Brielle – an eight-year-old girl with severe autism – requires at-home care to bathe, dress, eat and stay safe as she whirls, jumps and runs through her world. When Medicaid cut this care, a trained CCDC advocate convinced an administrative law judge to reverse the decision so Brielle gets the care she needs and can stay home with her family. (Janell Bailey, Brielle’s mother, pictured.)
Rolf Kotar – CCDC Mental Health Liaison
In my years with CCDC, I’ve had an opportunity to express myself, gain supportive social contacts, and enjoy intellectual stimulation. This is my 13-year anniversary at CCDC, which has been one of a couple of major resources making my life worth living. The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition has been a source of renewal for me in my work in the consumer movement. CCDC Executive Director Julie Reiskin has been a selfless giver to me on many occasions, especially when I needed an expert advocate. I can’t ask for a better supervisor than Julie. Julie has been my model for all my work at CCDC and in the community at large which I hope will continue for some time.
Dr. Stephen Block – Executive Director, Denver Options
Walter Winchell once said, “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” I consider the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition a real friend to the disability community – stepping in when others turn away from social injustice; seeking equality when others discriminate; advocating and protecting the disability rights of individuals when the rest of the community remains indifferent.
Maryann Shannon – CCDC Member
I wish to recognize Anne-Marie Mokritsky-Martin, a CCDC Advocate, for her compassionate and hard work in helping people with disabilities with public housing issues. It took me a while to be brave enough to start fighting for my rights, but because of the expertise and knowledge that Anne-Marie posses, it was possible for me to make the leap. This year Anne-Marie was quite ill but still came back to work on what she had started. I find this to be above and beyond the call of duty for anyone, let alone a volunteer. We have just started on my housing issues, and were able to keep me in my residence for the coming year and are working toward it being more permanent. I am fighting a deadly disease that causes me to live with extreme fatigue combined with my other disabilities had made me be unable to stand up in the past. Because of Anne-Marie’s wise tutelage and compassion I have been able to move forward. This fatigue and fear of the unknown had caused me to back down in the past. I never realized all the rights I have as a disabled person, I only knew that my life was getting unbearable. The greatest thing that came out of this was this ineffable feeling of freedom from the bondage of discrimination. It was a spirit changer for me and I can’t imagine that it isn’t for all of the others that Anne-Marie has helped.