Your chapter of The Arc works to ensure that the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are recognized and acted upon at the state legislature every year. In 2021, we had to adjust to changes to schedules and providing remote testimony due to COVID, but we believe much was accomplished for the people we support and serve in Arapahoe and Douglas counties.
There are 15 chapters of The Arc in Colorado that are primarily funded from the profits from the arcThrift stores. The Arc of Colorado facilitates the public policy agenda with significant input and support from the 14 local chapters of The Arc across the state. This year The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas focused much of our attention on a project that we have been involved with for many years – crisis intervention and prevention for people with IDD and mental health needs. House Bill 21-1166 – Behavioral Health Crisis Response Training – passed out of both the House and the Senate and was signed by the Governor. It will provide training for case managers and similar professionals to provide evidence-based care navigation for this population of children and adults with IDD. For decades your chapter of The Arc has been focused on eliminating waiting lists for services and supports for our people. Over the years most of these waiting lists have been eliminated, but there are still people waiting in our community for access to 24/7 support through the HCBS-DD waiver. In 2021 the Joint Budget Committee funded over 500 resources to reduce this waiting list. We are grateful for the bi-partisan support in the Colorado legislature for people with IDD and their families.
Please take a look at this link: https://thearcofco.org/public-policy/ to access the public policy agenda for 2021, a report on how your representative and senator voted on the bills that we supported and ways to get more involved in public policy.
Please remember that we are a reflection of you – our members. As you look through these reports if something comes to mind that you would like to see implemented in our community that would better the lives of children and/or adults with disabilities and their families, please share your ideas with us. Just email Carol Meredith at [email protected] and we can set up a time to talk.
Written by Carol Meredith – Executive Director