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News

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Duckworth, Casey, Hassan, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Strengthen the ADA & Help Small Businesses Become Accessible

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced legislation on September 18, 2018 to make it easier for small businesses comply with the ADA. The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act bolsters the Disabled Access Credit (DAC), which helps businesses pay for renovations by doubling the maximum tax credit and allowing more small businesses to receive it. The legislation also invests in programs that mediate ADA-related disputes to avoid additional litigation and help individuals and businesses understand the ADA.

CCDC is excited to learn of Senator Duckworth’s proposed legislation that advocates for our members. Senator Duckworth, a veteran and double-amputee, has a proven track record of advocating for people with disabilities. CCDC strongly supports increasing the reach of the ADA, specifically in a way that will incentivize small businesses to become more accessible.

Major Changes to Aid to Needy and Disabled coming soon

AND victory

The “AND” program will see some major changes soon. Yes, this is a State program and as you can read have not made efforts to change the words like needy. However, we hope that these rule changes by the State Board of Human Services will help serve our community better. Two of the largest victories are, increase in monthly payment from 189 to 217 dollars and rules to provide applicant more time to qualify for benefits. Please see file “AND VICTORY” above for more information. CCDC wants to give a shout out to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy for their work in making these changes a reality.

Jaime Lewis

Proposed City of Denver budget falls short

On September 13th Mayor Michael Hancock presented his 2019 budget. As you may know our partners at Denver Streets Partnership and Walk Denver have been meeting city officials to elevate the need for safe and accessible side walks, street crossings and bike paths. These elements are essential for the independence of our people. Some of the glaring deficiencies in the budget included no funding for Federal Blvd., 3.8 million for sidewalks (we had requested 10) and very little money for simple upgrades and fixes such as bollards or paint for roads.
City council now has several weeks to review budget and to make recommendations.
CCDC strongly supports more funding for sidewalks, cross-walks and bike paths.
If you want your voice heard please use the Walk Denver Web site listed below for additional information and ways to reach out to your city councilperson.

Action Center

Jaime Lewis
CCDC Transit Advisor

Action Center

Great info on Fair Housing Rights

City & County of Denver Source of Income Protection

In a win for housing consumers, Denver City Council voted on July 30, 2018 prohibit landlords from denying applicants based on their source of income. This decision most heavily impacts housing seekers with subsidized housing vouchers and/or disability income, though it certainly benefits all potential

renters. The Council’s stance on the issue was that if a prospective renter can afford the rent, their source of income shouldn’t inform the housing provider’s decision. Opponents of the measure feel that requiring landlords to accept non-conventional sources of income like federal vouchers will force landlords to absorb uncovered damage expenses and delayed rent payments. However, to high-rent property owners, the law is unlikely to affect their business as the renters in question would likely not qualify for their units. It’s also important to note that many other jurisdictions in the country have already enacted such protections. The new protection will take effect for the City and County of Denver on January 1, 2019.

To learn more about Denver’s Source of Income protection, click here.

Your reasonable accommodation has been denied. What’s next?

 

If you have requested a reasonable accommodation and supplied your housing provider with the

appropriate documentation (typically a doctor’s note), and the accommodation was denied, there are a couple things you can do:

  • Be proactive! Ask for a meeting with the housing provider to discuss why the accommodation was denied. In some cases, a housing provider can deny an accommodation if it would pose a significant financial and administrative burden or cause them to significantly alter their business practices. If this is the case, your housing provider should work with you to come up with an alternative that will meet your
  • If there is no alternative accommodation that will meet your needs, you may request to be released from your lease at no

If your housing provider denied your accommodation based on discrimination, or you have reason to believe this is the case, here are some tips for what you should do next:

  • Document, document, document! Always keep records of requests you make, emails you receive, text messages, voicemails, recordings, etc. These will help you if you file a complaint for housing discrimination, as you will need proof of the discriminatory
  • Call the Denver Metro Fair Housing Center at 720-279-4291. DMFHC has staff members ready to help you determine if discrimination occurred, can help you self-advocate or advocate on your behalf to obtain approval for your
  • If all else fails, and it’s apparent that your housing provider has acted in a discriminatory manner, DMFHC can assist you throughout the complaint

