We Build on Abilities
August 2020 Newsletter

Hello DDRC Community,

I hope you are finding strength during these challenging times. Fluid seems to be the word that most aptly describes the situation we are all in with the Covid pandemic. In response, DDRC is adapting in our service approaches while being steadfast in our commitment to keep the best interests of individuals and families we serve at the forefront. We are now moving from short term responses to longer range solutions. 

Day programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the state and country have been primarily closed for the last few months but are gradually reopening.

Our DDRC Adult Vocational Services (AVS) are now offering an increasing number of options that are responsive to the interests and needs of people we serve. Virtual travel, museum tours, cooking, social hours, among others, are giving participants a connection to the broader world around them. At the same time, we are now implementing the safest, most effective and responsive in-person day programming for those who are in most need and desirous of these services. Changing regulatory aspects factor into the planning of these offerings. While higher risk conditions are a significant factor in consideration for all services, regulators are now allowing teams consisting of the individual receiving services, their family/guardian and DDRC staff to assess what service options work best for their needs. This creates opportunity as well as added responsibility for everyone to do all they can to foster a safe environment both during and outside of DDRC service settings.

The pandemic and the resulting state budget cuts and cost containment measures have a significant impact on DDRC and the service approaches allowed and viable. Unfortunately, the state budget crisis has also impacted eligibility criteria for Early Intervention services. Please see more detail in the section below in this enewsletter and an overview of the status of our various services and operations.

Please continue to communicate directly with your Resource/Service Coordinators and direct services staff for the most updated information on services, along with checking our DDRC website and our enewsletters. Additionally, our leadership team is always available to provide additional information and support as needed.

Thanks so much for your ongoing collaboration,
Beverly Winters, Executive Director
DDRC Operations Update
Adult Vocational Services are gradually resuming with new approaches. Services are being offered virtually for community activities, educational/skill building activities and communication /connections access. We are also beginning activities outside of the family home, and we are intensely planning all the logistics and aspects of in-person services in various formats while accounting for health and safety, as well as the desires of participants. Service models are still evolving.

Quality Living Options (QLO), our DDRC residential services, are ongoing. QLO staff continue to provide excellent activities and support to residents and are successfully implementing the mandates, screenings, and precautions required by state agencies to help keep COVID-19 at bay. We continue to be cautious regarding outings and visitation. 

The majority of our other services are and will continue to be delivered via telehealth/teleconferencing until further notice, per state orders. However, limited Early Intervention services are now being allowed in an outdoor in-person format, the details of which are in the article below.

DDRC Central Office staff continue to work hard to keep all operations running smoothly whether working remotely or in the office, as necessary. All Employees and essential visitors are required to complete a symptom screening and temperature check, and to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in the building. Non-essential visitors will be redirected to do business by phone, so please call before visiting.
COVID-19 Resources
COVID-19 Testing Background Info - from Federal, State and Local Authorities
211 Colorado - Help and Resources
Colorado help lines: call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish.

The 19th Hole: Together While Apart, is the Developmental Disabilities Foundation and DDRC’s virtual event and online auction fundraiser. Join us at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 14th for a fun virtual cocktail hour and celebration of summer and DDRC as we close our auction! We won’t be out on the golf course for our traditional tournament, but we’ll be having fun for a good cause: to raise money for DDRC's Adult Vocational Services.
Bidding is open from August 10 to August 14. We have a cool vintage car, fabulous original art, restaurant gift certificates, casino packages, cultural, entertainment and event tickets, workout and outdoor experiences, travel and more. See: https://ddrcco.com/summer-auction.
Thank you to the businesses and organizations who donated auction items and to our generous event sponsors!
Presenting Sponsors
19th Hole Partner Sponsor
Additional Sponsors
Ralston Creek Sertoma
Summer Auction Features Awesome Art
Moved by art? Acquire a fabulous piece at our Summer Auction, starting August 10. We have more than 25 pieces of beautiful, intriguing and unique works donated by artist Gayle Crites, who has shown her art in notable galleries in Santa Fe, N.M., at universities, museums and elsewhere. The pieces incorporate organic papers, colors and images, and speak to this moment of appreciation of people of diverse settings and culture. Many were inspired by Crites travels to Cuba.

Shown here is just one of the many Crites works up for auction.
“Hero,” above, depicts the strong profile of a contemporary face juxtaposed with the mythic-like image of a kneeling woman whose arms and cape blend seamlessly into the sea while stretching out to encompass a figure. Is it the representation of the strength of women who frequently gather us in their embrace? Is this mother-earth reaching to save humanity? However it is viewed, it is certainly a wonderful piece of art. It is 16” x 20” and uses charcoal, oil, pastel and woodcut on linen paper. Unframed. 

