The goal of adult advocacy is to help ensure a high quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Through consultation by telephone, email and/or personal meetings, our adult advocates help individuals with IDD and their families understand their rights and responsibilities in government-funded systems of care. Advocacy may be provided in the following areas: housing, employment, long-term supports and services through Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Adult advocates may also offer information and education about legal decision-making (guardianship or Power of Attorney), respite care, friendships and community connections. Our advocates represent the best interests of the individual with IDD in matters that involve family, case managers, caregivers, doctors, and in some cases law enforcement.
Contact an Adult Advocate
The goal of children’s advocacy is to help ensure a high quality of life for children with IDD in their home, school, and community. Our advocates focus on obtaining the best education possible, a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE), for children with disabilities under the laws that govern Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
We assist parents by helping them understand: their rights and responsibilities pursuant to the laws, measurable goals in Individualized Education Programs (IEP), Behavior Support Plans (BSP), and transition plans. Our advocates also assist families in understanding and accessing long-term care services and supports through Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program). We also counsel families on effective communication strategies with schools, medical professionals, and community services providers.
Educational advocacy is provided in Arapahoe & Douglas Counties; although part of the Cherry Creek School District is served by The Arc of Aurora. Click here to view the schools in the Cherry Creek School District served by each chapter.
Contact a Child Advocate
Our staff works to affect meaningful change in systems that support people with disabilities. This includes educating legislators on ways they can create or change laws to enhance the quality of life for our constituents. We are involved with many stakeholder groups at the state and local level and provide feedback regarding various rules, regulations, and programs. In our advocacy and policy work, we speak on behalf of individuals with IDD making sure they are included in matters involving transportation, housing, mental health care, and health insurance reform.
We make every effort to include our constituents and keep them informed about changes in public policy that will affect their lives. We utilize various forms of print and online media that includes action alerts (email campaigns), social media, and educational brochures. We also facilitate periodic workshops and candidate forums in the community.
You are encouraged to learn more about policy issues that affect people with disabilities, and sign up to receive action alerts. We need your help, get involved today!
Criminal Justice Advocacy
People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) have the right to justice and fair treatment in all areas of the criminal justice system, and must be afforded the supports and accommodations required to make justice and fair treatment a reality. (The Arc US, 2016)
The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties recognizes a need among legal professionals, first responders, and law enforcement to learn more about the obstacles people with disabilities (often invisible) face when accessing the justice system. With the guidance and support of our national chapter, we are working on ways we can collaborate across professions to effectively bridge the gaps in our criminal justice systems for people with IDD.
Learn more about our criminal justice advocacy efforts and The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability.