THINKing+change E-newsletter

THINK+change is The Arc of Aurora's 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.

THINKing+change is our E-newsletter about  TALKS, TRAININGS, TOOLS to help in your work for/with people with IDD  

Year 3         |          Issue  6      |          June 2020
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

As a lifelong learner and a lifelong educator, 27+ years of which have been spent working for and with people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities at The Arc of Aurora including four managing the work of  THINK+change, I am retiring on June 30. One of the first lessons I learned from our executive director Darla Stuart 27 years ago is that training and education are the least intrusive forms of advocacy. I leave still committed to the mission of THINK+change and look forward to continuing to advocate in a more distanced fashion - how relevant amid a pandemic! If we all continue to learn as if we were to live forever, the world will be a better place not only for each of us, but for all who experience misunderstanding, injustice, and inequality, including our neighbors with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I look forward to continuing to learn in my retirement and encourage each of you to, likewise ...

Learn on! ~ Jean
Want to make a donation in honor of Jean? Visit The Arc of Aurora's  Colorado Gives donation page!
Greetings THINKing+change-ers!
It is with mixed feelings that Jean has announced her retirement from The Arc of Aurora. Red Pen Rita, as her coworkers affectionately called her, has made an immeasurable impact in the lives of children and adults with I/DD, their families and the professionals in their lives. To our dearest Jean, we wish you all the best and know you will not be far. We hope you enjoy a happy, healthy, and well-deserved vacation! 

THINK+change will continue with the same gusto and enthusiasm amid Jean's departure, and future THINK+change communications will come from me, Erica Dennison. My career in the I/DD field spans nearly 17 years. This includes working a variety of roles including home and community-based services (HCBS); disability case management; public policy at The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing for The State of Colorado; and finally landing at The Arc of Aurora in 2017. On a personal level, my brother has an I/DD. Because of him, I'm driven to make sure all people with disabilities are included, supported, and cared for with the same dignity and respect we all deserve. I am extremely dedicated to the standards of person-centered practices and self-determination, and I am a strong believer in educating persons about disability rights.
In this issue, check out a new Breaking the Barrier of Disability Bias  TALKS resource, a vodcast/podcast about forensic interviewing, and our updated THINK+change catalog Have any questions about using our educational resources? Feel free to reach out to me directly.
Be kind to one another,
Erica Dennison
THINK+change TALKS are provocative, in-person or video shorts.
Disability Bias - Resources to Support Talking About it

The unrest in our country is encouraging many of us to reexamine our biases... our biases about race, in particular. THINK+change encourages you to also use this time of reflection to reexamine your bias about disability, and we have terrific resources to help you and your colleagues/teams do that. A while back we introduced you to our  Breaking the Barrier of Disability Bias  TALKS series. Today we'd like to introduce you to a new companion TOOL to that series, Breaking the Barrier of Disability Bias TALKS Discussion Guide . The purpose of having your team watch  Breaking the Barrier of  Disability Bias  TALKS and engage in the guided discussion provided via the  Guide   is to encourage them to consider how disability bias - theirs and others' - affects their work with citizens with disabilities.

Relevant resources from THINK+change - these to support exploring the role of disability bias in your work with citizens with disabilities.
THINK+change TRAININGS are in-person or online targeted educational opportunities.
Forensic Interviewing Victims with I/DD's

THINK+change interviewed  Scott Modell, Ph.D . , about forensic interviewing victims with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DDs). Dr. Modell is a nationally-recognized expert in the areas of child abuse, crime victims with disabilities, and the application of safety science to human services' agencies. This 1-part podcast/vodcast TRAINING offered by THINK+change provides basic information about:
  • Forensic interviewing;
  • How interviewing differs between children and adults with I/DDs; and
  • Best practices for interviewing victims with I/DD.
Click here to learn more about previously-featured TRAININGS
THINK+change TOOLS are tangible educational products.
THINK+change Catalog 

Because our product line is so extensive, we made it easy for you to find what you are looking for via the THINK+change digital catalog. This TOOL highlights nearly fifty TALKS, TRAININGS, and TOOLS designed to help in your work with individuals with I/DD.  Check out our extensive product offerings here .

The Arc of Aurora and THINK+change stand with communities of color and victims of racist motivated brutality. We recognize the importance of listening to and believing individuals who have experienced horrific injustices, and we recommit ourselves to further our work as a civil and human rights organization. 

To read our full statement, please click here .
Have questions about anything in this newsletter?  Connect with a human.

At THINK+change, we provide the extraordinary service that we want to experience ourselves. You're not going to run into an outrageously lengthy phone menu when you call us, and your email isn't going to the inbox black hole. 

So give us a shout and l et's do something awesome together!

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