In This Issue:

  • The Arc-JCCGC and PorchLight Collaboration - Safety & Hope
  • What You Need to Know About Case Management Redesign
  • Voting Made Easier - Colorado Ballot Plain Language Summary
  • Wings For All - Practice Air Travel - November 4!
  • I Matter - Free Therapy for Colorado Youth
  • Learn About Emerging Technology for People with Disabilities - Free Webinar
  • Free Halloween Family Fun in Lakewood this Saturday!
  • People First on November 1!
A Collaboration of Safety & Hope

This is the second in a two-part series about The Arc-JCCGC’s partnership with PorchLight Family Justice Center. To read the first part in last week’s eUpdate, click here.

From the moment a person walks into PorchLight Family Justice Center, they may feel a sense of safety and hope.

The Arc-JCCGC’s advocates at PorchLight support guests with IDD to have accessible and positive experience as they go through the navigation process. This includes listening and supporting people seeking help and communicating with PorchLight navigators and any recommended service providers. In addition, The Arc’s advocates assist other on-site partners to anticipate and respond to the needs of guests with IDD and provide feedback and guidance about how to promote an accessible and inclusive space, Jilda Falco, The Arc-JCCGC’s director of adult advocacy explained. “Depending on the person’s preferences, we may support them to complete a request for ongoing advocacy and assist them later to get connected to disability related services or support them with other advocacy needs they may share.”

PorchLight navigators are resource connectors. They are the experts on all the on-site and off-site community partners and their services, eligibility requirements, and other critical bits of information that can be difficult for people to navigate on their own. If an individual expresses a need that could be met with the support of an advocate from The Arc Advocate, a navigator will know the best way to facilitate that connection including eligibility requirements and services The Arc may provide.

“Before PorchLight survivors would say that when they were searching for help, they would call hundreds of numbers just to find that the services were full, no longer available, or at capacity, Brandon Bowles, PorchLight’s development manager, explained. “The navigators play a critical role in ensuring that guests are connected to the right resource at the right time and greatly reduces the need for a guest to tell their story over, and over again.” 
Woman and man
A children’s area, a sensory room, a virtual courtroom, individually designated meeting rooms, and waiting areas that are separate and secure from public spaces, are housed inside PorchLight. The building features trauma-informed design which helps promote healing and a sense of well-being.

“PorchLight is welcoming and safe,” shared DeeDee Deuter, an adult advocate at The Arc-JCCGC. “Much thought has been put into creating an atmosphere through design and personnel that is calm and inviting. Each area has a unique function and meets pertinent needs of the people served by PorchLight.”

Finding the community’s needs and filling them is an ongoing process and PorchLight presents the gold standard of helping victims escape and overcome abuse. No detail is overlooked when it comes to providing helpful resources.

“When I give a tour of PorchLight – there are two parts that really stand out,” Brandon said. “We have a hair salon onsite which includes a network of stylists for PorchLight guests who could benefit from hair care services. Additionally, our partnership with Foothills Animal Shelter enables guests to make a safety plan with their pets, should that be a barrier to them leaving an unsafe situation.”

Including PorchLight there are only two family justice centers in Colorado and about 160 in the U.S. Its concept comes from the Alliance for Hope International which developed the family justice center model that brings essential services into one place to help prevent people from going back to unsafe situations.
Here’s how PorchLight Works:

  • PorchLight is not appointment based – it’s walk-in Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Enter PorchLight’s lobby to check in with a front desk person.
  • Complete one intake form for all the on-site service providers.
  • There are no address screens and PorchLight staff ensure that people who may cause harm are not on-site.
  • A safe and comfortable wait area is provided.
  • Visitors then get assistance from PorchLight navigators to help determine next steps.

If you are a victim or survivor of abuse and need assistance, please contact PorchLight: (720) 853-8850,, or visit 11100 W. 8th Avenue, Suite 200, Lakewood Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you are facing a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
African American male with a thought bubble full of question marks.

What You Need to Know About Case Management Redesign
As we’ve shared previously, major changes are coming to case management for Home and Community Based Services. The State of Colorado has been working to come into compliance with a Federal law that separates case management from service provision since 2014.

Here is a brief summary to help you understand what is planned:

In Jefferson and Clear Creek Counties case management will transition from Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC) to Jefferson County Human Services (JCHS). JCHS will serve as the new Case Management Agency (CMA) for all IDD Home and Community Based Services waivers, Family Support Services Program, State Support Living Services and Quality Assurance.

In Gilpin County - the same services listed above and currently provided by DDRC will transition to Adult Care Management, Inc. (ACMI).

The transitions will occur between March and July 2024. You do not need to take any action. DDRC will work with the new CMA to transition your case management services.

