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April 2023 News

The Pledge, a Tribute and Proud Nominees 

Standing tall and sharply dressed with a flag-themed tie, Lonnie smoothly led the Pledge of Allegiance in the Colorado State Senate chambers on March 29. He was proud to fulfill that honor as a person with IDD on a day declared as “Developmental Disabilities Day,” by Governor Jared Polis, and rounding out IDD Awareness Month.

“I got to shake the hand of the President of the Senate,” Lonnie said, beaming.

The tie was given to Lonnie by a Vietnam Vet who Lonnie met through his day program activities, which he participates in when he isn’t working at Lowes, a job he has enjoyed for eight years.

Lonnie lives in Silverthorne with support from DDRC’s Quality Living Options (QLO) program. He is is pictured here with DDRC staff, Gayle. And as a testament to his full life, Lonnie previously received a “Lifetime Achievement” award from Special Olympics, for his sports participation.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, State Senator Rachael Zenzinger from Jefferson County, a longtime advocate for people with IDD, and State Senator Rod Pelton, offered moving words as they delivered the IDD Awareness Day Senate Tribute. What a wonderful representative Lonnie is as he stood with the Colorado Senate on that day.

Also as part of IDD Awareness Day at the State Capitol, DDRC nominated Avon and Sabrina from our Adult Vocational Services for Alliance Colorado’s Direct Support Professional of the Year honor.

Both these employees share what made them worthy of this nomination: a willingness to go above and beyond what is required, an ability to see a solution where others see only barriers and a deep commitment to the people they serve.

While they were not finalists, they are both DSPs of the year in our eyes. We thank them for their skill and dedication, and know they feel proud of their contributions!

Spring Into Awareness

More than 100 people representing businesses, civic, community and nonprofit groups came to celebrate the importance of inclusion for people with developmental disabilities at “Spring into Awareness” on March 28, as part of IDD Awareness Month. The event, cohosted by Fairfield Inn- Denver West Federal Center, the West Metro Chamber of Commerce and DDRC, was a time to socialize and to honor the ways our community supports inclusion of people with development disabilities—including through diversity in employment.  

Employees with disabilities shared what employment meant to them, and company representative and DDRC Employment Team who support career seekers also shared their reflections.

Nick,who works at Fairfield Inn said, “I love my job!” and Edmond Martinez, General Manager shared that they employ two people served by DDRC and are really glad that they are on Fairfield Inn’s team. 

Joan, who was recognized by Natural Grocers for being conscientious and upbeat, said she especially likes getting to walk around the store to help customers find what they need. Bill’s comments about his work at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse brought smiles and nods all around!  

Emma proudly shared that she has worked at Noodles & Company in Belmar for many years. Her supervisor said she is “wonderful,” and her DDRC job coach, Dezirae remarked that the restaurant always looks best when Emma is on duty. Adrienne Ireland, HR Director at Omni Hotel and Resorts (Broomfield) complemented Sunay, who is a steward and dishwasher, saying, “We wish we had more employees with his work ethic!” Sunay is pictured below right with his DDRC job coach Molly. 

Noodles & Company (Belmar) Omni Hotel & Resorts (Broomfield)

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this event so wonderful: Ballmer Peak Distillery (Lakewood), Flights Wine Café (Arvada), BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse (Westminster & Lakewood) Natural Grocers (on Colfax and on Alameda, Lakewood), and Noodles & Company (Belmar). We hope you will stop-by their establishments to show your appreciation too!

A Giant in DDRC’s World Passes On

Richard “Dick” Markley touched almost every aspect of DDRC, and what was needed to improve the lives of people with IDD. So, it is with a heavy heart that we report that this true patriarch of DDRC recently passed away.

Dick served on the DDRC Board from 1973-2016, during which time he negotiated the donation of the Walters and Weiland facilities to DDRC, chaired the campaign that resulted in the successful increase of the IDD mill levy in Jefferson County, served on every DDRC committee, helped create the Behavioral Health Team at DDRC and so much more. He testified before the Colorado Legislature to advocate for people with IDD. And in 1990 he was invited to the White House with then DDRC Executive Director, Art Hogling, to receive the “Points of Light” Award to DDRC from President George H.W. Bush. 

Dick’s impact was remembered during DDRC’s March Board meeting, where the Board officially recognized and shared their gratitude for the countless volunteer hours and remarkable contributions he made to DDRC over many decades. Echoing the sentiments of others who worked alongside Dick, Jack Lopez, longtime friend of DDRC said, “Dick and his wife Candy could be counted on for the work that elevated the organization and the people served. He was one of the quiet (modest) ones that did the heavy lifting.”


Dick Markley was not only an incredible advocate for DDRC’s mission and staff he was also a wonderful man! He will be missed. Read more about his life in his obituary. 

Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist Opens Soon

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) provides rental assistance to income-eligible tenants by subsidizing a portion of their monthly rent and utilities, and paying it directly to their landlords.

If utilities are not included in the rent, the program may pay a larger portion of the rent, so the tenant is able to afford utility payments. Voucher assistance is the difference between what the tenant is expected to pay toward rent (30%-40% of the household’s adjusted gross income) and the cost of the rent.

The waitlist is only open to applicants who meet the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Division of Housing local preferences of an individual with a disability or families with a household member with a disability.

