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July 2022 News

Hoping you have

a safe and happy Independence Day!

Developmental Disabilities Foundation Board Member's Commitment Plays Through Many Acts

“I’ve been on the Developmental Disabilities Foundation (DDF) board for 10 years, and I really like being part of it and seeing what’s going on with DDRC,” said Barb Moritzky.

The Golf Tournament and Auction are the DDF’s biggest efforts with proceeds going to various initiatives and general support, including to the 25 Hour Fund. The Fund provides for emergency, unmet or one time needs for people with developmental disabilities and their families, providing help not usually covered by Medicaid. 

“I love going to the tournament, meeting people, and volunteering on the course. You can also win some cool things from the auction and feel gratified knowing it’s for a good cause. One year I won a beautiful quilt from the Quilt Museum,” she says, "and I have donated African fabric bags to the auction from a Ugandan ministries group I have worked with for years.” The auction is virtual so anyone can register to bid. Biding opens August 1 and will close on August 15.

Barb’s connection to the intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) world stems from her personal experience of having a sister with disabilities, who, after growing up in Fort Collins, has been served by DDRC for many years.

While at Colorado State University, Barb got involved in a program that paired college students with people with disabilities. Armed with a degree in Social Work, Barb worked for an IDD focused organization in Nebraska teaching independent living skills, becoming the area manager, and helping move people from state institutions and nursing homes into neighborhood group homes. Later, she was the Rehabilitation Manager at Laradon Hall.


In 1984 Barb and her husband joined the Peace Corps, went to Tunisia, and worked in a center for people with IDD. Inclusion of people with IDD was not accepted, but Barb gained success in using sports for integration, as soccer was universally loved. “I am especially grateful to have been invited to advise on the starting of the first Tunisian Special OlympicsWhen the first games were held, even though they didn’t have fancy new uniforms, the pride everyone had, and the joy in playing, still brings tears to my eyes.” 

Currently, Barb is the Development Director for the Lakewood Symphony Orchestra. She loves music, singing and theatre, and along with her sister Julie, is involved with the DDRC Players, a theatre troupe that is now the Special Needs Acting Program (SNAP) of Colorado Acts. "I love how the theatre allows people to see themselves in a new light through the characters they play," she says.

“Services and supports like those offered through DDRC have made an important difference for my sister Julie, helping her to become more independent and social,” Barb says.

Years back, Julie worked at the Bruno Center in group employment, and now participates in opportunities offered through DDRC's Weiland Center. Julie shines in Weiland’s Zoom sessions playing Hangman, using her  Dynovox, discovering she is a really good player, getting answers correct and delighting herself and others. She expresses her artistry there, too.

Barb says that knowing that her sister is engaged in things she wants to do gives Barb the important opportunity to work in varied areas.

When Barb reflects on the passage of time, she says, “We are definitely light years ahead of where we once were with disability inclusion, even though we have a long way to go.” DDF is lucky to have Barb’s experience and passion, along with the other DD Foundation members, to help move us forward in that journey!

More Than Just a Great Day of Golf 

Our 30th annual golf tournament on August 15 is more than just a great day of golf in the clear mountain air, taking in the views, and enjoying food, drink, prizes and camaraderie. It’s also about making an impact for people with developmental disabilities and their families, and supporting our mission.

So please, make a difference! Get your tournament tickets today.

Get Tickets 

Special thanks to our generous sponsors

without whom this tournament would not be possible.

Mental Health Help Through Jefferson Center 

Mental health remains as important as ever and we are pleased to share that the Jefferson Center offers a variety of relevant, free recorded webinars to watch on demand. See more. They also offer free presentations to business, civic, church and other groups to equip people with a better understanding of how to deal with life’s stressors. Several classes focused on suicide awareness and prevention aimed at providers, staff, parents and community representatives are also being offered, with upcoming dates noted below.

See the full descriptions for the group presentations and classes listed below, here.

Question, Persuade, Refer: 

July 26 (9-10:30 a.m.) Virtual. Register:

August 16 (9-10:30 a.m.) Virtual. Register:  

15 Septiembre (9-10:30 a.m.) En Español::

Mental Health First Aid: 

July 28  (8 a.m.-. p.m.) In-Person at Golden Community Center in Golden. Register:

August 18 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) Virtual Register



August 2 (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) In-Person at Gilpin County Public Library in Black Hawk, CO: Register    

Stakeholder Engagement Opportunities on Day Habilitation Services

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing will be holding opportunities for stakeholder’s to provide feedback regarding implementation of Tier 3 Day Habilitation services, and how these individualized services should be implemented long-term, following the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE). Additionally, the Department is also requesting stakeholder feedback related to Residential Habilitation Services and Supports (RHSS) and Supported Community Connections (SCC) services being provided by the same direct care provider. These meetings are open to all interested stakeholders.

