Since 1999, we have helped hundreds of people become more independent, more connected and more self-driven. To us, success is mostly about helping our clients live their lives in their own way. We do this by teaching them both life and employment skills – valuable real world skills that help the employer’s bottom line and help build our clients’ self-worth.
Ultimately, our passion is to effect social change for people that are treated differently by society at large. We help our clients evolve personally and professionally, but we find they have more to teach us than we have to teach them.
Unlike other services, 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. 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 independence.
At Ability Specialists, expectations are always high. We motivate people on a daily basis – 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 programs meet our participants’ individual needs through:
Team-oriented systems that include parents, mentors, 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 service to participants, their families, and our supporters
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 disabilities. Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, TJ experienced a range of learning disabilities during her developmental years, including dyslexia, comprehension difficulties and behavioral issues. 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 teach others. In 1999, the couple started Ability Specialists as a way 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.
JEFF KINGSTON – PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Jeff is a native of Pittsburgh who moved to Colorado in 2012. Jeff has worked in the developmental disability field for over 10 years ranging from day program staff, to residential support staff, to managing group homes and job coaching. Jeff has faced some challenges along the way that he has had to learn to live with. For most of his life, Jeff has dealt with ADD, Anxiety, and some OCD tendencies. His dedication to his own emotional growth is awe-inspiring and what makes him one of the best mentors I have ever come in contact with. He uses his own experiences to relate to and have compassion for the individuals we serve, offering tough love, guidance, empathy and support. We are incredibly fortunate to have Jeff as part of the team. His organizational and management skills support our team managers, and allows them to mentor our clients to the best of their ability.
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