The mission of Atlantis Community, Inc. is to advocate for all people with disabilities to be a meaningful part of an integrated community of their choice.
Atlantis Community, Inc. (ACI) began in 1975, when a group of people with disabilities joined together to advocate against the common practice of institutionalizing young adults with disabilities in systems where their civil rights were repeatedly violated. This group formed ACI, the second Center for Independent Living in the country (and the only one in Denver metro), whose goal is to ensure all individuals with disabilities-regardless of the type or extent of their disability-have the same rights and responsibilities as their non-disabled peers.
Today, ACI is a cross-disability, consumer-controlled, non-profit that assists people with disabilities in determining, and advocating for, supports necessary to help them live independently. Over 60% of ACI's employees and 50% of ACI's Board of Directors live with disabilities.
ACI's services are available to all individuals with any disability. ACI does not distinguish between types of disabilities, nor the severity or perceived severity of a disability. ACI primarily serves individuals with intellectual, developmental, psychiatric, physical and sensory disabilities, oftentimes comorbid. ACI consumers are required to be active participants in choosing the supports they need, as individual choice and person-centered approaches are key to the mission of ACI. Consumers are asked to clearly define goals that they wish to achieve to fulfill the ultimate aim of achieving self-sufficiency.
In James' Words
I no longer believed I was worth anything at all. Who would care about a 64-year-old man in a home - owning almost nothing and feeling I had nothing to offer to society, my former friends, or anyone? Then I met some people and heard about what Atlantis was doing, and in a leap of confidence I decided to trust and even to hope that my life could be put back together again.
Atlantis has certainly given me more than my share of new, very nice "things." But there is something that is so much more important, because when the shine is gone from the new plates, furniture, phones and other gadgets I've received, I will have the time that I have spent with (Community Transition Specialist) Katie and others at Atlantis. I have something to hang around for now.