Advances and Setbacks
from | By  Robert B. Fleming, CELA 
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March "Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month." The deinstitutionalization movement of the seventies and early eighties had laid the foundation for significant social change, and the presidential proclamation called upon Americans to provide the "encouragement and opportunities" necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their potential.

As those citizens began living within the general community in larger numbers, programs to provide career planning, job coaching and supported employment began to emerge. The idea that individuals with developmental disabilities could become productive members of the workforce was new to many people, and entrenched preconceptions had to be overcome. Advocates recognized a moral imperative to engage individuals with developmental - and other - disabilities. With passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, workplace discrimination against people with disabilities became sanctionable.

The expectations of young people with developmental disabilities and their parents began to shift.   Read the full article here...



"Rocking and Rolling Through the Decades" was the monthly theme at Liberty Heights Memory Care. The song, "Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley sparked an idea for a fun intergenerational activity. The idea was to spruce up a Teddy Bear that can be given to a warm and loving home and to people who would love to have "Tony the Teddy" (as the Memory Care residents named him) as a permanent resident.  The idea was to have the teddy bear be a positive inspiration to the home that he would finally reside at and for the people who filled the home each day. The positive affirmations that were placed on Tony are meant to make people smile, feel confident and know that life is good.

"You were made to be AWESOME!"
"I believe in myself and my abilities"
"I can make a difference"

Tony the Teddy was given to the kids at Zach's Place and is very happy to be in such a loving home!  We thank Laura Kozlowski, Legacy Court Director at Liberty Heights Memory Care and all the residents that participated in this thoughtful project.  

Liberty Heights Memory Care | 12105 Ambassador Dr. COSprings, CO 80921 | (719) 481-5225

During Parent's Night Out event at Zach's Place center


Socialization is an important goal for our youth at Zach's Place at The Laurie Hillyard Family Center. We offer a unique opportunity to meet this goal.   Our February Parent's Night Out event was successful.   Volunteers and staff played car races with the kids, helped with craft projects, played games, musical chairs and read books to keep the kids entertained while parents were given a very needed break.

Zach's Place will be hosting a Parent's Night Out the 2nd Saturday of every other month giving parents the opportunity to take a well deserved break!

April 8, 2017
5:30pm - 8:30pm
Theme: Easter Springtime
Activities include: arts & crafts, games, prizes and dinner

Registration & intake process is required for participation.  $15/child for kids of all abilities and ages 3-21.  RSVP required; call 719-329-1717 or email: zachsplace  Limited space.   Click here to print flyer


Yvonne Pace is a Physical Therapist for over 30 years and has volunteered with SKSF's Joey's Place Adult Program for about four years now.  She volunteers her time and gives training classes to SKSF employees such as use of the Hoyer Lift, Gait Belt and using proper body mechanics.  Recently, Yvonne volunteered her time to teach "The Use Of a Gait Belt" which was such valuable training and enables our employees to be up-to-date with their training classes and requirements. 

In addition to working at Amazing Care Home Health Services as a Rehab/Therapy Supervisor, she's also works with individuals in a Therapeutic Pool setting, and offers  education in the health benefits of Essential Oils. To find more details about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or visit Amazing Care Home Health Services

Yvonne's expertise and dedicated time is priceless and
we are happy to have her as an SKSF volunteer!

We'd like to acknowledge the several volunteers and donors that recently helped beautify our Adult Services facility. 

The volunteer painting crew included Shkak Yousuf, Jessica Serna, Paul Walker and Gary Dedman.  This project was completed in a little over a week in order to prepare before the carpet was installed (thanks to an anonymous donation).  It needed to be done on the weekends and evenings so as not to disturb our clients' usual routines.  This crew worked very hard tearing off baseboards, patching drywall holes and painting.  

Additional thanks goes out to Jamie Kelley at California Casualty Management Company (1650 Tel Star Drive, CO Springs) for arranging a HUGE furniture donation that included, desks, chairs, tables, credenzas, mail sorters, & file cabinets.  

