Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Fly Like An Eagle" with the Steve Miller Band

Residents from Imagine!'s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder, and the Santa Fe Home in Broomfield had a blast at the Steve Miller Band concert earlier this month at Red Rocks. Donna and Gerald who reside at our Santa Fe Home joined their good friends and former housemates, Rebecca and John from our Boulder SmartHome, for a rocking night full of good tunes and dancing. Thank you to Ian Griffin, Sarah Fenton, and Haylee Boggs for helping out and taking pictures!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Imagine!'s CORE/Labor Source Art Show and Performance

Last Friday, July 17 Imagine!'s CORE/Labor Source program held an Art Show and Performance at the Diary Center for the Arts in Boulder.

Among the many artists present at the event were Mandy and her housemate Lana, who reside at Imagine!’s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome. They spoke with guests and answered questions about their original artwork, which was enjoyed by all. Congratulation to the artists and performers on a great show!

Below are a few more pictures that we captured at the show, that we hope you will enjoy!



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award: July 2015

Congratulations are in order for Brodie Shulze, who works for Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source (CLS) department, on being selected as the July 2015 recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Below is some information from Brodie’s nomination, which ably demonstrates why he was selected as this month’s recipient:

Ever since Brodie joined the Longmont CLS team he has been nothing but positive and supportive to the individuals in our services. Brodie has a way of presenting himself that makes everyone around him feel at ease. He is calm, patient, creative, independent, and caring. He embodies the heart and dedication of our program, which gives CLS staff, consumers, providers, and community partners confidence in him and his abilities. Brodie never fails to complete his daily tasks and is often found supporting his team by picking up extra tasks to make someone else's life easier, all the while wearing a smile on his face. In recent months, Brodie really stepped up and took on a more involved role in CLS as we struggled with low staffing numbers. He came up with creative scheduling solutions, offered his time and energy, and took it upon himself to initiate problem solving to aid the flow of each and every day. I can honestly say that I have never heard a complaint or seen an exasperated sigh. Because of his character, everyone supported by Brodie is receiving supports that go above and beyond.

Great work, Brodie, and congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Imagine! That

This coming Sunday, representatives of Imagine! will be out in the community at two separate events, sharing our story and the many successes of the individuals who accept services from us. If you are in Boulder, stop by and say “hi” at:

On Sunday, July 26, from noon-4:00 PM, the Boulder Public Library, the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation's EXPAND Program, and The Center for People With Disabilities will be hosting a celebration honoring the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Events will take place on the Boulder Civic Area lawn and in the meeting spaces at the library. There will be exhibits, music, movies, and more. Imagine! will have an information table at the event, so join us there to celebrate the empowerment and greater quality of life for all Americans since the passage of the ADA.

Also on Sunday, July 26, from 3:00-7:00 PM, representatives from Imagine! will be interacting with shoppers and sharing information about Imagine! and our CORE/Labor Source program at the Safeway on 2798 Arapahoe in Boulder. Safeway will be selling hot dogs to passersby, and Imagine! will receive a portion of the proceeds! Thank you, Safeway!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Concert at the Chales Family Smarthome in Longmont

Earlier this month, Stephen Beal performed a classical music concert at the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont as part of the “Innovations Summer Concert Series.” Russ Christiansen, Charles Family SmartHome supervisor came up with the idea to invite local musicians to share their music with the people residing at Imagine!’s group homes over the next several weeks this summer. Stephen’s concert at the Charles Family SmartHome was enjoyed by all in attendance, and everyone at the concert appreciated the time and talent that he so graciously shared.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits in Colorado

If you have a serious medical condition that prevents you from working and earning a gainful living in Colorado, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. It’s important to understand that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has two programs under which disabled individuals are able to receive monthly assistance:

Some people with disabilities are able to meet the qualification requirements for both of these programs. Others are only eligible for one or the other. To receive benefits through either program you must first meet the SSA’s medical criteria to prove that you have a disability.

Medical Eligibility and Colorado Social Security

Most adults and children who receive disability benefits in the state of Colorado do so by having a medical condition that appears in the SSA’s Blue Book. This book is a detailed list of recognized mental, physical, and psychological impairments that result in severe disability. Each listing describes the condition as well as the medical evidence the SSA must see in order to approve benefits.

Some people who don’t meet a Blue Book listing are able to qualify for SSDI and/or SSI through additional reviews and appeals. However, meeting a Blue Book listing is the simplest method to qualify for a benefit.

The Blue Book contains listings for adults and children, allowing applicants and their healthcare providers to review the necessary medical tests and other documentation needed to support a disability claim.

