Meet Our PMAC Steering Committee: Denise Coil

Posted on March 16, 2021

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to highlight some of our advocates, who’ve helped spread awareness and advocated for inclusion and equity for their loved ones with developmental disabilities.

Each week this month we’ll be highlighting a different Penn-Mar Advocacy Collective (PMAC) steering committee member, and why they choose to advocate.

To learn more about PMAC, please contact: tinachansweenie@penn-mar.org


Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a part of the Penn-Mar Family?

A: My husband and I became part of the Penn-Mar family when my brother-in-law moved into the residential program.

Q: You decided to accept a volunteer position on the Penn-Mar Advocacy Collective Steering Committee (PMAC); what made you take that next step in advocating for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)?

A: There are so many issues facing IDD recipients and their providers. Making sure that staff serving IDD individuals are high-quality, caring, and compassionate people. Providers need adequate funding to ensure the safety and quality of life for the people they serve. I have always been a huge advocate for my brother-in-law and all IDD individuals. Providers need the support of families in whatever issues may arise.

Q: What do Penn-Mar and their Direct Support Professionals do for your family?

A: My brother-in-law receives residential services. He has a one-to-one staff person during the day as he is retired. He has a wonderful life since moving to Penn-Mar.

Q: What would you say to another Penn-Mar family about becoming an advocate and member of PMAC?

A: Your voice is needed to ensure that changes are made that benefit our family members. Without our voices many of the changes that have taken place over the years would not have happened without the voice of families.

Q: Is there a favorite activity you do with your loved one with IDD, that brings you joy?

A: Visiting his home and seeing how happy and well taken care of he is. We love hearing about the adventures he has with his one-to-one staff during the day.