As a person who has sustained a disability through injury, Ellen Shackelford, CTM, is well aware of the many challenges people with disabilities face daily. She also knows people with disabilities are often overlooked in social situations and activities. As founder and president of Connections Access Consulting Services, LLC, she is dedicated to enhancing awareness and unconscious injustice of the aging population and citizens with disabilities, to ensure inclusion in social situations. The advocates of the CACS team provide education through training, and disability awareness programs addressing the importance of inclusion in an aging society.
Previously employed as a Youth Transition Coordinator at Insight Enterprises, Inc. Peninsula Center for Independent Living, Ellen realized the extent to which the general population is unaware of numerous facets of life for people with disabilities. She has expanded her knowledge based with involvement and attendance at leadership programs, such as Partners in Policy Making, sponsored by Virginia Board for People with Disabilities; The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U. S. Department of Education, Rocky Mount Technical Assistance & Consulting Center, and Dan Hopkins & Associations, Inc.
Ellen is active in the disability community and holds several leadership roles. She is the Vice Chairperson for the Hampton Mayors Committee for People with Disabilities, Chairperson for Accessibility, Victims Advocate (trainee) with M.A.D.D., and a Peninsula Literacy Council Tutor volunteer. She is also a member of several committees, including the State Wide Independent Living Council (SILC), Toast Masters International (CTM), Unity Diversity Commission, and Age & Abilities Expo.
Ellen has received 1st runner up in the Ms. Wheelchair Virginia Pageant (2007-2008) held in Fishersville, Virginia. She lives in Hampton, Virginia and has a daughter in college and three grandchildren by her late son Jason R. Freeman.