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News Archive

July 20, 2018

Boulder County Seeks to Strengthen Supports for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

County collaborating with policy partners to assess current services and gaps

Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County is leading a collaborative effort to collect feedback around services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the community. The county, in collaboration with two area organizations specializing in policy analysis, plans to use the assessment to improve services being offered to individuals who need a range of I/DD supports.

“We all want to provide the best help we can for these individuals and their families,” said Boulder County Commissioner Deb Gardner. “This assessment will give us important information about where our financial resources are working best and where our gaps are, so we can sharpen our focus on ensuring people of all ages with cognitive and developmental disabilities can live fuller, more satisfying, and independent lives.”

Boulder County residents in 2002 generously approved a 1.5 mill property tax levy that helps fund services and programs for community members with I/DD and their families. To help measure the impacts of these resources, OMNI Institute and Keystone Policy Center – in partnership with Boulder County - will be conducting surveys, community dialogue sessions, focus groups, and key informant interviews over the next four months, with feedback coming from consumers, families, direct service providers, and community partners.

“We are eager to hear directly from those who know best about where these funds are making a difference,” said Susan Caskey, IMPACT Division Director for the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS). “There are so many committed organizations doing excellent work for our neighbors with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their input combined with feedback from those they serve and their families will give us a well-rounded view of how best to further strengthen I/DD supports across Boulder County.”

Community members who receive I/DD services and their family members can provide input around current services and potential gaps in these ways:

  • Community forums on Wednesday, July 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at East Boulder Community Center and in September (dates and Boulder area locations to be determined)
  • A survey to the community in July and August (link to be distributed to the community by OMNI; contact rsvp@omni.org for more information)
  • Individual interviews and small group conversations, including for those unable to provide feedback using the methods above (contact rsvp@omni.org for information)

Individuals or organizations that provide direct supports or advocacy to I/DD clients and their families can submit input around current services and potential gaps in these ways:

  • A survey to providers and community organizations
  • Individual interviews and small group conversations: most service providers will be contacted by Keystone or OMNI; those that are not are encouraged to reach out about participation

Information about the I/DD assessment, including community meetings and timing of and links to the survey to the community will be available at bit.ly/bocoidd.

A majority of the I/DD tax funding currently supports programming offered by Imagine, a local non-profit that provides services such as education and therapy, work opportunities in the community, recreational learning and leisure activities, facilitation of independent and group living, and more. Other organizations receiving funding from the tax include Boulder County Aging Services, the departments of Community Services and Housing and Human Services, the Juvenile Diversion Program, the District Attorney’s Community Justice Program, and others.

Additional information about Boulder County’s I/DD services, including the Developmental Disabilities Tax and its allocations, is available at bit.ly/bocoidd.