Emotional Support Animals

 

Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, there is no distinction between emotional support animals or service animals. Simply obtain a doctor’s note, or a note from another medical professional, that establishes a nexus between your disability and your need for the animal. Next, write a short letter stating that you wish to request a reasonable accommodation. Best practice is to mail the request via certified mail to your housing provider, along with a copy of the Joint Statement from HUD and the DOJ on Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act (link below). If your housing provider either ignores or denies your request, call DMFHC to discuss next steps.

If you are unsure if what you’re experiencing is disability discrimination, or just have more questions,

call DMFHC at 720-279-4291.

Click here for a copy of the Joint Statement from HUD and the DOJ on Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act.

Information about Health Care Debt

https://www.moneymunk.com/us-health-care-statistics/

This blog has interesting and depressing statistics about health care debt for our country.  The main site also has some good information on credit cards, which are good, which are not, and how to think about using them.  Of course most of us do not have the luxury of deciding which credit cards to use, and low-income people are often left with only the worse options (high interest, poor terms, etc.)  However, now that we have the Medicaid Buy-In option and more of us are able to get and keep jobs, as we get out of poverty we can learn about things like credit card choices.

Anyway, the health care debt issue is something important.

Annual ADA Access Awards Luncheon on October 3, 2018

CCDC -ADA Access Awards Logo

 

CCDC invites you to attend and support our 2018 ADA Access Awards Luncheon, to be held on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (doors open at 11:30 a.m.) at Mile High Station. At this event, we will recognize and honor community organizations and individuals who go above and beyond in their advocacy efforts for the disability community and who have done this work with equity in mind. All proceeds from this event benefit the programs of CCDC all year-round.

Our thrilling keynote speaker this year is Lisa Duran!

 

Lisa Duran headshot

Lisa has worked for over 30 years in the nonprofit sector and grassroots social justice work.  Before becoming a consultant to nonprofits, she served as Executive Director of Grassroots Grantmakers, a national membership organization of foundations and other funders working to lift up grassroots voices and leadership in philanthropy.  Until 2014, she worked with Rights for All People, Colorado’s first immigrant-led immigrant rights organization based in Aurora, Colorado. After eight years as a volunteer, Lisa became its first executive director for 11 years.  In 2015, RAP merged with the Colorado Progressive Coalition and became Colorado People’s Alliance, continuing the legacy of progressive change established by both organizations.  While at RAP, Lisa also led the establishment of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and the Aurora Human Rights Center, an immigrant and refugee integration project in Colorado’s most diverse city.   We are so appreciative of Lisa’s time and acceptance of our invitation to be our keynote speaker in 2018.

 

Along with the keynote address, CCDC will honor four Coloradans who have made major contributions to advancing social justice for people with all types of disabilities.

Sponsorships are available and start at $500 each. To learn more, email Director of Development Laura Gabbay at lgabbay@ccdconline.org or call 720-249-2208.  To RSVP click here.

Event Date: 10/03/2018 – 11:30am – 1:30pm
Event Location: Mile High Station, 2027 Old West Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204

RTD Director Candidate Forum

D
CANDIDATE
FORUM

 

Tuesday September 4th
1:30pm-3:00pm
The Alliance Center
1536 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO  80202

 

Learn where your potential RTD representatives stand on important transit issues. Hear what they ave to say at this FREE forum moderated by former 9News anchor, Mark Koebrich.

Sponsored by Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council, Colorado Association of Transit Agencies, and AARP.

For more information, contact 303-861-3711, X104 or
email cshipps@drmac-co.org.

RTD Directors Close to Making Decision on Fares

RTD Board of Directors will be deciding on fare increases in the next couple of weeks.

