Season's Greetings!
Note from Tom Rose, Executive Director

The weather has finally turned colder, we've seen a couple dustings of snow lately, and as we move through the holiday season, we here at Family Voices Colorado are counting our blessings:


First, thank you to all who donated on Colorado Gives Day! Our individual giving increased by 18% over last year, and we are grateful for the support. Your gift makes it possible for us to continue providing services to families and professionals free of charge. There is still time to make a tax-deductible contribution before the end of the year; just visit and click on Donate Now.


Second, we have come through a year of change and transition that was challenging at times, but has positioned Family Voices well to continue to grow and evolve in the future. We have plans for new programs and services, including some funding possibilities, that we are very excited about. As soon as those are a little more settled, I look forward to sharing more information with you.


Over the last couple months, we have worked with The Colorado Health Foundation to reach out to different media about the Medicaid Buy-In for Children with Disabilities, resulting in a TV interview in Grand Junction and an article in the Denver Post. We are very pleased to have our work with families highlighted, as well as raising public awareness of the new Buy-In program as one of many ways that Medicaid helps support families in our state.


Last week's tragic news from Connecticut continues to weigh heavy on my heart. I hope this holiday season brings you peace and joy even in difficult times, and know that whatever you are going through, you are not alone. Although our office will be closed December 22 - January 1 so staff can enjoy time with their families, we are checking voicemail each day in case of urgent messages. If we can help you access resources, navigate systems, or advocate for a child with special health care needs in your life, please let us know.  


Happy Holidays, and best wishes for the New Year! 




Tom Rose, Executive Director


Hearts-on-Fire logo
Save the Date: Hearts on Fire 2013 
Tickets go on sale January 2!

Once the main holidays are over, does it feel like winter just drags on endlessly, until suddenly, around April, Colorado bursts into spring? Now there's an event to break up the winter blues!


Save the date for Hearts on Fire, Saturday, March 2, 2013, and join us for an evening of fiery hors d'oeuvres, flashy drinks, scintillating silent auction items, the sparkling fun of salsa lessons and the passion of a dance contest! We're going to transform the ground floor of our office building into a Mexican cantina. If you're a beginning salsa dancer, we'll get you started, and if you're a little more advanced, you'll want to brush up on your steps for the  contest - we have prizes!


When: Saturday, March 2, 2013, 7:00pm

Where: 13199 East Montview Blvd, Aurora, Colorado 80045

Tickets: $50 each or $90 for two - register online starting January 2!  


Come wear your heart on your sleeve as we dance the night away! 


Early Intervention: A stitch in time
Has your child been screened lately?

The latest data from the National Survey of Children's Health found that in the past year, 4 in 5 young children did not receive age-appropriate screening for developmental, behavioral, and social risks and delays, leading to missed opportunities for early intervention and advancing school readiness. Learn more about Early Intervention Colorado and how to make a referral.

Essential Health Benefits and the Affordable Care Act
Legislative update from National Family Voices

The Affordable Care Act requires that a package of "Essential Health Benefits" (EHB) be covered in all health insurance plans sold in Exchanges and in all non-grandfathered individual and small group policies for plan years beginning in or after 2014. Family Voices has been tracking the development of EHB with concern for how they will affect children with special health care needs. Read more about where things stand on our website.

Events & Opportunities
Learn about new resources

New Funding Available through Developmental Pathways

From Barb Komdat, Director of Community Outreach: Developmental Pathways has created a new Community Outreach department to address the needs of individuals registered with our agency who are on our waitlists but receiving no state or federally funded programs through Pathways. If this is you or someone you know, contact Bobbye Jones at, or 303-858-2320 for more information. If you have more immediate questions, please feel free to contact either of us at the numbers or address listed below.  


We look forward to hearing from you!


Barb Komdat, Director of Community Outreach                           

303-858-2327 Direct Line        

303-434-8947 Cell


Deb Bosch, Associate Director of Community Outreach

303-858-2004 Direct Line

303-858-9384 Cell



PEAK Parent Center Conference on Inclusive Education

When: February 7-8, 2013

Where: The DoubleTree by Hilton Denver: 3201 Quebec Street, Denver, CO 80207.

Registration is open for the 2013 Conference on Inclusive Education! We expect the 2013 Conference to sell out, so don't delay, register today! You can check out the registration rates for 2013 here. Early Registration rates expire January 11, 2013. Our annual conference holds the tools you need to reinvent schools to be places where all students can achieve success.


SWAAAC Summer Symposium 2013: Interdisciplinary Augmentative Alternative Communication

June 3 & 4, 2013

Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Thornton, Colorado


Creating positive educational outcomes for children with complex communication needs requires interdisciplinary knowledge and skills. The 2013 Summer Symposium will feature 3 tracks of professional development to address a variety of interdisciplinary AAC service prospectives.


Workshop presenters include: Kelly Waugh, Michelle Lange, Becky Breaux, Paul Visvader, Jennifer Leonisio, Erica Brandstatter, Shelly Elfner, Rhonda Johns, Heather Lyons and Kelly Fonner.


Please save the date and watch for updates at (StateWide Assistive Technology, Augmentative and Alternative Communication) or



Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions

Fast Track Disability Process Will Now Include 200 Conditions


Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, recently announced 35 additional Compassionate Allowances conditions are in effect, bringing the total number of conditions in the expedited disability process to 200.  Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security's standards for disability benefits.  The program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.  These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children. 


By definition, these conditions are so severe that Social Security does not need to fully develop the applicant's work history to make a decision.  As a result, Social Security eliminated this part of the application process for people who have a condition on the list. 


For more information on the Compassionate Allowances initiative, along with a list of qualifying conditions, please visit




Grandparents of Kids with Special Needs

Website and other resources

Visit to connect with other grandparents of children with special needs through email or Facebook; post pictures of your grandchildren or ways you have supported them; or follow the links to additional resources. 

Hearts-on-Fire logo Save the Date:
Hearts on Fire

Saturday, March 2, 2013

If you enjoyed indulging your passions in February, plan to join us again next year! Come wear your heart on your sleeve on behalf of children and youth with special health care needs. 

"Love is, above all, the gift of oneself."

~ Jean Anouilh

Stay Connected
We want to hear from you!
We Count on You

Family Voices offers information and referral services free of charge. We never turn anyone away who needs our help, regardless of their ability to volunteer time or donate money.  So we depend on funding from private and public grants and the generous support of people like you  who appreciate what we do and want to give back in any way they can.


Families of children with special needs and the providers who serve them count on us to be there for them. We count on you to help us continue to make our services available to all who need them.


Can you donate now to help us continue working to make Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs? Every gift helps - thank you for your support!