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December 2023 News

Fostering Inspiration 

What makes an athlete inspirational? Their attitude? The progress they make in mastering their sport? Their determination? Victories? It’s any one of these things – and maybe more. 

Two of our DDRC Therapeutic Learning Connections/Recreation (TLC/Rec) athletes who compete in Special Olympics Flag Football were chosen as the most inspirational players and received awards from Special Olympics at the state competition in Fort Collins this November. Flag Football is played as a unified sport with eleven players on a team, some with and some without disabilities (partners), and DDRC’s unified team garnered a gold medal at those games. The two awarded athletes have been competing with DDRC’s TLC/Rec for many years. It’s clear from their smiles shown here that they genuinely love playing their sport! 

 

DDRC TLC teams were highly active this fall in Special Olympics competitions. They had one unified volleyball team with nine athletes and partners that took home a gold medal at the State Volleyball Competition in Centennial. Ten DDRC athletes competed in the Special Olympics State Bowling Competition in Englewood and several of them also took home medals.  

TLC’s Recreation program gives athletes a chance to be active in the community, connect with teammates, develop skills that are helpful on and off the field, feel proud of their efforts--- and be inspiring!


If you want to get involved call Terri Hulstrom at 720-544-8152 or Cathe Shreck 720-544-8150. 

Team Up with Us and the Mai Family Trust  

The Mai Family Trust wants to collaborate with you to bring the benefits of our Therapeutic Learning Connections/Recreation (TLC/Rec) program to hundreds of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) next year. Recreation has endless benefits, which is why we see the advantages of increasing access to this program – but we need your help! 


Now through December 31, The Mai Family Trust will match donations up to $30,000! Your contribution to this supportive program speaks volumes to our participants and their families. To them and us, your gift grants adults with an array of backgrounds and abilities the opportunity to explore the life-enhancing impacts of therapeutic reaction. 


 Won’t you please partner with the Mai Family Trust and DDRC on this meaningful initiative by making a gift today? 

Donate 

Elan - An Example of the Caring and Commitment of DDRC Staff  

DDRC is grateful for the wonderful work of our employees, and we are proud that the people we serve, providers with whom we work, and our own teammates have also expressed their appreciation.


A DDRC Resource Coordinator recently said this about Elan, one of our DDRC Resource Coordination Team Leads: 

"A woman I work with had to get an emergency dental procedure. Elan helped me complete the Family Support Services Program (FSSP) process in one day so she could get her dental procedure done and paid for the next day. Elan used to work with this individual before he was a Team Lead and his familiarity with the family helped in getting the FSSP funds as soon as possible.


Elan was busy, but he still made himself available (to me and the family) whenever I had questions. Elan has so much on his plate, but he was willing to help despite his full workload. Elan is an outstanding leader, and DDRC is lucky to have him." 

A provider said this about Elan: 


“Elan recently assisted us with resolving several process and communication issues. He was prompt, thorough, and highly interested in collaborating to clarify processes and procedures and to improve communications.


We appreciate Elan's initiative, consistent professionalism, and genuine interest and most importantly, we appreciate that he prioritizes and ensures that the service and support needs are being met in real time."  

Elan is but one example of the wonderful effort and impact that staff across all our departments make day-in and day-out for the people we serve. Here are two other recent kudos to DDRC we received from the families/people we serve: 

 

“We’re very grateful for all you do for our DD brothers and sisters! - James 


"DDRC has been a tremendous help, and I am thankful for all that they do for our two boys... I consider them as part of the team, as every parent should... I think they do an outstanding job…Thank you DDRC” - Leigh Ann 

 

The Statewide Day of Giving - Dec. 5th- is Practically Here 

On the first Tuesday of December since 2010, Coloradans have come together to support the nonprofits that make a difference in their lives and their communities. On this spectacular day of giving, which falls on Dec. 5 this year, we invite you to help individuals and families who benefit from our services daily. Through your Colorado Gives Day donation, you can help provide person-centered programs to over 4,600 individuals with IDD each year, in their homes and out in the community. Each donation received on Colorado Gives Day gets a portion of the $1 million+ “Gives Day” incentive fund, so when you donate to DDRC your gift goes even further! 

 

Please consider giving early - a gift to DDRC before December 5 counts toward Colorado Gives Day. With your help, we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive in their community! 

Give Today

Decision-Making Support for Youth with IDD:

A Webinar - Dec. 6 

Are you a young person on the cusp of moving into the adult world, or do you know of someone who is? Mark your calendars and register soon for an upcoming webinar that is relevant to students with IDD and their families and may be of interest to care providers too. The webinar is facilitated by the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice and the Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities, in collaboration with the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI).  

Featured speakers will include content experts from both centers and youth with IDD, who will share their expertise and/or lived experience with alternatives to guardianship and supported decision-making. While this is part four of a four-part series, each segment is unique enough to stand on its own. 

 

The webinar will be held at 2:00 pm Mountain time on Wednesday, Dec 6. 

Questions: Contact dana.fink@acl.hhs.gov

Register 

Beau Jo’s Benefit Night Filled Us with a Warm Feeling  

DDRC Board members, family and friends gathered at Beau Jo’s in Arvada on November 16 when proceeds from orders made that day were donated back to DDRC. It was a hopping night at Beau Jo’s and our DDRC supporters added to the buzz of the restaurant. Thank you to all who were able to join us on that day and evening, a number of whom are pictured below. 


