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On March 20-22, organizations from across the nation met in Washington D.C. for the 2017 Disability Policy Seminar. The seminar offered an opportunity to unite with passionate advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals in the field to learn and discuss key issues related to the developmental disability community on Capitol Hill.

 

5 Organizations Represent Colorado

All in all, 32 Coloradans were in attendance from 5 organizations: Developmental Pathways, The Arc of Colorado and local chapters, JFK Partners, The Alliance, and the DD Council. The Disability Policy Seminar featured the topic of healthcare, specifically the future of programs like social security and Medicaid. All of our organizations believe in the importance of Medicaid dollars for supporting folks with I/DD. Additionally, we desire to see Medicaid continue to prioritize critical long term supports and deter at-risk individuals from defaulting to institutionalized care. The team from Colorado brought the stories of you- the people we’re honored to serve- to the table. In return, we hope your experiences influence positive policy changes moving forward.

 

Aside from the national level, we’ve seen how the local community can build a network of support for people with disabilities. Our own CEO, Melanie Worley, spoke to the group on the importance of generating local support for people with I/DD. She shared how Arapahoe County and Douglas County have demonstrated their backing of our mission in several ways. These counties have shown that they support individuals with I/DD and understand the ongoing funding crisis for this vulnerable population. As a result, voters in both counties passed a referendum in 2001 approving a mill levy that supports thousands of individuals in need annually. This backing from our community is crucial to meeting the needs of folks waiting for state and federally funded services. Want to know more about the widespread effect of mill levy dollars? Look for our 2016 report coming to the website later this month.

 

Thank you!

Finally, we’d like to thank our local towns and counties for empowering our mission to strengthen families and communities. We strive to listen to your concerns and represent your interests alongside the other incredible organizations in our state. To learn more about the local or national issues that impact individuals with I/DD, contact us at: info@dpcolo.org.