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Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Post by: PCG Public Partnerships

Since 2005, The Chanda Plan Foundation has promoted wellness and healing to persons with physical disabilities through integrative therapies including acupuncture, massage, adaptive exercise and adaptive yoga. Founder Chanda Hinton Leichtle realized the benefits of integrative therapies when faced with her own mortality at age 21.

Through her determination to help other persons with physical disabilities, Leichtle has worked with Colorado policy makers to create the SCI Waiver, which will evaluate the cost efficiency and the value of integrative therapies for persons with physical disabilities over an eight-year span (2012-2020). Based on the data, Colorado could choose to cover integrative therapies, providing better health outcomes at low costs. The legislation could serve as a model and be used nationally. For Leichtle, this is far bigger than her. She says, “I can’t wait to see the impact we will make on our community and the opportunity this model will offer to others because we made sure to make it possible to replicate.”

Persons with physical disabilities can increase range of motion through massage therapy, increase blood flow and minimize the risk of blood clots. Acupuncture can aid in the recovery of a person with a physical disability by stimulating the nervous system according to practitioner Stephen Corsale.

The Chanda Plan Foundation is planning to move to a facility eight times larger than their current location. It is hoped that the new facility will garner more than 200 unique persons with disabilities in the first six months. Persons with physical disabilities will have more services to choose from, as the foundation seeks new practitioners to offer more services.

The foundation has collected $3.5 million of their $4 million goal to complete the building. Most of the money has come from grants and donations from the Colorado Health Foundation, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the Boettcher Foundation. Learn more about this non-profit below:

Donate to the building fund here:

Thoughts on Self-Direction

Post by: David Horvath

 What does it mean to self-direct your services and supports?  Two words come to mind: “Choice” and “Control”.  You have choice over the services you purchase, who provides them, and how much you pay for them.  You have control over when and how those services are delivered.  You are in the driver’s seat.  You call the shots within the program rules set by state and federal agencies.  Our job is to support you.  Much of what we do, such as paying taxes on your behalf, goes on behind the scenes.  If we do our job well you might not even notice us.  That’s how it should be.  We want you to be able to stay focused on living your life.  

Self-direction is also a means to an end.  It’s a way for you to be able to live the life that you want to live on your own terms as much as possible.  The people who designed self-directed programs wanted you to be able enjoy the freedom, authority, support, and responsibility that comes with managing your own life.  For some people, this means deciding what time to get out of bed, take a shower, and eat meals with the help of paid employees or natural supports.  For others, this means deciding how much to pay employees, whether to hire family members, or whether to save funds for a big purchase that will increase independence.  For all, it means greater “Choice” and “Control”.