News You Can Use
April - June 2022

News You Can Use is The Arc of Aurora's quarterly e-newsletter covering what’s new in public policy, events, resources, and happenings at The Arc of Aurora. To get daily updates on resources, disability policy information, and community happenings, find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
A note from Darla Stuart, Executive Director of The Arc of Aurora
Retirement Message
Executive Director of The Arc of Aurora, Darla Stuart
As was shared earlier this month by Wendy Rosanova, The Arc of Aurora Board President, I will be retiring effective May 31, 2022.
 
It has been a privilege to work for The Arc - on May 7th it will be for 28 years at The Arc of Aurora, and a total of 33 years as part of The Arc family. I can think of no higher honor than to retire from a career working at an organization where you love the mission and cherish the people it serves. I am grateful for this opportunity!
 
I would like to thank The Arc of Aurora membership. I am inspired by each and every one of you who make The Arc of Aurora the best it can be. Your stories and triumphs humble us all. I am grateful to have been part of your lives.
 
I would like to thank the board of directors for their unwavering embodiment of grassroots. Their dedication is heartwarming in a world where people don’t volunteer or commit – these folks are the exception. I am grateful to have had their support!
 
I would like to thank Wendy Rosanova for being such an incredible board president. I have deeply appreciated her guidance. She is such an awesome person and a respected leader in The Arc community. I am grateful to have had her partnership!
 
I would like to thank the staff of The Arc of Aurora. These folks wake up every morning to make the world a better place. They are exceptional humans and have a real commitment to the organization’s values. I am grateful to have led such an awesome and accomplished team! 
 
I would like to thank Hanni Raley for accepting the position of executive director. She is the perfect person to take The Arc of Aurora into the future. While I have been able to support Hanni in her leadership journey, it is those things you can’t teach -- unwavering respect for people with disabilities and the heart of a fierce advocate -- that makes her my best replacement. I am grateful to have been her mentor. Please join me in congratulating her.
 
While this may seem sudden – please know it has been in the works for quite some time. I have personally started 2 businesses over the past few years and am ready to dedicate more time to make them work.
 
  • Festival Media – a company that provides social media marketing for Festivals. A good friend and I started this company with the goal of it paying us to attend Festivals (SMILING). Of course, like everything else, the pandemic squashed our Festival attending – but things are opening up again and we are excited to get things going. One client down – Telluride Wine Festival – and more to come!
  • Hempy Cream – a Hemp-based CBD and essential oil blended skin product company (no THC). I have been trialing these products and perfecting the formulas – PAIN and ACNE are the crowd favorites. I obtained State of Colorado licensing last year but have not had time to do much else. Eager to see where Hempy Cream can go.
 
There is a saying, “And suddenly you know … It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.” Cheers to all our new beginnings!
 
With the utmost and sincere respect,

Darla 
Upcoming Events
Fifth Annual Online Auction

Sunday, May 1 - Saturday, May 7
The Arc of Aurora's Annual Online Auction raises funds to help us continue offering high-quality services, such as information and referral; community training and education; individual, class, and systems change advocacy; and individual, family, volunteer, and community support.

Check out the auction now, save your favorite items, and check back frequently for newly listed items. Shout out to our amazing donors, listed on the auction website, who CONTINUE to support our mission: https://www.32auctions.com/TheArcofAurora2022.

P.S. You can also click on the green Donate button on the Online Auction homepage and make a cash donation NOW or during the auction to be applied toward our $5,000 goal!

Questions or want to donate a last-minute item to the auction by Thursday, April 21?
Contact Erica Dennison at 720-213-1420 |    Edennison@thearcofaurora.org
A middle-aged man holding up his pointer finger wearing a red hat, glasses, and a yellow shirt that reads Sunday Get Together Bowling.
Sunday Get Together Bowling League

Every Sunday through May 22, 2022, starting at 12:45 am

Looking to make friends or connect with other individuals with developmental disabilities and families in Aurora? Then join our Sunday Get Together Bowling League! If you are over 16 years old and vaccinated against COVID-19, then you can join our bowling league! Everyone of every ability is welcome to join. Caregivers/families can also attend to provide support to those that bowl if they cannot be left alone. 