Prior to hosting the upcoming stakeholder meetings, the Department is requesting stakeholder feedback and suggestions related to these two topics through a Day Habilitation Stakeholder Survey to be submitted by Friday, August 5.

HCBS Survey

HCBS Stakeholder Webinar meetings:

Initial Tier 3 Day Habilitation Stakeholder Meeting :

Thursday, September 1, 2022 11:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. MT

Initial RHSS & SCC – Direct Care Provider Stakeholder Meeting:

Thursday, September 29, 2022 11:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. MT

For further details provided in the HCPF memo, including the link to the webinars noted above, click here.

Self-Determination Shines

Hard work and determination, that's the key to success. The experience of Adam Brass, a young man receiving services with DDRC shows there is real weight behind that adage.

Last July, Adam was approved for DDRC Self- Determination Initiative (SDI) funding to pursue his goal of competing in weightlifting in the Special Olympics. He was recovering from a bicycle accident and wanted to gain strength and balance while challenging himself to meet a goal of competing. The SDI funding gave him personal training and mentoring, which eventually led to a spot to compete. Just this month, all that hard work paid off when Adam won four gold medals in weightlifting at the Colorado state competition. He even lifted 215 pounds!

At DDRC we talk about providing opportunities, and the DDRC SDI Funding Initiative program certainly does that. Yet, while we help provide the opportunities, it is the individuals we serve who shine as they demonstrate all the unique ways they pursue and express their dreams

Learn more about DDRC's Self-Determination Initiative here.

TRIAD Early Childhood Council Celebrates Progress and Contributions

TRIAD, the Early Childhood Council of Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Jefferson Counties, has been working and coordinating for more than 15 years to improve outcomes for children and families. In mid-June, they gathered for the Children’s Champion Awards held at Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) to celebrate the contributions of service providers, policy makers and community members.

Featured event speaker, Jefferson County Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper, recounted many Jefferson County efforts supporting young children and their families, including an update on the Bright Futures Roadmap. Pat Bolton, DDRC Board member, Triad Executive Director and RRCC Director of Child Care Innovations gave a thought-provoking call to action, and other speakers also demonstrated the importance of the work of Triad and community partners. 

Leslie Dahlkemper, Jefferson County Commissioner 

Pat Bolton, Triad Executive Director, RRCC Director of Child Care Innovations and DDRC Board Member

DDRC has been a part of these efforts, with Rob DeHerrera, DDRC Executive Director, serving on the Bright Futures’ steering committee, Susan Johnson, DDRC Director of Children and Family Services, as the longtime Triad Early Childhood Council (ECC) Chair, and Micki Klawes, DDRC Director of Early Intervention, as a Council member and liaison for the Early Intervention program. Triad Early Childhood Council serves as the area’s Local Interagency Council for early intervention services provided through DDRC.


We also had a chance to meet representatives of the Colorado’s new Department of Early Childhood, including Dr. Lisa Roy, to see Jefferson County Commissioner Andy Kerr and Clear Creek Commissioner George Marlin, along with representatives of RRCC. We appreciate their recognition of the importance of early childhood support systems. 

CO Association of Employment First Awards DDRC's Dezirae Gurule

DDRC Employment Specialist Dezirae Gurule was recently honored as the 2022 winner of the “Professional for Individual Award” by the Colorado Association of Persons Supporting Employment First (CO APSE) at their Annual Meeting in Denver this June. 

The award recognizes an individual for outstanding state-of-the-art practices and professional achievements in Employment First. Employment First looks to competitive, community-integrated employment as a preferred option and necessary opportunity for people with developmental disabilities, and is a means for fulfillment, self-determination, and greater independence.


We are proud and grateful for the impact Dezirae brings to the field, to the DDRC Employment Services team and especially, to the people she supports. Congratulations Dezirae!

Inclusive Playground - Worth A Visit

Foothills Park and Recreation Department’s (FPRD) Inclusive Playground in Clement Park at 7306 W Bowles Ave. in Littleton makes a great destination for children of all abilities, offering a unique play experience with just the right balance of challenges and opportunities to succeed. The playground was completed before COVID emerged, but it’s worth a shoutout now during these mid-summer days when you may be looking for something new, free, and open-air for little friends and family to enjoy.

We recently visited the park as part of a meeting where guest speaker Sean Kitners, FPRD Park Planner, explained its many features. “Every type of swing we could have, we incorporated. Inclusion was the goal,” he said. They created two roller slides for people who aren’t ready for or don’t like the feeling of a regular slide, sensory areas, music features and more! Photos of the roller slide, an accessible play pad, and a colorful pod with features for pulling, balancing and climbing are shown below, but to really appreciate the playground, take a look at the FPRD’s video tour of the site.

Virtual Playground Tour 

Click the speaker icon at bottom right of the video to hear the tour explanation.  

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People served by DDRC and their families:

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!