Below we have a text-only version of our annual report.
A message from our Board President:
We all recognize the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The Arc of Larimer County has found inspiration in these challenges. We have created new opportunities to meaningfully connect and serve our community. We are hard at work, continuing to develop new programs, workshops, and more. We are grateful for our community, staff, friends, and for your support.
– Beth Higgins
A message from our Executive Director:
2020, a year unlike any other, presented difficulties to everyone. The pandemic caused an exacerbation of economic hardships and social isolation, especially for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Yet again, we witnessed horrific instances of social injustice and racial inequality. Throughout 2020, The Arc of Larimer County continued the work on advocating for people with I/DD and their families. Our staff did everything possible to continue serving community members. I’m proud to say we rose to the challenge.
As we look forward to 2021, I remain hopeful and confident that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to all of you for having grace and understanding as we navigated the difficult year that was 2020. Your support, however it is given, is genuinely appreciated.
Please check in with us frequently to see the new and exciting opportunities that are coming in 2021.
– J. Patrick Hackney, JD
President: Beth Higgins
Vice President: Lori Snider
Secretary: Brad Smith
Treasurer: Ryann Hodge
Executive Director: Patrick Hackney
Director of Advocacy: Jessica Shouse
Public Affairs Manager: Cari Brown
Development Director: Liz McKerr
Office Coordinator: Rita Hinds
Youth Advocate: Melissa Welch
Adult Advocate: Atlanta Cozad
Peer Advocate Intern: Julian Wang
Intern: Sam Cote
The 2020 Census would determine funding and representation for Larimer County for years to come.
People with disabilities are historically under-counted in the Census. We participated in the social media campaign #YouCountBeCounted to ensure an accurate count.
Virtual Breakfast Town Hall:
Due to COVID-19, we switched our Breakfast Town Hall to a virtual format. This is an annual event held with Foothills Gateway and Spirit Crossing Clubhouse. The town hall is a great opportunity for people living with disabilities or mental illness to ask questions from candidates or elected officials.
I/DD Awareness Day:
I/DD Awareness Day is an annual event at the state Capitol. In 2020, I/DD Awareness Day was held in early March, before the community spread of COVID-19.
The Arc of Colorado works with other partners, including The Arc of Larimer County, to put on the event. The day is an important opportunity to raise awareness on the issues that are important to people living with I/DD in Colorado.
Financial Resource Development:
The funds raised in 2020 have helped us give advocacy services to over 375 families and individuals in northern Colorado. In one of the most difficult years we have seen as a community, our supporters stepped up. We had our most successful Colorado Gives Day and total fundraising years.
Colorado Gives Day: $4,174.58
Total Members: 109
Total amount of raised outside arc Thrift allocation: $69,599.38
Total number of gifts: 213
- Provided 3,095 hours of individual advocacy at no cost
- Valued at $232,125 (based on market rates for non-attorney advocates)
- Increased advocacy hours provided by about 24% compared to 2019
- Served approximately 375 individuals (Some advocacy requests result in a one-time referral while others become years-long efforts – all depending on what is needed.)
- Switched to providing advocacy virtually due to the pandemic.
- Supported individuals with I/DD in the criminal justice system
- Assisted families in understanding remote learning options & IEP rights
- Advocated to preserve home-based services with minimal disruption during lockdown
People First and SFO:
People First is a self-directed group of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities facilitated by The Arc of Larimer County. They are a chapter of Speaking for Ourselves (SFO).
To keep members safe and reduce exposure risk, People First and SFO switched to remote meetings early in 2020. This opportunity allowed for many of the group’s members to learn exciting new tech.
- The Arc of Larimer County staff used 155 hours of time to support People First/ SFO
- Held about 52 meetings
- Four members attended I/DD Awareness Day at the State Capitol
- Educated members on the importance of voting.
T-Shirt Design Contest:
In early 2020, we held a T-Shirt Design Contest and fundraiser. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Larimer County were invited to submit artwork with the theme of “Larimer County Strong.” The winning design was created by Chrissy Krumm from Loveland in collaboration with her host home provider.
The design was printed on a t-shirt. The funds raised were used to support the human rights of people with I/DD in Larimer County.
“I wanted my creation to emphasize how much I love that Larimer County embraces both disability and diversity.”
– Chrissy Krumm
Videos on Mask Tips and Tricks for Children with Disabilities:
Masks were a vital tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents of Larimer County safe.
Understanding that many children with disabilities may struggle to wear a mask, we partnered with Autism Home Support Services to share tips and tricks that could help.
This effort included sharing tips on social media and making a number of videos. The videos featured mask modifications to make the mask more comfortable and strategies to help children adjust to wearing a mask.
Early in 2020, we conducted a survey of our clients, members, and community members to determine how COVID-19 had impacted them. The results were used to guide our work through the pandemic.
As students switched to remote learning, there were significant concerns how students on IEPs would receive vital services and supports. Our Youth Advocate, Melissa Welch, hosted a Coffee and Chat webinar in April to help parents understand their and their child’s rights.
Pivoting to COVID-19:
- Created and launched a COVID-19 Resource Guide with resources relevant to people living with I/DD.
- Hosted over 30 Weekly Zoom Chats for adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Staff switched to working remotely where appropriate.
- Workshops were moved to virtual-only. A total of 7 virtual workshops were held.
- As a food link partner with the Larimer County Food Bank, we provided turkeys to families before Thanksgiving utilizing no-contact pick-up.
- Switched our Film Festival to a virtual format.