Press Release – National ADAPT Demands Improvements from Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing


For More Information:
Josh Winkler (720) 280-1803
Candie Burnham (303) 947-7690

WHAT: National ADAPT Protests Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
WHERE: 1570 Grant St, Denver, CO
WHEN: Wednesday, November 14th, 2018; Happening NOW

National ADAPT Demands Improvements from Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

11/14/18 Denver, CO — In Colorado, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is responsible for the provision of Long Terms Services and Supports that allow Disabled Coloradans to live in the community. Although the state has worked with advocates to improve the program, advocates have identified over a dozen changes to programs that would improve the programs that ensure the Freedom of Disabled Coloradans.

“We are proud of the work we have done, but Disabled Coloradans are still locked away in nursing facilities and other institutions who want to live in the community,” said Josh Winkler of Atlantis ADAPT. “ADAPT is here to fight for their freedom.”

Nursing facilities in the state however are not making the referrals for community integration services. When a resident says they want to return to the community, they are supposed to be referred to the local contact agency but that is not consistently happening. In FY 2016-17, only 404 of 2,083 residents who responded “yes” to this question were actually referred to their local contact agency.

“ADAPT fought hard to create the federal policy changes that require nursing facilities to make these referrals,” said Latonya Reeves of Atlantis ADAPT. “It’s appalling that the nursing facilities in our state are not following through on their responsibilities.” ADAPT is calling on the state to monitor compliance and – if necessary – fine these facilities to secure their compliance. “These facilities are making money off the stolen lives of Disabled Coloradans, rather than allowing them to seek freedom. This must end,” said Candie Burnham of Atlantis ADAPT.

ADAPT has identified other changes in state policy that would increase community integration, increase the control Disabled Coloradans would have over their lives and expand the use of peer models where disabled people support each other. Finally, they are calling on the state to eliminate the “R-word” is the state’s policies. Advocates have been fighting to end the use of the ableist slur for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

ADAPT is in Denver all week, as the group celebrates its past, it continues to fight to “Free our people.” ADAPT’s history, the issues we are fighting for, and our activities can be found at, the National ADAPT Facebook, and on Twitter under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST.