News You Can Use
July - Sept 2021

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 message from us to you
Summer Greetings from The Arc of Aurora!

Great information in this issue, perhaps the most important of all is the continued health of The Arc of Aurora via 2021/2022 Membership. Our non-profit organization and team are here to advocate, train, and help our community because of public support, including voluntary memberships from people like you. Check out the Upcoming Events and Announcements section of this newsletter to join The Arc of Aurora family and to receive these great benefits.
Until next time, keep cool, enjoy summer fun, and give me a shout if you have any questions!
Erica Dennison
Special Projects’ and THINK+change Manager  ---  720-213-1420
Upcoming Events and Announcements
2021/2022 Organization Agreements for Annual Membership

Now and extended thru August 31

The Arc of Aurora is a private not-for-profit organization, that has dedicated its mission to supporting and advocating for and on behalf of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families for 46 years. We are a membership association that offers different membership levels for every budget (even a free membership) and also provides these benefits to our members.

Membership is for anyone and everyone, and helps keep our doors open! Whether you receive individual advocacy from us, are a donor, supporter, or friend, we welcome you to join The Arc of Aurora family.
Frequently asked questions:
Why should I complete an Organization Agreement?
Completing an annual Organization Agreement lets The Arc of Aurora know what kind of relationship and membership level you would like to have with the organization.
Does the Organization Agreement expire?
Yes! Annually your agreement expires at the end of July. However, this year and because of COVID-19 and other challenges, we have been able to extend that to August 31, 2021.
Why should I become a Member?
Not only do you receive fantastic benefits and create a partnership with the organization, you also add your voice to those locally, statewide, and nationally who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). 

I or my loved one receive Individual Advocacy from an advocate. Do I need to complete an Organization Agreement?
Yep, please complete an Organization Agreement. But, contact your advocate first so you can also update your annual advocacy goals ... accomplish two things at the same time!
Supported Decision-Making: An In-Depth Discussion

Thursday, August 5 from 2pm - 3pm (MDT)

The Arc of Colorado, in partnership with The Arc of Weld County, will host a Facebook live stream panel discussion about the new legislation that passed regarding Supported Decision-Making (SDM) and Guardianship for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Colorado.

Learn what the new law means for you and your loved ones. Their panel of experts will help you navigate the challenges associated with SDM, and will also be able to engage directly with the panel through the online Facebook chat. Ask questions live and get the support you need. 
The $10,000 Arc Thrift Exceptional Scholars Award 

Apply now thru Saturday, August 7

Arc Thrift Stores established this award to support aspiring post-secondary students who have chosen a career path focused on advancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Applicants must currently be attending or will be attending a Colorado institution of higher learning within the next year to be eligible.
4-Week Virtual Community Support series with Guided by Humanity

Every Monday for 4-weeks starting August 30

Where: Online
When: Mondays 8/30, 9/6, 9/13, 9/20 from 7pm-8pm (MDT)
For: Caregivers and family members that support children and adults with disabilities
Cost: Free
Made possible through support from The Arc of Aurora, join Guided By Humanity (GBH) for a 4-week series to explore the hidden impact of stress on our lives and shine a light on sustainability to enhance your quality of life and mindfulness. Classes will offer guided meditation, group share and support, and gentle yoga for stress and tension. GBH offers equitable and compassionate yoga and wellness opportunities within the Denver Metro area, with a specific focus on people with disabilities and their families.

Register online at If you can't attend the full 4-week series, that's okay. You do what works best for you. Need accommodations and can’t register online? Call Guided by Humanity at 720-573-6412 and ask for Rachel.
Colorado Rockies Baseball Game

Wow! We sure do love our donors! A generous donor wants to donate The Arc of Aurora a limited amount of tickets to a few upcoming Colorado Rockies Baseball games at Coors Field. The game dates are:

  • Sunday, Aug. 8 at 1:10pm, Florida Marlins at Colorado Rockies. This is a Faith Day game with a post-game concert "MercyMe." All tickets are handicapped accessible seats.

  • Saturday, Sept. 4 at 6:10pm, Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies. Handicapped accessible tickets available or behind home plate tickets available.

  • Friday, September 24 @ 6:10pm, San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies. This is a fireworks game and all tickets are handicapped accessible seats.

All tickets are first come first served and you must be a 2021/2022 member of The Arc of Aurora to be eligible. Tickets are electronic transfer, so an email address will be needed to initiate the transfer.
save the date image
The Arc of Aurora's Annual Meeting - Save The Date

Saturday, October 9

Woo Hoo! We are so excited to host our FIRST 2021 in-person event pending any new COVID-19 restrictions.

If you're a 2021/2022 Member of The Arc of Aurora, you will receive an invitation in September to include the time and location for this annual event. Stay tuned, and be sure to complete a 2021/2022 agreement to be invited!
Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park

All summer long!

The Arc of Aurora received a private link for you to purchase discounted passes to Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. Even better? Once a certain amount is sold, Elitch's will donate a portion back to us!
Rental assistance to help renters and landlords

If you’re a renter having trouble paying your rent, utilities, or other housing costs – or if you’re a landlord trying to stay afloat with tenants in this situation – help may be available. State and local programs are distributing billions of dollars in rental assistance to help renters stay housed during the pandemic.

Visit the CFPB’s Rental Assistance Finder to find out what this means for you and what you can do. The CFPB’s site also includes resources to help renters and landlords understand other resources to help navigate various financial hardships related to the pandemic.
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The Arc of Aurora's training and education program
No-cost Online Training Course

Living Well: Host Home Service Delivery Option

What is a Host Home in Colorado? Host Homes are located in different cities, towns, and rural areas and is a residential setting where an adult with intellectual or other developmental disabilities (IDD) lives with a qualified Host Home Provider. A Host Home Provider is an independent contractor that opens up a room in their own home to provide access to up to 24/7 individualized supports and care.

