Arc of Arapahoe & Douglas Counties

Address: 8100 E Arapahoe Rd,, Suite 208,
Centennial,, CO 80112
Phone: (303) 220-9228 Fax: (303) 2200994 Website: http://www.arc-ad.org/

Our Mission – The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties uses advocacy and education to include all children and adults with disabilities, and their families, in their communities.

Our Core Values – People First, Democracy, Visionary Leadership, Community Participation, Diversity and Integrity and Excellence.

The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing advocacy, information and support to people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties opened it's doors in 1955, and over the years, the organization has continually provided services that promote the general welfare of people with developmental disabilities including: advocacy, public awareness, training, community organizing, educating legislators and referral to resources.

 

What we do:

Adult Advocacy:
Lee Ray- Lee Ray specializes in assisting adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Adult advocacy services can include any or all of the following: information about housing, jobs, social security, guardianship, respite, friendships, and community connections.

Through consultation by telephone or personal interviews Lee can assist individuals in accessing services like: residential, vocational, Social Security, or Medicaid. Lee can also provide individual representation through attendance at meetings with family and or individuals. He can also monitor services delivered through service provider agencies and provide information on public policy issues and systems advocacy information to empower families and individuals regarding their rights. He can offer support for the development of self advocacy skills and/or reinforce family members to be effective advocates.

The goal of adult advocacy is to help ensure a high quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities in housing, jobs, community participation, and all services provided to the individual.

Child Advocacy:
Cg La Scala- Cg La Scala is our Director of Advocacy. She works primarily with families who have school-aged children with disabilities. A former teacher, she spent several years with Developmental Pathways serving adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness in program management before coming to The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in 1984. Cg has a great sense of the practical application of state and federal laws in advocating for people with disabilities, as a result of her experience.

Cg can offer support in information, counseling and guidance, training, education, and support regarding public school special education for Individual Education Programs (IEPs), therapies, transportation and transitions. Education, support, and guidance regarding Social Security benefits, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Waiver Programs and appeals. Family Support referrals/applications, adult services referrals/applications, 504/ADA complaints, outreach and educational presentations on IEPs, parent rights, goal and objective writing, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Colorado education laws, 504, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), functional behavior analysis and Positive Behavior Support Plans, disability categories under IDEA and applicability to laws beyond school, and eligibility criteria for adults and students.

Family / Individual Advocate:
Veronica Crowell – Veronica Crowell is a Family and Individual advocate with The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties working with both children and adults. She has over 18 years of experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Veronica is able to assist adults with a variety of resources including, employment, housing, day and residential programs, navigating the Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare system. She can also advise individuals with developmental disabilities and their families on their rights and responsibilities.

Veronica assists families with children by offering support and information, counseling and guidance, training, education regarding public school special education for Individual Education Programs (IEPs), therapies, transportation and transitions. Education, support and guidance regarding Social Security benefits, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Waiver Programs and appeals. Family Support referrals/applications, 504/ADA complaints, outrach and educational presentations on IEPs, parents rights, goal and objective writing, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Colorado education laws, 504, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), functional behavior analysis and Positive Behavior Support Plans, disability categories under IDEA and applicability to laws beyond school, and eligibility criteria for adults and students.

Systems Advocacy:
Carol Meredith- Carol Meredith is our Executive Director and has worked for The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties since 1998. She works primarily in advocacy efforts that change systems in a way that assist people with disabilities to live rich, full lives in their communities. We monitor legislation on state and national levels that affect people with disabilities and take every opportunity to educate legislators on ways that they can assist to enhance quality of life for our members and their families. We work with many other organizations in our community including: Sister Chapters of The Arc, Community Centered Boards, The Douglas County Advisory Committee, Parent to Parent of Colorado , Family Voices, and Early Childhood Connections of Arapahoe & Douglas.

The most pressing issues related to systems change for people with cognitive developmental disabilities continue to be: long waiting lists to access supports and services for both children and adults, a general perception in the community that children and adults with disabilities belong in special places for special people, adequate training for staff that support people with disabilities, lack of focus on fixing the long-term care system, and the need for consumer/family directed services and supports.

The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties is a membership organization and we know that we are stronger when we stand together. Therefore we make every effort to keep people with disabilities and their family members informed about changes in public policy that could affect their lives for better or for worse. People with disabilities and their families are educated about the issues through our monthly newsletter and a legislative email tree. We also facilitate periodic workshops where people can learn how to contact their legislators and assist in their education.

Workshops:
The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties believes that people with disabilities and their families need comprehensive information about the choices they have to develop rich full lives in their communities. We provide the following workshops each year to assist people to make informed choices and understand their rights and their responsibilities.

Mobilizing Families – An award winning curriculum of information and support for families who have children with disabilities. You will learn how to effectively advocate for your child's rights in: Schools, Healthcare, Childcare, and Recreation. We will also talk about planning for the future, how to connect with other families and how to communicate and negotiate with systems. 8 sessions – one time per week.
Identifying the Dream
Resources at Home and in the Community
Private, State and Federal Resources
Education in the Public Schools
Personal Futures Planning
National, State and Local Involvement
Communication Skills
Building Mutual Support in your Community

Step Up Into Your Life: Planning for after High School – About understanding the world of supports and services after high school. A basic overview of: housing, healthcare, finance, employment, and planning for the future. You'll connect with other families and learn to communicate and negotiate with systems. You can learn about:
Who makes decisions? – Guardianship
How will I pay for it? -Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid
Where do I get support? – Supported Living Services & The Elderly Blind & Disabled Waivers
What will I do? – Supported Employment.
Where will I live? Host Homes, Group Homes, Homeownership, Apartments, What about Micro boards?
Planning for the Future – Personal Futures Planning and Estate planning.

Learning for Living – People affected by developmental disabilities often go through life without receiving correct information or education about sexuality, abuse prevention and self-protection strategies. Many do not receive information on ways to develop and maintain a healthy and supportive relationship.

Our belief is that individuals with disabilities deserve the right to a life free from violence and abuse and that healthy and fulfilling relationships with friends and/or partners is based upon respect, honesty, accountability, equality, trust and support. Although some individuals with disabilities experience satisfactory intimate relationships and friendships, many also endure sexual, physical, emotional and financial abuse, neglect or exploitation perpetrated by a partner, family member or caregiver. We believe that with appropriate education and support that many individuals affected by developmental disabilities will be able to live happy, healthy lives in the community.

These courses will assist teenagers and adults with cognitive developmental disabilities who want to learn about relationships.

Community Safety – Communication Skills. Identifying friends, acquaintances, strangers and community helpers. Home Safely Skills – the phone, mail and answering the door. Community Safety Skills – protecting yourself and who to call if you need help. And much much more! $80.00 for 8 week session.

Friendship Series – Identifying relationships, Successful Interaction Skills, Developing Self-Esteem, Developing Self-Confidence, Communication Skills, What is Friendship, Protecting Yourself. This 6 week session will be in the Spring, cost is $60.00.

Boyfriend/Girlfriend Special Relationships – Identifying relationships, Special Relationships, Building a Special Relationship I Like, Public vs. Private Behavior, Protecting Yourself and much more. This 10 week session begins on Thursday evenings May 20 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at Southglenn Library.

 

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