Leah Beltran
Executive Director

Tim Evans
Director of Programs

Cassandra Mallard
Relocation Specialist

Cassandra, most recently accepting the position of Relocation Specialist, has been a case manager at Disability in Action since August of 2021. She has worked with people with disabilities since 2012 and enjoys helping people and seeing when they accomplish their goals. She has many disabilities of her own including autism and believes this helps with understanding and building rapport with her consumers. As a previous Independent Living Specialist, her achievements at the center include heading the PAL program, working with individuals in group homes and teaching them to serve as peer-support specialists in the areas of mentoring, resident rights, formal and informal services that support independent living, person-centered thinking and planning, and voting rights. Additionally, she is the in-center IT person and runs the website and Facebook page. 

As a Relocation Specialist, she assists individuals residing in nursing facilities to move out into the community in a place of their choosing where they can have a place to call their own and gain independence. She can assist with locating housing, transportation options, and grants for paying moving expenses, deposits, household items, and other related costs.

LeAnn Mathiews
Independent Living Specialist

It took LeAnn a few years to make her way into a career in the helping services. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2002 from Angelo State University. The next 15 years would take her on a winding road of jobs where she learned a little bit about a lot of things.

It wasn’t until she worked at a rural Health and Human Services in Breckenridge, TX that she would settle into a career. After taking a few years off to care for her elderly mom, LeAnn began working again as an Independent Living Specialist at Disability In Action. It’s a position that finally brings her joy of helping others in a true time of need. Whether it’s providing transportation assistance, advocating for accessible environments, or offering emotional support, she works to empower individuals with disabilities to live a fulfilling life on their terms, in their own community.

LeAnn connects individuals in the community with resources such as food banks, access to applying for affordable housing and job training programs. She enjoys being part of a team that offers a lifeline to financial stability and self-sufficiency here in Abilene.

Jeremy Bara
Independent Living Specialist

Jeremy is an Abilene local and disabled Army veteran who has worked in the mental health field for over 5 years. He began his career in social services in April of 2017 at the Local Mental Health Authority in Abilene. Jeremy is passionate about helping others by utilizing transparency and mutuality in his daily work while offering hope through sharing lived experience with the clients he meets. Jeremy possesses a Peer Specialist Certification, Associate of Arts degree, and a black belt in mixed martial arts. He hopes to increase his knowledge and skills in case management with Disability in Action before completing his degree in Rehabilitation Services at the University of North Texas.

“When I began this line of work, it certainly validated everything positive or negative that I experienced in my life thus far, I have come to appreciate how my past experiences are valuable to organizations like Disability in Action, because now I have the unique opportunity to use them to help others.” – Jeremy A. Bara

During office hours, Jeremy is an Independent Living Specialist who is also responsible for housing referrals, relocation follow-ups, facilitating peer support groups, and producing our monthly event calendar. When Jeremy is not working, he enjoys his free time by visiting national and state parks, foraging for wild useful or edible flora, tabletop gaming, cooking, and spending time with his two Boston Terriers; Molly & Louie.

Stephanie Gentry
Independent Living Specialist II

Stephanie works out of our Wichita Falls location. She graduated from Midwestern State University in 2009 and double majored in History and English. She then discovered this field by taking a job at North Texas State Hospital and fell in love with the work and has since worked with several other agencies specializing in assistance for adults with disabilities and the elderly. With more than ten years working in the human services sector, Stephanie feels she has been fortunate to grow her skills and connect with clients through her own experience having an invisible disability allowing her to empathize more deeply and increasing her drive to assist in her community.

 As well as being a professional, Stephanie is a mother of four kids who are active in many activities including band, softball, ROTC, Girl Scouts, and Cheerleading. This keeps her family always on the go. In addition to the kids’ busy schedules, Stephanie’s husband is the lead singer for a local band, and she enjoys occasionally crashing his practices and supporting him onstage during shows. In her downtime Stephanie loves to read, her favorite genre is horror, have family game nights, and playing cozy video games while cuddling with her kitties

Carole Cosby
Independent Living Specialist II

Carole graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice. She has previously worked with Child Protective Services, Adult Probation, and the Texas Department of Juvenile Justice Department as a caseworker before becoming an Independent Life Specialist II with Disability in Action in 2024. 

With 15 years of experience, it is in social work and outreach that Carole gets the most fulfillment when helping others. “My goal is to ensure everyone has access to the support and resources they need to live healthy and satisfying lives”.

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up, and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they will die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of thousands of starfish. You can’t make a difference.”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the ocean. Then, looking up at the man, the boy said, “It makes a difference for that one.”

Motto: The Power of One is to DO SOMETHING!