We Build on Abilities
Nov. / Dec. 2019 Newsletter

Upcoming Events Calendar
Watch Our  Web Site  for DDRC events
Events at DDRC are at  11177 W. 8th Ave, Lakewood, CO 80215 unless otherwise noted. 

Now – Dec. 23  Mon. - Thurs. (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) DDRC Diaper Drive to help our struggling families, particularly this time of year. Donations of children’s diapers and wipes, all sizes/all brands, can be dropped off at DDRC’s lobby. 

Nov. 21 - 23 T hurs. through Sat. (doors open 6:30 p.m.) DDRC Players’ A Christmas Carol , performed at Colorado ACTS, 11455 W. I.70 Frontage Road North , Wheat Ridge. Tickets $7.00.

Dec. 5  T hurs. (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.) DDRC Holiday Bazaar . Free! Benefiting the people services of DDRC. 

Dec. 10 Thurs. (all day) Colorado Gives Day . Schedule your gift to DDRC today. 

Jan 23, 2020 Thurs. (9 a.m.- 3 p.m.) Introduction to Applied Behavioral Analysis (i.e. motivating behavior). A free, valuable class for families, teachers and others hosted by and at DDRC. Advance registration required.  See flyer .

From our friends in the community:
Nov. 13 Wed. (4:30 - 6:30 p.m.) Caregiving Resource Night . DDRC will be there so stop by our table. The event is organized by the Colorado Respite Coalition and held at Summit Community and Senior Center, 83 Nancy's Place, Frisco, CO 80443. Free. Register via Eventbrite. Respite care available with advance sign-up.

Nov. 19 Tues. (4:30 - 6:30 p.m.) Guardianship and Alternatives class presented by The Arc Jefferson, Clear Creek, Gilpin Counties and held at The Arc offices: 13949 W. Colfax Ave., Suite 150, Lakewood, Co 80401. Free, but space limited. Register .
Current Activities and Looking Ahead
Thanking Law Enforcement for Mandatory Reporting Efforts
DDRC thanks law enforcement and first responders for their work. We recognize the additional responsibility they have in fulfilling the requirements of “mandatory reporting” in instances of suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation of at-risk adults, which now includes individuals with IDD.

Law enforcement must investigate and document such reports, which is an important part of keeping vulnerable people safe.  

To express our appreciation, staff and the people we serve created thank you cards to be delivered to law enforcement offices, along with refreshments. DDRC’s Quality Assurance team is orchestrating these thank you efforts through mid-November. They are pictured here along with samples of the colorful cards.
DDRC Players Present A Christmas Carol
Nov. 21- 23

The DDRC Players will perform and present A Christmas Carol on Nov. 21- 23 (Thurs.- Sat.), a rendition written and adapted by Jacob Dorn and directed by Elise Epstein. Don’t miss this opportunity to be entertained by our DDRC players and enjoy their talent. Players are joined onstage by other actors and community members who assist to help make the night fun.

This year’s performance is in a new, smaller location and is performed on several nights to accommodate the usual high interest. Join us at Colorado ACTS, 11455 W. I.70 Frontage Road North, Wheat Ridge (east of Ward Road), Doors open 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.00. 

For group reservations call Leah at 720-939-9830. Colorado ACTS Office 303-456-6772.
DDRC’s Holiday Bazaar - Dec. 5

For the past 18 years, DDRC has organized and held a Holiday Bazaar to benefit the people and services of DDRC. This year’s Bazaar is slated to be better than ever.

The event brings together vendors from the community, as well as individuals receiving services with DDRC who have a creative bent, and others in the disability space. Vendors offer unique gifts, original art, handmade crafts, jewelry, home décor and more. A silent auction, bake sale, visit from Santa, carolers, entertainment and door prizes round out the day’s festivities. Vendor tables are sold out.

