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October 2022 News

DDRC Annual Corporation Meeting - Oct. 26

Are you a “member” of DDRC? If so, please watch for our email with the invitation to our DDRC Annual Corporation Meeting on the evening of October 26. Members are people in our service area who are determined eligible for services, and their family/representative.

Members will vote on DDRC Board representatives at the meeting. The evening will also include dinner, DDRC updates, a presentation from a family’s perspective, and an awards celebration. Registration closes October 19.

Members: Save the Date and Register Soon 

Community First Choice Care Listening Sessions - Next one Oct. 5

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) is looking to begin offering the Community First Choice Option (CFC) by 2025.

CFC would allow Colorado to offer attendant care services on a state-wide basis to eligible members. Those members would then have the option to direct their attendant care services or to receive those services through an agency. This option aims to improve access to home and community-based services.

For general information about CFC and what it offers, click here.


Additionally, a Community First Choice (CFC) Council, primarily consisting of individuals with disabilities, those 65 years or older, and their representatives, has been meeting monthly to collaborate with and advise HCPF on the design and implementation a CFC option in Colorado.

If interested, you can listen-in on these sessions to learn more. The sessions are held the first Wednesday of each month, from 10:00 am- noon, with upcoming sessions on October 5, November 2, December 7 and into the new year.

Get the Google Meet link, the toll free phone number, and more details here.

Assistive Technology Expo -  Oct. 7 - Free!

Learn about new products and features of common Assistive Technology (AT) supports for individuals with disabilities at a free Expo event on October 7 from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. at the Conference Center at Adams Five Star Schools (1500 E. 128th Ave., Thornton, 80241).

AT is any item, equipment or software that is used to increase or maintain the functional capabilities of people with disabilities.


Attendees will have the opportunity learn in-person from presentations by vendors, clinicians, and researchers, and to visit the vendor hall where they can learn about new products and features of common AT supports. Select presentations are also planned to be done virtually via Zoom. 

The Expo is hosted by the Statewide Assistive Technology, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (SWAAAC) and the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering (CIDE) at CU Denver.

An RSVP is requested. If interested, please RSVP today. 

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Employment is a door to financial flexibility, independence, connections, and purpose. That’s why National Disability Employment Awareness Month, celebrated in October, is so important!


DDRC supports opportunities for people of ALL abilities to pursue their goals, including working at a fulfilling job that is real work for real pay. We connect people to opportunities to pursue those goals, and our Employment Services provides direct supports too, to help people make their career goals a reality. The march towards inclusion has been hard-fought over time and continues today.

In 1945, Congress declared the first week in October to be “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped in order to include individuals with all types of disabilities. Congress expanded the week in 1988 and designated October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Now, we seek even more expansive views, recognizing that in employment and all aspects of life, disability is part of the equity equation!

Discover More About Disability Employment

Whether you are an employer, someone seeking employment, supporting someone who is, or you are a member of the community concerned about opportunities in disability employment, consider one of the following free learning and informational sessions.

The Colorado Office of Employment First (COEF) is offering the following free webinars and virtual panel sessions: 

A Deep Dive into Subminimum Wages (3-part) The series is for everyone! Join for one or all three of them. Free.

PART 1: Wed., Oct. 5   12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. MST  Free

Discussion with author Doug Crandall and his book "Twenty-Two Cents An Hour" 


PART 2: Tues., Oct. 11  1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. MST  Free

Colorado's Legislative Efforts for the Elimination of Subminimum Wages



PART 3: Wed., Oct. 19  12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. MST  Free

Colorado in Action: Supporting the Transition to Competitive Integrated Employment for Workers with Disabilities While Phasing Out of Sub-minimum Wage Positions


The Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) is also offering free webinars to members and non-members: 

Tell Your Employment Story

Wed., Oct. 12   11:00 a.m. – noon MST  Free 

A webinar facilitated by Arkansas APSE representatives featuring a panel discussion where individuals with disabilities who are employed come together with their supervisors to discuss their journeys of navigating employment.