See more about this piece and all the auction items at https://ddrcco.com/summer-auction
Early Intervention Outdoor Visits Available
Telehealth/Virtual visits remain the primary method of Early Intervention (EI) service delivery, however, EI Colorado is now permitting a limited number of outdoor in-person provider visits for families that have an identified need that would benefit from an in-person visit. Appropriateness of an in-person visit will be limited, addressed on a case-by-case basis and requires IFSP team agreement. 
If a family requested an in-person visit but virtual visits are going well, other visits will take priority. Neither providers nor families are required to do in-person outdoor visits. If the ongoing provider is not comfortable doing an in-person outdoor visit but it is determined that the family needs an in-person visit, the IFSP team will work together to determine an option that would work well. Visits inside a home or other enclosed space are still not permitted. 
Your provider will be required to limit the number of in-person visits per day. If it is determined that an in-person outdoor visit is appropriate for your family, you will need to review and sign an EI Colorado consent prior to the first visit. On the day of the visit, your provider will call prior to arrival to complete a COVID health screen, (both family and provider must pass the COVID health screen the day of the visit). This includes a temperature check of the family member participating and the provider.
During an in-person outdoor visit, the parent/caretaker and provider must wear a mask, observe a minimum 6 feet distance, and the family must sanitize objects that are to be used during the visit. These restrictions are in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. Thank you for your understanding and patience during these challenging times. Read EI Colorado guidelines for In-Person Outdoor Visits.
Impacts to Early Intervention Services
Another casualty of COVID-19: reductions in the number of infants and young children with developmental delays that can be served through Early Intervention (EI). Because of the state of Colorado’s budget crisis, the Office of Early Childhood is adopting cost-savings strategies to the EI Program to reduce program expenditures. Among these are changes in eligibility for enrollment and ongoing services, and criteria for when the child will exit from the program.
The new EI Colorado rules state; “In order for a child to be eligible for early intervention services, they must be showing a delay of 33% or greater in one or more of the five developmental areas (physical, communication, adaptive, social/emotional, cognitive).The new rules also specify that once a certain level of age-expected development is met, the child will exit the program. Read the notices on the Early Intervention Colorado web site, Cost Containment page.
DDRC Behavioral Health Stays Nimble and Offers
Free Virtual Webinar Aug. 5 and 6
DDRC’s Behavioral Health Team (BHT) is working hard to support people we serve through telehealth to provide psychiatric and behavioral supports. The approach has enabled us to be timely and flexible. We have helped individuals adjust to this new platform by talking through the technical aspects that might be daunting for them.
Our Psychiatrist has adjusted his practice to be almost entirely via telehealth. Other members of the BHT team are balancing telehealth with some home visits where more support is needed. Initiating new cases with remote services is challenging, but we have done so. And the BHT has moved the Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis class to a webinar. But the most impressive part of this challenging time is the perseverance the BHT team has witnessed from the caregivers, guardians, parents, families, and the individuals we support.

To bolster that perseverance, people are invited to BHT’s free, online Zoom webinar, “Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis” to learn how to motivate positive behavior from family members, students and those they support. Part 1 of the webinar will be held on Wednesday, Aug 5, from 9 a.m.- noon and Part 2 on Thursday, Aug. 6, from 9 a.m.- noon. Attendance in the first session is needed in order to enroll in the second session. Advance registration is required. Email Zachary.Maple@ddrcco.com with your name and phone number.
Note of Gratitude and Watch for Notices Later This Year
Times are often hard for families with children with disabilities. Parents want to do all they can to help their child lead a full life. We have been honored with the job of helping to identify families in need and to disburse funds through our Family Support Services Program to directly aid the disability needs of their family member.

“Let me express my gratitude,” one family shared. “You will never know how much this means to our family and especially the boys! Your help gives us the ability to really enhance their lives (in ways that) we would never be able to. You are making a world of difference in so many lives!”

The pool of available funds for the 2019-2020 fiscal year has been disbursed, but the cycle for 2020-2021 will begin again later this year. Watch for notices here.  
New Formats and Ways to Explore Community Connections

The world is changing with COVID. New opportunities for connecting in the community and socializing are emerging at DDRC and elsewhere. DDRC has been doing telehealth and virtual services across much of our organization. Our Adult Vocational Services and Therapeutic Learning/Recreation are also offering services in new ways. To learn about the various options at DDRC and elsewhere, ask your Resource or Service Coordinator for ideas about where to connect to meet your interests or the interests of your family member with disabilities.
DDRC’s Therapeutic Learning/Recreation is In-Person and Online
They may be hidden behind masks, but there are definitely smiles on the faces of individuals who are now enjoying in-person DDRC Therapeutic Learning/Recreation programs after months of closure. Individuals are able to attend once a week provided they follow safety procedures. Everyone is wearing masks, social distancing, taking temperatures, and consistently washing hands to stay safe while having fun!

Each program reflects the needs and interests of attending individuals and has included painting, movie nights, exercise, tie-dye shirts and more. Overall, it’s been a smooth transition back to in-person opportunities, and participants and staff are happy to return.

DDRC’s TLC/Recreation is also continuing to hold online sessions for virtual socializing, learning, creating, connecting and being healthy. Sessions are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are open to those 14 and older of any ability. Participants can join by Zoom or phone. To get registration information and other details of the virtual sessions call the DDRC Recreation office at 720.544.8150 or Terri Hulstrom at 303.419.1920.
Complete Your 2020 U.S. Census – Be Counted
If you haven't already done so, please complete your 2020 Census. One person is required to respond on behalf of their household. Census data help determine the funding to pay for needed programs and services —many of which benefit people with disabilities.

You can mail your paper copy of the census, complete it online at www.my2020census.gov or respond by phone by calling 1-844-330-2020. The Census Bureau does not ask for social security numbers, bank account information or money. More about the Census. 
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