|Kim Gibson||Executive Director|
Kim grew up in Idaho and moved to Wyoming to go to college. She has a son whom she adores as well as her puppy who brings her much joy. She has a bachelor’s degree in Social work and has worked with individuals with disabilities since 1988. She also has personal experiences with disabilities.
Kim was introduced to the Independent Living Philosophy when she worked for a nursing home where she met an IL Specialist who came to talk to residents. The IL philosophy intrigued her as she thought it was an incredible movement for individuals who have a disability to live in their communities independently, and after learning the IL philosophy she was hooked.
Prior to coming to disABILITY LINK, Kim was the Executive Director at two other Centers for Independent Living where she gained knowledge that she has brought with her to expand programs here.
She has received many nominations and awards for her work in regards to people with disabilities. The one that she is the most proud of is The 2014 National Council of Independent Living "Women’s Caucus Hall of Fame Award" which she received because of the mentorship she has provided to other women in the world of disabilities. She serves on several boards and committees throughout the state, locally and regionally. She is an APRIL board member, Southeastern Center Directors Association Vice Chair, board member of SILC of GA and serves on several subcommittees for NCIL.
Kim can be reached at her extension listed above or her direct line 470-395-2276.
|Ken Mitchell||Assistant Director |
Ken is the Assistant Director . He comes from a lifetime of self-advocacy and system advocacy. Ken has had diverse careers, including Recreational Therapist, Corporate Sales and Paratrooper. He also is an Army Veteran. He is a peer supporter in the disability community. He commits to his job and his advocacy by being involved in a wide range of peer led organizations, including the ADAPT, and Concerned Transit Riders for Equal Access (CTREA), and many others. He contributes a great amount of his success to his partner in crime, Jesse Yellow Dog. Ken is an all-around good guy…a humorist in his own mind.
Ken can be reached at his extension listed above or his direct line 470-395-2277.
|Larry Brown||Finance Director|
Larry is a C.P.A., Vietnam Veteran, and currently the Finance Director. He contributes about 75% of his fee to this position. He also manages a C.P.A. firm with an emphasis on auditing. Larry enjoys walking to the top of Stone Mountain an average of 4 days a week and practicing Tai Chi and Aikido. He is also an avid gardener.
Larry can be reached at his extension listed above or his direct line 470-395-2278.
|Name:||Position:||Email:||Phone: 404-687-8890 +|
|Linda Pogue||Disability Rights and Program Director|
Linda has had a lifetime of relationships with people with disabilities and a 40 year career of supporting people with disabilities to…live in the community; live a self-determined life; advocate within the service, legal and health systems; develop leaderships skills and opportunities; develop communication skills and opportunities; become peer supporters; and be recognized as fully contributing citizens…on both sides of the Atlantic! A social worker by profession; a recipient of community awards; a longtime volunteer and activist with peer led organizations such as People First and ADAPT; previously manager of the statewide programs, “Georgia Voices that Count” and “The Georgia Peer Support Project;” and proudly associated with disABILITY LINK since 2001. Passions include social justice; pet chickens; spouse, family and friends…but not necessarily in that order!
Linda can be reached at her extension listed above or her direct line 470-395-2288
|Fran Durbin||Employment and Training Program Manager|
Fran Durbin has thirty years of experience assisting individuals with disabilities to obtain substantial sustainable employment and to gain financial independence. She is currently the Lead Training and Employment Specialist at disABILITY LINK where she has developed LEAPS, an ongoing employment class and with the cooperation with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency an internship program with major employers. She has recently worked to make disABILITY LINK an Employer Network to allow more individuals with disabilities to have access to employment services
Fran has spent equal time employers to assist in successfully hiring individuals with disabilities through education, information and development of employer programs. She is a co-founder and currant Chair for the Metropolitan Employment Network. This organization has foster an annual disability job fair for 25 years.
Fran can be reached at her extension listed above or her direct line 470-395-2291.
|Renee Shakir||Nursing Home Transition Program Manager|
Renee is the Nursing Home Transition Program Manager. She relocated from Buffalo, New York in 1999. Prior to relocating to Georgia, She worked in many positions where she provided services to individuals with disability. Combined she has over 20 years of experience working with people with disabilities from entry level positions to management positions.
She enjoys linedancing, shopping and spending time with family. Her passion is feeding the homeless and mentoring teen moms.
Renee can be reached at her extension listed above or her direct line 470-395-2290
|Kristal Southern|| Finance and Administration Manager|
Kristal is the Finance and Administration Manager. She is a native of Atlanta, GA. Kristal began her career in Human Resources in 2010 providing services to Home Health Care organizations, including one of the top Home Health Care companies in the nation and other non-profit organizations. Her passion is helping people. This passion has led to the career path she currently works in and jobs in the past, including tutoring at her Alma Mater, Tucker High School, which is located right here in Tucker, GA.
She enjoys dancing, reading, listening to music, and spending time with family.
Kristal can be reached at her extension listed above.
Independent Living Staff:
|Name:||Position & Bio:||Email:||Phone: 404-687-8890 +
|Darnell Johnson||Office and I&R Lead Specialist|
I was born in Pennsylvania, youngest of 5 children. In my teenage years I was introduced to racing Standard bred horses. After graduating I began to work construction along with the horse stable. I have also lived in Colorado, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and New York. After moving to Georgia I was diagnosed with formally diagnosed with my different disabilities including a learning disability and major depressive disorder. It was then that I was introduced to the disabled community. I began receiving services and supports from disABILITY link and attending the LEAP class. I was accepted into the intern/apprenticeship program and began developing skills as a self-advocate, leader and employee. After I completed my apprenticeship, I was offered a job. I am proud to be a part of the staff at disABILITY LINK.
|James Turner||Volunteer and Administrative Specialist|
James is the Volunteer Coordinator. He has an Associate’s degree in family & children services from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural college and a Bachelor’s degree from Valdosta state university it is in sociology with a minor in African American studies. He has been part of a community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega since 2004.