We'd also like to thank The Home Depot (102 N. Academy Road, CO Springs) for their donation of gallons of top of line Glidden burgundy & Behr brown paint,  In addition, thanks to The Home Depot (2250 Southgate Road, CO Springs) for even MORE paint!

The painting, carpet and new furniture was a great upgrade to the facility and now looks very professional thanks to you!

Shkak Yousef &
Gary Dedman

Paul Walker

Jessica Serna

Are you interested in volunteering?

Peak Producers

Thanks to Peggy Carmack, Coordinator at Peak Producers, for inviting SKSF Executive Director, Linda Ellegard to speak at a recent event to explain our valuable services for individuals with disabilities.  Bill McAfee, Peak Producers Treasurer & co-owner of Empire Title, presented Linda with a check for $1,000 to help fund our programs! The Peak Producers are top producing Real Estate professionals, collectively inspiring and enhancing the Pikes Peak Region by giving back to the community formed in 2009.  Thanks so much for your support!


"Giving back to our local communities is a Core Value of NuStar Energy. Through NuStar's continued support we are able to help Special Kids Special Families help special needs people and their families."
John Butts, Lead I&E Technician at NuStar Energy L.P.
NuStar volunteers - known as the "NuStar Superstars" - are active in their communities and spend many hours of their personal and professional time serving their communities through projects such as fundraising initiatives, community clean-up events and educational outreach programs. In 2016 alone, NuStar employees contributed 95,000 volunteer hours to charitable and civic causes in the communities where the company has operations.

NuStar is one of SKSF's leading event sponsors, supporting our annual Bowlathon for the past 8 years in addition to supporting our other events like The Night of Comedy. For several years now, the NuStar Superstars also help organize and support our annual Christmas Holiday party with their volunteer and donation efforts!

The commitment NuStar has shown to our organization over the years is PRICELESS! We value their continued partnership and volunteer efforts!  Thank you so much!


March 11, 2017
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Theme: Jump & Climb!
Sibshops is a monthly program run by SKSF connecting and supporting siblings of children with disabilities (grades K-6th), helping them recognize a community of peers in similar situations. Through fun and age appropriate activities with their peers, they develop bonds, understanding and a support group all their own.

Advanced Registration is required and space is limited!  Sibshops is sponsored by   The Arc Pikes Peak Region .

For future dates, to print a flyer, or to be placed on our E-mailing list contact: 
ulie at 719-375-9285 or  Linda at 719-447-8983 x19 or

Don't miss this annual traditional SKSF fundraising event!

$30/person; $15/child - includes 2 games of bowling, shoe rental, goodie bag & participation in contest prizes and drawing.

All proceeds from this event help support programming for  children & adults with disabilities and their families.

All proceeds from this drawing will help benefit SKSF
respite care programs supporting children and adults
with disabilities and special needs.

With a generous donation made by the Denver Nuggets ® / Kroenke Sports Charities, Special Kids Special Families (SKSF) is offering a wonderful opportunity to attend the Denver Nuggets vs. the Houston Rockets NBA game
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Pepsi Center, Denver | 7:30pm
Drawing held Friday, March 10th
Winners will be notified via email and/or phone.
Tickets will be mailed (to address indicated on PayPal) or be picked up (at 424 W Pikes Peak Avenue). One (1) entry for every $25 donation made
(example: $50 donation = 2 entries, $75 donation = 3 entries, etc..).

Visit online for more information at

Please welcome Morgan McBroom!
Early Teacher
Zach's Place Program

Please welcome Melissa Miles!
Foster Care Home Supervisor
CPA/Foster Care Program

Please welcome Cheryl Graham!
Direct Care Provider
Zach's Place Program

Please welcome Ashley Corey!
Adult Mentor
Joey's Place Program

for the following positions