Thursday, March 29, 2018

Imagine! New Employees

We present to you the newest edition of employees in the Imagine! family!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

March Is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This year’s Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month theme is “See Me for Me!” – expressing a desire that we all look beyond a person’s disability and see that person for who they really are.

Each week has a sub-theme, and we’ve been sharing videos on our Facebook page throughout the month that highlight those themes. As the month comes to a close, we encourage you to take a look and to consider what you can do to make sure we all are able to “See Me For Me!” in all our interactions.

 Week 1 – “See Me As Your Classmate” 

Week 2 – “See Me As Your Coworker”


Week 3 – “See Me As Your Neighbor” 


Week 4 – See Me As Your Friend”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero - Shelly Crawford

Imagine!’s Case Management department works with many great people. To show their appreciation, each month they choose an “Unsung Hero” within the department. Case Managers, support staff, and Case Management supervisors all put in nominations describing what the person has contributed to go above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Shelly Crawford as this month’s Unsung Hero!

Imagine! recently had State surveyors here at the end of January to review over 200 client files. Though everyone worked hard to ensure the review was a success, there is one person in particular we would like to recognize. This individual was a key player and power house during the week the surveyors were here. This person helped us locate those documents and helped research at least 78 different document questions, and provided hours of support to the Case Management Supervisors. She also provided helpful background and perspective about our process with DD Determination Documents. 

Shelly Crawford, you win the gold medal! We can’t say thank you enough for all of your help as our Document Management Clerk!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Today is World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. Imagine! believes that all people with Down syndrome must have opportunities to contribute to the community and live valued lives, included on a full and equal basis with others, in all aspects of society. People with Down syndrome can and do bring so much to the community, wherever they live around the world, when given the opportunity.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Brenna Wins Gold!

Brenna Graham lives in Louisville, CO and accepts services from Imagine!. She shared her story with Imagine!'s Public Relations team on her recent successes at the 2018 Winter Games.

Late last month, Brenna Graham competed in the 2018 Special Olympic Winter Games in Copper Mountain, CO. This was her 17th year participating and took home three gold medals for snowboarding in Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super Giant Slalom. 

Brenna first stepped into a pair of skis in her early teens and tried that for a couple of years. “The skis would cross over each other and I kept falling,” said Brenna. She noticed her peers riding the board and liked how it looked and gave it a try. “It worked out better. I have better balance and I like how my body moves with the board.”

In preparation for the competition, Brenna worked on smoothing out her turns and perfecting a fluid motion around each flag. “She gets better every day,” said her coach, David Graham, also her husband. This is David’s first year coaching Brenna. “When I’m not coaching, I like to volunteer and help people with their gear,” said David. The couple met at a Winter Games event seven years ago.

“Sports are a big part of my life,” said Brenna. With a history of sports in her family, she draws inspiration from her parents to compete, who are also athletes. With snowboard season coming to an end, Brenna has no trouble staying busy. This summer, she will continue to swim with Special Olympics, and would also like to try track and field for the first time.

Five years ago, Brenna participated in the X Games in Aspen,
CO, which really opened her eyes to the sport. “I got to meet Hannah Teter!” Said Brenna. Hannah is a three time snowboard medalist from the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.

I asked Brenna, “What do you tell yourself when you’re on the slopes and feeling tired or worn out?” She replied, “I just push through. There is a sense of freedom while riding down the slopes, if I need support, I’ll just turn to the people around me.”

Congrats, Brenna on another successful season and thank you for sharing your story with us!

Imagine! Leadership Development Group Update

Submitted by Brodie Schulze

Next week, Imagine!’s LDG members have the opportunity to attend a training through the Employer’s Council called “How Great Leaders Build Trust.” This training is one that all of us are excited to attend for one primary reason: it focuses on how important trusting and believing in employees is for an organization. Not just any employee however, but especially those who are on the front lines of services. This training instills the idea that those at the front are the most important individuals in an organization and have much to offer.

