Boy With Down Syndrome Happy To Spend Day Among Family And Friends

Developmental Disability Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month!

Ronald Reagan declared March the month for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness in 1987 after the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.

Throughout the campaign, individuals with and without disabilities will share their experiences through stories, photos and videos. This year’s campaign also highlights artwork created by individuals with disabilities and is featured in the Developmental Disabilities Awareness campaign imagery. For more information on Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, visit

Colorado hosts an annual Intellectual & Developmental Disability Awareness Day at the capitol. This year’s event will be held on March 29th, 2023, there are opportunities to join in-person or virtually. For more information about attending the event or link to watch virtually, check out Alliance’s IDD awareness website.

Adult Man Portrait with a Down Syndrome in a Daycare Center

A Family Affair: Amber Lends a Hand to Help Her Grandmother, A Host Home Provider With Support, Inc.

When Support, Inc. hired Karen Gray’s granddaughter to be a Direct Support Professional, we were excited to see Amber dive into the world of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Karen Gray is a strong provider and has worked with us for over 20 years. For Amber’s entire life, this line of work is all Karen has ever known. Karen’s career as a Host Home Provider has led her to help countless individuals, including a few that have stayed with her for over 10 years at a time. Amber has been inspired watching her Grandmother help those in need.

I’m grateful I grew up around IDD services. Society can be very uneducated and misinformed about the IDD population. I’m so glad I always knew how to work with and interact with IDD individuals

Amber also reports that this work and growing up around IDD services has made her more empathetic in general to people and society! Her uncle also has IDD, so he joins Amber and Karen’s individuals on vacations and road trips. They also come together as a small group to attend sporting events and other fun activities in the community.

Now as a DSP, Amber spends half the week at day program and the other half out in the community- activities include shopping, museums, zoos and helping individuals develop their skills when interacting with community members. Amber started with Support, Inc. in November 2022. She relays that she loves the work she does and working with the individuals we serve!

As far as future plans are concerned, Amber wants to stay in the IDD field. She likes being a DSP and might consider being a Host Home Provider in the future. She has a passion for this work and wants to make a career out of it.

Thanks again, Amber, for being an excellent mentor and leader in the field!

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about becoming a Direct Support Professional please email Cathy at To apply with us, please follow this link.

HHP of the Month

Host Home Provider of the Month

Please join us in congratulating Mercia and JoJo for Host Home Providers of the Month! The following nomination was produced by Rich Shaw with the Denver Metro 3 Team-

I would like to nominate Mercia and JoJo for Providers of the Month. They started working with Support Inc. by taking over from providers who were leaving the agency to pursue other things. After about a year, they became a home with three individuals. From the start, these Providers were eager to do the best job they could, not only by following the compliance requirements of being a Host Home, but also providing quality care to the individuals in their home. This was very evident when an individual in the home started having some major issues with their mental and physical health and needed round-the-clock support. These providers went though many difficulties and trials in trying to get the support needed from the medical professionals including the hospitals and ERs. They ran into many roadblocks and obstacles for several months, but never gave up when a lot of people would have.  For high performance in compliance and dedication to this individual, they have received the Host Home Provider award.

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Black History Month at Support, Inc.

In celebrating Black History Month, our DEI Council wanted to share some of our perspective into what this Black History Month means for us. As we know, the past several years has created an intense focus human right. Our organization has focused on created a positive impact on the experiences of our Black stakeholders through inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility efforts. This work is impactful for me, Dr. Nicholas Manning, (head of the DEI Council) as a bi-racial person, this work connects to my soul.

I think of the struggles and triumphs of my family. From my grandfather, Lt. Colonel George Lane II, flying his P-39 fighter as a part of the Tuskegee Airmen to my cousin Danielle who challenged voting rights throughout the United States, my chest is full of pride thinking of my family. However, times have not always been easy for us. We have been challenged by racism and bias yet believe that there is so much positive work to be done in bringing our country together.

Black history month is a time to help reframe narratives that can be shaped by a person’s agenda. From Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou to Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr., there is so much beauty and remarkable characteristics of the Black community. This sentiment is not only true for our employees and caregivers, but especially each Black person with disabilities (in and out of services). We have an opportunity to help our entire community better understand themselves by celebrating Black history.

Could you tell me a little about your current role? I’m the Director of People Operations at Support, Inc. My role primarily consists of supporting the experience of our in the execution of our Production Management responsibilities.


What do you enjoy most about it? There’s a new and unique challenge of helping our organization’s attunement to our stakeholders. We must be dynamic in managing our risk, increase our connection, and create a caring culture of accountability.


What’s the most important part of Black History Month to you? There are two important aspects to Black History Month that are important to me: firstly, teaching (and learning) my history in its truest form and secondly, recognizing the achievements of our Black community.


What will you be reflecting on and discussing with your network this year? As a proud advocate for IDEA, I love connecting with other professionals about their efforts.


How will you be celebrating Black History Month with your colleagues? I plan on participating in an IDEA webinar this week and advocate for the voices of our stakeholders.


Who is an inspirational Black historical figure who inspires you and why? My grandfather. He was and will always be my hero.


Ben Enjoys His New Day Program

It is always nice to hear when an individual makes a switch in their lives and it works out to be a very positive turn of events.  Here is a message from the Host Home Provider for Ben, as he recently tried to a new day program.

Hello all team Ben. I just wanted to touch base on his new day program and Direct Support Professional. This is week 3 and Ben is excited to go to Day Program. He is enjoying new friends and doing favorable activities such as learning his way around computers and making cupcakes. I have had no issues getting him on access a ride and no accidents this far. He works with Chris on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s. I love that Ben is happy again and I’m so glad, Positive Approach has been very helpful and accepting of Ben. Thanks to everyone for the support.

