“Disability Rights, Independent Living – by whatever name, what we
the PES principle. We give people Permission to want whatever they
Empowerment to go out and get it, and Support to make it all happen.
Then we help
folks learn how to be appropriately supportive or get out of the way.”
founder and Executive Director, Teresa is primarily responsible for
working with the
of directors to make sure that the doors are kept open. She developed
the many successful programs and services for children, parents and
Counts has sponsored since 1981 (see Our History), and is actively
direct services and systemic advocacy.
self-proclaimed 'reformed professional,' Teresa happily gave up advisory
with various local, regional and state government agencies
an activist and community organizer.
a while, you come to understand that you can only hold
many meetings to discuss what ought to be done before it’s time
go out and gather up the people to get it done.”
time active member of ADAPT, strong supporter of Not Dead Yet and
contributor to various national magazines, Teresa has conducted various
and trainings for colleges, businesses, government entities, law
and social service agencies, and has been featured speaker
several state and regional conferences.
“Getting such a wonderfully successful presence on the internet through
ever-growing website has really jumpstarted some new and productive
developments. It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm our newer team
for bringing about the kinds of systemic changes that are needed so
people with disabilities can live their lives as they choose.”
attended Valparaiso University and Indiana University Northwest before
career that included journalism, advertising, public relations,
personnel and sales
moving into public administration and holding Assistant Director
positions with the
Forum, the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program of Indiana and
Northwest Indiana Public School Study Council.
the years, our folks have touched the lives of many people. I’m always
to see familiar faces dropping by to tell us how they’re doing and ask
can do to help others achieve their goals as well.”
lives in Merrillville, and is the proud parent of two children and four
credits her late furry room mate Molly with getting her through some
rough times, and
of the many friends and colleagues who have continued to support her
Everybody Counts through the rough waters of difficult decisions.