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Antista-Bianchi appointed to Colorado disabilities commission

Antista-Bianchi appointed to Colorado disabilities commission
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September 23, 2021
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DebraBianchiLoRes.jpgDebra Antista-Bianchi, Alzheimer’s Association regional director for Southern and Southwestern Colorado, has been appointed by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser to serve on the state’s Commission on Improving First Responder Interactions with Persons with Disabilities.
The charge for the commission is to study existing training and recommend improvements for first responder training curriculum concerning interactions with persons with disabilities, including persons living with dementia.
“The Alzheimer's Association is committed to supporting first responders in their interactions with persons with dementia through education and training, which is key since so many of the strategies that are effective in these contacts are counterintuitive,” said Antista-Bianchi.
Created through legislation sponsored by Colorado Senators Chris Kolker and Joann Ginal and Representatives Meg Froelich and Colin Larson, the commission is comprised of 12 members including two persons with a disability, two parents of a child with a disability, two representatives from advocacy organizations, a person from a disability community not otherwise represented on the commission, a representative of a statewide organization of current and former peace officers, a representative of a statewide organization of chiefs of police, a representative of a statewide organization of county sheriffs, a member of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (P.O.S.T.), and a member of the P.O.S.T. board's curriculum subject matter expert committee.
“We appreciate the General Assembly’s action on this issue and want to thank Senators Kolker and Ginal and Representatives Froelich and Larson for making sure that Coloradans with dementia were included in this important legislation,” said Coral Cosway, the senior director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado.

The state departments that regulate police, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel must implement the recommended curriculum by July 1, 2022.

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