The Center for People With Disabilities
Here’s What People Are Saying
Working at CPWD has allowed me the opportunity to better understand the importance of the Independent Living Philosophy. As an individual with a disability myself, it’s extremely important to me that people recognize my capacity to make my own decisions about my life. Everyone here recognizes that an individual with a disability should be provided with the opportunity to make their own choices. It is great to be working somewhere that is willing to listen to individuals with disabilities speak about their independent living goals and provide them with an opportunity to achieve those goals.
– Brandy McIintosh, CPWD Independent Living Advisor Manager
I have worked in a few different fields along my journey, and I know it is rare to find a job so rewarding that I sometimes forget to stop working at the end of the day. My particular job has many elements to it. I get to drive the gorgeous, curvy roads to Estes Park or the rolling farmlands toward Fort Collins, or cruise south and glimpse the Denver skyline, all on the way to meet with Veterans who have earned the benefits of the VIP and are looking for guidance through the process of enrollment. I get to meet some amazing families, help explain the program, assist in expediting the paperwork, and at the end of the day I know I have done my best ensure another Veteran is able to stay in their home and retain their independence rather than enter a long-term care facility.
CPWD’s incredible working environment is established at the top. There is genuine attention to our community and to our collective well-being – no, not the way many agencies merely claim – not some trite bumper sticker philosophy. Instead, it is evident by the way management walks the walk. Need a mental health day? Not a problem. Want to talk to the Executive Director? Great, have tea with her and run through whatever is on your mind. Holiday commitments rushing at you too quickly? Relax. You will have some paid downtime from work to recharge.
The cherry on my sundae is that I have fantastic co-workers whom I know have my back and I theirs, and I sleep well at night, knowing I am a part of a team that is working to make positive changes in people’s lives.
– Connie Stafford, CPWD Veterans Independence Program Advisor
Way back in the year 1983, I was a graduate student at CU Boulder in Experiential Education and contacted CPWD to discuss options for Internship work. I enjoyed working with the Independent Living Program in supporting people living in the Arapahoe Court Apartments. We did activities in the community and we were constantly on the go. At that time, a Day Program for Survivors of Traumatic Head Injuries was created by CPWD and was located in a home setting in Boulder that CPWD purchased with CDBG funds. A childhood friend was hired to be the program director and in March of 1984, I was hired to be part of the team. My friend, Doug Stanton and I had three Summers of working as Camp Counselors and we were very comfortable with creating experiential learning opportunities in the community. The ILP program had a transitional living program that included IL skills training and work on employment/educational goals.
My internship with CPWD was supervised by Homer Page, one of the founders of CPWD and served as director of Office for Students w Disabilities at CU. During our Supervision meetings we discussed the nuances of independent living with the twist of existentialism philosophy.
This in-depth study and grounding work with “I exist, Therefore I am”, gave me the foundation to build my understanding of the Independent Living Philosophy with all the people that I have had the honor to work with in the 37 years of learning and growing at CPWD. When I received my Masters in 1984, several of the l consumers of CPWD attended the graduation. What a grand celebration.
– Diane Groff, CPWD Integrity & Advocacy Mentor/Longmont Manager