Carmel woman honored for work with children, adults with disabilities


By Heather Collins

Kim Opsahl of Carmel recently received the Paul Roahrig Memorial Advocacy Award at Development Services Inc.’s 41st Annual Awards Banquet.



The award honors Opsahl for her dedication and leadership in working with children and adults with disabilities in Indiana.

“Kim truly embodies the vision and leadership that our former board president Paul Roahrig exhibited for many years as an advocate, professional and member of the DSI board,” DSI Chief Executive Officer Shane Burton stated in a press release.

The mission of DSI is to provide services and support to people with barriers to attain self-direction, inclusion, personal fulfillment and productivity in all life areas. The vision of DSI is the elimination of barriers that restrict individuals with disabilities from community inclusion.

Opsahl said her mission and the mission of the agencies she has been a part of or assisted, including DSI, Janus Developmental Services, Inc. and the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, has been to help people with disabilities live, love, work and play in their communities, just like any other Hoosier.

Opsahl started her career in human services at Transitional Services, Inc. as a junior in college in Bloomington. Opsahl said her work at Transitional Services, Inc., now a part of the Indiana Mentor Network, had a tremendous impact on her life. Opsahl then moved into helping individuals with disabilities through residential and case management services. In 2003, Opsahl joined the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and became president and chief executive officer in 2013.

Opsahl said she was honored and humbled to receive the award.

“I have tremendous respect for the work that agencies like DSI do, so for me that was very touching,” Opsahl said. “It was touching that they recognized the work I’ve done on their behalf.”

This year, Opsahl began providing consultation services for agencies throughout Indiana, including the Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services.