About DRG

Disability Relations Group is a global disability relations, image management, public policy facilitator and social enterprise development firm. Its clients range from individuals and small local entities to government, nonprofit and global business corporations.

Disability Relations Group (DRG) is a leading consulting firm in the U.S. specializing exclusively in disability-related areas.

The firm was founded by CEO, Douglas G. Towne, a respected corporate and political facilitator, versed in finance, marketing, business, and political strategy.

Operation of our multi-faceted firm is based on the concept that through education, awareness, and imagination come possibilities spanning the widest scope of human intent and endeavor.

Headquartered in Florida’s Tampa Bay area, DRG has brought together a wide range of talented partners from all parts of the country. Our team has the ability to problem-solve and create innovative solutions. We bring substance to discussions on disabilities: and link communities of people with a diverse range of abilities.

Supporting those in need is part of DRG’s corporate policy. From the very beginning DRG has been active in advancing policies and technologies to significantly improve the lives of people with disabilities throughout the entire country. Our involvement has produced strong and trusted relationships, giving DRG a finger on the pulse of the most current disability issues.

We Can Help You Reach American Consumers with Disabilities

According to one leading financial institution, the population of American consumers with disabilities is 54 million with $175 billion in annual disposable income. And this market is virtually untapped.

Whether your intent is to roll out a new program, work on compliance and inclusiveness of your organization, or expand your representation locally or nationally, DRG can assist you. Our specialty is creating the message, managing the image that supports it, and laying the ground work and implementation for a successful project, policy, or fiscal win.

SERVICES WE PROVIDE

DRG has the experience and credentials to offer a wide variety of disability-related products and services:
 • Public Policy
 • Public Image
 • Public Relations
 • Marketing Plans
 
Providing Access To:
 • Building Structures
 • Websites
 • Workplaces
 • Polling Places
 • Speakers Forum
 • Accessible Event Coordination
 • Braille, and alternate formats
 • Disability Awareness and

 Sensitivity Training

 • HR Training, Policies, and Procedures

 • Evacuation Plans

 • Business Continuity Plans

 • Veterans/U.S. Armed Services Issues

 • Governmental and Public Affairs Consulting

 • Political Strategy Consulting

 • Lobbying

 • Problem Resolution

Contact Disability Relations Group

Contact us for more information about our partner DRG. Our voting survey is designed to improve accessibility for voters nationwide.

Disability Relations Group
7780 49th St North, Executive Suite 425
Pinellas Park, FL 33781

PHONE: (727) 531-1000

FAX: (727) 539-7588

Email: dougt@drgglobal.com

Principals of Engagement

DRG facilitates better relations between clients and the disability community. With the ability to present complex issues not as problems, but as opportunities, DRG helps parties coming from different perspectives reach a mutually beneficial conclusion.

1. The only successful way to forget one’s own burdens is to help bear another’s. Directly engage with individual issues in an effort to first resolve them, second improve them, and/or third develop big picture understandings/solutions to
systemic issues.
2. God makes all things work together for good to all those who love the Lord. Engage the faith and nonprofit communities in direct assistance to individuals in need.
3. He alone who improves the small opportunities will not miss the great chances of life. Seek the small issues that can be improved with short term efforts and discussions. Only engage the great challenges when opportunity presents a likelihood of success and/or consensus/coalition building.
4. The Lord is with me, I shall not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Facilitate challenges from a position of confidence and neutrality.

