Carol Meredith began working for The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in 1998. Her focus centers around achieving equal rights and social justice for people with disabilities through systems advocacy at state and federal legislatures, county departments, and statewide public policy efforts. Most of this work is done in collaboration with other chapters of The Arc in Colorado, Parent to Parent of Colorado, Family Voices, Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, and many others.
Carol currently serves on the SIM (State Innovation Model) Advisory Committee, Children’s Disability Advisory Committee, Children’s Steering Committee, Community First Choice Council, Adult I/DD Waiver Re-Design Advisory Council, and numerous other advocacy initiatives around the state.
In 2016 Carol received the “Heartfelt Award for Autism” from Firefly Autism, and the “President’s Award” from The Arc Pikes Peak Region.
Her passion for the civil rights of individuals with disabilities derives from her experiences as a parent of a son affected by autism. Carol works to improve federal, state, and local policy so that people with disabilities receive the services and supports they need to live rich, full lives in their communities.
Pam Bailey started working with The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in 2000. She is responsible for providing information and referral to new families, bookkeeping, coordinating volunteer opportunities within the organization, and supporting staff members and the board of directors. Pam is also responsible for various aspects of membership recruitment and grant writing.
Pam has an Associate Degree in Office Administration and past career experience working at The Arc of Aurora and the Arapahoe Early Childhood Network. Her commitment to supporting individuals with I/DD is an important part of her life. Pam is the mother of two young adults and has a cousin with Down syndrome.
Cg La Scala
Director of Advocacy
Cg La Scala works primarily with families who have school-aged children with disabilities. A former teacher, Cg spent several years with Developmental Pathways serving adults with I/DD and mental illness in program management before she started her career with The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in 1984. Cg has a great sense of the practical application of state and federal laws in advocating for people with disabilities drawn from a wealth of experience.
Cg and her husband raised four children in Colorado schools, two with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Three of her children (who are now adults) have children of their own. Of her five grandchildren, two have had IEPs. All have lived “happily ever after”!
Cg also acts as guardian agent for two men with intellectual disabilities, one of whom she has known for more than 30 years.
Lee Ray has been an advocate with The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties for 20 years. Prior to his tenure with The Arc, his career experience consisted of a decade in residential services, providing family support during the early years of Supported Living Services (SLS), and at a state run facility in Texas.
During his career, Lee has witnessed the transition and steady progression of the quality of life options for individuals with disabilities. Advocating during a time when people with disabilities were limited to highly restrictive settings and now currently assisting people in creating lives of independence and worth.
Lee feels incredibly grateful for the opportunities he has had during the course of his career. He believes the fulfilment he receives on a day-to-day basis in his capacity as an advocate is immeasurable.
Child and Adult Advocate
Veronica Crowell joined The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in 2010. She began working with individuals with disabilities while still in high school in Wichita, KS in 1977 and has over 20 years of career experience working with individuals with I/DD.
Veronica assists adults with a variety of resources including employment, housing, day and residential programs, and navigating social security programs such as Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) and Medicare. She also advises individuals with I/DD and their families on their rights and responsibilities.
In her role as a child advocate, Veronica assists families by offering support and information, counseling and guidance, training, and education regarding public school special education for Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).
Child and Adult Advocate
Tona Collins taught life skills to individuals with acquired brain injuries at Developmental Disability Consultants before joining The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties. She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Breakthrough Parenting Instructor, and recognized parenting expert in Adams, Jefferson, and Denver County. Tona has a knack for meeting people where they are in life and helping them gather the resources they need to sustain their household and wellbeing. During her career, she has provided intensive home-based wrap around services to individuals with I/DD, supervised visitations for families involved with the Department of Human Services, and facilitated parenting groups tailored to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
Tona advocates for adults, children, and families on behalf of our chapter; providing education and support. Her outreach efforts include serving families and students with individualized education programs (IEPs) and 504 plans, transition planning, waiver programs and appeals, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Tona is a mother and grandmother who loves her family very much. She is passionate about advocating for others and empowering them to succeed.
Kelie Kyser is responsible for creating and disseminating relevant information about topics that affect the disability community. She works with staff in an effort to capture the voice of self-advocates, parents, and caregivers.
Kelie is a Denver native and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in organizational leadership. She is actively involved in her community and finds purpose in charitable organizations committed to enhancing the lives of underserved populations. Kelie has over a decade of experience researching and writing in the legal industry.
Director of Community Outreach & Education
Luke Wheeland is responsible for the administration of all educational offerings and community outreach activities at The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties. Luke is a Colorado native, born and raised in the Denver metro area. He graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Sociology. Luke is a fan of the Broncos, New York Yankees, and quirky quips.
During his life, he has witnessed firsthand the transition and steady progression of the quality of life options for individuals with disabilities, as his parents worked in the I/DD field for over 35 years. Luke grew up around people with disabilities and individuals striving to achieve independence and a life of worth.
Luke has nearly 15 years of professional experience in operations, leadership, project management, and customer service and support. He began his career working with individuals with I/DD by occupying a variety of roles including: Program Manager of a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA), and Senior Program Manager to Interim Case Manager with Developmental Pathways for 10 years.
Prior to joining The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties, Aida Abril was a police cadet in New York City where she worked in the Police Academy Training Archives, Major Club Unit, and Special Victims Child Abuse Squad. Aida helped detectives translate interviews and interrogations. She was promoted to police officer after completing her undergraduate degree. As a police officer, she worked in low income communities where she attended local institutions and assisted residents with developmental disabilities. She also trained incoming police officers on how to properly handle an emergency or situation involving an individual with a disability.
Aida is a military spouse; her husband is a Marine, and they have been stationed in a few places around the United States. In California, she received her graduate degree in political science with public policy emphasis from San Diego State University. She was also a council member in San Diego and helped local communities and individuals who wanted better reform.
Aida has a son with autism and global developmental delay which has helped her become more involved in the world of developmental disabilities.
Kelly Lawler, Event Coordinator for The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties, is responsible for the planning and execution of social events tailored to the I/DD community. Her love of work within the nonprofit sector began when she was the office manager for the YMCA, participating in over 100 events. She continued her pursuit of community service by founding a business that offered workshops, fitness classes, and individual coaching to people with the desire or need to make healthy changes in their lives.
Kelly has an Associate’s Degree in Communication as well as certifications in Health Coaching and Wedding/Event Planning.