August  21st- RTD Board will have its regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday the 21st of September from 5:30-7:30 at 1660 Blake.  This meeting provides time for public input.  People wanting to speak must sign in when they arrive and indicate that they want speak.  Each speaker is given 3 minutes to present.  All comments should be directed at chair person.

September 11- RTD finance committee may vote to present fare increase to full board (September 18th).  No public input is allowed at this meeting

September 18th- RTD Board has the option to vote on fare increases or table the issue to gather more information or input.  Public input is accepted at this meeting.

If the vote is tabled there could be another chance on October 23rd for Directors to do so.

Jaime Lewis

CCDC Transit Advisor

 

 

What is these RAEs (Regional Accountable Entities)??

 

  • You should have received a letter from Medicaid recently.
  • You may see and hear new terms describing how the system of care is changing. However, your Medicaid benefits and services are not
  • You can continue to receive the same physical, mental health and long-term services and supports services you are receiving today.
  • The big change starting July 1, 2018, is one organization will be coordinating your physical and behavioral health benefits. This is intended to make it easier to get the care you need. This organization is called your Regional Accountable Entity, or RAE.
  • If the Primary Care Provider who is listed in your letter is not the one you want, you can pick a new one by calling the Medicaid enrollment department at 888-367-6557.
  • You can continue to see any physical health provider (doctors, hospitals, etc.) who accepts Medicaid, no matter which Primary Care Provider is listed on the letter you received.
  • If your behavioral health provider / therapist tells you they cannot see you because they are not part of the RAE network, please have the provider call the RAE. You should also call the RAE’s customer service line to make sure your services continue and to prevent or minimize any delays.
  • If you are told you cannot get mental health care for a long time, please call your RAE.
  • If you have a mental health crisis you can always call the crisis line at 1-844-493-8255 or text talk to 38255. Please call us also so we can get you connected with ongoing mental health care.
  • You can call your regional organization for help with:
    • Finding a doctor or specialist
    • Finding a behavioral /mental health therapist, other mental health support or a psychiatrist
    • Getting help with your care – including understanding your benefits and getting a ride to your medical appointments
    • Referring you to a long-term services and supports program if you need help with daily activities due to age or significant disability.
    • Referring you to other resources that might affect your health such as places to get help with food

RAE Contact Information and Area Map

 

Region  Regional Accountable Entity  Contact Information
1 Rocky Mountain Health Plans Email:  support@rmhpcommunity.org
2 Northeast Health Partners 9925 Federal Drive, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Phone: 1-800-804-5040
Email: COProviderRelations@beaconhealthoptions.com
3 Colorado Access Amber Garcia
Phone: 720-744-5487
Email:  pns@coaccess.com
4 Health Colorado, Inc. 9925 Federal Drive, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Phone: 1-800-804-5040
Email: COProviderRelations@beaconhealthoptions.com
5 Colorado Access Amber Garcia
Phone: (720) 744-5487
Email:  pns@coaccess.com
6 CO Community Health Alliance Phone: 303-256-1717 (Local) 855-627-4685 (Toll-Free)
Contact Us
7 CO Community Health Alliance Phone: 303-256-1717 (Local) 855-627-4685 (Toll-Free)
Contact Us

 

Historic Neighborhoods Worry Denver’s Sidewalk Crusade Could Cost Them Character

http://www.cpr.org/news/story/historic-neighborhoods-worry-denver-s-sidewalk-repair-crusade-could-cost-them-character


Important Notice
CCDC’s employees and/or volunteers are NOT acting as your attorney. Responses you receive via electronic mail, phone, or in any other manner DO NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), or any employee of, or other person associated with, CCDC. The only way an attorney-client relationship is established is if you have a signed retainer agreement with one of the CCDC Legal Program attorneys.

Information received from CCDC’s employees or volunteers, or from this site, should NOT be considered a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. www.ccdconline.org DOES NOT provide any legal advice, and you should consult with your own lawyer for legal advice. This website is a general service that provides information over the internet. The information contained on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation.

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