affirmative vote of a majority of a quorum of the members of the Commission at any regular or special meeting. Notice of proposed changes, edits, or updates will be provided to Commissioners in advance with the meeting notice.4.Any amendments or repeals of these bylaws or adoptions of new bylaws shall be submitted to the Executive Director of HRCP for approval. Attest:Ms. Pamela Bisceglia Dr. Aisha Rousseau Current Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson Current Staff Liaison Date of modification:09/06/2017Date of adoption:10/3/2017Quorum number:10/10