Way to go, Ben! We are so happy to hear that things are running smoothly with this transition. We wish him nothing but the best as Ben continues to develop his skills!


Allicia Travels to Costa Maya for her Birthday!

Allicia loves celebrating her birthday and usually starts planning her celebration, with the help of her Mom (and Family Care Giver) one year in advance! Allicia will be celebrating her 41st birthday on January 31st. To celebrate, Allicia and her family are taking a cruise to Mexico to swim with dolphins. Jean reported they are having a lovely time in Costa Maya. Allicia’s sister and brother-in-law were able to join, as well!

Jean reports that Allicia and family traveled to Costa Maya to see the Mayan ruins. “It was so fascinating.”, she relayed. They also got to see lots of spider monkeys in the jungle. In addition, Allicia did really well and overcame her fear of allowing the dolphin to take her to shore by having her ride on his belly. Allicia did it and was so glad!  It was wonderful moment.

We love how adventurous Allicia is! Happy birthday from your team at Support, Inc.!

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Quality Assurance- Federal Final Settings Rule Series Part Two

Part Two of our Final Settings Rule communication series will focus on informed choice. Read Part One.

Last month we focused on person-centered planning. This month we will build on person-centeredness with the requirement of informed choice. All settings (residential, day program and employment) must optimize individual initiative, autonomy and independence in making life choices. This includes:

  • Each person has privacy in their bedroom. They have a lockable door and only appropriate staff have a key. They can decorate and furnish their bedroom however they want.
  • People get to choose where they live, who they live with including other people in services and who provides their services.
  • People have the freedom and support to control their own schedules and activities.
  • People can have visitors of their choice to their home at any time.
  • People can socialize with people of their choice.
  • People are given 24-7 access to shared telephones and computers, either by making such resources available within the setting (e.g., a dedicated “house phone”) or by helping people access such resources elsewhere.
  • People have access to food at all times, can choose when and where to eat. People have input into meal planning.
  • People can come and go as they wish and have their own key to the home they live in.
  • People have full access to typical areas of the home (kitchen, dining area, laundry and other shared areas).
  • People can control their own money. They can spend their money when they want and on what they want.
  • People have a secure place to keep their belongings when at day program.
  • People live in a home that is accessible to them (such as wheelchair ramps if needed).

As part of the person-centered planning process, people are supported to make informed choices to direct their own lives. Our roles as paid support providers and caregivers is to help the person make informed decisions, support the person to live the life they want and provide services and supports for them to meet their individual goals.

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Quality Assurance- Federal Final Settings Rule Series

In 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a rule requiring home- and community-based services (HCBS) to be provided in settings that meet certain criteria. The criteria ensure that HCBS participants have access to the benefits of community living and live and receive services in integrated, non-institutional settings. Colorado has been working towards this transition for several years as CMS extended the transition period. The final transition period is March 2023 when all providers need to demonstrate full compliance with this rule.

Part One of our communication series will focus on person-centered practices.

Person-centered practices puts the person receiving HCBS services at the center, focusing on that person’s goals, values and the life they want to live. Through person-centered service planning, the team listens to what the person wants and tailors services and supports to meet that person’s goal. This is a change in how service planning often was in the past, when paid supports would voice what they felt the person should be doing. Through person-centered practices we give voice back to the person receiving services, recognize them as being the director of their lives and use services offered to them through paid support to meet their life goals.

Home and community-based services Comparison Chart
Traditional vs. Person Centered home and community based services

For more information from CMS about person-centered planning, follow this link to a slide deck presentation.

HHP of the Month

Host Home Provider of the Month

Please join us in congratulating our most recent Host Home Provider of the Month, Rosie! This nomination was submitted by Malika with the Denver Metro 2 Team.

I would like to nominate Raj (Rosie) Shrestha for December HHP of the Month. I have been working with Rosie since February and it’s been such a pleasure! She has a huge heart and is very patient, two things that are extremely important working in this field. Rosie has one of my PRS in her home who was really looking forward to having independence in a basement apartment. Many times, this individual would get frustrated that they didn’t have their own space, but Rosie made sure to be a listening ear and reassure them their goal would happen it would just take some time.  With open communication and a bit of problem solving the PRS was able to move down to the basement and accomplish their goal of more independence! The move was very important to the PRS and is helping prepare for their end goal of living in their own apartment, a goal Rosie continues to encourage and support.

Rosie truly treats everyone in her home like family, and it’s felt when walking in her home. She’s always offering everyone tea, food, etc.  On many occasions the PRS has voiced they’ve had the best food at Rosie’s home and loves trying authentic Nepali food. The PRS has even helped on their Nepali/Indian food truck up in Loveland and enjoys being able to earn extra money to help with their goal of independence as well. The PRS has said “Rosie feels a lot more like a friend/roommate because she allows me to have my independence”. Rosie is a great asset to the team, and I’m very appreciate of all the hard work she does!

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Open Enrollment

Please see below to learn more details on Open Enrollment-

Open enrollment for Full-Time Benefit Eligible Employees (30+ hours/week) is available now in ADP. You have received a message from ADP’s automated service. I am attaching a few screenshots of how to enter the platform. Additionally, the How To Guide is attached in this email.

Enter ADP through

Log in and select the Myself Tab àThen select Benefitsà and the Open Enrollment Button. The system will guide you through your 2023 options! Reach out to for any questions!