People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) should be able to live the life that they choose. To help with this, we are proud to offer free individual advocacy for children and adults with I/DD and their families.
What is Individual Advocacy?
Often, people with I/DD need help to access their community. This help can be an IEP in school, a job coach, or a host home provider. Accessing these supports can be complex and overwhelming. That’s where our advocates come in. Our individual advocates will meet with the person with I/DD and/or their family. During these meetings, we will talk through:
- What your goals are
- Identify barriers to those goals
- Find solutions
We have no age limit for who we will help. The advocate assigned to your case will have experience in the systems of support for that age group.
Our primary focus will be the wishes and desires of the person with I/DD. Parents, host home providers, guardians, case managers, etc may also be part of the advocacy process as appropriate.
How our advocates can help you:
Our advocacy will look different for each person. Depending on your request, your case may include:
- Support with the applying for various services. *Please note, we cannot fill out these applications for you, but can walk you through the basic process.*
- Attend relevant meetings.
- Help you understand your rights.
- Help to appeal certain eligibility decisions. Please note, an attorney may need to assist you in your appeal, depending on the facts and circumstances.
What our advocates are knowledgable in:
- Benefits Planning Services
- Developmental Disability Services
- Early Intervention
- Employment Supports
- Food stamps
- Guardianship and Less Restrictive Options
- Health First Colorado (Medicaid)
- Housing Supports for People with Disabilities
- Individual Education Programs (IEPs) and Section 504 Accommodations
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- Long-term care of people with disabilities
- Respite Care
- Services through Foothills Gateway
- CES (Children’s Extensive Support)
- Children with Autism
- Comprehensive Waivers
- DD (Developmental Disabilities)
- Medicaid Waivers
- Early Intervention
- EBD (Elder, Blind, and Disabled)
- Family Caregiver Act
- FSSP (Family Support Services)
- HCBS (Home and Community Based Services)
- SLS Waivers (Supported Living Services)
- Special Education
- SSI and SSDI
- Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
What to expect after requesting advocacy:
- We will assign you to one of our advocacy specialists
- Our advocates typically try to make the first contact via email, to gather more information and/or to schedule an intake time. Please make sure you are checking your email frequently (including your junk/spam folder).
- We strive to respond to all requests for advocacy within 7-10 days. As we are a free advocacy service, we sometimes receive more requests than we can imminently respond to. As a result, it may take longer than we hope to respond. If you do not hear from us within 14 days, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We receive a large number of referrals for our no-cost advocacy. We will make three email/phone attempts at contacting you. If we do not hear back, we will close out your referral. You may re-open your referral at any time by resubmitting this form.
- Please note, advocacy is a time-intensive process. As a result, we are not able to respond to last-minute advocacy requests.
- If your advocacy request is more urgent, the fastest way to connect with us is during our walk-in advocacy hours.
How can we provide help at no cost?
We receive financial support from Arc Thrift Stores and private donors. Their help means that no one ever receives a bill for advocacy.
Is there a limit to the advocacy I can receive?
No – there is no limit. We will help as long as needed. Our goal is to support you in developing your own advocacy skills. Sometimes that isn’t an option, and that is ok.
What communities do you serve?
We can provide advocacy to all of Larimer County, including:
- Estes Park
- Fort Collins
- Glen Haven
- Red Feather Lakes
- Unincorporated Larimer County
Are your staff attorneys?
No – we provide non-attorney advocates and our staff cannot provide legal advice. Our goal is to find solutions before an attorney is needed. In fact, in many of the systems of support we work in, a special needs attorney is not required. We work to walk the person with I/DD and/or their guardian through their options.
If the client’s needs fall outside our scope of work and/or if an issue rises to the level that legal representation is required, we will work to connect them with other resources. Please note that we are not able to pay for an attorney if you need one.
*If you are unable to fill out the form, please call 970-204-6991.
*Please note that we are not a crisis center. If you are experiencing a medical or behavioral health emergency, please contact the Colorado Crisis Line at (844) 493-8255, the SummitStone Health Partners Crisis Center is open 24-7. Call (970) 494-4200 to speak to someone now.
*If you or the person with a disability does not live in Larimer County, please click here to find your local branch of The Arc.