Outside of work James is involved in the community where he volunteers as a tutor with the literacy in action program in Decatur, GA. He also enjoys taking time off on the weekends to make new friends, lift weights get a good meal and going to church. One day he hopes to be a wheelchair runner in the Boston Marathon.
James can be reached at his extension listed above or his direct line 470-395-2282.
|Travis Evans||Computer Lab & Housing Independent Living Specialist|
Travis Evans was born in Atlanta, went to DeKalb County Schools and has been working with computers since his high school days. Travis has taught computer skills in various settings and with a wide range of students, and has teaching methods to support new computer users to be competent and confident. He received his Associates Degree in Mathematics from the Atlanta Metropolitan College. Travis also has experience with graphic design. Travis believes in giving back to the community by volunteering, and has volunteered with youth, with seniors, in a variety of community settings and with community activists on issues such as housing, accessibility and self advocacy. Travis says it was his volunteer work at disABILITY LINK that led to his employment.
|Katie Johnson||ICWP Case Manager|
Katie is the Independent Care Waiver Program Case Manager for disABILITY LINK. She graduated from Georgia State with a Bachelors of Social Work. While in college, she participated in various political groups and policy actions. When she graduated, she gained a job with her internship at a local foster home. Through her time there she held various positions including activities coordinator and a program coordinator for a weekend respite program supporting children from all over the state. While in her work with foster care, she gained a strong focus on mental health and developmental disabilities with the children she served. Within that role, it was easy for her to see the various social barriers faced by the youth. Wanting to get back to her roots of policy change, she found a position at disABILITY LINK to fulfill her love of case management and political activism. Her personal family history made her a strong advocate against nursing homes and an advocate FOR independent living. In her spare time, Katie is active in the LGBT community mostly doing online advocacy and support. She also works with actions on racial, economic and environmental justice. For fun she enjoys finding peace in nature whether it be gardening, hiking, or kayaking.
| Michelle Watkins || Employment & Training Independent Living Specialist |
Michelle R. Watkins is currently the Employment & Training Independent Living Specialist for disABILITY LINK, where she has worked since 2015, she says she has enjoyed the work since day one. She is responsible for assisting in identifying employment opportunities for consumers by monitoring help wanted advertisements, and networking with business groups and community organizations.
Ms. Watkins has an Associate Degree in Health Information Technology and Certification as a Health Access Associate. She has several years working with people in all areas and she offers a wealth of information to anyone. She advocates for herself as well as others. Ms. Watkins assists people with disabilities to improve earned income and be successful in their career and the workplace.
Ms. Watkins had an opportunity to help develop a value statement for public health organization, “A Wiliness to Learn”. This statement is part of her everyday life.
|Katrina Parsons||ICWP Case Manager and Employment Specialist|
Katrina Parsons is an Employment Training and Independent Living Specialist and an Independent Care Waiver Program Case Manager, she has been in this position since March 2017 after being a volunteer and a job coach at disABILITY LINK. Katrina graduated from Agnes Scott College with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in French. In college, she did an internship in the Special Education program at a high school and volunteered at a summer camp for children with autism. Katrina became interested in working with the disability community after living with her grandfather and aunt that have disabilities. In her free time, Katrina enjoys volunteering with children’s programs at her church, watching family comedies and dance competition shows, adult coloring, and spending time with family.
|Emily Shaw|| Youth Independent Living Specialist|
Emily Shaw was born and raised in Tucker, GA. She attended college in Nashville TN, studying music business. After college, Emily moved back to GA, later receiving a Master’s Degree, from Mercer University, in mental health counseling. Being a wheelchair user, Emily has always been surrounded by assistive technology. As a volunteer at disABILITY LINK she became fascinated with the independent living movement and AT.
| Juanita Anderson || Health, Wellness and Resource Specialist|
Juanita Anderson is the Health, Wellness and Resource Specialistat disABILITY LINK. Her main responsibilities include answer incoming calls, taking information from consumers and providing resources for people with or without disabilities, and promoting choice for independent living as well as other administrative duties to support office operations. A graduate from Gainesville High School, she also has a background in the medical field providing administrative support, and has received recognition for Employee of the Month, Volunteer Services at Dekalb Medical, and Georgia Peer Support. Some of her hobbies include floral designing and interior decorating.
| Carl Teem || Administrative Support and Research Specialist Intern|
I am Carl Teem, a dyed in the wool Georgia Tech fan and Native to the 6th Congressional District. I have lived here all my life and this is my community. I first came to disABILITY LINK in the last week before Thanksgiving in 2013 having recently completed an unsuccessful stint at the Bobby Dodd Institute, still looking for employment. By the May 2014 I had started my internship at disABILITY LINK. Now, nearly four years later I am still expanding my skills by working towards an accounting certificate, while continuing to serve as a data entry specialist.
disABILITY LINK is proud to host a variety of internship positions designed to give people with disabilities the opportunity to work and interact in a professional office environment. Our partnerships with GA Vocational Rehabilitation, AARP, and other agencies have allowed us to play a role in the development of talented staff with disabilities, while offering greater service capacity to our consumers.