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April 2024 News

Self-Advocate Stands Tall at the State Capitol

Keith Walker, a self-advocate from Jeffco who receives services from DDRC, had the exciting honor of leading the Pledge of Allegiance in the senate chambers at the Colorado capitol as legislators recognized IDD Awareness Day on March 20.  

Senator Rachel Zenzinger, who represents Jeffco, escorted Keith to the dais as the senators began their morning.

Facing the flag and standing alongside Senator Steve Fenberg, President of the Senate, Keith confidently led the chamber in saying the pledge.

A tribute to the importance, progress and remaining challenges for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities was presented and read in both the house and senate chambers.

Senator Rachel Zenzinger (Jeffco) and Representative Shannon Bird (Jeffco) read the tribute in the senate and house chambers respectively, alongside co-presenting legislators, Sen. Rod Pelton and Rep. Ryan Armagost. 

See a Video of Keith in action leading the pledge ( 0:01- 2:40) and the reading of the IDD Tribute (6:15- 12:53)

Read the Tribute.


IDD Awareness Day at the state capitol is organized by Alliance Colorado, a statewide association of IDD providers, Community Centered Boards, and Case Management Agencies, along with The Arc, Colorado and JFK partners.

Award Honors & Recognition

We’ve got winners! DDRC is excited to share that two members of our staff received recognition at the statewide celebration of IDD Awareness Day.

Mamadou Ouattara, a Direct Support Professional (DSP) was chosen among hundreds of DSPs for the incredible honor of being the 2024 Direct Support Professional of the Year! DDRC is very proud and grateful to have him as a Lead Counselor in our Residential Department. 

Mamadou, who has been with DDRC for 15 years, stands out in a field of compassionate and experienced professionals. He is known for his advocacy, reliability, and positivity, his success with challenging situations, and an ability to develop relationships based on individuals’ values and needs.

Mamadou demonstrates adaptability and is trained to work at all our Quality Living Options residential settings. Does someone need to be picked up? Mamadou is on the way. A new medication needs to be delivered? Mamadou is your guy. Last minute sick call? Mamadou is there.

His dedication to give willingly of himself for the betterment of his colleagues, the organization, and most importantly for the people and communities he supports is truly outstanding. Congratulations Mamadou!  

Michelle Loose was nominated for the Case Manager of the Year award by DDRC. She is a past recipient of DDRC’s highly regarded Charlie Allinson Award, and is extremely knowledgeable, diligent, and caring in all she does. She has been an incredibly valuable member of our Case Management/ Resource Coordination Department for years and is a winner in our eyes! 

Coming Together to Celebrate Inclusion

Spring into Awareness during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month was a fun and meaningful evening. Fairfield Inn staff, DDRC Board members, DDRC participants, Jeffco Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper, West Metro Chamber members, and community friends new and old came together to support inclusion.   

Fairfield Inn- Denver West hosted the event to celebrate their 5th year anniversary and their commitment to diversity and inclusion through their hiring practices. The West Metro Chamber highlighted their learning and development programs and recognition of small, women and minority-owned businesses and nonprofits.

Rob DeHerrera, Executive Director, spoke about DDRC’s impact and ways for people to make a difference through their actions. Our employment services and behavioral health staff were also there to share about their services. 

Many warm thanks to Flights Wine Café in Arvada, Ballmer Peak Distillery in Lakewood, Fairfield Inn/ Denver West Federal Center and the West Metro Chamber for their collaboration and in-kind support that made the celebration so nice!

Case Management Transition Town Halls May 2 and May 14

Attention families, guardians and individuals in Jefferson and Clear Creek Counties currently receiving case management and resource coordination from DDRC for all Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities HCBS Waivers, State Supported Living Services and Family Support Services.

Mark your calendars to join a town hall discussion on the future of case management for Home and Community-Based Services hosted by the new Case Management Agency, Jefferson County Human Services, along with DDRC. We want to make sure everyone understands the upcoming case management transition and feels comfortable asking any questions. The town hall is for you, so please come prepared with any questions or concerns you may have. Your feedback is important to us, and we want to make sure we address your needs.

The town hall will be held twice and each of the two sessions will generally cover the same topics. Both sessions will offer in-person and virtual attendance options, and the virtual link will be posted on DDRC Website’s prior to these meetings (see “Case Management” blog on our homepage). Registration is not required but will assist us in planning logistics. We hope you will participate!