One example of an organization that embodies this idea is Toyota, the world’s leading car manufacturing company (as measured by profit and reliability). According to the author of The Future of ManagementGary Hamel, American car manufacturers studied Toyota for twenty years and they determined that American companies could not match Toyota’s success for only one reason: American organizations did not believe in their employees the way their Japanese counterparts did. Toyota truly valued everyone in the organization, while American companies discounted those at the bottom as “cogs in a machine.” Many companies are now recognizing that this approach can dramatically impact their ability to provide quality services and products and have begun adopting these ideas. Companies such as Whole Foods, Google, and Gore-Tex are included among that group. 

We are excited to attend this training and learn how we can continue to push Imagine! and all of its departments in this direction because we on the LDG also believe that those on the front lines of service are the most valuable and deserve to be trusted. We have seen their hard work and ideas change not only the organization, but the lives of those we serve, and we want front line staff to have more opportunities to affect change. We agree with Imagine!’s commitment to embrace a bottom up philosophy and are looking forward to how we can take what we learn at this training and provide more opportunities for growth in this area.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Imagine!'s Family Support Bulletin - March/April

The March/April Imagine! Family Support Bulletin is available online.

Imagine! Innovations Super Hero of the Month: Connor Henderson

Every month, Imagine!’s Innovations department presents the “Super Hero of the Month” award to the employee or provider who has best demonstrated excellence in one or more of our Innovations Quality Standards:

  • Health, Safety, and Wellbeing 
  • Effective and Efficient 
  • Respect and Dignity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Integrity 
  • Care 
This month, the award was presented to Connor Henderson, who is a Residential Counselor II for our Santa Fe Group Home.

Connor was nominated by his supervisor, who wrote:

Connor is always willing and seems to want to learn more and more new things. He has made it a point to get several of our stakeholders out into the community on the weekends and he always makes time to be with each individual on the days he works. He jumps right into helping his co-workers complete the daily care and support of the individuals we serve without even being asked. He proactively identifies areas that could benefit from some TLC, like organizing the linen closet, dusting window sills, helping clean and organize individuals' rooms and other household tasks not listed on the normal task list. He is always looking for ways to make things operate more smoothly. He has started helping the Residential Assistant Site Supervisor with weekly menus and grocery orders when she is busy doing other things, and I consider him a valuable asset to everyone here at the Santa Fe Home.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Imagine! Community Forum - April 10

You Are Invited to the Annual Imagine! Community Forum 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 6:00-7:00 PM 

Join us for our Annual Community Forum on Tuesday, April 10. We will share information about Colorado House Bill 17-1343, regarding conflict free case management. Representatives from Imagine!’s staff and Board of Directors will be on hand to answer questions from families and local community members. Join us in person or by phone!  

To attend in person: R.S.V.P. to (303) 665-7789 

To join by phone: 
1-877-668-4490 Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada) 
1-408-792-6300 Call-in toll number (US/Canada) 
Access code: 803 664 368 

To submit questions prior to the forum, visit

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Out & About Theater Performance

Below are pictures from last month's Imagine!'s Out & About Adult Centre Stage performance! Held on February 28 at the Broomfield Auditorium, participants and instructors performed "Disney Dog Disaster" for a packed house! Click on any photo to engage the slideshow viewer. 

Dress Rehearsal

The cast bows to a standing ovation

Dan as Jack Sparrow

Emma and Ed have a serious scene on stage

John and PJ as Captain Hook and Aladdin's Genie

Jordy as Yoda

Kyle, Kristel, and Eric pose after the show

Bridget and Jordan pose after the show

Miah and Amy flash a dance pose

Employees of Parlando School of Musical Arts and Imagine! 

Ron, as Goofy, lets out a good laugh

Jordy as Yoda and Tammy as Olaf

Bridget and Kristel, the ones responsible for making this show a big success!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Today Is Spread The Word To End The Word Day

Today is Spread the Word to End the Word Day! Help us raise awareness about the hurtfulness of the r-word by pledging to eliminate the derogatory use of the word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

Learn more and take the pledge here

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Ian - Featured Artist

It first started with basic painting, then splattering paint off the brush onto the canvas, then squirt and spray bottles. Soon after, Ian found his niche and masterpieces were being made.

