2019 Annual Report

Click here for a PDF of the 2019 Annual Report

Below we have a text-only version of the 2019 Annual Report:

A message from our Board President:

I am continually inspired and energized by the work of The Arc of Larimer County. In 2019, staff set in motion several key drivers supporting our mission of inclusion: community-wide policy initiatives, strong educational support, the creation of new programs, and grants and donations supporting our individuals and families. I am grateful that staff continue to remove barriers so that people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities will live, work, and play alongside everyone else. I am also grateful for the individuals and families that continue to push us to even greater success.

Thank you all for your continued support. We look forward to continuing to support you in the years ahead.

– Beth Higgins

A message from our Executive Director:

2019 turned out to be the year of change. At the time, who knew what 2020 would bring? The Arc of Larimer County experienced a change in leadership, added new staff members, and re-organized staff some responsibilities. Through all of this change, we continued to advocate for the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Larimer County. Both the staff and Board of Directors believe these changes will aid in our growth and service. The phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same” comes to mind when looking forward. While our efforts positively impact the people we serve, advocacy needs in areas such as special education, employment, and access to community services remain. The work continues. We look forward to advocating for the people we serve in these areas and expanding our advocacy in new realms to further improve the lives of people with disabilities.

– J. Patrick Hackney, JD

Board Members:

Executive Committee:​

President: Beth Higgins​
Vice President: Lori Snider​
Secretary: Brad Smith
​ Treasurer: Ryann Hodge​​​​​​​​


Dani Taylor
​Joyce Saffel​
Tena Green
​​Jeffrey McCubbin​
Kendal Nolan​


Executive Director: Patrick Hackney
Director of Advocacy: Jessica Shouse
Communications Coordinator & Systems Advocacy Specialist: Cari Brown
Development Director: Alexandra Stanke
Youth Advocate: Melissa Welch
Adult Advocate: Atlanta Cozad
Office Coordinator: Rita Hinds

Systems Advocacy:

City Plan

Six outreach events held between 2018 – 2019 for people with I/DD and their guardians.

Lack of access to transportation is a frequently reported barrier to full community participation. We received a grant from The City of Fort Collins to gather feedback from people with intellectual and developmental disabilities during City Plan – a comprehensive update to the City’s land use, transportation, and transit plan.

Reducing Unemployment

People with disabilities have been historically unemployed/ underemployed at significantly higher rates than adults without disabilities. In 2018, the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners committed to reducing the unemployment rate of people with disabilities by 5%. A committee was founded to bring together advocates, employers, and county employees to magnify efforts. The Arc of Larimer County was an active participant and helped implement:

  • A workshop for people with I/DD and their guardians covering employment supports available.
  • A workshop for CSU students majoring in business about hiring people with I/DD.
  • A workshop for employers about hiring people with I/DD
  • A public awareness campaign

Financial Resource Development:

Colorado Gives Day 2019 – $2,221.02
End of Year Giving – $1,505.00
Grants Awarded – $19,310.00
Fundraiser Community Breakfast – $7,420.00
Annual Meeting – $1,780.00
Total Membership in 2019: 109
Total Grants, Gifts and Donations in 2019 Outside of arc Thrift Allocation: $63,492.83

Individual Advocacy

In 2019, we:

  • Provided 2,500 hours of individual advocacy at no cost
  • Served approximately 500 individuals
  • Valued at $187,500 (based on market rates for non-attorney advocates)

Some advocacy requests result in a one-time referral while others become years-long efforts – all depending on what is needed.

Frequent Areas of Assistance

  • Education / IEPs
  • Employment
  • Criminal Justice
  • DHS & Child Protection
  • Resource Connection/ Referral
  • General guidance with SSI/Medicaid/HCBS-Waivers

People First

People First is a self-directed group of self-advocates that is sponsored and facilitated by The Arc of Larimer County. They meet monthly to develop advocacy skills, provide input on various projects, and learn.

Highlights from 2019 include:

  • 5 members of People First were able to attend The Arc’s National Conference held in Washington D.C.
  • The group finished their By-Laws
  • Started formal conversations on how we can introduce transition-aged students to the group and the important work they are doing.
  • In 2019, staff of The Arc of Larimer County spent 300 hours supporting People First – a critical investment to ensure that the voices of people with I/DD are heard and respected.

Magnifying Efforts

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Boundaries

The ability to form a variety of relationships with healthy boundaries is a critical skill – including for people living with I/DD. Our Director of Advocacy, Jessica Shouse, recognizing the need, formed partnerships with SAVA and the Responsible Sex Ed Institute back in 2018. Together, they were able to host workshops for adults and young adults with I/DD. The workshop course included defining common relationships, what is consent, and how to establish appropriate boundaries. In 2019, a group of self-advocates also came together to film ​a series of short videos as a supplement to the workshop series. ​The video topics include consent, boundaries, types of communication and exploring dating.

Wrightslaw Conference

As requests for help with IEPs or navigating Special Education is a recurring advocacy theme, we partnered with The Arc of Weld County to host a Wrightslaw Conference in April 2019.

Over 300 attendees came from around Colorado and the United States, including parents, educators, and advocates.

Film Festival

Estimated Attendance: 221

Intended to dispel stereotypes about people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the Annual Film Festival features short films that spread awareness.

Other Workshops Offered:

  • Financial Planning Options
  • Disability Awareness for Law Enforcement
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Guardianship and Less Restrictive Options

In the Community

  • Recognized as the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce “Business of the Month”
  • Selected as one of the first organizations to receive Bags for Change at the new Fort Collins Lucky’s Market
  • Volunteers and staff walked in the Loveland Corn Roast Parade
  • Open house to welcome our new Executive Director, Patrick Hackney
  • As a food link partner with the Larimer County Food Bank, we provided turkeys to 73 families before Thanksgiving.
  • I/DD Awareness Day at the Colorado Capitol