Since 1999 hundreds of adults have come to Ability Specialists and learned how to live, work and feel more independently. They have learned how to build deeper connections to their communities, peers and most importantly, to themselves. We do this by teaching life, vocational, social, and emotional skills. This combination helps to produce kind, confident, empathetic, and independent adults.
We all aspire to discover what it means to live our lives in our own way, but to pursue this in a meaningful way, we need to develop trusting relationships and connections with those around us. .
Ultimately, our passion is to effect social change for people that are treated differently by society at large. We do this through connection, love, and belonging in our community. We help our individuals evolve personally and professionally. A value that we hold ourselves to as well.
We do not provide a “caretaker program” where participants are simply supervised while doing standard activities. Our proven mentor-based approach is designed to individualize programs for every person and has helped us clearly stand apart from other programs. True to our name, we specialize in helping every individual achieve his or her full set of unique abilities. Our dedicated and highly trained mentors deliver experiential learning programs that build better support networks, deeper friendships and stronger ties with communities. By creating these kinds of constructive learning frameworks, we support and teach useful and practical skills that lead toward greater confidence and independence.
At Ability Specialists, expectations are always high. We motivate people daily, never supporting the use of their disabilities as excuses for overdependence on others. We have found, time and again, that our mentor-based supportive learning environment results in participants becoming well-adjusted adults with the freedom to pursue more self-sufficient lives.
Our person-centered programs meet our participants’ individual needs through:
Team-oriented systems that include parents, mentors, case managers and the community.
A highly trained, compassionate staff that focuses on each participant’s unique needs.
A fun supportive atmosphere that creates a sense of community.
Skills-based experiential learning programs that promote productivity in daily life.
Exceptional customer service to participants, their families, and our community partners.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
“Ability Specialists has been such an important part of our lives since becoming guardians of my sister who has special needs. The well designed program has helped us structure an active and purposeful life, a perfect blend of volunteer work and social interactions.”
– Liliane Brantes (Client Guardian)
“Ability Specialists not only helps adults with special needs. It also offers structure and hope for families and caregivers. It is a place to go, a place to grow, a place where one does not have to explain oneself.”
– Peter Vanicek (Client Guardian)
“Outings with Ability Specialists are the highlight of Lisa’s week. When I pick her up she chatters all the way home about who was there and what they did.”
– Colleen Wolstenholm (Parent)
“Through many years of work with Ability Specialists, I have been impressed repeatedly by the commitment they make to each individual and each family. I have seen Rick and TJ help families reach important goals and develop amazing, dedicated, therapeutic relationships with clients, helping them accomplish things that others didn’t think possible. Having worked in this field for more than 15 years, I have seen very few organizations that stand out as truly positive forces in improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. Ability Specialists leads the pack.”
– Scott Quicke, M.A., LPC (Independent Therapist)
“Since my daughter Lily has participated with Ability Specialists, family and friends see such a difference! Lily is happier, more self-confident and independent, and full of jokes and wonderful observations. She’s also not just willing but happy to do all kinds of things that took prodding and negotiation before: like order a pizza on the phone, or use Access-A-Ride and sometimes even call on her own to find out what’s up when they’re late. She texts and calls friends more often, and will even run into the Arc to pick up a special something that she asked be put on hold for her.”
– Lecia P (parent)
Rick and TJ Sison, founders of Ability Specialists, know a thing or two about overcoming Challenges. TJ experienced a range of learning disabilities during her developmental years, including dyslexia, comprehension difficulties, behavioral issues and later diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Rick was born with Attention Deficit Disorder accompanied by other learning disabilities. During his primary education, Rick’s educational challenges led him into Special Education classes.
Instead of allowing themselves to be overwhelmed by their setbacks, Rick and TJ both found ways to overcome their obstacles. Over the years, they learned how to achieve their personal goals and to develop healthy, balanced lives. Conquering their challenges inspired Rick and TJ to want to mentor and teach others. In 1999, the couple started Ability Specialists to share their insights with a population in need. Since its founding, the company has grown into one of Colorado’s most successful service agencies for improving the lives of adults with developmental disabilities while still maintaining the feel of a family business.
JEFF KINGSTON – DIRECTOR/EQUITY OWNER
Jeff is a native of Pittsburgh, PA who moved to Colorado in 2012. Jeff has worked in the developmental disability field since 2005 ranging from leadership roles in day programs, residential support, managing group homes and employment services. Jeff has faced his own challenges along the way that he has had to find positive ways to cope with and manage. For most of his life, Jeff has dealt with ADD, Anxiety, and some OCD tendencies. His dedication to his own personal growth is inspiring and what makes him one of the best mentors in the business. He uses his own experiences to relate to and have compassion for the individuals we serve, offering love, guidance, empathy and support. Ability Specialists is incredibly fortunate to have Jeff as part of the team. In 2018 Jeff purchased a percentage of the company solidifying his commitment to the organization as well as the clients we serve. His organizational, management, and leadership skills support our team and allow them to achieve their potential as well.
Assistant Program Manager
We did a brainstorm exercise with our clients about what Ability Specialists means to them, and below is what they came up with. We found it interesting, and thought you might as well…
Ability Specialists Inc
7055 E Evans Avenue, Suite 300
Denver, CO 80224
FOR INFORMATION: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR SCHEDULING: email@example.com
TJ Roper Sison
President and CEO
VP & Cofounder