Community Counts! A Diversity Partnership Program – Strengthening Our Community to Include People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) will facilitate inclusive opportunities for Denver residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities through curriculum design and delivery, outreach, and program consultation for organizations, businesses, and clubs in the Denver Metro area.
We are excited to announce the 2021 – 2022 Community Counts! Project is here! The following classes, as well as a new class “Diversity and IDD 201: Radical Civility,” will include a speaker and a panel of individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities and will share their thoughts and life experiences.
1) “Diversity and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 101” class for community members who are interested in expanding their knowledge of the diagnosis of Intellectual and Development Disabilities (I/DD) and various life experiences of people with I/DD.
Description: Course will cover such topics as Person First Language, the variety of medical and cognitive issues experienced, myths and misconceptions about people with I/DD, issues impacting people with I/DD such as fair wages, housing, etc., and services that may be helpful or desired.
2) “Diversity and IDD 201: Radical Civility” community members who are interested in expanding their knowledge of diversity concepts as they relate to IDD and will build on the Diversity and IDD 101 course.
Description:Course will cover disability etiquette, use of appropriate language (what to say and NOT say), and how to effectively and respectfully communicate with a person with disabilities will be discussed, as well as how to treat people with I/DD. Join us for this informative and eye-opening session!
3) “Inclusion in Employment” for employers and potential employers of jobseekers with I/DD.
Description:Course will introduce businesses and employers in Denver to the Employment First vision and provide participants information about recruiting, hiring, training, and supervising employees with I/DD. In the session, panel members and participants will identify concepts, supports, and resources that may be needed for a successful company strategy to include people with I/DD in the workplace.
4) “Inclusion and Engagement in Community Life” for a variety of community organizations striving to be more inclusive of people with disabilities, and specifically people with I/DD.
Description:Course will engage community organizations and clubs on not only including people with I/DD and other disabilities in their activities, but improving internal operations and adopting best practices to ensure people with I/DD and their families are welcomed and encouraged to actively participate in day to day activities or special events. Inclusive practices and strategies will be explored.
5) “Access to Community Services” for a variety of community service providers, such as transportation, housing, builders, health/medical with a desire to provide improved access to their services.
Description:Course will include information from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), discuss practical strategies to ensure and improve access, present case studies of best practice access in contrast with access that only meets a bare minimum or needs improvement. Participants will be engaged in problem solving throughout the class.
In depth follow up consultations will be offered to 12 organizations, businesses, or clubs (OBCs). These consultations will include a three hour individualized consultation and two hours of follow up. Currently, consultations are being offered by ZOOM and conference calls. Consultations will be provided with the goal of helping participants obtain the knowledge and skills that support including people with I/DD into activities in a meaningful way. A consultation can extend to matching a person with I/DD to become an employee, sit on a board, get involved in a diversity committee, etc. Consultations will also include discussion of mentorships (either connecting consulted organizations to existing leaders in inclusion or encouraging consulted organizations to mentor others on starting inclusive initiatives).
All trainings and consultations are funded by local mill levy dollars and are provided at no cost to participants.