Mission, Vision and Values

Mission Statement:
CCDC advocates for Social Justice for people with all types of disabilities.

Vision for CCDC:
CCDC Will:

  • Be the lead private organization assuring compliance with disability civil rights laws, regulations and policies.
  • Be the “go to” organization for disability policy in Colorado.
  • Have a competent core of leaders/advocates available to hold policy making positions on statewide and local levels.
  • Develop leadership in the disability community.
  • Be the catalyst for innovative ideas and cohesive activism within the disability community.
  • Be a financially healthy, inclusive, forward thinking non-profit organization.

Vision for Colorado:
Colorado will be the best place for people with disabilities to live because:

  • Colorado will have a strong array of community based supports for people who need long-term services.  These supports will promote full participation by people with disabilities in the community supporting employment, civic engagement, and complete integration.  Supports will be provided in the most integrated and least restrictive setting and will always have options for client control.  People requiring services and supports will be able to move between levels of control and independence as their needs and conditions change.  The atmosphere for support services will be supportive and will promote personal responsibility in a positive manner.
  • Colorado will be the most accessible state in the nation in terms of public transportation, public accommodations and state and local government.
  • All branches of state and local government and their contractors will have effective communication protocols in place that are used and enforced.  Effective communication protocols will be accessible for people with any type of disability that impairs either receptive or expressive communication.
  • All governmental decision making regarding programs or services that is likely to have an impact on people with disabilities will be made with meaningful involvement by the disability community.
  • Colorado will have the highest percentage of people with disabilities who vote in the nation.
  • Colorado will have increasing numbers of people with disabilities employed each year.
  • Colorado will have a decrease each year in percentage of people with disabilities living in poverty.
  • People with disabilities in Colorado will have equitable access to technology as needed for individual independence.   
  • People with disabilities will have equitable educational opportunities.

Values – CCDC bases all activities on the following values:

Value: Nothing About Us Without Us

Meaning:  People with disabilities must have meaningful involvement and decision-making power regarding rules and policies that impact our daily lives.  This must occur on individual and systemic basis.  Input provided by the disability community must be respected and used by state agencies.

Practical implications:  PWD serve on policy making boards, PWD slots on task forces,  PWD slots on non profit boards including foundation boards,  Leadership training, funding and staff key to make this happen.

No care/treatment/any plan about the life of PWD should ever occur without the PWD as the central decision maker (For minor children, while parents appropriately have legal authority, children with disabilities should learn how to control their lives and need to be taught advocacy skills)

Value:  Leadership development that empowers people to have a greater sense of pride, self direction and personal responsibility

Meaning: PWD gain the skills and confidence to be leaders.  Established leaders’ mentor and supporter younger people for leadership roles in the community.

Practical implications: Leaders demonstrate civil engagement and give to their communities in meaningful ways.

Value:  Intentional diversity provides opportunities for individuals and strengthens organizations.

Meaning:  CCDC needs a leadership base including board, staff and members who are diverse in race, ethnicity, culture, age, education, class, sexual orientation/identity, and disability.  CCDC welcomes and needs a variety of perspectives.  In order to create public policy robust debate is appropriate and necessary.  We have always been cross disability and must continue to be intentional and assure diversity of disability in all settings.

Practical implications:  CCDC actively and affirmatively engages with communities of color to create strong coalitions; CCDC must confront racism, classism, etc., in our everyday work.  CCDC strives to create an internal atmosphere where we welcome debate and use it productively.

Value:  Cross-Disability

Meaning:  People with different types of disabilities have more in common than not. This does not preclude work on single disability issues

Practical implications:  CCDC assures that people with all types of disabilities are included and opposes policies that pit one disability group against another.

Value:  Interdependence - CCDC promotes a culture that enforces civil and human rights without allowing for the abdication of personal responsibility.  CCDC believes that people with disabilities strive to reach the highest possible level of self sufficiency and should be supported and encouraged to do so, with the understanding that interdependence is a necessity for people with and without disabilities.

Meaning:  PWD may need supports/services/enforcement of rights. The current system mandates dependency.  Due to limitations of the current system, CCDC recognizes that some people require benefits.  However we believe that everyone has a responsibility to contribute what they are able to society.  Benefits need to become the means to an end, not the end.  PWD should be expected to contribute—everyone needs meaning in their lives and that means having responsibilities.

Practical implications:  Positions we take reflect this value. CCDC engages in systemic advocacy and policy changes to make this value a reality. CCDC will try to assist those who want to contribute to do so in a meaningful and useful manner.  This will include working with other disability organizations and keeping a “skills bank”. It will be a success any time someone with a disability contributes, whether it is to disability or not, and whether CCDC or not.

Value:  Interdependence: CCDC promotes a culture that enforces civil and human rights without allowing for the abdication of personal responsibility.  CCDC believes that people with disabilities strive to reach the highest possible level of self sufficiency and should be supported and encouraged to do so, with the understanding that interdependence is a necessity for people with and without disabilities.

Meaning: PWD may need supports/services/enforcement of rights. The current system mandates dependency.  Due to limitations of the current system, CCDC recognizes that some people require benefits.  However we believe that everyone has a responsibility to contribute what they are able to society.  Benefits need to become the means to an end, not the end.  PWD should be expected to contribute—everyone needs meaning in their lives and that means having responsibilities.

Practical implications:  Positions we take reflect this value. CCDC engages in systemic advocacy and policy changes to make this value a reality.  CCDC will try to assist those who want to contribute to do so in a meaningful and useful manner.  This will include working with other disability organizations and keeping a “skills bank”. It will be a success any time someone with a disability contributes, whether it is to disability or not, and whether CCDC or not.

Value:  Civil and Human Rights

Meaning: The ADA, Fair Housing Act, and other civil rights law must be fully enforced and enforceable.  Civil rights for PWD means that laws, rules and policies support full with the same amenities offered to PWD as to others.  This includes effective communication and the modification of policies, practices and procedures. Living in the community with supports is a civil and human right.  Segregated and institutional environments are discriminatory.  This includes people inappropriately in the criminal justice system.

Practical implications: CCDC educates PWD on the meaning of civil rights laws and enforcement options. CCDC promotes effective enforcement. CCDC directly enforces civil rights laws through litigation and promotion of any penalties that can deter non-compliance. CCDC engages in testing and monitoring to assure compliance with civil rights laws. CCDC and other disability organizations work to assure that the Olmstead Decision is enforced.  CCDC and other disability organizations will take an action to stop the criminalization of disability. If a person with a disability commits a crime and is competent, that person should pay his or her debt to society.  The individual must have the same opportunities for community corrections and rehabilitation as non disabled inmates.

Value:  Disability is Part of the Human Experience Disability affects people of all ages and the aging process itself often causes disability.

Meaning: Everyone experiences disability in some way in their lives, either temporary, through family member, etc.

Practical implications:  Need to break down the barriers and fear on both sides.  Disability is not a tragedy.

Value: Full Citizenship

Meaning:  PWD have all the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship, As such, they deserve a basic level of rights and enforcement of those rights, but also need to be allowed, encouraged and provided the resources by which they can contribute to society. PWD and our allies, have the duty to enforce these rights and promote responsibilities.

Practical implications:  We need to mentor our youth to expect a full life and need systems to expect that also, this means services should be flexible and revolve around life, not the other way around.  This also means PWD need to take responsibilities of full citizenship, for example CCDC actively encourages all PWD and our allies to vote and will engage in non-partisan registration and GOTV activities. CCDC believes part of disability community leadership means assisting people who want to contribute to do so in a meaningful way.

For further information please refer to the CCDC Strategic Plan 1/1/2012-12/31/2015.

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