About disABILITY Resource Center

The disABILITY Resource Center is Knoxville’s nonresidential, nonprofit center for independent living that has been in existence since 1996. Through our services, programs and trainings we assist people with disabilities to achieve their goals, make informed decisions, and be empowered to live, work and play in their own communities. All of our services are free to our clients and no referral is needed.

The dRC’s staff believes firmly in the Independent Living Philosophy and desires to be a circle of support to individual clients and their families as they journey on their road to independence.

Our Mission

The disABILITY Resource Center provides services, support and advocacy so that people with disabilities may thrive and actively participate within their communities.

Knoxville, TN Staff

Katherine Moore – Executive Director

Katherine Moore – Executive Director

Email: kmoore@drctn.org
I have been with the disABILITY Resource Center for 19 years through which I have had the privilege to work with dynamic staff, enthusiastic clients, and sincere collaborating service providers. Serving as the Executive Director, and my other previous roles at dRC, I’ve been able to bring positive education and awareness regarding inclusion and equal opportunities toward the disability community, empowering people with disabilities to take control of their own lives. This is a passion of mine that continues to grow throughout my life. Having the opportunity to play a part in the growth of our community, state and nation concerning disability rights is a role I will never take for granted. Outside of work I enjoy my time experiencing life with my children, grandchildren, friends, and taking long, relaxing walks with my guide dog Duke.

Mike Scripa – IL/Technology Specialist

Mike Scripa – Assistant Director

Email: mscripa@drctn.org
Mike is an Independent Living Specialist who supports individuals as they seek to achieve their goals. He is passionate about helping others and has expertise in working with youth in transition to adulthood. He previously worked for 5 years across all the local Knox County high schools with students with disabilities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee. Mike spends his free time doing what he loves most: being dad to his three children (Max, Gus, and Phoebe) and husband to his wife, Beth.

Brooke Smelcer-Rogers – Financial Officer/HR Manager

Brooke Smelcer-Rogers – Financial Officer/HR Manager

Email: bsmelcer@drctn.org
Brooke has worked in the field of social work for over 10 years. She joined the dRC team in May of 2018 as our Financial Officer/HR Manager. She has much passion for the services and programs dRC provides and is a strong advocate for the IL Philosophy. She has recently married a wonderful man, Jamie Rogers, who generously volunteers much of his time to dRC. Brooke loves to entertain us and our clients with her multiple talents such as serenading us with the karaoke machine and telling us funny stories about random, hysterical situations she finds herself in. Brooke also provides the dRC staff with needed peer support and a continuous supply of chocolate.

Mary Lu Shipstad – IL Services Coordinator/I&R Specialist

Mary Lu Shipstad – IL Services Coordinator/I&R Specialist

Email: mshipstad@drctn.org
I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was a competitive ice skater as a child, and I made a career of skating by joining, “Disney on Ice.” I toured all over the world for 12 years. In November of 2013, I had a serious car accident and suffered a spinal cord injury. With the help of faith, family and friends, I have been able to teach skating, and work at the Disability Resource Center. I head up Information and Referral and the Independent Living program at the dRC. The best part of my job is working face to face with my clients and helping them to live as independently as possible. My greatest blessings are my two sons, Jimmy and Brandon, and my grandson James.

Basil Farris – IL/Employment Specialist

Basil Farris – IL/Employment Specialist

Email: bfarris@drctn.org
As an Independent Living Specialist/Job Coach, I get to know the clients and assist them in finding employment and housing. I build community relationships to further our collaborations with employers as well as housing organizations to create and increase opportunities for our clients. I coordinate both the employment and housing application days, and lend an ear when clients need assistance with goals, making a positive choice, or just a caring heart.

