The leaves fluttered on the trees that bright autumn morning in October, just as the winds of change blew through the annual DD Council Retreat. The DD Council members arrived at the offices of the Arapahoe/Douglas County ARC ready to focus on the future of the DD Council and the future of rehabilitation.
As people gathered around the coffee and bagels and readied themselves for the two-day strategic planning session facilitated by David Hasbury, national consultant and facilitator, questions floated among those in the community room.
David’s provocative question to the Council members was “What will the legacy of the Council be, if it is successful?” Clearly, this council wants to have a powerful, contemporary and enduring legacy.
The two-day retreat was spent re-thinking the Council’s contribution to the state-of-the art of rehabilitation services and support within the context of our mission. We conducted a retrospective journey through the last century into our rapidly evolving current times.
We pondered whether the work we have done in the past is still viable in today’s world. The values deeply embedded in the past still resonate – we still value inclusion, self-determination, advocacy, multi-cultural approaches and employment for people with disabilities. The question now is how important the community will be in assisting in the acceleration and improvement of outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities.
To enable us to participate with increasing and dramatic relevance, we are updating the Council website. This will allow us to more easily connect and inform the community as to our best practices and inventive ideas through success stories. We are also hosting educational programs such as Lunch and Learn, and ground-breaking approaches in our state using our grants.
The Council is working internally to strengthen our own connections, understand and map our current resources in order to leverage the knowledge and expertise of each member. We are open to listening, learning and collaborating with those partners already familiar to us, as well as new partners we may find. By expanding our horizons and seeking new partnerships, we will be better prepared to take advantage of arising opportunities and create successes for developmentally disabled individuals and their families.
Together, we can create 21st century solutions for people with disabilities. Here are 9 things to do to support the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council mission:
- Attend Council Meetings.
- Take advantage of the Lunch and Learn events.
- Visit the website often.
- Join a Council committee.
- Let us know of resourceful, creative practices you see around the state.
- Tell us your story.
- Serve on the Council as a member.
- Support legislative initiatives.
- Provide feedback on how we can improve.