  • Location: AMF Aurora Lanes, 16700 E. Mississippi Avenue, Aurora, CO  80017
  • When: Every Sunday until May 22, 2022
  • Time: Bowling starts at 12:45 pm for practice. The games start at 1:00 pm.
  • Cost: $10 each week for three games and shoes.
  • Safety: Supervision is not provided. If you need support, please arrange for that separate from the league before attending. You need to provide proof of your COVID-19 vaccination before attending.
  • Questions or want to sign up? Contact our volunteer, Dottie, for more information and to get set up as a participant at 303-337-5540 or at dottiek2@juno.com.
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THINK+change
Training and education
All of the educational TALKSTRAININGS, and TOOLS we produce via our THINK+change program are for you to use at your own time, pace, and schedule! Need some ideas on when and how to use them? Below are some ideas!

  • Holding a staff retreat or want to host a disability awareness film viewing? Use our storytelling TALKS!
  • Implementing staff training or are you a parent needing guidance? Check out our TRAININGS!
  • Need to reinforce learning with tangible resources? Utilize our TOOLS!

As always, thank you for supporting The Arc of Aurora's social enterprise, THINK+change
and for staying curious!
Policy Profile
Medicaid Eligibility Post-COVID Public Health Emergency
-Submitted by Hanni Raley, Assistant Executive Director
After two years of pandemic living, COVID numbers and hospitalizations trend toward an overall decrease, a cause for MUCH celebration! While this will change many peoples’ daily lives and activities, it also signals a return to government processes and tasks that paused while the world grappled with the Public Health Emergency (PHE). Throughout the PHE, Medicaid did not verify eligibility or remove anyone from Medicaid coverage. However, states have now been asked to begin planning for how they might review all Medicaid recipients, verify eligibility, and direct those found ineligible to alternative coverage sources.
How You Can Help
Participate in our annual online auction
The Arc of Aurora's Fifth Annual Online Auction will be May 1-7, 2022 and we need your participation to reach our $5,000 goal! Visit the link below and make your bids starting May 1, 2022, at 9 AM!

Click here to check out the auction or visit: https://www.32auctions.com/TheArcofAurora2022

P.S. You can also click on the green Donate button on the Online Auction homepage and make a cash donation NOW or during the auction to be applied toward our $5,000 goal!
Spotlight On
Therapies for Hope
You may have heard that last fall The Arc of Aurora received a Denver Foundation Transforming Safety Grant. A program of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Through this grant, The Arc of Aurora has been positively impacting students, families, and schools in the North Aurora area, as well as law enforcement through direct services with a goal to decrease suspensions, expulsions, and disciplinary measures by offering wrap-around training, education, community support, and direct services to help dismantle the Special Education School-to-Prison Pipeline.

A vital community partner throughout this process has been Therapies for Hope, a 501c3 nonprofit. During the Aurora Public Schools Spring Break, Therapies for Hope provided interdisciplinary therapy intensives to the children with IDD and their siblings whom we are working with through this grant. The multi-month preparation included extensive coordination with Therapies for Hope to arrange intakes for their services, resource collaboration, communication with families, translation/interpretation support, and supported attendance during the week. Therapies for Hope will be providing detailed and individualized therapy assessments for each participating family on how to support their child’s negative behaviors at home. Providing parents/caregivers with clear strategies to support the child, will help create safe and predictable environments, identify patterns of behavior and possible triggers, use positive behavioral supports, and social-emotional strategies.

Thank you, Therapies for Hope, for being our community partner and for impacting the lives of so many families! We look forward to our continued partnership!
Community Mention Corner
Angela Wilson, Founder, and CEO of Exploryst
Meet Angela Wilson, the founder, and CEO of Exploryst. Angela has a child with intellectual and progressive physical disabilities. Whenever the family wanted to travel, find a hotel, eat in a restaurant, or go on a tour, it caused hours of research to plan because of her son's unique accessibility needs. Frustrated by a lack of information on business websites, Angela built Exploryst. A disability travel site that provides extensive details to book accommodations, restaurants, experiences, and more! Learn more about Exploryst by watching this month's Community Mention Video and visiting their website at https://exploryst.com/.

Click the video thumbnail below to watch or visit: https://youtu.be/I2Zqg2TENts
You can donate to The Arc of Aurora anytime by clicking here! We appreciate your donation to help support individuals with IDDs.
Thanks to our fans, we won a Top-Rated Award two years in a row! Read stories about us and add your own here!
Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% of the price of your purchases via Amazon to The Arc of Aurora when you set up your settings here.
There is a community resource list on our website if you need help, to locate testing, vaccine info, and more.
Arc Thrift Stores’ profits support Colorado Arc Chapters, including The Arc of Aurora. Donate and find a location near you!