NWCCI partners with several organizations to hold youth transition resource round up Aug. 31 | CraigDailyPress.com

NWCCI partners with several organizations to hold youth transition resource round up Aug. 31

Northwest Colorado Center for Independence is located in Craig at the Craig Chamber of Commerce Building.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

The Northwest Colorado Center for Independence has teamed up with several local, regional, and state organizations to bring the Youth Transition Round Up to Craig. 

On Aug. 31, 2022 from 4 to 7 p.m. the Craig Chamber of Commerce Showroom at 775 Yampa Ave. will be full of booths and tables for families to gather information on youth transition resources.

Ashley Simonet, NWCCI Direct Services Coordinator, said that the event is geared toward youth ages 14 to 26 and focused on transitional resources, but there will be resources for youth of all ages. 

Anyone who may want to explore services is encouraged to attend the resource round up, and Simonet said the goal is to connect with local youth and to bring in their families. 

“The biggest complaint we get is lack of transition services,” said Simonet, who has three children of her own with disabilities and knows how difficult it can be to receive a diagnosis and not know where to go from there. 

The round up will include resources for special education advocacy, disability rights, self-advocacy, parent support, peer groups, information on Medicaid and waivers, various therapy services, mental health and dental care, education programs and support, deaf and blind services, learning disability support, community outreach, care coordination, job preparation, and more. 

Youth and parents don’t need to bring anything to the round up, except questions. There will be over 15 service providers at the event to help families navigate everything from getting evaluations, to accessing services, to guardianships and job searching. 

The first Youth Transition Resource Round Up will be held this year on Aug. 31, 2022 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Yampa Building in Craig.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

The NWCCI staff said that there are many services out there for youth and people with all kinds of disabilities, but families don’t always know how to access them. 

Simonet said that when she first learned about her children’s diagnosis, she didn’t know where to turn and kept hitting walls when trying to seek services. 

“If I can help another family from hitting those walls, I will,” Simonet said. 

The idea of the round up event was first sparked over a year ago, when the Arc of Colorado came to Craig and held a city hall meeting to discuss disability services. That’s when Simonet and the NWCCI staff knew there needed to be more than just one city hall on the subject. 

NWCCI works with people who have disabilities to explore options, set goals, develop skills and take action for living more independently, so Simonet and the staff pulled together to make this event happen. 

Staci Nichols, NWCCI Independent Living Coordinator, said that people don’t listen to just one person about resources, so getting together all of these voices is key.

In addition to NWCCI services, the event will bring in Arc of Colorado, Disability Law Colorado, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Mind Springs Health, Memorial Regional Health, Northwest Colorado Health, Dyslexia Foundation of Western Colorado, Colorado Dept. of Education, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, Special Olympics, Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, A Special Needs Connection, Moffat County School District, Partners and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, Communities that Care, and School to Work Alliance Program. 

Simonet said she is planning for 100 youth, even if that number is optimistic, there will be food and swag bags for everyone. The idea is to make this an annual event to continue to build access to resources for local families. 

Families don’t have to RSVP for the event, they can just show up and bring questions. The agencies will be able to answer questions, set up meetings, and connect youth with resources.

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