If you didn’t get a chance to join us at Beau Jo’s we have another restaurant benefit coming up soon at 3 Margaritas, so consider joining us for that. 



Join Us for Cheer and a Good Cause at 3 Margaritas - Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 

Tacos, burritos, fajitas, you name it – we will be dining out at 3 Margaritas on Dec. 7th (at the 16th St. Mall/Denver) and Dec. 14th (in Wheat Ridge) to benefit DDRC! On these dates, 3 Margaritas will donate 15% of your DINE-IN bill back to DDRC and we encourage you to join the all-day fiesta! So, take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle by treating yourself to a tasty bite for a good cause. 

See the flyer for location addresses.

You must show the flyer to qualify your donation.

Take-out and gift card purchases do not qualify.  

Disability Legislative Preview - Dec. 13 

Colorado State Representative David Ortiz, his legislative colleagues and the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition (CCDC) are hosting a legislative preview of disability bills expected to be introduced during the 2024 legislative session. The legislative preview will be held virtually and in-person on Wed., Dec.13th from Noon - 2 pm at the Colorado State Capitol in the Old State Library.  


This is your chance to hear directly from legislators about upcoming legislation, ask questions and network with other disability rights advocates and decision makers. Lunch will be provided for in-person attendees who register in advance.  


A good showing from the disability community, including the IDD community, is important to show the power, presence and activism of our community, and it’s so important to be seen! Register and help make sure our issues are front and center during the 2024 legislative session. Click here to register / RSVP 

Shop for Good with Kendra Scott - Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 

Kendra Scott, nationally noted jeweler and philanthropist is helping DDRC shine in her Shop for Good with Kendra Scott event. You’ll find both elegant and simple jewelry styles to excite everyone - the ever-loved and bold collection from Kendra Scott is notable and timeless.

 

Twenty percent (20%) of all purchases made in-store on Saturday Dec.16 from 2-4 pm at the Cherry Creek North location (175 North Fillmore, Denver 80206), and online purchases Dec. 16-17 using the code "GIVEBACK-EZNWE" will qualify for a donation to DDRC! Shop online at KendraScott.com.


Grab your holiday gifts and jewelry and join us to shine together for all abilities!

See the event flyer with code. 



Jeffco Public Schools Resource Fair - Jan. 30th 

Jefferson County Public Schools Special Education is hosting a Community Resource Fair on Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 5:00-7:30 pm at the Jeffco Education Center, 1829 Denver West Dr., Bldg. 27, Golden, CO 80401 in the 5th Floor Board Room. DDRC was there last year and spoke to many of the 250 attendees, and we will be participating again in January. 


Parents, guardians, caregivers, and educators are invited to come and connect with local organizations that provide resources and services for families with children who have special needs. Jeffco Special Education administration and staff will be on hand to talk with families and answer questions about Jeffco programs. 

 

See the event flyer English Spanish

Resources to Support Medicaid Eligibility Renewals – Guides and Help  

With the end of the public health emergency (PHE), members are once again required to have their Medicaid eligibility re-determined on an annual basis. This requires the timely completion of an application packet. The following resources are available to support members through the renewal process: 


·       A guide for helping Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) members through the renewal process. 

·       The Renewal Education toolkit covers the basics of the renewal process. 

·       An FAQ is on the Health First Colorado website in English and Spanish. 

·       FAQs about the end of the Public Health Emergency, including specifics for the LTSS population

·       The KeepCOCovered Toolkit includes information about other health insurance options. 

Additionally, the Colorado Dept. of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) is leveraging flexibility from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide a 60-calendar-day extension to complete the Medicaid renewal application process for vulnerable populations, such as members in waiver services. This provides extra time for members to return the application information to the county and for the county to process it. The extension for renewal processing is in effect Sept. 5, 2023, through June 2024. If a member has already turned in their renewal packet and still needs to submit additional information, the county may grant additional time through a Good Faith Extension for a member to turn in this information. 

 

For more information about the extension and frequently asked questions please see the HCPF update posted here

We Are Hiring

If you, or someone you know, wants to work with team members who care and do important work, then please consider joining our DDRC team. Recent job openings include Family Caregiver, Direct Support Professional, and in Early Intervention: Service Coordinator, Occupational Therapist and Speech Language Pathologist. 


Maybe your skills, experience and passion are a great match with DDRC’s culture and mission. If so, let’s connect! 

See our Careers Page 

Reach out to Heather Schrock at DDRC’s Human Resources Office by calling 303-233-3363.  

The National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD)  

People with disabilities are invited to participate in a national study based at the Univ. of Kansas that aims to document their experiences regarding access to health care, housing, long COVID, transportation, employment and connection to their community. The study is based upon the National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD) survey. Individuals can specify how they would like to participate in the survey, whether online or by phone, and if they would like to receive a link via email or text. Data from the survey has helped inform researchers about matters crucial to the disability community and in turn, can be a source for understanding and promoting needed changes.    


Let researchers know you’re interested in taking the survey by clicking here

Questions: email healthsurvey@ku.edu, or call toll-free: 1-855-556-6328. 

A Note about DDRC's Enews 

Our next DDRC enewsletter is planned for distribution the second week of January. 

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