Some of our favorite people

Chris Rampley behind Mitch McKinney, Allison Blakely Rampley behind Lauren Blakely
Chris Rampley and Allison Blakely Rampley behind Mitch McKinney and Lauren Blakely. Allison is Lauren’s sister.

Each month, the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) features individuals with disabilities, family members, and professionals who work in disability services or advocacy. The stories are inspiring examples of people who overcome obstacles, speak up for others, and work for a world in which disability is not a barrier to living life to the fullest.

February’s featured members are Lauren Blakely and Mitch McKinney, a committed and loving young couple who happen to both have Cerebral Palsy. Lauren is the oldest daughter of Christy Blakely, former Executive Director of Family Voices Colorado. Their words of wisdom include:

When asked if there was anything they wanted to share with the CCDC membership the message was simple.  “Don’t be afraid to dream big because it can work.”

Sam Murillo, Family Navigator
Sam Murillo, Family Navigator

CCDC previously featured Sam Murillo, one of our own Family Navigators, as their November person of the month. Sam’s experience as a family member and caregiver to his two brothers with disabilities deeply informs his work with families at Children’s Hospital Colorado and in the community. You can read Sam’s profile at this link: Sam Murillo – CCDC Feature Nov 2012, or by scrolling down on CCDC’s Featured Members page.

Family Leadership, Parent Support Providers, and more

Whether you are a parent or other family member who is interested in getting involved in advocacy, or a professional who supports families of children experiencing mental, emotional developmental, or behavioral challenges, you are an important link in the network of services and supports for children with special health care needs. Here are a few resources and training opportunities that came to our attention in the last week:

Using Social Media to Increase Family Leadership

Presenter: Maureen Casey

Sponsored by the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness and National Family Association For Deaf-Blind.

This webinar will discuss different social media platforms and how families and their professional partners can harness the power of the internet to inform family leaders and increase advocacy and leadership. No registration is required.

To accommodate schedules, this webinar will be held twice, one during the day and one in the evening.
February 7th 11am PT, 12pm MT, 1pm CT, 2pm ET
February 10th 4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET

This webinar will be closed captioned and recorded. Visit this page for details, including software requirements.

Parent Support Provider Certification: Scholarships available

Certified Parent Support Providers can brag about their credential! They meet the national standard of care for helping families who have children experiencing emotional, developmental, behavioral, substance use, or mental health issues. Now is a good time to apply for national certification. There are new scholarships from OptumHealth to cover $250 of the $350 cost of national certification as a Parent Support Provider. Go to www.certification.ffcmh.org/apply to learn more.

Bright Futures Family Network

Bright Futures for Families is a national initiative for families and communities to promote and improve the health and well-being of children of all ages. The January newsletter provides an introduction to the network’s member organizations.

 

As always, please call us at 303-733-3000 or 800-881-8272 with any questions.

The commitments we make to each other

In his Inaugural Address today, President Obama spoke eloquently about the publicly funded programs that ensure vulnerable people have access to the care and services they need:

“We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.

“We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

– President Barack Obama, January 21, 2013

As we begin a new presidential term, what are your hopes for our nation, or for Colorado, regarding health care? Where do our commitments to each other need to be renewed, strengthened, or changed?

Making Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs