Dear 2019, this is the year we stand up for the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled in Colorado
2019 is gonna be BIG. You are most needed!
Newsletter is self funded,
and only reflects the views of Maureen Welch, Volunteer.
December 31, 2018
Yes, you, 2019, could be the year to hang out dirty laundry and disinfect the secrecy of the Industrial Complex of Intellectual/Developmental Disability (IDD) disability services! It is time for the Sunshine of Transparency and Choice to shine in Colorado, most specifically for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD).
1. Choice of Case Management Agencies for IDD waivers. I would love to have choice. Many of you contact me in agreeing with my writings, but hesitate to "go public" out of fear of "biting the one and only hand" that supports your love one. Currently the local Community Centered Board, one of only 20 statewide per State Statute, is the only place to get case management for the three IDD waivers.
The recently released (12/1/18) Office of State Auditor report on CCBs (link here) from their year long investigation was scathing and pointed to likely fraudulent billing of case management. This was the first ever audit of the CCBs ever, since their creation in the 1960s, thanks to SB16-038 which was a community driven effort for transparency. NOW is the time to demand choice of case management agencies.
2. True direct, individualized and automated access to Local Mill Levy. The voters intended for the IDD community to have truly individualized access to the property tax that is earmarked for unmet needs of IDD county residents. This means be able to order items online and have them delivered to our door, to be able to use funding in an automated fashion for unmet needs. We are tired of asking our case managers for permission and approval, "mother may I style", then waiting at their mercy for an answer. Now the vast majority of this local tax money ($17.5M in Denver estimated for 2019) ends up in the Community Centered Boards budget to fund their case management or other things they control and run.
3. Guardianship reform- Currently no one is providing oversight to the process of stripping a person of their civil rights, via courts and often Adult Protective Services. There are several bills that need close monitoring, to oppose and support with testimony-- stay tuned!
4. Real stakeholder engagement. No more hand picking of well behaved stakeholders that are “safe” for the Industrial Complex of Disability. It is time for the State Departments and Branches to harness the power of technology for remote participation and true surveys of satisfaction.
5. Change requires commitment and hard work. And it is incredibly important and rewarding. This is the year to turn up the heat.
6. It won’t happen without people, who have skin in the game, putting in real time. You are not sure if you are directly impacted? Well, you can do get loud as an ally, as we all know someone with an intellectual or developmental disability in our community.
THINGS I DO & YOU CAN TOO LIST:
1. Show up or call into meetings, I find out a lot on the state websites and often post my newsletter. When I can't make it in person, I ask for an accommodation to participate remotely through a call in or webinar option.
2. Spend time where the decisions are made. I am often at the Capitol, city/county buildings, or various State Department rule making and task force meetings. I have learned a lot and met elected officials in the elevators and after waiting on benches.
3. Research! I spend time on the General Assembly Website for bills, agendas, and attend committee meetings to observe and testify https://leg.colorado.gov/ I also follow the departments and city county government. Pick one to start, this is YOUR government!
4. Good timing to learn more about our State Legislature- The 2019 Session this year starts early on Friday January 4, 2019.
Contact your legislators by talking directly to people with the power That sometimes means waiting several hours in a hall, on a bench, to talk to one key person for 2 minutes. Find out who yours are (some changes will happen at new session start) at https://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator
Do you Live in county of Denver, Adams. Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson, Boulder, Broomfield, or Larimer? Millions of property taxes dollars are earmarked for IDD unmet needs. Get involved regarding mill levy funds, buy attending city council or county commissioners meetings.
Emails and voicemails are easily deleted and ignored.
2019 is full of opportunity to affect change. What will you do?
Find the best fit for you to impact change, here is an excellent article about a variety of ways to impact change here from Rooted in Rights, an amazing project based out of Seattle, Washington.
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