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Find CCDC programs to help assist in advocating for you or someone you know with a disability.



Keep up to date with disability rights activities you care about. Choose a few topics or sign up for all of them!



Find the most common issues people with disabilities face and how CCDC can help.


Month: April 2020


Please see Part 2  and Part 3 for other important related information.


For example, were you denied the opportunity to donate plasma and receive payment for doing so for a disability-related reason? If so, our Civil Rights Legal Program needs to hear from you as soon as possible. Please contact Kara Gillon at or (303) 660-8254. Email is best as the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (“CCDC”) staff are all following the current EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020 024, AMENDING AND EXTENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020 017 ORDERING COLORADANS TO STAY AT HOME DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF COVID-19 (“Order”), entered April 6, 2020, as well as the UPDATED PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER 20-24 IMPLEMENTING STAY AT HOME REQUIREMENTS (“PHO”), dated March 26, 2020, and issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. Most of us are working at home unless otherwise necessary. CCDC is permitted under these orders to have staff in the office, but we are working at home unless otherwise necessary.

WHAT DO WE NEED FROM YOU? We need to know as much precise information as possible which may include the following: (1) when you made the contact with any of the CSL Plasma Centers located in Colorado (the previous link provides all addresses and other necessary contact information, also listed below); (2) all reasons why you believe you were discriminated against on the basis of your disability; (3) who you talked to and when and what was said.

Leave a good time to contact you (again preferably by email) and your name, telephone number, email address and whether you are a CCDC member already.

If you would like to become a CCDC member, membership is free and can be extended to any individual who believes in social justice for people with all types of disabilities. You can become a member easily by logging on to the CCDC Membership Website Page. By becoming a member, you may elect to receive important information regarding all activities of CCDC which are especially important in light of the current pandemic.

This is Part 1 of three parts to be included in this Alert.

Part 2 of this Alert will provide you with information regarding whether you would be interested in being a plasma donor which accomplishes three important purposes: (1) Assisting individuals who are in desperate need of plasma donations received those donations during this time of crisis; (2) helping you obtain some additional needed financial resources during this economic crisis; and (3) assisting CCDC with its investigation of this issue and the possibility of disability discrimination.

Part 3 of this Alert will provide you with the legal background for the types of disability discrimination individuals might be experiencing as a result of attempting to donate plasma at CSL Plasma centers.


Colorado CSL Plasma locations:

11651 W 64th Ave Suite B1
Arvada, CO 80004
Ph: 303-425-9959
Fax: 303-423-6464
Mon-Fri 6:30am-7pm; Sat/Sun 7am-5pm
Map This Location
Donation Center Details

690 Peoria St. Unit M
Aurora, CO 80011
Ph: 303-363-0095
Fax: 303-363-6732
Mon-Fri 6am-8pm; Sat 7am-3pm; Sun 6am-6pm
Map This Location
Donation Center Details

Colorado Springs
5506 N. Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Ph: 719-284-3258
Fax: 719-387-9767
Mon-Fri 7:30am-6pm; Sat/Sun 9am-3pm
Map This Location
Donation Center Details

Evans (Greeley)
3505 11th Avenue, Unit #1
Evans, CO 80620
Ph: 970-330-3558
Fax: 970-330-1807
Mon-Fri 7am-8pm; Sat-Sun 7am-7pm
Map This Location
Donation Center Details

Ft. Collins
1228 West Elizabeth Street, Suite D-3
Ft Collins, CO 80521
Ph: 970-484-2248
Fax: 970-484-2568
Mon-Fri 7am-7pm; Sat-Sun 7am-3pm
Map This Location
Donation Center Details

Grand Junction
2650 North Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Ph: 970-233-7947
Fax: 970-241-3511
Sun-Fri 6am-7pm; Sat 6am 5pm
Map This Location
Donation Center Details

11874 Washington St
Northglenn, CO 80233
Ph: 303-515-7621
Fax: 303-255-1471
Mon-Fri 6:30am-7pm; Sat-Sun 7am-5pm
Map This Location
Donation Center Details


Part 2⇒                         Part 3⇒⇒

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Colorado readies guidelines for prioritizing coronavirus patient care in case of hospital overload

Colorado health officials are finalizing guidelines to help doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis make the excruciating choices about how to prioritize care for COVID-19 patients should the pandemic overwhelm the capacity…

Continue to the original article.

Colorado Is Creating Guidelines To Help Make Excruciating Coronavirus Care Decisions

CCDC in the News

What if four patients in respiratory distress need a ventilator to keep them alive, but a hospital has just one available? Who makes that call? And how?

Public health and community leaders are contemplating excruciating dilemmas just like that before demanding for medical help in the coronavirus crisis peaks in coming weeks.

