September 2020 Newsletter

Click here to view a PDF version of the Sept. 2020 Newsletter

Mask Wearing Tips and Modifications For Children with Sensory Sensitivities 

While we all are adjusting to the new normal, many children with disabilities may struggle to wear a mask.

We partnered up with Autism Home Support Services to come up with some simple tips and tricks that may help children with disabilities be more comfortable when wearing a mask.

Let’s start with a simple physical modification. Many people find the elastic on masks to be very uncomfortable. You can sew buttons on a hat to hook the elastic on. Another option is to switch the elastic out for t-shirt fabric, which many find softer on the ears.

Sometimes, physical modifications to a mask may not be the answer. If that’s the case, try the following:

  • While your child is wearing a mask, reinforce the behavior by playing with the child’s favorite toys or doing their favorite activities.  
  • Use a visual timer while your child is wearing the mask with the goal to increase the time slowly. 
  • Family members should wear masks around the house to get the child accustomed to others wearing masks.

No matter what, never force someone with a disability to wear a mask. Seek professional help if you need.

We have a video with details and instructions here (link opens in a new tab).

Election Day Reminders – Follow these simple steps to make sure you are ready for November 3rd

2020 is an Election Year – and we want you to vote. The Arc of Larimer County is a non-partisan organization. We do not endorse any political party or candidate. We do believe that everyone, including people with I/DD, should exercise their right to vote. We have some simple steps you can take below to get ready for election day.

  1. Update your voter registration.
    In Colorado, we are very lucky to have the option to vote by mail or vote in person. Ballots will be mailed out the week of October 12th. Many people like to vote from home and mail their ballot back. You can also drop your ballot off in-person at a polling place. Your ballot will be mailed to the address you provided when you last registered to vote. It’s important to check that your voter registration is up to date. You can check your registration at larimer.org/elections.
  2. Attend our Virtual Town Hall
    Every year, we are proud to host a Town Hall Breakfast with Foothills Gateway and Spirit Crossing Clubhouse the morning of October 13th.   It’s a great opportunity to talk with candidates or elected officials. This year, we’ve had to switch to a virtual format. Learn more and register at arclc.org/townhall (link opens in a new tab).
  3.  Vote Early
    Returning your ballot early helps poll workers and the County Clerk. They still have to follow social distancing and other safety guidelines. Returning your ballot early helps them stay safe.

Weekly Zoom Chat For Adults with I/DD

Date: Every Thursday
Time: 10am – 11am
Register: arclc.org/events
Questions: Email jshouse@arclc.org

We’ve started a weekly zoom chat for adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The call is moderated by our Director of Advocacy, Jessica Shouse and our Peer Advocate Intern, Julian Wang. A variety of topics are discussed from advocacy opportunities, updates, &  fun topics like pets, weekend plans. The group also plays games, like virtual bingo.

Registration is required to receive the zoom link. We hope you can join us!

COVID-19 Impact Survey – Thank you to everyone who participated

We asked people with intellectual & developmental disabilities (I/DD), their parents, caregivers, & service providers in Larimer County how COVID-19 has impacted them.

Who responded? 

  • Parents: 56%
  • Caregivers: 29%
  • Service Providers: 8%

What did they say about how COVID-19 has impacted them?

  • 39% did not have access to respite care
  • 47% said their mental health had decreased
  • 24% did not have access to childcare
  • 15% were not sure they could pay all their monthly bills
  • 59% were worried about catching COVID-19
  • 56% reported they had therapy appointments cancelled
  • 32% cannot safely go to the grocery store
  • 21% lost their job or their hours were cut
  • 42% reported they had not been receiving community services

What about School-Aged Children on IEPs?

  • 50% of parents reported that they spent more than 3 hours a day supporting their child on an IEP complete school work.
  • 73% reported that they spent more than 2 hours a day.
  • 45% of children were reported to have made no progress or went backwards
  • Of the 13% of parents who reported their child made “good progress” – all of them reported spending 3 or more hours a day supporting their child.
  • 28% of children on IEPs were reported to have been unable or resistant to participate in remote learning.

Join us for our first ever Virtual Annual Meeting

Don’t miss out – we’re holding our first-ever Virtual Annual Meeting.

Join us to learn about:

  • What we worked on in 2019
  • What we’ll be working on next

Members of The Arc of Larimer County will also vote on key issues. The Virtual Annual Meeting is free to attend, but registration is required.

Date: Sept. 24th, 2020
Time: 6:30pm
Register: arclc.org/annualmeeting

We need you to respond to the 2020 Census before it’s too late!

Every 10 years, the United States conducts a census to count every person. The data gathered is used to help determine funding, draw political districts, as well as identify future and existing needs.

Your response helps fund local schools, fire departments, roads, infrastructure, and more. You’re running out of time to respond to the census. You Count – Be Counted!  Respond now at 2020census.gov (link opens in new tab).