Completed applications are accepted via mail and email only (not in-person). Emailed applications are accepted between April 5 and April 6, from 12:01AM to 11:59PM only. Postal mail applications must be postmarked between April 5, 2023, and April 6, 2023. Once all applications have been received, they will be placed on the waiting list in a random order.

Application forms are available now to prepare to submit during the waitlist opening period. To request an application, contact the DDRC Housing Voucher Program at 720.980.4203, or email or visit our housing website.

Download Housing Flyer

Case Management Redesign Update

The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) continues to undertake a major required statewide initiative related to Case Management Redesign (CMRD).  

Jefferson County Human Services (JCHS), with support from DDRC, submitted a Request for Proposal at the end of February to become the Case Management Agency (CMA) for Jefferson and Clear Creek counties. The results of the RFP are scheduled to be released at the end of May or beginning of June 2023.

 If JCHS is successfully awarded the RFP to become the new CMA, they would be responsible for Resource Coordination (Case Management), Quality Assurance and the Family Support functions as part of the CMA at the county. The transition of these functions is planned to occur between November 2023 and June 2024. DDRC and JCHS have been partnering and working on local solutions for several months.

There are still many unanswered questions, and we are working diligently to shape and resolve future outcomes. DDRC is grateful to be alongside such a fine partner as Jefferson County Human Services throughout this process. Click here and stay tuned for additional information on CMRD.  

Apply for Family Support Services Funds

The Family Support Services Program (FSSP) provides services and supports that are related to the person’s disability and are above and beyond typical child rearing or daily living expenses. Families are eligible for funds if they have a family member with a developmental delay or disability living in the family home. To be considered, please submit your Most-In-Need Assessment and Service Request forms available through our web site. 

The deadline to apply is May 31, 2023. Don’t wait. Submitting your assessment and request forms early helps to ensure you have funds approved for reimbursement of expenses that are already incurred, as well as any anticipated expenses for the remainder of the fiscal year. 

FSSP funds may be used for such things as respite care, assistive technology, home modifications, transportation/mileage to access disability services, counseling, therapies and more. Funds provide payments up to your authorized limit for disability related services provided on or after 7/1/2022 through 6/30/2023. For more information about FSSP and what funds can be used for, please refer to "Service Limits and Exclusions.” (En Español ).

Find information and the application forms here.  To have the forms and guide sent to you please contact your Service or Resource Coordinator, or Christina Smith at 303-462-6576,

You may have read or heard about the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule. This important federal rule requires states to ensure that people who receive HCBS funded services have support to make choices and have control over decisions about their lives, and that they have the same access to their communities as others.  


This rule supports each person’s ability to make choices and have control over things like their money or other resources, deciding when and what to eat, agreeing or refusing services or supports that are restricting or controlling, and in agency owned homes, being able to have visitors, lock their doors and have the protections of a lease or other legally enforceable residency agreement. 


In Colorado, new rules have been put in place over the past year to make sure the state and HCBS providers are upholding these important principles. DDRC has been making these changes over the past several years. For example, before this rule, residents in group homes and host homes may not have had a lease or residency agreement. Now, everyone has a lease or residency agreement. 


There are many ways the HCBS settings rule will affect HCBS recipients and their families and guardians. Each month, DDRC will highlight one aspect of the rule, and how those changes may look for you and those you love. For more information, visit the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) website.

Child Care Subsidy Available - Apply by May 1

Are you newly employed, or enrolled in school or job training, and in need of help paying for childcare? There is a new program to help qualifying families of young children ages birth to 8 years old who live in Clear Creek or Gilpin Counties.


The Triad Early Childhood Council is excited to announce the availability of funds made possible by the Colorado Dept. of Early Childhood Community Innovation and Resilience for Care and Learning Equity (CIRCLE) grant program.

Apply by May 1.

download Child Care Flyer 
download Childcare Referral 

Sip and Help DDRC

Here’s a smooth way to help DDRC: through Swig & Sport.

Swig & Sport aims to connect people through their favorite drinks while giving back in a big way. For every membership purchased, they'll donate a portion of the fee to DDRC and all you have to do is designate us! And if you use code “DDRC” at checkout, you'll receive one month free on the monthly membership or $12.00 off an annual membership.

Many venues across the metro area are participating. So, head over to to see what drink deals you'll score, all while giving back to DDRC.

Navigating the World of Disability Employment

Virtual Sessions Start April 3

The Colorado Office of Employment First (COEF) is excited to present "A Brighter Future: Navigating the World of Disability and Employment," a FREE, virtual training for youth and families funded by the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council.

This interactive learning experience includes six one-hour training sessions with additional one-on-one mentoring opportunities. The training aims to help youth ages 14-21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families/care providers learn about the possibilities, processes, services, and strategies for securing work. There are separate tracks for youth and families that cover all six modules.

The sessions are held throughout April and May, with the first one beginning April 3.

Download the flyer for dates contacts, and registration links.

A Brighter Future -  Flyer 
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Set Your Email Preferences for Emails from DDRC

People served by DDRC and their families:

If you have already indicated that you wish to only receive official notifications, we ask for your patience as we work to coordinate and update those preferences in the database over the coming months. Thank you!

DDRC sends important information via this “Constant Contact" email platform, including information about DDRC services and supports, announcements of emergencies, etc. 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-newsletters, invitations or donor opportunities please use our “Online Form” to indicate that you do not want to receive such emails.  Official notifications about services and supports may then still be sent via Constant Contact, unless you contact us to indicate otherwise. Thank You.