training and education program that strives to change knowledge, attitude, and behavior to ultimately improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (IDD), their families, and the professionals in their lives.
Greetings THINK+changers!
As we close out 2022, I want to thank you for supporting The Arc of Aurora’s social enterprise, THINK+change. Thank you to our followers for remaining inquisitive, thank you to our sponsors for partnering with us to generate positive social impact, and thank you to my team for having an innovative vision to build meaningful dialogue around topics and issues affecting people with disabilities. Consider some of our 2022 achievements:
  • Reached 728 student enrollments on our online course platform THINK+change Academy;
  • Established over 83,000 video impressions via our Vodcasts and storytelling TALKS series;
  • Facilitated solutions-focused educational presentations at 5 conferences;
  • Reached 2,000+ podcast downloads; and 
  • Stretched our educational content reach to 48 states and 58 countries!
If you enjoy our one-of-a-kind offerings and want to get involved, we are seeking sponsors for upcoming 2023 THINK+change products! Email me to request 2023 sponsorship information to view our product plans for next year and to learn how you can be linked with a progressive social enterprise.
Thank you again for your ongoing support, and please enjoy your educational products this quarter:
Storytelling/mini-documentary TALKS series
Online THINK+change Academy TRAININGS course
Podcast/vodcast TRAININGS series
Happiest of Holidays to you and yours. Stay curious!

Erica Dennison
THINK+change and Programs' Director
Provocative, in-person or video shorts
Businesses Changing the Status Quo: Shifting the Face of Disability Employment
“I think we need to make to make the systems work for the people, not for the systems. People are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for, we just have to give them opportunity.”
– Damon McLeese, Executive Director of Access Gallery

Did you know that people with disabilities experience higher rates of unemployment than those without disabilities? This mini-documentary series features five businesses working to change that fact! In the Businesses Changing the Status Quo: Shifting the Face of Disability Employment TALKS series, hear from the restaurant, health care, visual arts, entrepreneurship, and retail perspectives on ways to create opportunity and support employees with disabilities. It’s simpler than you think! 

Why you should watch
  • Understand that employing people with disabilities is not just a socially-conscious action, it's also a smart business decision;
  • Learn how these businesses are taking simple and easy steps to accommodate and support their employees with disabilities;
  • Discover how someone with a disability can become an entrepreneur and why that may be the best career path for them; and
  • Introduce yourself to business strategies and programs that can ensure meaningful, Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) for your employees!

Who should watch
  • Short-staffed businesses;
  • Businesses interested in creating an accessible environment for their employees;
  • Individuals with disabilities seeking career path ideas, including self-employment;
  • Professionals, Families, or Caretakers that support people with disabilities;
  • Advocacy organizations; and
  • Disability organizations.
Prefer a podcast? This series is also available as a full-length podcast on Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and Spotify.
In-person or online targeted education opportunities
Adulting 101: Molding the Path to Adulthood
What happens when a young adult with a developmental disability (DD) turns 18? How can you and your young adult prepare for the transition into adulthood? It can be daunting to begin that planning, but it doesn't have to be! There are plenty of resources and professionals out there to help you figure out how to navigate the educational transition plan, prepare for higher education or employment, help you get the right Home and Community-Based services, answer questions about guardianship and finances, and MUCH MORE!

To help better navigate common questions, THINK+change interviewed professionals who have expertise in helping individuals with DD and their families transition into adulthood!

Episode 1: What is a Transition Plan?
Featuring Gail Lott, EdD from the Colorado Department of Education
  • Timeline for a Transition Plan;
  • Purpose of a Transition Plan;
  • The relationship between the Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Plan, and Transition Plan; and
  • How to advocate and make the most of Transition Plan services.
Episode 2: Higher Education & Accommodations
Featuring Shayna Laing from IN!
  • What Inclusive Higher Education Programs are and if it's right for a student;
  • College application timeline throughout grade school;
  • The difference between accommodations and modifications; and
  • How to utilize a Disability Services Office to receive ADA accommodations in higher ed.
Episode 3: Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)
Featuring Carol Meredith from The Arc Arapahoe, Douglas, & Elbert Counties
  • Overview of HCBS waivers in Colorado;
  • How to transition from child to adult HCBS waivers;
  • Timeline for transitioning to an adult HCBS waiver; and
  • Living arrangement options for an adult with IDD.
Episode 4: Guardianship & Finances
Featuring Yvette Plummer from Show and Tell
  • What happens to guardianship rights of an individual at age 18;
  • Supportive alternatives to filing for guardianship;
  • How public benefits change at age 18; and
  • Charging room and board in the family home.
Episode 5: Let's Talk about Employment
Featuring Serina Gilbert and Cheryl Carver from the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
  • Overview of DVR in Colorado;
  • Ways DVR works with schools to create local pre-employment programs;
  • Employment services and programs offered by DVR;
  • How you can access DVR's programs and services; and
  • Tips on how families can help an individual with a disability prepare for employment.