Twenty-Two Cents an Hour: Disability Rights and the Fight to End Subminimum Wages

Wed., Oct. 19  11:00 a.m. – noon MST  Free

This presentation will discuss the past, present, and future of employment and the disability industrial complex, the evolution of various laws on wages, and consider evidence-based disability and employment ethics practices.


Disabled, Trans, and Queer: Intersectional Conversations in the Workplace

Wed., Oct. 26  11:00 a.m. – noon MST   Free

A webinar about embracing our intersections and honoring our differences. Presenters will describe their lived experiences as working professionals, how support personnel can advocate for acceptance and diversity, and other topics.


Nick, Fairfield, and Disability Employment – See the Video

How could we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month without shining a light on Nick, one of the people we serve, and the fabulous Fairfield by Marriott-Denver West hotel in Lakewood! Nick works as a Breakfast Attendant at Fairfield and jumps-in to help in other capacities too, as needed.

Take a look at the video to hear more about Nick, Fairfield, DDRC, and the importance of inclusion for people with disabilities in all areas of life- including employment. Watch to the end to see some of the many other businesses who, past and current, have made the world more inclusive and equitable through their disability hiring, and working with DDRC Employment Services. 

Disability Employment Services at DDRC

DDRC is proud of the work of our Employment Services team, their efforts to lead progress in disability employment, and their contributions to policy collaborations on that front.

Both Heather Hagen, DDRC Employment Services Assistant Director, and Vikki Ortiz, Employment Services Manager, serve on the Colorado Association of People Supporting Employment First (CO APSE), with Vikki serving as vice president. This summer they presented at the 2022 National APSE Conference on “Elevating Employment First at DDRC,” and how their team’s service culture has evolved to promote and pursue competitive, inclusive employment for all. 

And just a few weeks ago, DDRC Employment Specialist Dezirae Gurule was presented with the plaque commemorating the CO APSE Professional for Individual Award which she won earlier this year.

To see more about their work, visit DDRC Employment Services on Facebook @ddrcemploymentservices and on LinkedIn @ddrcemploymentservices.

GiGi's Playhouse - Open House Party Oct. 15 

GiGi’s Playhouse Denver is celebrating their one-year anniversary of opening their doors in Lakewood on Sunday, October 15 from 1:00- 4:00 p.m. at 610 Garrison Street, Unit F, Lakewood 80215.

The community is invited to this free party and open house.

GiGi’s provides a place for individuals of all ages with Down Syndrome, their families, and the community to connect, find support and benefit from programming.

How fitting that their milestone coincides with National Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October!

If you’d like to learn more, stop by the party. It will be a lovely chance to see their facilities and connect with them. Details

Exercise Your Right - Vote!

The general election is about a month away with campaign commercials and ballot issue positions now flooding airwaves and mailboxes. Each vote is important! We encourage voices from the disability community to let their interests, preferences, and hopes for the future be known through their vote.

Information to help you participate is noted below.


  • You can register to vote anytime by visiting You can also register or update your voter registration at your county clerk’s office or polling center. See Jefferson County polling centers.
  • Coloradans can register to vote, update their registration, vote in person, or drop off their ballots until 7 pm on election day.
  • Sign up for BallotTrax: to get notifications when your ballot is mailed to you, and when it is received by the County Clerk to be counted.
  • Colorado Blue Books are already out in many areas. The booklets cover statewide amendments, propositions, and judicial performance. This is an important tool for understanding your full ballot beyond the candidates.
  • Ballot questions relevant to specific counties are not in the “Blue Books.” In Jefferson County, go to for background information relating to the county’s crucial fiscal challenges giving rise to the ballot questions (1A,1B,1C) on this year’s Jefferson County ballot. Without support from Jeffco voters for additional funding, these fiscal challenges will reduce programs and services. 
  • Voters with visual, perceptual, reading, and eye-hand disabilities can now vote an electronic ballot from their own home or another location. See who qualifies and full details here: 

Key Election Dates:

Oct. 17: Ballots will be mailed to voters.

Oct. 24: Polling centers and drop boxes open at county offices, motor vehicle offices, libraries, rec centers and other places.

 Oct. 31: Last day to register to be sent a mail-in ballot.

Nov. 8: (Tuesday): Election day. Vote up until 7:00 pm. 

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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.