Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Registration Is Open for Imagine!'s ASD Program

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Program at Imagine! is currently looking for individuals to enroll in the program with a funding start date of July 1, 2017. Now is the time to register your child to be considered for enrollment for the July 2017 through June 2018 fiscal year.

The ASD Program is a 3-year program that provides funding for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis to access therapeutic services such as Behavior Therapy, Psychological and Counseling Services, Social Integration Activities, Equipment recommended by medical professionals, etc. The program funding for the new fiscal year is as follows: 1st year-$5,000, 2nd year-$5,000, and 3rd year-$4,000.

In order to be eligible for the program, individuals must have a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, must live in Boulder County (there is currently a small Broomfield County Pilot Project with a waiting list), be over 5 years old and under 26 years old, and live at home with his or her parents or guardian (those over 18 living independently may request an exemption to this requirement). Please note that if an individual is eligible for or receiving other services funded by the Colorado Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through Imagine! (such as Family Support Services, or a waiver) they would not qualify for enrollment in the ASD Program.


Please visit www.imaginecolorado.org/ASD to complete a registration form and to view additional information about the program. Feel free to also contact Josie Shields, ASD Program Coordinator, at jshields@imaginecolorado.org or 303-926-6444 to learn more about this opportunity.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Respect: #SpreadTheWordToEndTheWord

With March 1, 2017, being the annual #SpreadTheWordToEndTheWord Awareness Day, the Innovations Advocacy Council would like to remind everyone that "Respect" starts with the words that we use on a daily basis.

The Innovations Advocacy Council understands that it is not always easy to stop using words that have become industry standards, but through the commitment of the people who provide services, the family members, and the individuals in services, a cultural change can occur.

The Power of a Word

Words can hold great power and it is through our words that we can potentially hurt or demean others. The council has created some alternative word choices to use:
  • Instead of using “consumer” or “client,” use “individuals with disabilities” or “people with disabilities,” or better yet, refer to our individuals simply as people and/or individuals.
  • Instead of using the terminology “high-functioning/low-functioning,” try to explain the parameters of the situation. For example, instead of saying high-functioning, you could say that the person is independent in the community and requires minimal supports. Instead of saying low-functioning, you could say the individual requires additional assistance with daily living tasks.
  • Above all else, we should never use the R-Word. While everyone understands that this is an official diagnosis, there are other ways in which to express the diagnosis such as developmental disability or intellectual disability, and plain and simple, this word is offensive regardless if it is used clinically or not.

For further information or to take the pledge, please visit the official website at #SpreadTheWordToEndTheWord.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Imagine!'s Volunteers

Imagine!’s Volunteer Program officially began five years ago (of course, we had volunteers before, but it was a loosely organized effort).

To celebrate five years of volunteerism at Imagine!, we have been sharing short videos highlighting five volunteers who have truly made a difference at Imagine!.

Choosing just five volunteers was very difficult – last year 379 volunteers donated 8,784 hours of their time to support Imagine!’s mission of creating a world of opportunity for all abilities!

We are grateful to them all, and hope that the five highlighted below serve as a great representation of the many generous folks who so kindly give back to their communities.

Inna Chang

Click here if you can’t see the video

Patrick McCue 

Click here if you can’t see the video

Zoe Polk

Click here if you can’t see the video

The Rusk Family

Click here if you can’t see the video

Leona Stoecker

Click here if you can’t see the video

For additional information about volunteer opportunities here at Imagine!, please contact Elizabeth Hill by telephone at 303-926-6460. or click here to send her an email.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group Update: February 2017

Pictured above (left to right) are Kathryn Craig, Jessica Gaylord,
Cameron Navis, Alicia Burdick, and MacKenzie Haering

Submitted by Alicia Burdick

On December 19, Imagine!’s Leadership Development Group (LDG) attended the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) briefing for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) at the State Capitol in Denver. HCPF oversees all Medicaid funded programs in Colorado, including the waiver programs operated by Imagine!.

According to the Colorado General Assembly website, the JBC is charged with studying the management, operations, programs, and fiscal needs of the agencies and institutions of Colorado state government. Throughout the year, the JBC holds a number of meetings and considers a range of documents to help prepare budget recommendations for the General Assembly.

The purpose of the briefing was to present the JBC with some of the major issues facing HCPF and allowed the committee to ask questions of the departments, who then have the opportunity to respond at a hearing, which occurs a few weeks later. JBC staff member Megan Davisson prepared the materials, presented to the JBC, and then reported the questions back to the departments to gather their responses for the hearing. If you’d like to read more, you can click here to read their questions and responses.

As a Case Manager, I found the briefing to be fascinating because it allowed me the opportunity to see how the issues that Imagine! and our families face are explained to legislatures who are often unfamiliar with how the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) system functions across Colorado. Interestingly, a large portion of Ms. Davisson’s presentation regarding HCPF was simply (or maybe not so simply) an overview of I/DD services, and Ms. Davisson provided numerous flow charts to explain the various levels of the I/DD system (federal, state, local, and individual). Because I am so immersed in this system as a Case Manager, I don’t always recognize how complicated the world we operate in truly is, and this presentation allowed me to take a step back and think about it from an outsider’s perspective.

Additionally, another large issue facing the department is Conflict Free Case Management, which involved HCPF submitting a plan that would comply with the federal rule requiring the separation of Case Management services and service delivery. This issue has the potential to have a large impact on Imagine!’s structure, but it is still not entirely clear what that will look like. However, for the first time, this briefing included an outline of a plan that the Department, Community-Centered Boards (CCBs), and providers can follow to ensure compliance. If you’re interested, you can see this plan in full by clicking here.

Attending the briefing was a unique opportunity and we enjoyed the chance to observe our government in action, while getting a glimpse of the larger picture and the impact that this system has on our jobs and the people we serve every day.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

SPARK - Igniting Autism Research to Improve Lives

Spark Logos.jpg

If you or your child has a professional diagnosis of autism, JFK Partners and Children’s Hospital Colorado invite you to learn more about SPARK, a new online research study sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative.

The mission of SPARK is clear: speed up research and advance understanding of autism by creating the nation’s largest autism study.

Joining SPARK is simple – register online and provide a DNA sample via a saliva collection kit in the comfort of your own home.

Register online by visiting SparkforAutism.org/JFKPartners, or by contacting us at 303-724-7366 or emailing spark@ucdenver.edu