DDRC and JCHS described these changes in a joint statement on October 19. You can read the statement by clicking the button below. The Arc continues to have a strong working relationship with both DDRC and JCHS and we continue to be committed to minimizing the impact these changes will have on people with IDD and their families.

Voting Made Easier - Colorado Ballot Plain Language Summary
Are you ready to vote on November 7?

Prepare to cast your ballot at the Colorado Statewide Election by checking out a free non-partisan guide to help you understand the measures up for vote this year and all the available resources.

Presented by The Arc of Aurora/THINK+change and made possible by Connections for Independent Living, The Association for Community Living in Boulder & Broomfield Counties, and Alliance Colorado, this plain-language ballot summary can help make the voting process easier.

  • Read a plain language ballot summary by clicking here.
  • Watch the 2023 Colorado Ballot Breakdown video by clicking here.
  • Make sure you’re registered to vote – to check your registration status – click here.
  • Get informed – to access free resources from The Arc U.S. and learn more about voting, including critical issues for people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support workforce, click here.
Pilots and airline staff wave hello

Practice the Air Travel Process - November 4!

The Arc of Colorado is happy to announce that Wings for All is returning to the Denver International Airport on Saturday, November 4, 2023! 

Wings for All is an airport rehearsal program specifically designed for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The program gives people the chance to experience all the steps involved in the air travel process in a safe, but realistic environment.

Here is the itinerary:

Families (individual with IDD + up to three additional family members or supports) arrive at the airport around 10 a.m. on November 4. They will be greeted and checked-in for the days’ events, proceed to check-in at the ticket counter to receive their boarding pass, go through TSA security, and board a plane (that does not take off). A reception will be held for all participants with light snacks and refreshments after deboarding the plane. 

This event is FREE to all participants, but families are responsible for paying their own costs to travel to and from the airport.

Space is limited and all families must pre-register online to pass through airport security. 

To learn more about Wings for All and to register for the event, click here.

Questions? Contact: Elizabeth at The Arc of Colorado:

I Matter: Free Therapy for Colorado Youth

I Matter provides up to six free therapy sessions for any Colorado youth 18 and younger, or 21 and younger who are receiving special education services.

Support mental health wellness for youth and visit to sign up for in-person or telehealth services in English, or for services in Spanish.

For more information about I Matter, click here.

Learn More About Emerging Technology: Free Webinar - November 1

Learn about new and emerging technology for people with disabilities during a free webinar: Technology Solutions for a Complex World.

Ways that advanced technology helps people be more independent and active in their communities will be presented by Dr. Shea Tanis, a technology expert from the University of Kansas. In addition, the future of technology and how it can be more inclusive will be explored.

This Zoom webinar is scheduled at 8 a.m. on November 1.

To register, click here.
Illustration of four kids in costumes.

Free Halloween Family Fun in Lakewood This Saturday!

BooMar - a spooktacular event – will be happening at BelMar.

Bring your little monsters, witches, superheroes, ghosts, and princesses, for an afternoon of fun, games, and trick-or-treating.

When: Saturday (October 28) from 12 to 3:00 p.m.
Where: BelMar Plaza, 439 S. Upham St. Lakewood.

The event will include bounce houses, carnival games, a selfie station, face painters, kids activities, food trucks, a DJ, a costume parade for kids, and more!

Trick-or-treating starts at 1:00 p.m. (while supplies last). Pick up your trick-or-treat trail map at Belmar’s booth then head out to pick up candy at participating stores.

For more information about BooMar and to RSVP, click here

Join Self-Advocates at People First on November 1

The Arc-JCCGC supports People First of Jefferson County - a group a self-advocates actively changing community perceptions about people who have intellectual developmental disabilities.

People First members practice strengthening their self-advocacy skills while supporting each other. Engagement, collaboration, and community are among the numerous positive concepts that come to mind when describing People First, a local chapter of Speaking For Ourselves - Colorado.

People First is a safe space where individuals can be their true selves. It is inclusive and supportive of all people with IDD. People are truly heard, and ideas are respected. Individuals may learn leadership skills, push self-imposed limits, have opportunities to lead, and make things happen, by being involved with People First.
Help spread the word about People First. If you haven’t been to a meeting, plan to attend. If you go to meetings or are already a member, invite someone new.

Interested? People First meetings are scheduled on the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Attend in person at The Arc-JCCGC's office in Lakewood or virtually on Zoom.

People First
Wednesday, November 1: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
In Person at The Arc's Office -- 13949 W. Colfax Ave, #102, Lakewood
Or, to join by Zoom: click here

Check out our website for more information about People First and/or to join the meeting virtually: click here.