The way to get started is to start learning.

1. Learn-

a. The Colorado Division of Intellectual and Developmental disabilities (DIDD) sits at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF).  Their website is not the easiest to maneuver, use the search box and bookmark links of interest. 

  • List of ALL programs and waivers at HCFP. Spend some time exploring it. Bookmark it!  http://bit.ly/2brhzo8
  • Learn about the many work groups, councils and meetings to attend as a stakeholder, open to public http://bit.ly/2aWUI5j
  • Communication page, items open for public comment period for DIDD http://bit.ly/1FDawDK

b. Regional Centers are state run Residential Services for those living with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities is overseen by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). https://sites.google.com/a/state.co.us/cdhs-regional-centers/about-us/home

c. Complaints for Program Approved Service Agencies (PASAs) can be made at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/health-facilities-complaints

d. Locations of reports, follow up of Complaints

2. Get Updates- Sign up for email announcements from HCPF at http://bit.ly/2aSiOLv

3. Participate- Look at the calendar on this website and pick something to attend! Many meetings have call in options, however most prefer to at least initially attend in person to get a sense of the "culture" and participants. Meetings are open and guests/observers are welcome. Ask for handouts and for followup, business cards for follow up.  

4. Will it be awkward at first? Most likely yes but we all must "stretch" and realize that every perspective is important and worth recognition.

5. Growth happens when stepping into some level of discomfort, at least initially. It is worth it