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Denver, Colorado

Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Shawn Young of Colorado Disability Economic Initiative/Advocates for Young Adults at [email protected].

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact Lynda G. Sax  at [email protected] or Yvette Grimes at [email protected].

Disability Initiative Workgroup

The Colorado Disability Economic Initiative (CDEI) has had two very successful years working with the REI Tour.  We are excited about the momentum that we have gained over the last year specifically and are poised to grow our coalition, expanding our efforts in partnership with the Colorado Asset Building Coalition (CABC) to raise awareness regarding VITA opportuniteis for people with Disabilities and provide training to all of CABC's 22 VITA sites across the state of Colorado.  CDEI under the management of Advocates for Young Adults (A4YA) is also developing a statewide AmeriCorps program to provide asset building opportunities for people with disabilities across the state, not only during tax season, but on a year round basis.  CDEI will conitnue to offer benefits navigation seminars, etiquette training and explore the use of microenterprise and alternative savings strategies for our target audience. 

CDEI will be working closely with CABC and Colorado Saves over the next year. These coalitions currently have over 15 active organizations participating. We are also building relationships with several "hub" organizations throughout the eastern plains and southern Colorado to help us push our message throughout rural and frontier Colorado.

The target audiences of our publicity plan are the underserved throughout Colorado who reside in the hardest to reach areas; both urban and rural areas. These include individuals and families of limited financial means, residents of retirement facilities, individuals over 65 years of age, individuals with disabilities both seniors and non-seniors, and those of Hispanic and Native American ethnicity.

Select placement of print advertising would communicate facts concerning the VITA program, solicit taxpayer participation in services, and provide taxpayers with locations of service sites. Suggested print media and posting locations include material in English and Spanish on grocery store bulletin boards (especially ethnic groceries that are frequented by members of target groups), specialty stores, e.g. Rite Aid, Walgreen Pharmacies, discount and “dollar” stores and thrift and re-sale stores.

(Some places we used last year include: Longmont Utility, Kmart, Starbucks, The Daily Record, La Junta Tribune, Bent County Democrat, The Local Buzz,  Post Independent, Grand Valley Echo, Salida Post Office,  Bongo Billy’s, and many, many more.)  With newspaper usage on the decline, radio spots would allow us to reach the largest number of people in the shortest period of time.  It would also increase awareness of the program and inspire a “word-of-mouth” campaign. 

Personal appearance/public speaking is a highly effective means for VITA to effectively communicate its message. A distinct advantage of personal appearances is the opportunity of VITA spokespersons to engage audiences in two-way communications, which increases the likelihood that audience members will understand and accept VITA’s services offerings and/or refer the program to others. Examples of personal appearances and public speaking venues are: Presentations to social and civic groups, personal assistance, social service agencies, Colorado State University Extension Services, Hispanic neighborhood associations.