Disability Relations Group and its founder Douglas George Towne supports in thought, word and deed the:

  • Freedom of expression, speech, and worship
  • Freedom from fear, ignorance, and want
  • Freedom from dishonesty, exclusion, and immorality
  • Freedom of aspiration, invention, and empowerment

 

Our Clients, Projects & Affiliated Organizations:
Accessing Digital America Inc. – Chief Executive Officer
Actuate Canada Corporation – Event guest and panel participant
American Association of People with Disabilities Inc. – Member
Avaya Incorporated – Disability and Technology Consultant
AutoMark Systems Inc. – Disability and Technology Consultant
BrailleWorks Inc. – Disability Market Consultant
Caring & Sharing Center for Independent Living – Public policy, Management and Marketing
Chapel on the Hill of the United Church of Christ, Inc. – Member, Clerk, Vice-Moderator and Moderator
Community Transportation Association of America – Disability Communications Consultant
Congressman David Jolly – Chairman, Council on Disability Elder Concerns
Davy Crockett Company – Chief Executive Officer
Disability Achievement Center – Disability public policy, Management and Marketing Consultant
Disasters Strategies and Ideas Group – Disability Policy Consultant
Easter Seals Project ACTION
Accessible Community Transportation In Our Nation – National Steering Committee Board Member
Evergreen Life Services – Disability Policy and Marketing Consultant
Election Systems and Software – Disability and Technology Consultant
eLogic Learning LLC. – Disability and Technology Consultant
Florida Coalition for Disability Rights – Board Member, Vice-President and President
Florida Council of the Blind – Member
Florida Department of State Division of Election’s – Disability and Technology Consultant
Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation – Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant
Florida Independent Living Council – Council Member
Florida Network on Disabilities – Disability, Marketing and Fund Raising Consultant
Florida Rehabilitation Council for the Blind – Council Member
Grass Roots Forum for People with Disabilities in Florida – Steering Committee Member
Heavendropt – Disability Marketing, Policy and Branding Consultant
International Convention of VSA Arts of the United States – Disability Marketing Event Consultant
LogistiCare Foundation Inc. – Chairman of the Board
LogistiCare LLC – Disability Policy and Marketing Consultant
National Council on Independent living – Member at Large and Member of Several Committees
National Federation of the blind of Florida – Charter President Sun Coast NFB Chapter
Organ Aero Defense Department contractor – Disability and Technology Consultant
Perfect World Dynamics Inc. – Disability and Technology Consultant
Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC) – Disability Policy and Marketing Consultant
Pinellas Council of the Blind – Member and Advocate at Large
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority – Disability Policy and Project Facilitator
Prosodica Systems – Disability and Technology Consultant
Quality of Life Community Services Inc. – Disability Policy and Marketing Consultant
Sequoia Election Systems – Disability and Technology Consultant
South Florida Center for Independent Living Inc. – Disability Public Policy Consultant
SSB-Bart Group – Disability Public Policy and Technology Consultant
TeleTech Government Solutions – Disability Public Policy and Technology Consultant
The 10th ADA Anniversary Torch Marathon – Disability Policy and Marketing Consultant
Very Special Arts of Florida Inc. – Board Member
Very Special Arts of the United States Inc. – Disability Marketing and Public Policy Consultant
United States Fire Service Association – Disability Policy Consultant and Lecturer
United Taxi of Tampa Bay – Disability Public Policy and Marketing Consultant

 

Contact Disability Relations Group

Contact us for more information about our partner DRG. Our voting survey is designed to improve accessibility for voters nationwide.
12552 Belcher Rd. S.
Largo, FL 33773
PHONE: (727) 531-1000
FAX: (727) 539-7588

Douglas George Towne

Douglas Towne Portrait

Chairman, Disability Relations Group

Author, Orator, Public Policy Facilitator, Social Entrepreneur
Office: 727-531-1000
Cell: 727-452-8132
Email: dougt@drgglobal.com

Every person has a calling and Doug Towne has found his. By virtue of past experience and avid study, Doug has learned to see both sides of an issue and use this insight to bring understanding to parties originally disagreeing.

His “facilitation method” has proved successful in various arenas, from corporate conference tables to transportation and accessible voting for Americans with disabilities.

Disability issues are his expertise.

Doug knows them personally and professionally both. Hi sees the big picture, a world in which “ability” is the operative word. He is a staunch American, believing in both the letter and the spirit of the law under which all Americans experience freedom and equal rights. And he is willing to put himself on the line to bring this to fruition.

