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Frequent Questions 



Q. What is Colorado's definition of a Developmental Disability?

A. Developmental disability means a disability that is manifested before the person reaches twenty two years of age, which constitutes a substantial disability to the affected individual, and is attributable to mental retardation or related conditions which include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or other neurological conditions when such conditions result in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation. Unless otherwise specifically stated, the federal definition of "developmental disability" found in 42 U.S.C. sec 6000 et seq., shall not apply."

A. Impairment of general intellectual functioning means that the person has been determined to have an intellectual quotient equivalent which is two or more standard deviations below the mean (70 or less assuming a scale with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15), as measured by an instrument which is standardized, appropriate to the nature of the person's disability, and administered by a qualified professional. The standard error of measurement of the instrument should be considered when determining the intellectual quotient equivalent. When an individual's general intellectual functioning cannot be measured by a standardized instrument, then the assessment of a qualified professional shall be used.

B. "Adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation" means that the person has overall adaptive behavior which is two or more standard deviations below the mean in two or more skill areas (communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure, and work), as measured by an instrument which is standardized, appropriate to the person's living environment, and administered and clinically determined by a qualified professional. These adaptive behavior limitations are a direct result of, or are significantly influenced by, the person's substantial intellectual deficits and may not be attributable to only a physical or sensory impairment or mental illness. Eff 10/01/2008

"Substantial intellectual deficits" means an intellectual quotient that is between 71 and 75 assuming a scale with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, as measured by an instrument which is standardized, appropriate to the nature of the person's disability, and administered by a qualified professional. The standard error of measurement of the instrument should be considered when determining the intellectual quotient equivalent. Eff 10/01/2008

Colorado does not use the federal definition of developmental disability. This is sometimes confusing for people who move to Colorado from states that have adopted the federal definition and who wish to apply for services here.

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Q. What is a "Developmental Delay"?

A. Developmental Delay means the slowed or impaired development of a child who meets one or more of the following:

1. A child who is less than five (5) years of age at risk of having a developmental disability because of the presence of one or more of the following: a) Chromosomal conditions associated with mental retardation, b) Congenital syndromes and conditions associated with delay in development, c) Metabolic disorders, d) Prenatal and perinatal infections and significant medical problems, e) Low birth weight infants weighing less than 1200 grams, or f) Postnatal acquired problems known to result in significant developmental delays.

2. A child less than five (5) years of age who is delayed in development by 1.5 standard deviations or more in one or more of the following areas: a) Communication, b) Self-help, c) Social-emotional, d) Motor skills, e) Sensory development, or f) Cognition.

3. A child less than three (3) years of age who lives with one or both parents who has a developmental disability.

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Q. How do people access developmental disabilities services in the state of Colorado?

A. Community developmental disabilities services are provided in Colorado through a system of 20 Community Centered Boards (CCBs). DDRC is the Community Centered Board responsible to Colorado Division for Developmental Disabilities for the residents of Jefferson, Summit, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties. If you want services in any other county, this map contains hyperlinks to other Colorado Community Centered Boards.

The first step in accessing services is determining whether you have a developmental disability. DDRC is the Single Entry Point responsible for intake, eligibility, information and referral. Resource Coordination (Case Management) works with you to gather information regarding your intellectual and adaptive abilities for review by the Eligibility Committee. Once determined eligible, a Resource Coordinator will work with you to connect you with potential services to support your needs and interests. Unfortunately, there are wait lists for most services in Colorado.

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Q. Who should I call for more information on how to obtain services through DDRC?

A. For children under age 3, call Joy Miles at 303.303.233.6656. If you have a child under age 3 and live in Summit County, contact Georgette Contos at 970-668-9713. For children age 3 to14, call Susanne Lindwood at 462-6610. For persons age 14 and over, call the main DDRC number 303.233.3363 and ask for Adult Intake.

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Q. What kinds of services does DDRC provide?

A. DDRC offers a wide range of service options and providers. Resource Coordination assists individuals and families in selecting their provider of choice among the available options. Some options may not always be relevant due to factors that may change over time such as the service age criteria, your Medicaid eligibility, your individual needs, and the availability of funding. Your Resource Coordinator can assist with understanding the entrance criteria and key features of the various service options. With most of these the service options, individuals and their families have a choice of service providers.

