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March 20, 2024

Bill to Create a State Office for Coloradans with Disabilities Passes Committee

DENVER, CO – The House Business Affairs & Labor Committee today passed legislation sponsored by Representatives David Ortiz and Chad Clifford that would create the Colorado Disability Opportunity Office (CDOO).

“With 20 percent of Coloradans living with at least one disability, lack of basic access can make it difficult to find or maintain a career that accommodates their needs and pays their bills,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton. “We’re creating a permanent state office that will advocate for stronger support for Coloradans with disabilities so they have the same access opportunities as able-bodied Coloradans. I’m proud to sponsor this legislation so we can continue breaking down barriers to success and create a more equitable Colorado for all.”

“People with disabilities have higher rates of poverty and employment, which is why this legislation is crucial in helping Coloradans build a successful life for themselves and their families,” said Rep. Chad Clifford, D-Centennial. “By creating the Office of Opportunities of Coloradans with Disabilities, Coloradans will have better access to the good-paying jobs and education they deserve, so they have a fair shot at building a strong future.”

HB24-1360 would create a new office within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The goal of this office would be to implement a statewide strategy to facilitate economic stability for people with disabilities and promote successful economic, social, and community integration. The bill unanimously passed by a vote of 11-0.

Rep. Ortiz has been a long-time champion for disability rights at the Colorado State Capitol. He has led the charge in passing multiple bills to ensure Coloradans with a disability have the opportunity for legal recourse if they are discriminated against, expanding the youth prosthetic coverage law, creating the Rights of Coloradans with Disabilities task force, and trailblazing two right to repair laws for wheelchair users.

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