Although FASDs impact thousands of Colorado families, many have limited access to information, diagnostic resources, and healthcare providers who are knowledgeable about these conditions. Policy change is needed at a state and federal level to ensure children and families have the resources and support needed to thrive…
This Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Month, we at Illuminate Colorado are reflecting on our advocacy throughout 2023 to increase awareness of FASD among legislators and expand Colorado’s capacity to respond to the needs of individuals and families impacted by FASD.
Moving forward, we are excited to continue advocating at the federal and state levels to ensure legislators are FASD-aware and to elevate the voices and experiences of Colorado families.
Jillian Fabricius (Illuminate Colorado Deputy Director) and a staffer for Senator John Hickenlooper.
Advocating at the State Level
This past 2023 Colorado legislative session, advocates from SuPPoRT Colorado’s FASD Awareness Workgroup and Illuminate staff engaged with state legislators to highlight the need for a stronger system of services and support for individuals and families impacted by FASD.
This summer, Illuminate has continued this important work by engaging with the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee, an interim bi-partisan committee made up of 10 state legislators tasked with responding to challenges associated with substance use disorders in Colorado by identifying gaps in prevention, intervention, harm reduction, and treatment– and identify possible legislative solutions.
In August, Illuminate Policy Manager, Lex Loutzenhiser, testified to urge the committee to continue the work started in the 2023 legislative session to address challenges associated with FASD experienced by Coloradans. Illuminate will continue to work with state legislators to highlight the need for increased capacity to serve individuals and families impacted by FASD and provide considerations for future legislation.
August 30, 2023 Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee. Left to Right: Rep. Elizabeth Epps, Jade Woodard (Illuminate Colorado Executive Director), Jillian Fabricius (Illuminate Colorado Deputy Director), Lex Loutzenhiser (Illuminate Colorado Policy Manager), and Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy.
Advocating at the Federal Level
This June, the FASD Respect Act (H.R. 3946/S.1800) was introduced to the House by Representatives Don Bacon (R-NE) and Betty McCollum (D-MN) and in the Senate by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). To ensure widespread national support for this important legislation, FASD advocates from across the United States have been reaching out to their Congressional offices to share their support of this comprehensive bill. Alongside advocates who are parents of children and adults with an FASD, Illuminate staff have met with staffers from the offices of five of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation. We are grateful to Rep. Joe Neguse, representing Colorado House District 2, for prioritizing the needs of constituents and co-sponsoring the FASD Respect Act.
Today, September 21, Illuminate staff, as the Colorado affiliate of FASD United, and advocates from the FASD Awareness Workgroup will be participating in Hill Day during FASD Impact Week (hosted by FASD United). Throughout the day, Illuminate staff and FASD advocates will be in Washington D.C., meeting with Congressional offices to share the experiences of Coloradans impacted by FASD and asking Colorado’s Congressional Delegation to co-sponsor the FASD Respect Act.
2022 FASD Hill Day. Left to Right: Kelli Sutton (Illuminate Colorado Strategic Initiatives Manager), Jillian Fabricius (Illuminate Colorado Deputy Director), and a staffer for Rep. Joe Neguse.
Join Us to Advocate for the FASD Respect Act!
Use your voice to join Illuminate and advocates across the country in urging Congress to pass the FASD Respect Act.
This March, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotments expired, impacting families across Colorado. Legislators, community-based organizations, and local communities are considering how to ensure families have the tools needed to maintain food and nutrition security.
This year, Colorado legislators are pursuing policy change that will enhance financial wellbeing and help build a foundation for Colorado families to thrive. By focusing on economic security for working families, Colorado has the opportunity to promote concrete support in times of need…