About Laradon


Students at The Laradon School


Teenagers at Calabrese Youth Center and Lincoln House


Adults in Adult Day Programs


Workers in Employment Programs


Individuals in Community Living

Individuals served FY 2022



Laradon's Mission

Laradon’s mission is to empower children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live their best lives.

Laradon’s Vision

Laradon’s vision is to be the employer of choice providing innovative services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Laradon’s Core Values


Laradon’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Statement

Laradon strives to foster a culture that celebrates diversity, ensuring that each member of our community has equal opportunities to thrive and contribute their unique perspectives. We are committed to promoting equity and accessibility by identifying and eliminating systemic barriers that may hinder the growth and advancement of underrepresented groups through intentional and inclusive practices.



Our Campus

Take a virtual tour of Laradon’s 10-acre campus located in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood. It serves as the home for 5 unique programs and roughly 200 full and part-time employees all serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Other affiliates who utilize the Laradon campus include the following: 

  • Sewall 
  • Habitat for Humanity 
  • Mental Health Centers

Our History

In 1948, at a time when the public school system denied an education to their two sons because they were individuals with intellectually and developmental disabilities, Joseph and Elizabeth Calabrese invested their life savings into the creation of a very special school-Laradon. Named after their two sons, Larry and Don, Laradon was the first charitable organization in the Rocky Mountain region to offer support, education and training to children with developmental disabilities.
News of this much needed school spread quickly and within two years, Laradon was filled to capacity. At a time when few other services were available to children with disabilities, Laradon was a blessing for the many parents who were concerned about their children’s futures.

Within a short time, Laradon gained national recognition as an innovator of education and training services for people with special needs. As referrals dramatically increased, the need for a larger facility, additional staff, and financial support became apparent. In 1950, Laradon moved to its current facility at 5100 Lincoln Street in northwest Denver, where services continue to expand and enrollments continue to rise.

In partnership with parents, professionals, philanthropic organizations and generous community members, Joseph and Elizabeth Calabrese created a training center for people seeking the opportunity to expand their work skills, a school for children with special needs and housing for people in need of a home.The Calabrese’s knew that when provided with the proper education, training and support, people with disabilities could realize their full potential, contribute to the community and become valued members of society.

That vision still exists today. It is manifested in Laradon’s culture and operating philosophy; it is embodied in its mission statement and is seen on the faces of the children and adults who are experiencing a life of inclusion, independence and success.

Laradon Hall Society Board of Directors

Larry Burgess, President
L&M Capital Investment
Littleton, CO 

Jo-Ann Scharmann, Treasurer
Retired, United Way CFO
Centennial, CO

Alice Hilzer, Secretary 
Physical Therapy Assistant; Colorado Elks Member
Ft. Morgan, CO

Shyanne Ching
CFO, Jewish Family Service CO
Denver, CO

Joyce Joransen
Principal, J. Joransen Consulting LLC.
Denver, CO

Jean Lawhead
Retired Healthcare Executive
Denver, CO

Queenie Liu
Manager, Management Consulting, Plante Moran
Denver, CO 

Geff McDaniel
Tax Examiner, Colorado Department of Revenue
Westminster, CO

Manny Mendez
CFO, Showingly
Denver, CO

Julie Radulovich
Plante Moran- Principal
Denver, CO


Wayne Rogers

Retired, Elks Member
Golden, CO

Karen Safran
Attorney, Goodspeed Merrill
Arvada, CO

Val Saiz, LCSW
Val Saiz Counseling
Denver, CO

Jim Wolf
Attorney, Stokes & Wolf, P.C.
Denver, C

Corks for a Cause

April 11 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm MDT

Get tickets before time runs out.


Donate to Laradon Hall Society for Exceptional Children and Adults this Colorado Gives Day!

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