How Disability Impacts Colorado

Evergreen Service Providers works with Individuals who live with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) to provide them with supportive, residential settings. Their disabilities are typically present at birth or appear during their early developmental years. Other functional disabilities such as those impacting cognition, independent living, and self-care may often accompany IDD.

Twenty percent (20%) of Colorado residents, or one in five adults (age 18 or older), are living with some type of functional disability. Nationwide, the numbers are higher – one in four individuals, or 26% – with highest rates in the southern states.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a functional disability as any condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to carry out certain activities and interact with the world around them.

In Colorado, some of the most prevalent functional disabilities include those described below, along with the percentages of adults in Colorado who are challenged with these disability types.

  • Mobility (9%):Serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs
  • Cognition (9%):Serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Independent living (6%):Serious difficulty doing errands alone, such as visiting a doctor’s office
  • Hearing (4%):Deafness or serious difficulty hearing
  • Vision (3%):Blindness or serious difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses
  • Self-care (2%):Difficulty dressing or bathing

It’s concerning that disabled people in Colorado are at far greater risk than those without disabilities of having unhealthy practices or experiencing other serious health conditions. Disabled Individuals are:

  • Significantly more likely to have issues with obesity
  • Almost twice as likely to smoke
  • More than twice as likely to have diabetes
  • Four times more likely to have heart disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies disabilities as follows, based on the type or level of restriction the disability imposes on the individual.

  1. Impairment affects a person’s body structure and physical or mental functioning; examples include the loss of a limb, loss of vision, or memory loss.
  2. Activity limitation examples include difficulty seeing, hearing, walking, or problem solving.
  3. Participation restrictions affect the ability to perform normal daily activities such as working, engaging in social or recreational events, and obtaining health care services.

All ages and ethnicities are subject to conditions that are functionally disabling. Disabilities may be present at birth, associated with developmental conditions that appear during childhood, related to a traumatic injury, or associated with a chronic condition such as diabetes. The effects of disabilities may be static or progressive, and in some cases may be intermittent, such as those associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis.

Although 20% of Colorado’s population lives with disability, about 35% of the state’s annual healthcare spending goes towards the medical expenses of the disabled community. This is equivalent to about $12 billion, or an average of $15,935 per disabled individual per year.

Evergreen Service Providers is committed to providing residential settings in which the persons we serve are respected and appreciated for the Individuals they are and where the focus is on their capabilities rather than disabilities. The environment is one of inclusiveness, in which the Individuals can thrive and become integrated into the local community. We take pride in our track record of fulfilling this mission and commitment.

The State of Colorado supports inclusive programs, communities, and services for disabled persons. Various programs and financial assistance, many specific to those living with IDD, are overseen by state agencies which are a part of the network that leads those individuals and their families to Evergreen Service Providers and other organizations that provide care and assistance to these very special people. Learn more about our services and contact us to discuss options that are available for your loved one.


Disability Impact Colorado

CDC Disability and Health

Disability Demographics

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Evergreen Service Providers
5460 Ward Rd # 230
Arvada, CO 80002
PHONE: 303-431-0306

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Evergreen Service Providers is a small, non-profit, 501 (c)(3) agency. Based in Arvada, Colorado, we’ve been serving Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1991.

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Evergreen Service Providers
5460 Ward Rd # 230
Arvada, CO 80002
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