Why you should tune in
Transitioning to adulthood can be a scary time for all of us! But it's important to remember that this is an EXCITING time in everyone's life as well! Tune into this series to clear up the unknowns so young adults with IDD and their families can make the best of these years and mold an exceptional path to adulthood!
Online Romance Scams, Sextortion, & People with IDD
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are increasingly becoming victims of online romance scams and sextortion. In partnership with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, this THINK+change Train-the-Trainer course provides step-by-step instructions, questions, and videos to be used by those that serve and support adults with IDD to provide instruction about online romance scams.

Included in this course are individual video links of Hazel Heckers, a Victim Assistance Coordinator with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation providing an in-person training to those with IDD about online romance scams.

The individual videos have been edited to review 9 topics including:

  • What is a Romance Scam?
  • Scammers are Criminals
  • What is Sextortion?
  • Who are the Scammers?
  • Anyone Can Be a Victim
  • Predator Tricks
  • How Might You Feel When You’ve Been a Victim of a Scam?
  • What if I am a Victim?
  • Tips to Reduce Risk, Be Safe, and Report

What to expect
  • 90-minute, self-paced, video slide-based presentation;
  • Instructors: Erica Dennison from The Arc of Aurora/THINK+change; with guest speaker, Hazel Heckers, Victim Assistance Coordinator with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI);
  • Downloadable TOOLS including a Train-The-Trainer Guide and How To Do A Google Image Search;
  • Closed captioning in English; and a
  • Digital Certificate of Completion for entire course achievement.

Who should take this course
  • Agencies who serve and support those with IDD, caregivers, and advocates. This guide can be used in IDD settings such as day programs, family discussions, residential programming, and advocacy organizations.

This training is made possible through support from Colorado Developmental Disabilities CouncilArc Thrift StoresDevelopmental Pathways, and The Arc of Aurora.
Tangible educational products
20% off Communication Quick Tips and Posters
THINK+change TOOLS are tangible resources for professionals and businesses to utilize in their support of people with disabilities. They are a GREAT way to reinforce education and encourage inclusive language and actions throughout the community! In addition to the many free downloadable TOOLS, we have physical products that you can order for a shipping and handling fee!

From now through January 31st, 2023, use coupon code 20off to get 20% off of our Every Victim Matters and Every Customer Matters posters, as well as the Communication Quick Tips.

  • "Every Victim Matters" Poster - Hang the 20″x29″ Every Victim Matters poster in your lobby, break room, or other location in your building to display your company’s awareness and best practices for supporting victims with disabilities. The poster offers basic information about the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and interacting with victims who are, blind or visually impaired, Deaf or hard of hearing, have a Service Animal, use a wheelchair, and have Developmental Disabilities.

  • "Every Customer Matters" Poster - Hang the 20″x29″ Every Customer Matters poster in your lobby, break room, or other location in your building to display your company’s awareness and best practices for working and interacting with people with disabilities. The poster offers basic information about ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) defined disabilities, ADA in the workplace, and interacting with a customer who is blind, Deaf or hard of hearing, has a Service Animal, and uses a wheelchair.

  • Communication Quick Tips - provides tips for communicating with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This 6th edition TOOL is perfect for law enforcement, adult protection workers, justice professionals, and others in the community who interact with citizens with IDD. We have both National and Colorado versions available.

Click the button below to go to the order webpage, choose the quantities of each product you would like to order, and enter 20off into the coupon code bar that will appear under "Amount Due". Fill out your payment and shipping info and you'll be on your way to receiving your THINK+change TOOLS!
See what the TOOLS look like! Click the thumbnail below to view a video about the posters and Quick Tips or go to:
THINK+change Catalog
THINK+change has been creating original content for 5 years and our THINK+change catalog features all TALKS TRAININGS and TOOLS we have developed and produced to help you in your work for and with people with disabilities.

Why you should explore
We have over sixty (60) original content-based TALKS, TRAININGS, and TOOLS in one easy place covering topics such as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Special Education, Victimization, Self-Determination, The Americans with Disabilities (ADA), and MUCH MORE!
Want more information about any THINK+change TALKS, TRAININGS, or TOOLS? Just ask – we'd love to connect.
Use any of the below podcast platforms? You can listen to us there too!
Erica Dennison
THINK+change & Programs Director
P: 720-213-1420 ex. 107