Let’s stand behind Ascendigo

I am writing in support of Ascendigo’s proposed development in Missouri Heights, and I’m deeply disappointed with the response from the community that I consider to be my own.

Reading recent letters to the editor, I’m saddened to learn that I live in a community that doesn’t support people with disabilities. A community that doesn’t use our tremendous resources for good. A community that doesn’t recognize how lucky we are and feel obliged to give back.

I’ve worked in therapeutic recreation and special education with children and young adults with severe autism for over a decade and have witnessed both incredible accomplishments and deeply saddening realities. People with autism have been pushed behind closed doors for far too long and face immense struggles to simply participate in society, let alone thrive. Imagine being wired in a way that made recreation difficult, communication excruciating and working independently impossible. Imagine if your child required your attention around the clock just to stay safe. Yes, people with autism have created some of the most rewarding and wonderful experiences in my life, but to minimize the challenge of living with autism in a society that doesn’t support, respect and value people with diverse abilities would be a disservice.

Ascendigo is an organization that works tirelessly to support the most vulnerable among us, and they have vowed to never turn a profit. They deserve our support and encouragement, but at the very least they deserve to be able to do their work without opposition.

To my neighbors in the Roaring Fork Valley, if you believe that this community is one that lifts up people in need, it is time to stand behind Ascendigo. Add your name to the list at And to the Garfield County commissioners, I urge you to consider who needs your support the most.

Dan Perl