Some services may be available to qualifying individuals through entities separate from developmental disabilities services, such as the Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waiver administered through the local Department of Human Services.

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Q. How are services funded?

A. DDRC receives funding from a variety of sources. Some services for children and adults are funded through federally approved programs that are referred to as "Medicaid Waivers" and have an equal match between federal and state dollars. Other services, such as Early Intervention, Family Support Services and State Supported Living Services are funded through state general fund dollars. DDRC also receives funds from a Jefferson County dedicated mill levy to support additional individuals to be in these programs as well as for other services. DDRC also receives funding from various grants as well as donations from parents and other interested citizens, service clubs. While most programs do not require fees from the individual or family, individuals can privately pay for services while waiting for funding.

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Q. How long will it take to get into services?

A. It is difficult to predict how long one might wait to enter services as it depends on a number of variables. Funding limitations have resulted in very few new resources being appropriated by the Legislature. All services including CES, C-HCBS, CWA, FSSP, SLS and Comprehensive currently have waiting lists. Early Intervention is the one exception as it has no wait list at this time.

Colorado waiting lists are prioritized on a first come, first served basis as set by statewide guidelines. The date used to establish a person's placement on adult waiting lists is the date when eligibility for developmental disability services in Colorado was originally established or the person's 14th birth date, whichever is later. Waiting list dates for adult services cannot precede the person's 14th birth date. In cases where eligibility was originally determined prior to the person's 14th birth date, upon referral for adult services and successful eligibility re-determination, the 14th birth date is used to establish waiting list priority. This date is "portable" and can be used when a person moves and is placed on a waiting list in another service area in Colorado, as long as s/he remains in the state and is eligible for services. It is important that you be referred for services as soon as you are able. We understand that these rules are complex and recommend for review our Waiting List for Developmental Disability Funded Services information guide and FAQ for further explanation. You may also contact Adult Intake at 303.233.3363 or Children's Intake at 303.462.6610 with any questions on the intake and/or eligibility process to insure you are on the waiting list.

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Q. Do I have a choice of providers?

A. DDRC provides Resource Coordination (Case Management) for all applicants with a developmental disability in Jefferson, Summit, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties. If an individual or family member wants to explore options beyond their local CCB, DDRC offers an alternative through 14 other community centered boards, operating in both urban and rural areas, to provide a choice of case management agency.

DDRC provides a wide range of service provider options. If you have a provider in mind, we can refer directly or you may select from a list of interested providers identified through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process developed to identify your specific needs.

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Q. Who do I contact if I want to volunteer or donate funds?

A. Contact Dianne Hitchingham at (303)462-6584 or visit us online to donate, volunteer or attend one of our events.

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Q. Who do I contact if I want more specific information about the center?

A. Contact Dr. Art Hogling, Executive Director at 462-6506, or choose from the contacts listed on Executive Management Team Page.

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Q. Who should I call if I have a question or complaint about services?

A. There are several approaches. It is most important that you speak to someone with whom you feel comfortable. You can talk with your Resource Coordinator or their supervisor. If you do not know the name of your Resource Coordinator, you may contact 303.233.3363 to find out. You may talk to the manager or director of your service to discuss the problem. Chris Lawson at 303.462.6507 is Customer Relations Manager and will handle and/or follow up on complaints in the event that individuals/families have been unable to resolve them at the team level or when they choose to involve a third party. Complaints are logged through the process to resolution. Feel free to contact Dr. Art Hogling, Executive Director, or Beverly Winters, Associate Executive Director, in Administration. Our process is intended to be as open and customer friendly as we can possibly make it and we believe the broad options above should provide for someone with whom you can feel comfortable.

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Q. As an individual requesting or receiving services through DDRC, how do I initiate an appeal of a decision made relating to services I have received or that I believe I am eligible for?

A. If you are denied eligibility for developmental disability services or your Medicaid Waiver services are denied or reduced you will be are directed to the Office of Administrative Courts for a Medicaid Fair Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Individuals whose State-funded services are denied or reduced utilize the Dispute Resolution process. In either case you should receive a formal notice of your right to appeal and a description of the process. Contact your Resource Coordinator for assistance or Pat Jefferson, DDRC Appeals Representative, at 303.462.6537.

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