The event is held at DDRC’s offices at 11177 W. 8 th Ave, Lakewood, on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Admission is free. Come shop and enjoy this fun tradition! 
Support DDRC on Colorado Gives Day Tuesday, December 10
Schedule Your Gift Today

Celebrate the spirit of giving this December 10 by supporting DDRC and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Your generous support allows DDRC to improve the lives of people with disabilities and strengthen families in your community. Your gift is also increased by an incentive fund made possible by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, maximizing your donation!
Schedule your gift now through
December 10 by visiting  
clicking the green “donate” button on the far right, and selecting “Colorado Gives Day” under the donation frequency menu. 
Thank you for supporting DDRC and people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
in your community.
Looking Back
Developing Staff to Deliver Strong Services To Those Who Really Matter

How does DDRC keep a focus on maintaining and improving the supports we provide? We continually hold classes, interactive sessions and online training to improve staff skills and knowledge, and to always be person-centered. 

We recently held a day-long training for DDRC Adult Vocational Services (AVS) staff, with more than 10 sessions curated by a team from AVS and Human Resources. A music instructor taught employees how to incorporate music and movement into programs, showing how this plays a role in the emotions, stress-reduction and energy of participants. A session on informed choices helped equip staff with ways to empower the people in our programs in making their own choices. 

A sensitivity training had staff put themselves in the shoes of someone they might support. They did hands-on exercises to experience what it is like to have diminished sight, reduced ability to chew and the bland food choices which may be given, or the sensitive aspect of having someone put adult-sized depends on you. The exercises helped staff better understand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the supports, and how they could elevate the support experience.

And since good nutrition helps staff to give their best efforts in their jobs, the training also included a nutrition session presented by Natural Grocers (pictured above). 
Direct Service Professionals:
We Couldn't Do It Without You!

Direct Service Professionals play a “starring" role in our organization! 

We celebrated them during September's DSP Week with gifts and activities, including tickets to area movie theaters so they could enjoy watching other stars. Waffle trucks offering savory and sweet items proved a hit at the Weiland and Walters sites, and gifts of high quality water bottles will help make sure the DSPs stay hydrated and healthy. The sites also hosted a nice lunch for the DSPs.

DDRC's executive management and others enjoyed visiting with the DSPs and hearing their heartfelt stories of dedication to their work. Managers reiterated that DSPs play a central role in the lives of people we serve and are a valued part of our team. 
DSPs from Walters and Weiland enjoying recognition and visits with DDRC leadership.
Navigating the World of IDD Services
DDRC is committed to providing information and guidance about qualifying for, accessing and using IDD services. Our September, 2019 “Navigating” event featured sessions on the basics of waivers for children and adults, and more than 10 drop-by support stations staffed by DDRC specialists and others.

We also had a panel on employment services for adults and transition-aged youth with IDD. Panelists included representatives from Colorado Health Care Policy and Financing, the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Colorado Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), Ability Connection Colorado, Jefferson County Schools Transition Services, Stepping Stone Support Center, DDRC Employment Services, and DDRC Self Determination and Employment Gateway.
Myrriah Bland, who is receiving employment services with DDRC, spoke on the panel about her experience in progressing to new roles and responsibilities in her job with Safeway, where she has worked for many years.

She is pictured here with DDRC Employment Services staff.
For session information and links to guest panelists organizations click here .  
 Be sure to visit DDRC’s web pages on Employment Services, Self Determination and Employment Gateway.
Community Forum

DDRC held a Community Forum in conjunction with our recent September “Navigating” event to assess priorities and be available for questions and conversation. Approximately 50 people attended the forum.

Staff gave an overview of some of DDRCs initiatives and priorities and asked people to choose their top priorities. People indicated that they want us to keep prioritizing legislative efforts, particularly reducing the waiting list and increasing funding. Another priority was fostering greater capacity for intake staff time regarding enrollment processes and service options. Other feedback included continuing to support a quality, knowledgeable workforce, assistance to new families and ongoing supports to families throughout their life span. 

Thank you to those who participated. Your feedback helps us better serve you! 
National Disability Employment Awareness Month 

National Disability Employment Awareness month wrapped up in October. To help mark the month, we included a disability employment session in our fall “Navigating” event. Additionally, our Employment Services staff joined the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DRV), Governor Polis, Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera and others (shown here) to celebrate employees with disabilities, advocates and employers. DVR gave a Shining Star award to one of the individuals DDRC supports.

