In This Issue:

  • Today is the 48th Anniversary of IDEA!
  • Help Prevent The Census Bureau from Undercounting People with Disabilities
  • Have You RSVP'd for Our Holiday Open House?
  • Countdown to Colorado Gives
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities - December 3
  • Free Local Holiday Events This Weekend!
  • Attend People First on December 6!

Happy Anniversary IDEA!

Today is the 48th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

IDEA is a law that makes a free appropriate public education available to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

In the law, Congress states:

Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.

Benefiting more than 7.5 million children, IDEA makes free appropriate public education (FAPE) available to eligible children with disabilities, including early intervention, special education and related services.

Interested in current information and resources about IDEA? Click here.

For information about the history of IDEA, click here.

Help Prevent The Census Bureau from Undercounting People with Disabilities

Less support and funding for people with disabilities could be the result of The Census Bureau changing how it collects data about disabilities.

Updates to The Census Bureau’s data collection methods have been made without input from the disability community. This could mean less support for disabled people because outcomes of this revised survey might lower the estimated number of people with disabilities from 14% to 8%. Here is summary of the changes, provided by Center for People with Disabilities:
How are they changing things? The Census Bureau used to ask six questions to estimate disability.

Now they're switching to the Washington Group Short Set (WGSS) questions. Both surveys ask about difficulties in six functions, like seeing and hearing. But there are differences:

  • The old survey had yes/no questions, while the new one rates difficulty on a 4-point scale.
  • The new survey doesn't ask about difficulty with daily activities like running errands.
  • It asks about hearing issues even if someone uses hearing aids, unlike the old survey.
  • Also, the new questions don't mention if the difficulty is due to a condition or how serious it is.

What's the problem with this change? The new survey counts only those who mark "a lot of difficulty" or "unable to do at all" as disabled. This leaves out many people with milder disabilities who still need support. Comparisons show the new survey might cut disability estimates by half.

Why does this matter? Governments use these estimates to plan for housing, emergencies, transit, and more. Undercounting will mean less support for the whole disability community. It might also make policymakers focus only on severe disabilities.
What about the old survey? It also underestimates disabilities, especially mental health issues. The new one could make it worse by missing people who use assistive technologies.

What can you do to help prevent this?
  • Ask for a better questionnaire because the survey needs to be more inclusive.
  • For a sample public comment that you can copy, paste, edit and submit to the Census Buraru, click here.
  • Share your thoughts by December 19 with the Census Bureau by clicking here.
Woman in blue shirt enjoys Christmas decoration with Santa.

Have You RSVP'd for Our Holiday Open House?

Let's Celebrate Together on December 11.

We’re looking forward to ringing in the holiday season with you.

Don’t miss our Holiday Open House!
When: December 11 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Where: The Arc – JCCGC’s Office: 13949 W. Colfax Ave., Building 1, Suite 102, Lakewood

Create some happy memories. Catch up with old friends and meet some new people. Light refreshments will be served. Santa will be available for pictures between 4:30 and 6 p.m.

It will be casual and fun! For more information, click here.

Please RSVP by December 6. We can’t wait to see you there!
Man and boy share joyful moment in indoor setting.
Countdown to Colorado Gives

The turkey has been cooked, the leftovers have been eaten, and the shopping deals have been bought. As we continue this season of thankfulness and reflection, we hope you will consider joining hundreds of thousands of generous Coloradans in supporting local nonprofits this Tuesday, December 5.

The biggest giving day in the state is just six days away. Whether you make your gift now, or on the big day itself, remember that your choice to support The Arc this Colorado Gives Day is a choice to further inclusivity and empowerment for people of all abilities right here in our community. It only takes a little to make a big impact. And together we can do a lot of good!
A logo for a international day of persons with disabilities

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an annual observance on December 3 to help promote understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disabilities.
Increasing awareness about the advantages of uniting people with disabilities into every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life, is among the purposes of this observance.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly.
According to the United Nations:
  • Over one billion people in the world have some form of disability - that’s one in seven people.
  • More than 100 million disabled persons are children.
  • Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children.
  • Adults with some form or disability are 1.5 times more likely to be a victim of violence than those without a disability.
  • Adults with mental health conditions are at nearly four times the risk of experiencing violence.
For more information about International Day of Persons with Disabilities, click here.
Two children playing in the snow

Free Local Holiday Events This Weekend!

The holiday season is officially underway! Here are some free and festive local events happening this weekend:

Olde Golden Candlelight Walk
Friday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Click here for more information.

Lakewood Lights
Friday, December 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. 
Click here for more information.

Wheat Ridge Holiday Celebration
Saturday, December 2 from 3 to 6:30 p.m.
Click here for more information. 

9News Parade of Lights
Saturday, December 2 at 6 p.m.
Also televised live on KUSA-TV, Channel 9
Click here for more information.

Attend People First on December 6

Here’s what you might gain at People First meetings:
  • Improve your self-advocacy skills
  • Learn more about current topics that may enhance your life
  • Connect with likeminded people
  • Join a collaborative group that make the world a better place for people with IDD and everyone else
  • Socialize and have fun!
People First is easy to attend - whether you can be there in person or join online - don’t miss out! It's a local chapter of the national organization Speaking For Ourselves. Here are details about the next meeting:

Wednesday, December 6: 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.

For more information about People First and/or to join the meeting virtually, click here.