All abilities. Limitless possibilities.
Easterseals Colorado is leading the way to creating a Colorado where everyone, regardless of age or ability, is 100 percent included and 100 percent empowered. As a vital resource for all people with disabilities, older adults and caregivers in rural and urban communities across the state, Easterseals provides programs and supports that enhance quality of life and create opportunities for greater independence at home, at work and at play. By advocating for an equitable and inclusive Colorado, we ensure those we serve have the rights and resources to thrive.
Easterseals Colorado formed in 1926 as the result of a grassroots effort to help children with disabilities. Over time, our mission expanded. Today, Easterseals Colorado is dedicated to serving people of all ages living with disability. 2019 marks Easterseals Colorado's 93rd year of service to Coloradans. In that time, the organization has grown from a handful of concerned citizens to a leading direct service agency serving 12,850 individuals and their families through 61,673 visits and 439,090 hours of service in 2018.
As a vital resource for all people with disabilities, older adults and caregivers in rural and urban communities across the state, Easterseals Colorado provides programs and supports that enhance quality of life and create opportunities for greater independence at home, at work and at play.
Garrett has been attending Rocky Mountain Village (RMV) as a camper since 1998 when he was just 15 years old. Now at 36, he has collected countless fond memories and friends during his summers spent at camp. According to Garrett, coming to camp is like a reset button for him, a chance to recalibrate mentally and a break from his job and daily stressors. He truly feels that camp is a home-away-from-home and that the people there are his second family.
Garrett's favorite camp activity is the zip-line, which he's able to ride using the camp's adaptive sling and haul system. He also loves meeting his counselors and cabin-mates on check-in day. As Garrett described it, "we come as strangers, but by the end of the week we leave as brothers." While the camp activities are always fun, Garrett most looks forward to the downtime he gets to spend with his cabin, during which those special bonds are formed.
This year marked the first time Garrett attended Summit week, a camp session for individuals 30 years and older with developmental and/or physical disabilities. Garrett was admittedly a little nervous about attending a new camp session, but ended up having an amazing experience. His time at Summit helped him reflect on all the changes he has witnessed over his years coming to camp, both in the facility and in himself. "I've grown both mentally and emotionally by coming to RMV. It really is a special place."
Garrett describes camp as a place filled with laughter, love and people who are genuine and care. Before discovering RMV, Garrett tried attending a camp where he was the only individual with a disability. "They didn't know how to take care of me or what to do with me. That was a really challenging experience, so I was nervous coming to Rocky Mountain Village for the first time." But that nervousness was quickly replaced with excitement and anticipation. "[At RMV] the counselors really take the time and effort to understand each camper's unique needs, likes and dislikes, and make sure I'm always having a good time." Neither Garrett nor his parents feel any hesitation during camper check-in time anymore. "I know now that I'm bound to have a good time, make good friends and be well taken care of."