This no-cost training reviews
  • Medicaid and intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) eligibility for long-term services and support;
  • Home and Community-Based Services Waivers (HCBS) for adults with IDD;
  • What a Host Home is;
  • Tenant Rights and Responsibilities;
  • Becoming a Host Home Provider (HHP);
  • Person-Centered Planning and Self-Determination;
  • At-risk Adults;
  • Host Home Provider Rights and Responsibilities; and
  • How to Find the Right Fit.

What to expect
  • A 45-minute self-paced video slide-based course;
  • Members of The Arc of Aurora's Advocacy team as your trainers;
  • Closed captioning in English;
  • Multiple downloadable TOOLS including an Adult HCBS Colorado Waiver Chart, Critical Incidence Reporting TOOL, Host Home Interview Questionnaire for Host Home Providers, Host Home Interview Questionnaire for people with IDD and their families; and a
  • Downloadable Certificate of Participation.

Who should take this course
  • People with IDD interested in the Colorado host home option;
  • Parents of children with IDD in Colorado;
  • Individuals interested in becoming a Host Home Provider;
  • Community Centered Board (CCB) and Single Entry Point (SEP) employees;
  • Professionals that serve and support people with IDD such as victim service providers, healthcare workers, school personnel, and;
  • Program Approved Services Agency (PASA) staff.
Podcast/vodcast training

Victimization and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

People with IDDs are victims of crime at a substantially higher rate than the general public, which impacts their ability to safely live in many community settings. This 3-part podcast/vodcast series reviews victimization statistics, unique crimes against people with disabilities, and how to help victims with disabilities become a survivor.

  • Episode 1: Overview – reviews mandatory reporting, the difference between offender and victim in the criminal justice system, legal supports, and protections.
  • Episode 2: Pathways to Justice – reviews forensic interviewing, hearsay exception, ADA accommodations and access, victim advocacy, and emerging as a survivor.
  • Episode 3: Victim Advocacy and Support, with special guest Brie Franklin from Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) – reviews the differences between private and public-funded victims’ advocates, accessing victim’s services, and what victims services look like for people with IDD.

Why you should tune in
To learn how to support someone with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (IDD) down the path of becoming a survivor, and what community resources can help.
Video Storytelling TALKS series

The Intersection of Race and Disability

The lived experience of disability varies, both among people with disabilities and among racial and ethnic groups. All people should be able to engage in everyday activities regardless of race, national origin, ethnicity, or disability. But, many still face barriers. This video storytelling series features the perspectives of four individuals from different racial backgrounds including North African Arab, Vietnamese, Black, and Latino who have a relationship with disability. What happens when those identities are united? What discrimination do these individuals face, what successes have occurred, and what still needs to improve?

Why you should watch
It’s time to talk about these blended identities and understand that experiences are different for people with disabilities who are from communities of color.
Policy Profile
Legislative Wrap-up
Curious how the Colorado legislative session wrapped up? Take a look at AdvocacyDenver’s recent article, Legislative Wins and a Brighter Future By Kaley Day of AdvocacyDenver and the Arc of Colorado, where they explore in-depth four priority wins and the legislative champions that made them possible.

“The 2021 Colorado legislative session began with uncertainty. Amid COVID protocols that required distancing and virtual testimony, economic concerns, and fear that any bill with a fiscal note may not make it to the governor’s desk, advocates and community members were unsure how far their efforts to promote legislation for the disability community would go. In the end, there was cause for celebration as the session closed officially on June 8th and the state saw major legislation, some years and decades in the making, passed to support and advance the rights of Coloradoans with disabilities.”
How You Can Help
Help us earn our 2021 top-rated non-profit badge
2020 top-rated non profit badge
Have we helped you or your family? Love the work we do? Or just think we are an all-around great organization? You can help us earn our Top-Rated Nonprofit Badge two years in a row by taking a few minutes to write a review of us by October 28. It’s quick, easy, and should only take you 2 minutes. Doing this helps us gain recognition, exposure, and earn donor trust. Visit to get started!
Spotlight On
Individual Advocate, Tom Walsh
Picture of Tom Walsh
Greetings! My name is Tom Walsh, and I feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of The Arc of Aurora staff. A little bit about myself, I was born in New York and then moved to St. Augustine, Florida in the 8th grade. Fun fact for Broncos fans, I went to high school with Tim Tebow. After high school, I went on to graduate from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights) and spent a year after graduation teaching English in Osaka, Japan. Upon returning to the States I spent a semester as a 1:1 para-professional with the St. John County School District while getting certified as an ESE (K-12), Social Studies (6-12), and English (6-12) teacher. I then taught in a high school EBD unit where I was responsible for teaching the Social Studies and English curriculum. I moved to Colorado in 2019 when my partner's work brought her here, and decided to take that as an opportunity to broaden my own skillset working for the I/DD community. I worked as a direct support professional with a local PASA and then worked as a Case Manager with a local CCB. I hope that my varied experiences in the field will help me to best support The Arc’s members and their teams. As a Colorado transplant, I have gotten into stereotypical activities such as hiking, camping, climbing, and snowboarding. I am more of a homebody and enjoy reading non-fiction, watching all sorts of movies and shows, and spending time with our dog Jasmine. I cannot wait for the opportunities to get to know all of you as the newest advocate on the team!
Community Mention Corner
Colorado Legal Services
Check out our first Community Mention video! Colorado Legal Services is a non-profit agency that provides free legal advice, clinics, and representation to eligible low-income Coloradans and seniors. Learn about how this fantastic community resource can help you and your loved ones with legal help.
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 2020 Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits! 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!
Our organization earned a 2021 Silver Seal of Transparency!