They’re updating protocols, called “crisis standards of care,” for the most urgent medical decision-making possible, guidelines to determine, as resources get scarce, who gets care and at what level and who does not.

Continue to the original article.



CCDC’s Civil Rights Legal Program has numerous and growing concerns regarding discrimination against people with disabilities as a direct result of decision-making by both private and public entities occurring during the pandemic. When a crisis hits, as we all know (or at least our community is now finding out) people with disabilities and our civil rights get kicked to the curb!

These bad actors jump at every opportunity to Take advantage of what they call our “special rights,” but now that dogged discrimination is multiplied exponentially in order to violate our rights every time the word “emergency” gets used. These evildoers and lawbreakers will do everything in their power to ignore us and act as though somehow emergencies affect the lives of everyone else except people with disabilities. We know just the opposite is true.

Although Governor Polis’ administration has continued working with CCDC in a collaborative fashion and actively seeks input from CCDC regarding the needs of the disability community (something sorely lacking with respect to our needs and rights at other levels of government), the Civil Rights Legal Program stands ready to address to the best of our ability any form of discrimination against any individual or group on the basis of disability as a result of decision-making by governmental entities or private entities (such as the police, transportation providers, government entities failing to provide effective communication, doctors’ offices treating you differently based on disability, etc.) that occur related to the pandemic. All of us at CCDC, who have been working tirelessly to do our best to help our community in this time of crisis see COVID-19: RESOURCES, LINKS, AND INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITIES, recognize that almost everyone has been hit very hard by current circumstances, but that does not permit discrimination against people with disabilities to be allowed to go unchecked. We will not do so! Now, more than ever, our civil rights must and will be enforced!

As we all know, we always face the same problems as everyone else plus all of the problems related to our disabilities, most of which would be alleviated if people would simply do what they are supposed to under civil rights laws, but during this unprecedented and unimaginable crisis, we are really feeling the devastation far more so than our nondisabled counterparts. So many of us are just trying to figure out how to get out of bed in the morning given that we or maybe our attendants, our families, our friends, and our colleagues are falling victim to this foe that does not discriminate. Nevertheless, we are the most resilient, most resourceful and most likely to figure out the path to victory because that is what we have to do every day of our lives. For all of those reasons, we are here to help the best of our ability and in close connection with our allies in the field and other civil rights lawyers who are working harder than we’ve ever worked in our lives to make sure everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – receives the fair and equal treatment we and those who came before us have fought so hard for all of our lives.

Please go to our Intake Form for information about the types of cases we take. You can also contact our Legal Program Assistant, Kara Gillon, at or (303) 660-8254 if you feel you have been discriminated against on the basis of disability based on the above types of circumstances or any other disability-rights violation. Please remember that we only take cases involving civil rights discrimination on the basis of disability. Other problems should be handled by CCDC’s other non-attorney advocates who can be found on our website,

Obviously, we cannot guarantee that we can help in every circumstance; nor can we guarantee a perfectly successful outcome, but we have been here for you for 22 (almost 23) years doing all that we can with our small but, in my humble opinion, mighty staff taking on hundreds and hundreds of cases usually with good outcomes for the disability community in most circumstances (not always, but most). This is true even in the face of many more and more opponents who seem more defiant than ever to refuse to treat people with disabilities with humanity and equality as required on the law.

Those who would deny us our civil rights were growing in number and in willful disobedience of the law before, but this behavior is only been enhanced by the current pandemic. They never stop to think that we are the one minority group that they could join and, in the face of the current pandemic, just might join at any given moment. They need us not only to fight for ourselves but for them as well. Everyone is really just one sneeze away from the potential of needing those ventilators we keep hearing about and reading about in the news and perhaps requiring home healthcare for the rest of our lives. Oddly, many of us have lived under the circumstances for most of our lives. We truly are all in this together! But even that doesn’t stop them from discriminating and denying us equal opportunity under the law.

We must show those who will try to take advantage of a crisis to discriminate against us on the basis of our disabilities that we will not permit it! Although disability rights laws are not boundless (they do have their limitations), we are seeing firsthand and hearing about so many clear-cut violations of the law (and so many violations committed in the name of “emergencies” that we must remind those who will find any excuse to take advantage of us or the pandemic, our civil rights matter more now than ever!.

 -- Kevin Williams, CCDC Civil Rights Legal Program Director
and a member of the disability community for 33 -- almost 34 -- years and counting).

