Integrated Living Opportunities: Participating Parents Meeting
Thursday, October 15th, 2015
Hello everyone, and welcome back to the blog today!! We hope that you are all having an excellent week.
A few weeks ago, we wrote and published a blog about the latest progress with ILO, and our community building work in Maryland and Washington, D.C. In that blog, we were (and are) very proud to say that ILO is well on its way to success with four self-advocates either having achieved independent living, or on track to achieve independent living in 2016. We would like to take a moment to congratulate these self-advocates on their achievements thus far, and cheer them on as they realize independent lives.
As we also wrote in that blog, helping our self-advocates achieve independent living is just one piece of the puzzle. Once our self-advocates move into their own homes, we have to ensure that there are communities into which they can successfully integrate. The creation of these communities falls to the participating families with the tremendous support and follow through from ILO.
Today, we would like to talk a little bit about the role that participating parents play in ILO, and provide an update of the progress that we have made thus far, as discussed in our latest meeting. Please read on to learn more!
ILO Participating Parents – What we do
At ILO, our entire organization hinges upon the collaboration and cooperation between all members of our participating family network. With this in mind, it is imperative that we communicate effectively and actively work on building relationships between ourselves, our self-advocates, and the wider community. It is also important that we continue to work on ILO itself, to ensure that our organization grows and evolves to meet the changing needs of our participating families and the disability community as a whole.
As our self advocates prepare themselves for independent living, i.e. working on independent living skills, building relationships, preparing for employment etc. it is our network of participating parents that work behind the scenes to create community partnerships, facilitate social and recreational events, and strengthen ILO’s network of participating families. If you would like to learn more about ILO or Participating Families, please read our blog Integrated Living Opportunities: All About the ILO, or contact us for more information.
Participating Parents Update
ILO’s network of Participating Parents meet regularly to discuss the ongoing projects and to discuss short and long term goals for the future of ILO and our self-advocates. A few weeks ago, ILO facilitated one of these meetings, and we are excited to say that we are making incredible progress! Here are just a few updates that we would like to share:
Social Clubs: ILO President and CEO Maedi Tanham Carney CFP(r), CWIC has been working very hard to establish regular social events for self- advocates. Currently, Maedi facilitates a very successful Friday night cooking class. This class is regularly attended by 6 self-advocates and is an excellent opportunity for attendees to meet, build relationships, and learn & improve on new skills. ILO is also working to form a relationship with the DC-based SPIRIT Club in the interest of providing more socialization opportunities for self-advocates. Lastly, Carney is hosting an ILO potluck at her home on November 7th; all ILO participating families and potential families are welcomed. Contact us to RSVP, or for more information.
Real Estate Updates: ILO is investigating the concept of reserving a percentage of new or renovated developments for ILO’s self advocates in both Montgomery County and Washington DC; ILO will continue to provide updates as they occur. Additionally, Carney is currently researching all housing programs in both areas. This information will be shared with all ILO Participating Families.
Participating Family Handbook: Carney has been hard at work creating an ILO Participating Family Handbook. This book has in one place all the information needed to understand what it means to be a participating family member of ILO. It will be given out to new participating families when they join ILO, and is provided to existing ILO Participating Families at cost.
Building Full Lives: At this most recent meeting, it was proposed by a Participating Parent that a time be set aside at future meetings for a discussion and sharing of information such as residential information, accomplishments, and suggestions & ideas that could help parents help their self advocates build full lives. This suggestion is an excellent way to ensure and facilitate collaboration between Participating Parents as we all work towards our common goal: integrated, inclusive communities in which our self advocates can enjoy independent futures.
Would You Like More Information?
As you can see, all of our Participating Parents have been hard at work over the last few months! If you are interested in learning more about ILO, please check out our ILO blog archive; these posts are chocked full of important and interesting information that can help your family member with special needs achieve independent living. If you would like to become a part of ILO’s participating family network, please contact us! We have a New Futures Initiative/ ILO training session scheduled to take place in February of 2016 – there is still space available for you and your family, and we would love to have you.
Thanks again for dropping by; we hope to see you again next week!
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