Strategy is his passion.

From chess to marketing to public image to politics, Doug’s mind sees the maze, the dead ends and the pathways that lead forward; the repercussions and the advantages—for both sides at the same time.

Agreement is his goal.

Neither consensus nor compromise is good enough. Agreement means both sides understand and readily volunteer to change a portion of their original stance, acknowledging it is in the best interest of the issue at hand.

Diplomacy is his language.

A true statesman, Doug communicates, with clarity and without judgment, aspects of disagreement forming stumbling blocks to advancement toward agreement.

Negotiation is his means to the end.

He is able to condense an issue to its non-negotiable elements, prioritizing those essential areas and bringing forth a solution to the satisfaction and enhancement of all.

Image is his specialty.

Not a positive spin, but rather a public portrayal of an organization’s true intent and purpose of mission. Whether grassroots social activism or a governmental agency or a corporation, Doug can turn the underlying principles into a persona; one that recognizes the integrity and conviction of an organization; one that takes its rightful place in the minds of consumers, especially those with disabilities.

About Doug

Douglas George Towne began his life as an advocate for people with disabilities at age thirteen while attending the New York State School for the Blind at Batavia.

As a member of the Student Council and Editor and Chief of the school paper he successfully led several actions designed to improve the life of the students.

His lifelong advocacy efforts garnered him the prestigious State Wide Advocate of the Year for 2002 from the Florida Independent Living Council and recognition from Congress as well.

Transferring from the school for the blind he became one of the first blind students to graduate from public school under the new law in 1976, going on to study history and journalism at the State University of New York. His continuing education has yielded several professional licenses and designations throughout his progressive career.

His business background began at age thirteen selling greeting cards door to door. After developing several small businesses and building a footprint in the real estate rental community he moved into the mortgage field. He retired as CEO of Continental Charter Mortgage in 1994.

In 2001 he founded Disability Relations Group (DRG) to return to his first love of advocacy and public policy in the disability arena.

As Chairman of DRG and its chief consultant, he spends a great deal of time writing and has penned a number of policy works and many social enterprise plans. His social enterprise work has come as the result of his certification by the State of Florida as a Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant. (CBTAC) As a CBTAC he has moved into social enterprise consulting as well as small or micro business development. Working for the state of Florida, large nonprofits and individuals with disabilities who have business aspirations.

Throughout his career he has spoken to groups both large and small from local civic clubs, in the majority of the state capitols and before members of Congress in Washington. His motivational style has excited sales forces and his Biblical approach to disability has fascinated congregations. He has been a guest on numerous television and radio shows and quoted in publications around the world.

His great hobby or distraction is his love of trains and he enjoys a large scale train collection that he has been building since he was 4 years old.

Now approaching sixty years old he prefers to let his clients, associates and those he has assisted speak to his competence and past performance as is illustrated in the following pages.

AWARDS
2000 – HealthSouth Survivors Award
2002 – Florida Statewide Advocate of the Year awarded by the Florida Independent Living Council
2006 – Businessman of the Year awarded by the National Republican Congressional Committee
2007 -Congressional Medal of Distinction awarded by the National Republican Congressional Committee

EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS, AND LICENSES

1976 – Clifton Fine Central School Graduate (first blind student to graduate from a public school in New York under the original Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.)
1979 – State University of New York at Plattsburgh
1990 – Cook School of Real Estate graduate certificate in Mortgage Brokering
1990-2003 – Licensed Mortgage Broker Florida Division of Professional Regulation
1999 -Designated Toast Master, Toast Master International
2000 – National Transportation Institute Americans with Disabilities Act Para Transit Eligibility Certification
2003 – Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Patrol Project certification
2005 – Inside Policy and Advanced Training for the Next Generation of Experts Certification, National Council on Independent Living, Inc.
2008-2015 – Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant Certification Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
2008-2012 – Community Transportation Association of America, Easter Seals Project Action Transportation Resource Coordination, Instructor Certification