Building Strong Organizations

Grande Ballroom A

Self-Advocacy is a Big Deal!

Friday, November 3
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Grande Ballroom A

Target Audience: Self-Advocates|Family Members

The Arc of Colorado has had great success in building respected partnerships in our state through self-advocacy. The Coleman Institute created its first non-national partnership with The Arc of Colorado to facilitate self-advocacy participation at the Coleman conference. The Arc of Colorado has placed a great deal of resources into prioritizing self-advocacy and it has paid off. Due to our strong relationship with the self-advocacy community, we have been able to mobilize self-advocates around public policy issues, including our co-presenter Connor Long, 2016 Self-Advocate of the Year Catalyst Award winner.

Learning Objectives:

Heidi Haines

Director of Special Projects
The Arc of Colorado
Denver, Colorado

Heidi Haines has been with The Arc of Colorado since 2012. Heidi works as as the Director of Special Projects and also serves as an advisor to the People First chapter in Denver, as well as to (SABE), the National self-advocacy organization for people with developmental disabilities. Heidi has long demonstrated a passion for disability rights with an understanding of the critical issues and the desire to collaborate with a wide range of advocacy and community groups in the state of Colorado and nationwide. In 2013, Heidi was admitted membership to The National Conference of Executives of The Arc (NCE).


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Marijo Rymer

Executive Director
The Arc of Colorado
Denver, Colorado

Marijo Rymer has served as Executive Director of The Arc of Colorado since 2007. She previously served in Colorado executive roles at The Mental Health Center of Denver and American Medical Response. Marijo has more than 25 years of leadership experience in public policy advocacy ranging from healthcare to education to local government.

She currently serves as a member of the Colorado Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Commission, JFK Partners Advisory Board, RMHS Mill Levy Advisory Committee, Colorado Non-Profit Association, Public Policy Committee and the Colorado Fiscal Reform Round-table. She also serves on the CO HCPF Steering Committee for the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant and on the Benefits and Services Work Group for the HCPF Money Follows the Person grant writing committee.

Ms. Rymer was elected to the National Council of Executives of The Arc Board of Directors in 2009. She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and has completed graduate work in Public Administration at the University of New Mexico.


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Connor Long

2016 Self Advocate of the year
The Arc of Colorado
Denver, Colorado


Send Email for Connor Long


Self-Advocacy is a Big Deal!


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