Current Grants

Grants
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The Council funds grants that either demonstrate innovation with the intent of replication or support leadership development and training in the arena of policy and the principles of inclusive practices. All of the grants we fund have the underlying principles of All Means All, Nothing About Us Without Us, and public funding of essential benefits are critical over the charity approach to receiving services. With these ideas as a base, the Council is currently funding the following efforts.

Leadership and Self-Advocacy Training and Development

The Council is currently funding four leadership development projects for youth and adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), parents of children living with IDD, and siblings.

Participants who complete the leadership development training graduate with the knowledge, skills and experience needed to create positive system and policy changes that enhance and create opportunities to further their engagement in civic activities in their communities. Topics included in the training are the disability civil rights movement and the dynamics of system change.

All three projects receive up to $45,000 of Council funding to cover the costs of trainings and supports for participants.

Current Leadership Development Training Grantees

Sewall Child Development Center in Denver, CO

Sewall provides inclusive learning environments where children of all abilities and learning styles come together to learn and grow. Sewall's Partners in Leadership Advocacy Family Leadership Development Project provides leadership development training for family members, primarily parents, of young children living with IDD and self-advocates (adults living with IDD). By training side-by-side with adult self-advocates, parents expand expectations for their sons and daughters and gain a better perspective on what inclusive lives in their community could look like. Self-advocates increase their leadership and advocacy skills. All participants must complete a leadership project.

 Sibling Tree of Arvada, CO

Sibling Tree provides siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support, and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their families. Sibling Tree's Allies in Leadership, Policymaking, and Systems Change Project  provides leadership development training for self-advocates and siblings of people living with IDD. Side-by-side training provides an opportunity for self-advocates to increase their advocacy and leadership skills and for siblings to increase their knowledge about disability rights and services and to gain an enhanced understanding of what an inclusive life in the community could look like for their siblings. All participants must complete a leadership project.

Access and Ability of LaSalle, CO

 Access and Ability is an organization directed by people with disabilities working to ensure access to education, employment, health care, and community by providing advocacy, training, referral, and service coordination for people with disabilities and their families. A&A's Youth and Sibling Leadership Training Project is designed to provide information, educate and create community leaders of teens and young adults with disabilities and siblings of people living with disabilities ages 14-25 across northern Colorado. Participants in this project will have the opportunity to visit disability-specific advocacy organizations in Denver, including ADAPT  and the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition .They will also be visiting the State Capitol.

JFK Partners, of Aurora, CO

JFK Partners, of Aurora, CO, is Colorado's University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and a sister agency of the Council. Council funding of $20,000.00 for this project provides a stipend that supports one self-advocate and one parent of a child living with a developmental disability to participate in the    Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program. While the majority of UCEDDs in the country sponsor LEND projects, Colorado's is one of the few that includes a parent and a self-advocate in training that has traditionally included students from the medical community.

The curriculum for this project includes courses on leadership and teamwork as well as a "Key Concepts" course that educates participates about the educational, human service, and community support resources that may be utilized by families and self-advocates. In addition to expanding their own systems and advocacy knowledge, Council-funded participants will also serve as mentors and teachers for the other participants whose knowledge of families of and people living with disabilities will be expanded by participating as equal partners with them. JFK Partners continues their work on developing a replicable process that they are sharing with LEND Projects in other states that are not currently including family members and self-advocates in their training. Council-funded participants are expected to identify a project that complements and puts into practice the knowledge acquired through the course.

Transition as a Stepping Stone to Integration

The Council is currently funding one project focused on transition-aged youth living with disabilities and their family members. Recognizing that planning for Emergency Preparedness is a natural fit with transition planning, year one of this training included the provision of in-person training around the state of Colorado. Year two of this project will focus on the development of accessible on-line training. This project is funded up to $70,000 annually.

Assistive Technology Partners of Denver, CO

Assistive Technology Partners' Emergency Preparedness Training for Transition-aged Youth and Family Members (including Siblings) is targeted at both first responders and families of and transition-aged youth. The training provides information on how to prepare for and live through natural disasters and emergencies and includes an opportunity to explore and anticipate natural disasters specific to the community through interaction with local emergency responders; participants will also develop person-centered self-sufficiency plans to meet individual needs in response to disasters.

The curriculum for this project includes courses on leadership and teamwork as well as a "Key Concepts" course that educates participates about the educational, human service, and community support resources that may be utilized by families and self-advocates. In addition to expanding their own systems and advocacy knowledge, Council-funded participants will also serve as mentors and teachers for the other participants whose knowledge of families of and people living with disabilities will be expanded by participating as equal partners with them. JFK Partners continues their work on developing a replicable process that they are sharing with LEND Projects in other states that are not currently including family members and self-advocates in their training. Council-funded participants are expected to identify a project that complements and puts into practice the knowledge acquired through the course.

Alternatives to Suspension, Expulsion, Seclusion and Restraint

The Council is currently funding one project focused on alternatives to suspension, expulsion, seclusion and restraint. This project provides additional resources that will lead to a decreasing reliance on restraint as a means of managing behavior in K-12 youth. 

Jeff Santelli, LLC of Parker, CO

Jeff Santelli, a retired Douglas County Police Officer, is providing Crisis Intervention Training for school resource officers, campus safety officers and district administrators across the state of Colorado. School administrators are also encouraged to participate in this training. This training will provide a method for schools to better recognize mental health problems among its student population and to appropriately respond and intervene with the mental health system, instead of with law enforcement. Strong linkages between the schools and the mental health system, as well as training and support for school staff on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness among youth, can help to divert these youth from the juvenile justice system. This training is experiential in that the basic affective listening skills are taught, then put into practice via role playing with actors and members of the class who are charged with de-escalating the situation they are presented with. In addition to continuing the CIT training for year two, the project will also develop resources for families.