Faith Colquitt – IL Specialist/Financial Assistant

Faith Colquitt – IL Specialist/Financial Assistant

Email: fcolquitt@drctn.org
Faith was raised in Knoxville, TN and graduated from West High School. She is currently an Honors student at Strayer University. Faith has worked with people with disabilities throughout her life, being that her Mom and Grandmother have a disability. She started out as a DSP at the disABILITY Resource Center and worked her way up to an ECF Case manager. Desiring to advance her career within the disability community, Faith has moved up to her position as an Independent Living Specialist and a Financial Assistant at dRC, where she loves working more closely with our clients and staff. She enjoys helping people with disabilities live independent and meaningful lives.

Anne Ray Henson – IL Services Assistant

Anne Ray Henson – IL Services Administrative Assistant

Email: arhenson@drctn.org
As an Independent Living assistant I may be the first point of contact to dRC clients and callers. I enjoy providing assistance for dRC staff with administrative duties, co-facilitating LOL Academy and providing peer support for clients. I am a graduate of Pellissippi State Community College where I majored in Web Design, putting my talents to use by fashioning and keeping current dRC’s website and Facebook page. I like playing basketball, am a huge Lady Vols fan and am a proud recipient of the 2017 Spirit of ADA Luminosity Award.

Hazard, KY Staff

Brenda Noble – Associate Director

Brenda Noble – Associate Director

Email: bnoble@drctn.org
I am a native of Breathitt County, Kentucky. I have been married for 40 years to Jeff Noble, who is the Judge Executive of our county. We have two grown, beautiful daughters. My hobbies are camping, reading, spending time in the sun and spending time with family and friends. Before coming to dRC, I had 13 years in Health and Human Services working with individuals with developmental disabilities. I served as an Employment Specialist including working with the Hart Supported Living Grant. My time at dRC has been very fulfilling and has given me the opportunity to work with some awesome people. I was previously hired as the Program Director in 2018, but since have been promoted to Associate Director of our Southeast Center office located in Hazard Kentucky. I oversee the RUNNING of the office and the supervision of the employees. My Passion in life is to empower others to live as independently as possible.

Karen Ritchie – Independent Living/Youth IN Transition Specialist

Karen Ritchie – Independent Living/Youth in Transition Specialist

Email: kritchie@drctn.org
I am passionate about my position as the IL/Youth in Transition Specialist for disABILITY Resource Center in Hazard, Kentucky. I have the opportunity to work in multiple high schools in our 5-county region, instructing/training students who have disabilities to learn independent living skills, as well as basic life skills. Our goal is to provide them with the necessary resources and skills to be more independent in their communities and daily lives. I also work as the Office Manager by managing daily office work and ordering supplies for dRC. I live in Knott County, KY with my wonderful husband, Bronson. We have 3 beautiful grown children and our precious grandson, Braylen, who always makes me smile. I enjoy raising all our farm animals and being a fun hostess to our dRC Knoxville staff when they come to visit our Hazard office.

Geneva Campbell – Independent Living/Youth IN Transition Specialist

Geneva Campbell – Independent Living/Supported Employment Specialist

Email: gcampbell@drctn.org
I am passionate about my position as the IL/Youth in Transition Specialist for disABILITY Resource Center in Hazard, Kentucky. I have the opportunity to work in multiple high schools in our 5-county region

Geneva Campbell – Independent Living/Youth IN Transition Specialist

George Davis – Independent Living/Supported Employment Specialist

Email: gdavis@drctn.org
I currently live in the small community of Jeff, KY, with my wife of 30 years and teenage son. An avid University of Kentucky sports fan who enjoys fishing, playing basketball and golfing. I previously worked in the mines performing the jobs no one else wanted to do – shoveling belt lines and greasing equipment, then moving up to running the loaders, dozers, rock trucks and receiving my foreman’s certification. I began taking night classes where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in business and healthcare management. When I was given the opportunity to work as a supported employment specialist at dRC, it was an exciting opportunity for me. my experience of understanding that obtaining employment where you have to perform tasks and duties that are not the most desirable to increase the chances of gaining the position you truly want, plus my knowledge of HR operations, provides me with the knowledge needed to assist clients in finding gainful. Employment. I have discovered there is nothing like the feeling of seeing someone receive their first paycheck after you have gotten to help them find an occupation in which they can succeed.