Re: Equitable, Life-saving Care for People with Disabilities in Our State during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The COLORADO Ethics Example for our Nation

Read the letter crafted by our Executive Director and 142 additional partner organizations to Governor Polis regarding the Equitable, Life-saving Care for People with Disabilities in Our State. Download the fully accessible PDF Version,

Blue line with three diamond shapes in the middle

April 1, 2020, via Electronic Mail

The Honorable Jared Polis
Colorado State Capitol
200 East Colfax Room 136
Denver, CO 80203

Re: Equitable, Life-saving Care for People with Disabilities in Our State during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The COLORADO Ethics Example for our Nation

Dear Governor Polis,

Thank you again for your extraordinary leadership during this crisis. As you know, there are approximately 600,000 people with disabilities in the state of Colorado. Considering family members, friends and people whose livelihood depends on us the impact of disability exceeds 2 million Coloradans.

Over the next week, you will need to approve Critical Care Triage guidelines for the state of Colorado, The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition has confirmed strong support from well over 100 disability organizations in our state (including every Community Centered Board) all of whom have signed onto this summary letter corresponding to our communication on March 25, 2020.

Our stakeholders feel strongly that the Critical Care Triage Guidance for Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) must apply to all hospitals in our state or at least the guidance within the CSC specific to those with disabilities. Below is a recap of what must be included to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to other Coloradans as we all try to survive this pandemic.

Prevent and Prohibit Medical “Rationing” Based on Disability
  1. 1) Decisions are not made based on permanent disabilities or underlying conditions unless:
    1. (a) There is a clinically definitive terminal diagnosis and the individual meets hospice guidelines.
    2. (b) There is a clinically definitive diagnosis that makes it highly unlikely that the person could survive the coronavirus based on a scientifically known multiple variables (e.g. age 70+ AND severe heart or lung disease that is not reversible).
  2. 2) Restoration criteria must only look at restoration to baseline. The fact that someone will need to use medical or social resources after discharge cannot be a factor in decision-making if the person needed those resources prior to the acute treatment.
  3. 3) All hospitals must have a plan for providing effective communication to people with disabilities including a reasonable accommodation process to assist with communication.
    1. (Examples could include materials accessible for people who are blind or low-vision, auxiliary aides and services for people with communication disabilities or Sign Language interpreters for people who are Deaf)(CDPHE should provide a resource tool kit. CCDC can assist with this)
  4. 4) The state is clear that no one who uses a ventilator on a regular basis (not related to COVID-19) will have their ventilator confiscated. Anyone already on a ventilator that is hospitalized for any other reason will be treated and the use of a ventilator will not reduce their triage score (someone already living on a ventilator may actually have greater survivability).
  5. 5) Admission, discharge and aftercare criteria will not differ for people with disabilities and people without disabilities. If someone cannot safely go home once a hospital-level of care is no longer required, placement in a rehab or nursing facility must be short term and re-evaluated every 72 hours.

There must also be an easy way to use an appeal process and we must make information about enforcement accessible as well.

Governor Polis, thank you for helping protect ALL of Colorado citizens and for ensuring our state’s leadership in ethical and accessible healthcare and civil rights protections for people with disabilities. We look forward to receiving the CSC and anticipate that it will be both a state and hospital level mandate and include these basic safeguards that are the underpinnings of our very humanity. We are humbled to work with your administration and have been proud when talking with our peers nationally that Colorado is a leader in this difficult time. We expect that once you issue an order we immediately get national attention to encourage other states to follow our lead.

Julie Reiskin
Executive Director
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