SSDI and SSI Technical Eligibility

Medically qualifying for benefits is only part of the review process. Applicants must also meet program-specific technical eligibility rules.
  • For SSDI benefits, a recent work history is necessary and disabled workers must have a minimum number of work credits accumulated. Credits are earned through paying Social Security taxes for the years you worked. The number of credits required is influenced by your age at the time that you become disabled, but generally you must have between 20 and 40 credits to qualify.
  •  For SSI benefits, there are no work history requirements, but you must meet the SSA’s financial threshold limits. SSI is need-based and therefore takes your income and other financial resources into account when determining eligibility. The SSA only counts certain types of income and resources, which means many disabled adults and children are able to meet eligibility rules.
SSI Eligibility and Colorado Supplemental Benefits

As a disabled resident of Colorado, you may have additional benefits available to you, including:
  • Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND), which is a state-funded supplement to SSI benefits. The program pays benefits to qualified applicants who:
    • Meet low income requirements
    • Are between the ages of 18 and 59
    • Have a disability that is expected to last at least six months
  • Aid to the Blind (AB), which offers financial assistance to blind residents while they wait for federal SSI benefits to kick in.
To apply for either of these programs, you should contact your County Department of Social/Human Services. To find the location and contact information for your county office, visit Colorado Department of Human Services.

Medicaid and SSI

If you live in Colorado and are approved for federal SSI benefits, your SSI application automatically triggers your Medicaid application. Medicaid is a health coverage program for low-income residents. The date of eligibility for SSI and Medicaid is the same, so that when SSI benefits begin, your Medicaid benefits start as well.

Getting Benefits in Colorado

Only about 41 percent of people who apply for SSDI in Colorado are able to receive benefits without going through additional reviews or appeals. SSI applications have an initial application approval rate of around 27 percent. It is possible to get approved, even if you must file an appeal, but building a strong disability claim from the start increases your approval chances.
  • You can apply for SSDI online via the SSA’s website, but you can also schedule an appointment with your local SSA office to apply with the assistance of a representative.
  • SSI applications require a personal appointment and cannot be submitted online.
Most big cities in Colorado have more than one SSA office, but there are branch locations in many smaller communities as well. Here are just a few of the locations at which SSD applications can be completed:
  • Aurora – 14280 E. Jewell Ave., Aurora, CO 80012
  • Boulder – 4949 Pearl East Circle, Boulder, CO 80301
  • Denver – 1500 Champa St., Denver, CO 80202
  • Grand Junction – 825 N. Crest Dr., Grand Junction, CO 81506
  • Pueblo – 3769 Parker Blvd., Pueblo, CO 81008
To schedule an appointment at any of these locations, you should call the SSA’s main phone line at 1-800-772-1213, or if you are hearing impaired, call 1-800-325-0778.

Thank you to Deanna Power, who works as a Community Outreach Manager at Social Security Disability Help for writing and sharing this information via Imagine! Voices.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Apple To Restore Full Function To Aida Reminder

We’ve spoken several times on this blog about “Kara’s Own Voice,” a campaign to convince Apple to restore functionality to Aida Reminder, a voice reminder app. Well, we’re excited to share that Apple has confirmed that the release of iOS 9 in September will bring back the full function of the Aida app and other voice prompting apps!

Check out this article to learn more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Imagine! Voluneers in Action: Kayla Rockwell

Today we’d like to give a big shout out to Kayla Rockwell, who has been volunteering with Charles Family SmartHome residents Toby and Stacey to offer one on one softball support so that they may participate in the Longmont SCOPE (Longmont Recreation Services' therapeutic recreation program committed to providing recreational programs and activities for people of all abilities) softball league this summer. Kayla volunteers each week for the hour long games and has been a great help out on the field! Thanks to Site Supervisor Russ Christiansen for sharing this story and the pictures below.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

4th of July Fireworks at Folsom Field with Rebecca and Johnny

On Saturday night, Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome Staff member Kevin Gray took Rebecca and Johnny to see the fireworks at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field. By all reports, they had a great time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Jessica Cheers Her Yankees

We received this photo the other day from Jessica! She shared with us that she believes that her New York Yankee inspired face paint and homemade rally cap will help take her Yankees to the World Series, and crown her team once again as World Champions!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

CORE/Labor Source Annual Art Show and Performance at the Dairy Center in Boulder


Monday, July 17, 6PM
The Dairy Center for the Arts
2590 Walnut Street, Boulder

Since 2008, Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source (CLS) program has held an annual celebration at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, where artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities share their artistic expressions. This year’s theme for the live performances and exhibits is “originality,” and consists of original choreography, poetry, song, as well as original interpretations of well-loved works that many will recognize. We are all very excited, and are looking forward to the artistic expressions that await us on July 17, 2015.

The CLS art show begins at 6:00 PM, and the live performances begin at 7:00 PM. We hope that we will see you there!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Imagine! Voluneers in Action: Evangelical Free Church of Canon City

In mid June, a youth group from the Evangelical Free Church of Canon City volunteered their time at the Boulder location of Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source (CLS) department, helping them to clean vehicles, pull weeds, as well as interacting with participants in an art class.

Jeff Rodarti, CORE/Labor Source Program Coordinator, told us, “This group of kids was one of the most enthusiastic groups to visit CLS. They were incredibly pumped to help with site and vehicle cleaning, and finished their time here by joining a giant dance party. The participants were stoked to have them.”

Below are a few pictures of the volunteers in action!