Advocacy for People with Disabilities

Finding the right advocates for your child with special needs is critical. 

It can mean the difference between appropriate services or the lack thereof and so much more.  At THRIVE, we believe that a child's parent is a child's best advocate; they know your child best and have a long term, vested interest in their success and well-being that far out-weighs any other.  But sometimes systems, including schools, health care and insurance, are cumbersome to deal with.  A parent may want to seek the support and expertise of another.  

There are limited resources when it comes to free advocacy services.

Denver Metro Area Arc's

The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Their 700 chapters across the United States, serve individuals of all ages with more than 100 different diagnoses including Autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and as well as other developmental disabilities.  Eligibility is based on living within a particular geographic area and having an intellectual deficit. 


AdvocacyDenver conducts advocacy within various institutions that impact individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. To address complex problems and develop solutions AdvocacyDenver features Individual Advocacy, Health Care Advocacy, Special Education Law and Policy Advocacy.

  • 1905 Sherman St, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80203 
  • 303.831.7733 



The Arc of Adams advocates to give people with intellectual /developmental disabilities the opportunity to live, learn, work and play in their own community. The Arc of Adams offers advocacy services, public education awareness and more for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • 641 E 112TH Ave, Northglenn, CO 80233
  • (303) 428-0310


The Arc of Arapahoe & Douglas County provides services that promote the general welfare of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including: Individual Advocacy for children and adults, public awareness, training, community organizing and more.

  • 6538 S. Racine Circle, Centennial, CO 80111
  • (303) 220-9228


The Arc of Jefferson, Gilpin & Clear Creek Counties promotes and protects the human rights of people with developmental disabilities, by actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. 

  • 13949 W. Colfax Ave 1-150 Lakewood, CO 80401
  • 303-232-1338


The Arc of Aurora assists children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families (who live in Aurora) to live the highest quality lives possible through information and referral; community training and education; individual, class and systems change advocacy.

  • 1342 S Chambers Rd Aurora,  80017
  • 720-213-1420


The Association for Community Living (ACL) serves Boulder and Broomfield Counties, providing resources, training, and individual and systems change advocacy for children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities, their families, friends and communities.

  • 2770 Dagny Way #202, Lafayette, CO 80026
  • (303) 527-0888

Disability Rights Organizations

Colorado Independent Living Centers

Independent Living Centers are run by people with disabilities, for people with disabilities. Federal law requires them to have a majority of individuals with disabilities on their governing boards and on their staff, including those in decision-making positions. All centers offer four core services including Individual and systems advocacy, Information and referral, Independent living skills and transition services.

Colorado Cross Disability Coalition

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) is the premiere organization in Colorado for advocating for disability rights. They work with individuals, service providers, and governmental agencies to ensure that people with disabilities have equal rights and equal access.  They seek compliance with the ADA and help others to accomplish the same.

  • 655 Broadway, Suite 775, Denver, Colorado 80203
  • 303-839-1775

Disability Law Colorado

Disability Law Colorado protects and promotes the rights of people with disabilities and older people in Colorado through direct legal representation, advocacy, education and information.  If you need assistance regarding a housing, employment, special education or other issue, you can call them or fill out a request for help online.

  • 455 Sherman Street #130, Denver, Co 80203
  • 303-722-0300

Denver's Commission for People with Disabilities

The Denver's Commission for People with Disabilities promotes and enhances equality for people with disabilities through empowerment, advocacy and education by working with community members, and City and County of Denver officials and employees who have the ability to affect change.  

  • Webb Municipal Building, 2nd Floor, 
  • 201 W. Colfax Avenue, Dept. 1102, Denver, CO 80202
  • 720-913-8450

Health Care Advocacy

Citizen's for Patient Safety

Citizen's for Patient Safety increases engagement between patients/families and providers for better healthcare outcomes through patient training.

  • 61 Inverness Dr East, Ste 210, Englewood, CO 80112
  • 720-460-4155

Family Voices

Promoting improved decision-making, better outcomes and higher quality healthcare for families with children with special health care needs. 

  • 7323 S. Alton Way Unit A, Centennial, CO 80112        
  • 303-733-3000

Mental Health Advocacy

EMPOWER Colorado

Empower Colorado is a statewide organization run by families that offers support, education, advocacy and resources to families with children and youth who have social, emotional or mental health challenges. EMPOWER offers support groups, an on-line list serve, an in-depth education curriculum, and advocacy.

  • 801 Yosemite Street  Denver, CO
  • 1-866-213-4631

Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, Colorado Chapter


  • 901 W. 14th Avenue, Suite 1, Denver, CO 80204
  • 303.572.0302

Medicaid Mental Health Ombudsman Program

The Ombudsman for Medicaid Managed Care will help file grievances and appeals, will help solve problems with the Medicaid Behavioral Health Organization (BHO). The Ombudsman is independent from all of the health care plans. The Ombudsman customer service number is

  • 303-830-3560 (Denver Metro) 
  • 1-877-435-7123 

Mental Health Association of Colorado

The Mental Health Association of Colorado is a non-profit association providing current, accurate information about mental health issues, and developing public policy on key issues. The site includes Fact Sheets on mental health.


Mental Health Ombudsman Program of Colorado

The Mental Health Ombudsman Program of Colorado is an independent program that provides advocacy, assistance and education for consumers and families enrolled in the Mental Health Capitation and Managed Care Program. The Ombuds-man Program provides technical assistance to mental health consumers and family members, helps consumers navigate the mental health system, and provides information about eligibility for Medicaid.

  • 190 E. Ninth Avenue, Suite 320, Denver, CO 80203
  • 303.813.1173
  • 1.877.317.9900

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Colorado Chapter

NAMI Colorado provides advocacy, education and support for individuals of all ages and families impacted by serious and persistent mental illness, including psychotic disorders, major mood disorders and major anxiety disorders, as well as those with co-occurring disorders. This site presents information on specific mental illnesses (including anxiety and eating disorders, depression, manic depression/bipolar, and schizophrenia); educational programs; and state affiliates.

  • 1100 Fillmore St., Denver, CO 80206
  • 303.321.3104
  • 1-888.566.6264

Racial and Ethnic Justice

Servicios de La Raza

Providing and advocating for culturally responsive, essential human services intended to assist low-income community members in overcoming the problems that result in a lack of resources and contribute to the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty.

  • 3131 W 14th Ave, Denver, 80204
  • (303) 458-5851

Padres y Jovenes Unidos

Their mission is to end the school to prison pipeline and have a strong belief that all students, regardless of race, income, or immigration status, deserve equal access to high-quality public schools that prepare them for college.

  • 3025 W 37th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
  • (303) 458-6545

Asian Pacific Center

Providing culturally appropriate health, mental health, and related services to the Asian American Pacific Islander  communities through a holistic approach that addresses the total well-being of individuals and families.

  • 1537 Alton St, Aurora, CO 80010
  • (303) 923-2920



Jewish disability Services

Jewish Disabilities Advocates (JDA) provides a single-point-of-entry to case management, information, recreational activities, and Jewish cultural and educational opportunities for Jewish individuals with disabilities, and their families. JDA supports Jewish agencies in their work to include people with disabilities at their own facilities by providing resources, information, and educational workshops.

  • 3201 S Tamarac Drive,Denver CO 80231
  • 303-623-0251