At our October Annual Meeting, Kristie Braaten, DDRC Senior Director of Waiver Services, gave a terrific keynote on “Why Work Matters.” Employment impacts our well-being, our connections, opportunities to make meaningful contributions - and it pays the bills. Yet, due to low expectations, lack of opportunity and policies with unintended consequences, the unemployment rate for adults with IDD is 85%. We are working to change that through robust employment services, enhanced staff training, development of partnerships to aid young adults with IDD with employment and ending participation in paying subminimum wages.

Businesses who hire those with IDD are crucial to these efforts, and Natural Grocers has been exemplary. We honored them with a Special Recognition Award at our Annual Meeting. They have employed Joan Jurann in their distribution center for 16 years, supporting her to grow her skills, entrusting her to demonstrate procedures for new employees, and respecting her ability to connect people. TJ Hallett, Joan’s manager, shared: “Joan lifts all of us up!” Natural Grocers also reached out to get training from DDRC on building an even stronger Employment First perspective.
annual mtg 2019
Kristie Braaten, DDRC
Annual Mtg 2019 HAllet -Joan -Natural Grocers
TJ Hallett, Natural Grocers and Joan Jurann
DDRC Annual Meeting Awards

DDRC’s Annual Meeting is a time to elect board members, review agency initiatives and honor those who are especially supportive of our mission.

We awarded Senator Rachel Zenzinger (shown here) as our Legislator of the Year. She has successfully and continually advocated for a state budget that prioritizes services for people with IDD, including waiver resources for families experiencing an emergency and helping to reduce the waitlist for comprehensive resources. She ensured an additional $22M of state funds for special education, sponsored a bill to improve voting options for people with disabilities, and sponsored the IDD Awareness Day Proclamation. 

Fairfield Inn and Suites Denver West/Federal Center was honored as our Partner of the Year for their leadership support of our fundraising initiatives, for exploring hiring individuals we serve and for stepping forward with volunteers. They installed a sign about DDRC at the hotel, and recognized the site's history as the old DDRC Bruno property.

Paul Mitchell The School received our Special Recognition Award for their initiative to involve their students and staff in Rockin’ The Runway Together. Those efforts helped participants look great and feel good, and facilitated friendship and respect between people with and without disabilities. Natural Grocers also received a Special Recognition award, as noted above.
Fairfield Inn and Suites
Denver West / Federal Center
Paul Mitchell The School (Belmar/Denver)
DDRC’s Friend Award went to Empire Elk Lodge #1493 and Galaxy Temple #1131.

They have provided a Summer BBQ and Christmas Celebration lunch for more than 20 years for 100 individuals in DDRC’s services. They take care of everything for the events and even give out holiday goodie bags. The gatherings have been a priceless opportunity to develop friendships and socialize! 
And there's more!
Click here to read about the Hero, Charlie Allinson and Peg Johnstone awardees!
Volunteers and Staff Make the Day Special

Everyone enjoys Halloween, even if it's just watching the fun. So we got in on the action too! Weiland and Walters Center program participants enjoyed costumes, music, decorations, food and festivities on Halloween alongside volunteers, family and staff.

It was all thanks to the weeks of planning and efforts of the wonderful Weiland Community Support Group volunteers and Weiland staff, and the caring and creative Walters staff, all of whom arranged the fetes at their respective sites. 
2019 Oct 31- Stunkard
Ahoy! Enjoying Walters
Family fun at Weiland
Special smiles shared by
staff and participants at Weiland
Weiland Community Support Group volunteers
Walters Center staff, one of the many making the day marvelous for participants.
Weiland Center staff
Set Your Email/ E-Newsletter Preferences for Emails from DDRC
DDRC sends important information about your services and supports well as announcements of special events via this “Constant Contact" email platform. Please do not unsubscribe from Constant Contact emails since our communications will be restricted to U.S. mail and will take longer to get to you.

If you prefer not to receive e-newslettters or invitations to programs and events, please use our “ Online Form ” to indicate that you do not want to receive such "DD Community Interest" emails. However, please continue to select that you are open to receiving special waiver service notices (i.e. notices of your services and supports ) via Constant Contact. Thank You!
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