Woman in Class

The term, “self-advocate” is used to describe a person with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities who also advocates for themselves. This term is part of a growing movement that recognizes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the right to make decisions for themselves and to live with increasing independency and self-direction. The self-advocacy movement is a core element of the beliefs of The Arc of Colorado. For this reason, we are committed to finding and creating opportunities for self-advocacy.


Center on Youth Voice Youth Choice is for youth with disabilities. You have the right to make your own decisions about your life!  The Center works with you, your families, and your supporters. They do research, advocacy, and teaching about alternatives to guardianship. Click Here for Details


The Arc of Colorado recently created “Sit Down with Stone” a Colorado Specific version of “Tuesdays with Liz”. In each episode, Stone will interview legislators and other policy officials about public policy. The goal of the series is to increase understanding amongst self-advocates of relevant policy issues.

Stand Up, Speak Out, Take Charge Documentary

Stand Up, Speak Out, Take Charge is a short documentary film that explore the issues, challenges, benefits and opportunities of embracing self-advocacy by people with disabilities.
Filmmaker: Sam Lawrence

The Calabrese Life Opportunities Fund

The Calabrese Life Opportunities fund is designed to help people with developmental disabilities of all ages to obtain technological devices, applications to be used on technological devices or training on the use of technological devices and applications. Access to technology and information access is essential for community and social participation, employment, education, health, and general communication. Any individual with an intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the State of Colorado is eligible to apply for assistance through a grant application to the Calabrese Life Opportunities Fund.

Learn more about the application process.

Supported Decision-Making

Visit our Supported Decision-Making page for information and resources.

The Arc Chapters

There are fourteen local chapters of the Arc that provide direct advocacy to families. Most chapters provide a form of educational advocacy and adult advocacy services, free of charge. In unserved counties of the state, The Arc of Colorado provides advocacy. Please contact your local chapter if you need direct advocacy assistance.

Self-Advocacy Online

Self-Advocacy Online is a content rich, accessible online educational and networking tool developed by the Research & Training Center on Community Living (RTC) at the University of Minnesota and promoted by The Arc.

Visit the Self-Advocacy website to learn more.

Colorado Services and Supports for People with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

The state of Colorado has many different programs available to assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The cost of most services is covered by a combination of state and federal tax dollars. Colorado Medicaid is publicly funded health insurance for low income families, children, pregnant women, persons with disabilities or who are blind. Colorado Medicaid is often simply referred to as the State Plan. The State Plan covers the cost of basic medical services. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities who qualify can receive Medicaid services regardless of whether or not they also receive other services specific to their developmental disability.

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) is the state Medicaid agency. For information about Medicaid eligibility and benefits, contact:

Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
303 East 17th Avenue 7th Floor Conference Room. Denver, CO 80203
(303) 866-2993 Phone
(303) 866-4411 Fax

Colorado’s Service Delivery System

Developmental Disability Services—Community Centered Boards

Community based services (HCBS Medicaid waivers, Early Intervention, and Family Support) for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Colorado are provided through a system of 20 Community Centered Boards (CCB). CCBs serve defined geographic areas of the state. The CCB is the Single Entry Point for eligibility determination and coordination of resources (case management.) Individuals can choose from many different service providers or receive services directly from the CCB in some areas of the state.

For contact information and a map of CCB service areas click here.