The dates, times and locations of the town halls are:


Thursday, May 2 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Jefferson County Courts & Admin Building, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden Co 8401

Tuesday, May 14 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at DDRC, 11177 W. 8th Ave, Lakewood 80215


NOTE: For individuals and families in Summit and Gilpin Counties, DDRC will be providing additional information about case management transitions later this spring. 

Case Management "At the Moment" Enewsletter

Jefferson County Human Services is doing a monthly enewsletter to provides updates on the progress and status of the Case Management Agency transition work. See the March 2024 issue.

Subscribe to the newsletter here (sign in, then scroll down to "Blog" and "Case Management Agency Blog").

HCPF Information Relating to Medicaid and Case Management Challenges

A "perfect storm" is happening right now in the IDD system under Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) with the convergence of three system changes: Case Management Redesign, the implementation of a new case management IT system called Care and Case Management (CCM) and the Public Health Emergency (PHE) unwind. The resulting changes and challenges are disrupting services for some individuals, families, providers and agencies.

HCPF is working earnestly to address these challenges. Please refer to their web site on "Stabilizing Long Term Services and Supports" to see the plans and actions they are undertaking to rectify these issues.

Funds Are Available for Families - Apply Soon!

Families are eligible to request DDRC Family Support Services Program funds if they have a family member with a developmental delay or disability living in the family home. Funding is available for services provided between July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, but it’s going quickly, so apply now!

You must submit your Most In Need (MIN) Assessment and Service Request form on or before April 30, 2024, to be considered for funds this fiscal year (which ends in June).  

For more information, the MIN and other application forms, please visit or contact your Resource Coordinator by calling 303.233.3363. Note! The administration of the Family Support Services Program (FSSP) is transferring from DDRC to Jefferson County Human Services, the new Case Management Agency effective 7/1/2024.

Save the Date to Join us June 15 to Celebrate 60 Years!

Save the date to join us for “DDRC-Offically60!” a celebration on June 15th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at the Arvada Center.

The remarkable resilience and reinvention of our services to meet the community’s needs has helped DDRC stay on course to fulfill our mission through six decades. That’s something to celebrate with our community, with the families that use our services - and, with YOU! 

Watch for additional information and registration information to come on DDRC Officially60!

Down Syndrome Webinar April 17 

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GDSF) is holding a webinar for families on tips for understanding and interpreting common labs that are often sent for people with Down Syndrome. Dr. Kishore Vellody, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Down Syndrome Center of Western Pennsylvania will lead the webinar. He says he became a pediatrician in part because of his relationship with his brother who he describes as smart, funny, caring, and who also has Down Syndrome.

The webinar, set for Wednesday, April 17 (12:00- 1:15 p.m. MT) is free for GDSF members and $10 for non-members. Registration is required. Registrants will receive an email confirmation with the meeting link and audio access information. Register: GLOBAL Webinars Registration | Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Surveys of Job Seekers/Employees with Disabilities and Employment Specialists

The Colorado Office of Employment First (COEF) and the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council (CDDC) are collaborating to collect data related to Employment First and people with disabilities entering or in the workforce through two different surveys which must be completed by May 3.

One of the surveys is geared to the experience of Job Seekers and Employees with disabilities in pursuing employment. People who fit this category may take this survey: Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management

The other survey is related to the impact of certificate training among Employment Specialists (Job Developers, Job Coaches, Employment Consultants) and the impact of being credentialed on the quality of the services that Employment Specialists provide. The data will be used to inform process improvement in the state of Colorado. Employment Support Professionals in Colorado who have taken any certificate training facilitated by COEF are invited to take this survey: Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management

Respondents to the surveys will be entered into a chance to win a gift card from COEF.

Reach out if you have questions or need support in completing either survey.

Thank You Loyal Friends for Sponsoring - You Can Get Involved Too

Once again, the Arvada Jefferson Kiwanis has stepped up to support DDRC’s work by sponsoring our 2024 Sunrise Safari Golf Tournament on August 12.

As an engaged civic group who thrives on making a difference, their past and continued support helps DDRC make an impact in the lives of the many individuals and families receiving our services.

Thank you, Arvada Jefferson Kiwanis!

This tournament is a cherished annual tradition, and we invite you to get involved too. To learn more about the DDRC/Developmental Disabilities Foundation Golf Tournament, play, become a sponsor, or volunteer, please click:

Sunrise Safari Aug. 12 🦒

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