Blue line with three diamond shapes in the middle

A Better Life, LLC – Anne R. Patton
Ability Access – Vrnda Noel
Ability Connection Colorado – Judith I. Ham
Access and Ability – Menda Ide
ACLU of Colorado – Stephen Meswarb
ACLU of Colorado – Denise Maes
Action Consultants, Inc. – Colene J. Roberts
Adam’s Camp – Lindsay Radford
ADAPT – Dawn Russell
Adaptive Adventures – Chelsea Elder
ADL Mountain States – Scott Levin
Advocacy Denver – Pamela Bisceglia
Alliance – Joshua Rael (Represents 19 Community Centered Boards and 60 Program Approved Service Agencies or PASA’s)
American Liver Foundation – Juliane Swan
Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome – Francis J. Hickey, MD
AOI Homecare – David Bolin
Arc of the Central Mountains – Jill Pidcock
Arc Thrift Stores – Lloyd Lewis
Ariel Clinical Services – Rebecca Hobart, LCSW
Association for Community Living in Boulder & Broomfield Counties – Ailsa Wonnacott
Atlantis Community, Inc. – Candie Burnham
Autism Society of Colorado – Danny Combs
Beat to your Rhythm, LLC – Amanda Ortiz
Brain Injury Hope Foundation – Gayann Brandenburg
Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center – Sonya Norris
Celebrate EDU – Linda Anderson
Center for People with Disabilities – Maria Stepanyan
Children’s Diabetes Foundation – Dana Davis
Chronic Care Collaborative – Sara Froelich
Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) – Timothy Fox
Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) Amy Robertson
COLarity, LLC d.b.a COLiaisons – Sandra Cannon-Balogun
Colorado Access – Gretchen McGinnis
Colorado Center for the Blind – Caitlin Westerson
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative – Julie Deden
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition – Chris Brock
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition – Christine Fiedler
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition – Kevin Williams
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition – Ronald Hutter
Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council – Robert A. Lawhead
Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care – Bill Semple
Colorado Fragile X – Laura Ayres
Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities – Megan Brand
Colorado Gerontological Society – Eileen Doherty
Colorado Health Network, Inc. – Darrell Vigil
Colorado Mental Wellness Network – Hope Hyatt
Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance – Patrice Hauptman
Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association – Julie Harmon Colorado Organizations and Individuals Responding to HIV/Aids (CORA) – Barb Cardell
CTAT, LLC – Joanne Cohen
D.C. Rolfing Limited – Dina A. Stevens
Developmental Pathways – Matt VanAuken
Developmental Pediatrics, JFK Partners, University of Colorado School of Medicine – Sandra L. Friedman, MD, MPH
Disability Law Colorado – Mary Anne Harvey
Domino Service Dogs – Barbara Henry
Down Syndrome-Autism Connection – Margaret Froehlke
DSST Public Schools – Bill Kurtz
Easter Seals Colorado – Roman Krafczyk
ECS – Robin Stahley
Eden Care Facility, LLC – Michael Kidane
El Grupo Vida – Elisa Aucancela
Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado – Marcee Aude
Families for Families, LLC – Joy Huskinson
Front Range Home Care Services – Tim Thornton
Global Down Syndrome Foundation – Michelle Sie Whitten
Grays Peak Speech Services, LLC – Jennifer Gray
Guided by Humanity – Mary M. Sims
Hands on Communication – Allison Magana, MS, CCC-SLP
Healthier Colorado – Jake Williams
His Hands and Feet, LLC – Catherine Reed
Horizons – Alicia Ann Morton
Horizons Specialized Services – Cathy Barnhart, RN
Imagine – Holly Perna
Imagine – Vicki Thaler
IN! Colorado Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education – Tracy Murphy
Invisible Disabilities Association – Jess Stainbrook
JFK Partners, University of Colorado School of Medicine – Cordelia Robinson Rosenberg, PhD, RN Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP – Michael Fairhurst
Laradon – Edward R. Hubbard
Laradon – Jenniffer Rodriguez
Laradon – Justin
Laradon – Krista Richardson
Laradon – Phaedra Andersen
Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome – Joaquin M. Espinosa
Make-A-Wish Colorado – Scott Dishong
Metro Support Service – Grace Schum
Mile High Early Learning – Pamela Harris
National Federation of the Blind – Scott LaBarre
National MS Society – Jessalyn Hampton
National Pain Advocacy Center – Kate Nicholson
New Beginnings Counseling, LLC – Rebecca K. Romano
Nick’s Hope, LLC – Susan Roussos
North Metro Community Services – Julie Badenhoop
North Metro Community Services – Nichole Brining
Northwest Colorado Center for Independence – Ian Engle
Omega Plus Home Health Care – Mark Baloyi

Some Kind of Hero

Over the past few days, I’ve looked through some old books that present accounts of living through experiences that are somewhat comparable to what we’re all going through now.

What becomes apparent in stories—as well as in our own lived experience—is that in the context of a pandemic, our survival and wellbeing call for a very different kind of heroism. Rather than the traditional sort of hero, most of the heroes we need to defeat the pandemic are a kind of dream-team collective who stay inside, practice patience, provide support and encouragement from a distance, and wrestle bravely with isolation and the disruption of routine.

Meanwhile, some of the unique heroes of the pandemic demonstrate their heroism by just going about their essential business—stocking shelves and operating cash registers, delivering food and supplies, responding to crisis calls, and seeing patients—all while exposing themselves to heightened risk of infection.

And, of course, some of the hardest-pressed heroes of this pandemic are those who must find the resources and inner strength to endure hardships of unemployment and economic distress.

The pandemic gives each of us an opportunity to be some kind of a hero. What kind of a hero can you be today? Who have the heroes of the pandemic been for you? We’d love to hear your stories.


Vincent Atchity
President & CEO
Mental Health Colorado

Mental Health Colorado
1120 Lincoln St., Suite 1606
Denver, CO 80203 United States

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