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Be a changemaker!

The Arc-JCCGC’s Be A Changemaker presents ideas to increase understanding, build community, protect human dignity, encourage belonging, and uphold the rights of all people with IDD.

Be A Changemaker promotes making a positive difference by doing - and encouraging others - to try enhancing understanding, inclusion, and equality in our community and beyond. This campaign is part of our Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month activities. Be A Changemaker features easy efforts – or action items – picked to help make the world a better place for people who have IDD and everyone else.

Interested? Do one action item a day, or as many as you want – there are no rules. It’s all up to you. Encourage others to participate. Post your stories and pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by using the hashtag: #arcjccgc. Or email your stories and pictures to info at We hope you participate and have fun being part of our movement - not only this Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month but also year-round!

Join The Arc-JCCGC. Advocate. Include. Inspire. Action. Be A Changemaker.

1. Help Spread the Word About Disability Etiquette. After all, it’s nice to help others avoid social snafus. Our community outreach team at The Arc-JCCGC is planning Disability Etiquette presentations. Stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, here are three quick tips for communicating with someone who has a disability:

  • Address the person directly.
  • Ask before you help.
  • Focus on the person, not the disability.

2. Attend People First

Do you want to be part of an organization that promotes positive change?

Then attend the People First. The next meeting is on March 6.

People First members practice strengthening their self-advocacy skills while supporting each other. Help spread the word about People First. If you haven’t been to a meeting, plan to attend. If you go to meetings or are already a member, invite someone new.

Meetings are scheduled on the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Attend in person at The Arc's Office -- 13949 W. Colfax Ave, #102, Lakewood. Or, join on Zoom. Check out our website for more information about People First and/or join the meeting virtually: click here.

3. Teach. During last year’s debut of The Arc-JCCGC’s DDAM outreach campaign a local teacher shared that the info could be used as a guide to help teach and promote inclusion. She suggested considering using the list of action items to help develop lesson plans focusing on inclusion, Disability Rights, Disability Etiquette, and more. So, we are passing that suggestion on to you. The info is here for you. Interested? If so, we’d appreciate it if you would share your results with us by emailing info at

4. Read About Current Legislation. Call Representatives. Learning about current legislation and being active in important political issues helps individuals ensure that their voices are heard by the government. Explore the current issues that The Arc is focusing on in our fight for the civil rights of people with disabilities by clicking here. To learn more about the Colorado Legislature, including who your representatives are, click here.

5. Thank You For Subscribing To Our Newsletter – The Arc in Motion – Please Encourage Colleagues and Friends To Subscribe. The Arc in Motion is your connection to staying up to date on upcoming events and important news that matters to our community. To sign up for news and updates from our chapter, click here.

6. Do You Have Any Favorite Social Media Influencers Who Have Intellectual Developmental Disabilities? If so, send us some links to info at so we can follow them, too. Click here to see an Instagram feed from one of our favorites – Russell Lehmann, Board Member of The Arc U.S.

7. Employ Or Encourage Your Employer To Hire People With Disabilities Because When the Focus Shifts From Disability To Ability, Everyone Benefits. People With Disabilities:

  • are extraordinary problem solvers
  • have well-defined skills that are of great benefit
  • are often loyal employees

Check out this video about the advantages of hiring a person with IDD: The Arc US: Say Yes!

8. Ask Young People In Your Life What They Know About People With IDD. It’s a wonderful opportunity to listen and learn from each other. Need some tips to help start the conversation? Click here.

9. Do You Have An Idea That Can Help Build Belonging and/or Promote Awareness About People With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities? Do it and share the outcome with us by emailing it to info at Who knows? Maybe your idea – with credit to you - will be featured.

10. Help Support Local Socially Responsible Businesses That Believe In The Value Of All People. Some Choices Are:

11. Know More About The Rights For Everyone To Have Healthy Relationships. Visit The Arc-JCCGC’s Healthy Relationship webpage for more information including elements of healthy relationships, dating, communication, and self-advocacy, by clicking here.

12. Attend Coffee House & Take Someone With You Who Hasn’t Attended Before.

Top five reasons to join us at Coffee House:

  1. everyone is welcome
  2. make new friends
  3. mingle with people of all abilities
  4. promote inclusion in our community
  5. it’s fun

See You at Coffee House – 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at Panera Bread - 650 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood. For more information, click here.

13. Learn More About People First Language and Identity First Language. Some individuals like People First Language. Others prefer Identity First Language. Many choose a combination of both. This is solely a personal decision since experiences often determine preference.

Check out The Arc U.S.’s statement: On Person First vs. Identity First Language by clicking here.

Which do you prefer, People First Language or Identity First Language? Share your thoughts by emailing info at

14. Read About The History of The Arc. It reveals what it’s like to be at the forefront of advocacy and positive change for people with IDD. To learn about the history of The Arc U.S. click here, and the history of our chapter click here.