“Ian has been selling artwork online, although a lot of them don’t even make it that far because someone sees him creating it and requests to purchase it as soon as it’s dry,” said Erin Schram, Ian’s art teacher at CORE/Labor Source in Longmont.

Erin has worked with Ian since the beginning, helping him find the right tools and methods, allowing him to create art he got excited about.

Ian starts with a white canvas. He chooses colors using the iPad and Erin mixes the color into a bottle. Ian fills all the white space, emptying bottle after bottle. Once the canvas is full of color, he adds texture by spraying splashes of gold, silver, and other bright colors.

What’s with the hazmat suit, you may ask? Once the spray and squirt bottles became Ian’s tools of choice, the suit, goggles, and tarps granted him the freedom to be as creative (and messy) as he wanted to be.

Beyond the canvas, Erin programmed software onto an iPad that allows him to better communicate what colors he wants, as well as a naming page, where he labels his artwork with creative titles. Some examples are ‘Crazy Galaxy’ and ‘Ghost.’ “It gives Ian control of his work,” said Erin.

Ian generously donated four paintings to the silent auction at the Imagine! Celebration in January of 2018, and the artwork raised $165. Thank you, Ian!

To inquire about purchasing artwork from Ian or any of the artists from Imagine!, click here to submit a contact form to CORE/Labor Source: 

Here is a small sample size of Ian's collection:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Congratulations, Chris!

We tip our hats to Imagine! employee Christopher DiRosa for receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship Award through the Open World International Program of Rotary. Chris was recognized for his dedicated passion of serving individuals with disabilities.

Thank you for all you do, Chris!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Jason Kingsbury - Alliance Direct Support Professional of the Year

Imagine! employee Jason Kingsbury has been named the Alliance Direct Support Professional of the Year Award. Alliance is a nonprofit, statewide association of Community Centered Boards (CCBs) and Program Approved Service Agencies (PASAs) that is dedicated to strengthening services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This award recognizes the incredible work DSPs do every day to improve the lives of Colorado citizens with I/DD.

Jason is part of Imagine!'s CORE/Labor Source team. There is hardly a corner of the Imagine! community that Jason hasn’t touched. Over the ten plus years that Jason has been with the organization, Jason has worked in multiple group homes and at day program, supporting individuals to grow and achieve their potentials. For years, Jason regularly puts in overtime, working 6-7 days in a row to fill staffing hours across the organization. His time and efforts have made a real impact keeping group homes open during staffing shortages. Jason is always willing to sacrifice his time to help the team make it happen.

In the course of my time with Jason, he has also demonstrated a dogged advocacy for clients with intense and challenging behaviors. Jason has always been willing to jump in and work the most intensive challenges, and has helped me, personally, to understand the significance of this service. No matter how difficult these challenges have been, Jason has consistently modeled a sense of determined and graceful patience in those moments, even going so far as to educate members of the community with regard to how Imagine! supports those with significant behavioral challenges, and how these individuals deserve a space in the community as much as anyone else.

Direct support requires balance, and Jason demonstrates this trait across every aspect of his work at Imagine!. Over his career, Jason as developed real friendships with the people we serve and at the same time maintains professionalism in his rapport. Jason balances his heart and compassion with effectively implementing behavior therapy. And Jason time and again demonstrates that supporting clients is only a part of the picture. Jason shows up for his fellow team members, too, providing a space where his peers feel comfortable sharing the success and their frustrations. In this capacity, Jason mentors both his coworkers and the clients with whom he works. Moreover, Jason balances his eagerness to improve the lives of the people we serve with a sense of patience and understanding that gives those clients the time and space they need to grow into themselves and develop real, meaningful relationships within their community. And through it all, Jason has always brought a smile to his work.

Way to go, Jason! We're so proud of you!