In conjunction with Awareness Day for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Horizons Specialized Services and Alliance assembled hundreds of people from across the state Feb. 19 at the Capitol.
Horizons is a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing and strengthening services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Colorado,
There were 37 nominees for the Direct Support Professional award, which then was narrowed to six finalists. This year’s award for top Direct Support Professional went to Cathryn Marie.
The award recognizes proficiency and leadership in direct service, effecting change on behalf of people with developmental disabilities, and accomplishment in building social capital and networks for the individuals served. All nominees were recognized at a luncheon attended by almost 400 people who care about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Cathryn Marie has worked for Horizons for almost six years. She believes in and naturally connects with people with disabilities, constantly nurturing those connections in all parts of her life. Cathryn considers the clients she works with family and relates to them with genuine concern. She sets up clients for success by taking advantage of the teachable moments for clients to feel safe, develop skills and realize their autonomy. Her dedication is clear: The people she supports are her priority.
“It was fabulous to be surrounded by all the other amazing nominees,” Cathryn said. “Being in that positive environment, sharing stories and laughing, I felt so blessed.”
Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, who introduced Cathryn Marie on the floor of the House, said she was thrilled to be at the lunch when Cathryn was named as the winner.
“Cathryn and everyone at Horizons are heroes,” Mitsch Bush said. “They enrich the lives of their clients. Their clients enrich all of us and make our community whole.”
The event also highlighted current legislation and person-centered practices. Person-centered practices deliver on the promise of real community living by balancing personal choice with the need for safe and secure living and desired working arrangements.
“There are many challenges currently facing the system of funding and delivering services for people with developmental disabilities in Colorado,” said Chris Collins, the Alliance executive director. “Budget cuts, systems changes and huge waitlists have all combined to put services for some of our most vulnerable citizens at risk. Our goal for this year’s Awareness Day for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities was to remind legislators that individuals with developmental disabilities can contribute greatly to their communities if given the opportunity.”
Parks and Wildlife offers sage grouse viewing tours
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Conservation Colorado, along with partners Rocky Mountain Wild, The Wilderness Society and Friends of Northwest Colorado, are offering an opportunity to get a look at mating greater sage grouse during guided viewing tours in Northwest Colorado from March 28 through April 13.
Anyone interested in watching one of the most interesting and visual mating rituals is encouraged to sign up for the guided tour because space is limited.
For dates, times, information and to reserve your spot, visit www.conservationco.org and click on “Sage Grouse Tours.”