15. Stamp Out The Term: “Special Needs.” “Special needs” may be used with good intentions, but it’s vague, outdated, and is offensive to many. People with disabilities have human needs, not special needs. Please say “disability” in its place. Learn more about all The Arc’s position statements by clicking here.

16. Support The Arc – JCCGC – It’s As Easy As Shopping For Groceries. Did you know that The Arc could receive a donation from King Soopers each time you shop there? Simply name us as your King Soopers Community Rewards organization. There’s no added cost to you, and setup is easy:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in or create an account using your Shopper’s Card number or alternate ID
  3. Search for The Arc - Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties by name, or use code MY949

That’s it! Then, when you use your King Soopers card as you normally would, The Arc will receive a donation, at no added cost to you!

17. Students. during last year’s debut of The Arc-JCCGC’s DDAM outreach campaign, students shared that they used the campaign as a guide to help teach and promote inclusion. A local high school student successfully completed a community service project using the action items to help peers dispel misperceptions about people with IDD, focus on promoting inclusion, and more. Feel free to use Be A Changemaker to help spread the word. If you do, we’d appreciate it if you would share your results with us at info at

18. Shop at arc Thrift Stores to Support People Who Have IDD. Not only is arc Thrift Stores one of the state’s largest employers of people with IDD but proceeds also generated through the sale of gently used clothing and household items at arc Thrift Stores are distributed to The Arc, ACL, and Advocacy Denver Chapters in Colorado. Gift cards are available, too. Here is the link to arc Thrift Store’s website.

19. Identify Ways You Might Make Your Workplace More Accessible. Read, share and discuss these ideas with your team.

20. Follow The Arc-JCCGC on Social Media - and Ask Your Friends to Follow Us, Too. 
Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

21. Create Your Own Action Item and Share it With Us: info at

22. Know the Rights of People Who Have IDD. People with IDD have the same basic legal, civil, and human rights as other citizens. They may need accommodation, protection, and support to enable them to exercise these rights. Their rights should never be limited or restricted without due process. Click here to continue reading our Rights Summary.

23. Consider Board Service for The Arc- JCCGC. Interested? Click here to learn what it’s all about.

24. If You Sometimes Park “Just For A Minute” In An Accessible Parking Spot—Don’t! Parking in marked handicapped spots without a placard is illegal and it takes mobility and freedom away from individuals who really need the parking spot. See examples of why not to park illegally in handicapped parking spots in the video links below. This and this are never ok.

25. Create a Reading List Highlighting Experiences of People With Disabilities. Numerous suggestions featuring a variety of interests and reading levels are available from public libraries to help create your own reading list. Better yet – invite some friends to read and discuss a book – what can be learned from the story? Books representing disabilities are available at local libraries by clicking here and here.

26. Know About Ableism – In Its Many Forms - And Help Eliminate It. The Arc U.S.’s recent blog, He Isn't Worth Helping, shares gut-wrenching stories of health care discrimination against people with IDD. From denying treatment to discounting pain, people are being refused life-saving and routine care at disproportionately high rates. To read more, click here.

27. Buy Something From a Brand That Supports People Who Have IDD. While we can’t spotlight specific brands, an internet search can lead you to options if you want to support companies that help empower people who have IDD.

28. Check out The Arc-JCCGC’s YouTube Channel by clicking here. Our videos range from an interview with comedian Josh Blue to inspirational features from our annual event: The Summit of Hope. If you like the content, consider subscribing and you’ll stay updated on the latest videos.

29. Read an Article About Disability History. The past helps teach us about the present by strengthening greater awareness and understanding of the challenges people with disabilities face. It may inspire action to make needed changes. For a reading suggestion, click here.

30. Help End the R-Word. Sadly, people of all walks of life are still using it. Words are powerful. While the r-word may not have the same emotion and meaning behind it to everyone, it’s a hurtful, disrespectful, and unacceptable word to people with IDD. The Arc is part of a large, national effort to “end the word” and we encourage you to talk to your friends, neighbors, coworkers, family – really, anyone you cross paths with – and educate them about why this word is so wrong. We need you to spread the word to end the word!

31. What Is Something You Wish Everyone Knew About People Who Have IDD? You can help promote upholding our organization’s values by sharing your ideas. Interested? Email info at

32. Donate to The Arc – JCCGC to help people with disabilities achieve their dreams. All contributions to The Arc support advocacy, education, resources, community-building, and policy change for people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities living in our tri-county service area. Please donate by clicking here. Any amount is appreciated. Thank you.

33. Determine Which Items From This List Mean The Most To You And Use Them As Inspiration To Continue Advocating For People Who Have IDD. Share your feedback with us at info at

34. Be a Changemaker. There are no directions to follow. People can help make the world a better place. It’s as easy as being kind to others.

Thank You To Our Transformative Partner FirstBank!

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