Integrated Living Opportunities: Progress, Potlucks and Training

 November 5, 2015
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the blog this week! As you can probably tell from the title of this blog post, great things have been happening for M&L’s community building, non-profit organization, Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO). Over the last few weeks, ILO board members and participating families have been working hard to organize ILO events, finalize ILO’s organizational documents, and recruit new families to join in ILO’s participating family networks.

Well, all of this hard work is paying off – as it was intended, ILO has become a network of families that are building communities for their adult family members with disabilities, and supporting each other as they help their self-advocates fulfill their dreams and live full lives. In fact, in the next few months we have two incredible events organized for current and prospective participating families – an ILO participating family potluck, and another round of New Futures Initiative™ training.

If you would like to learn about ILO, the work we do building intentional communities for individuals with disabilities, and our upcoming events then please join us!

For New Readers: What is ILO?

For those of you that may be new to this blog, Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was created by Maedi Tanham Carney, CFP®, CWIC and a group of 5 founding participating families. ILO was created with the objective of bringing together families, self-advocates, community groups and organizations with the purpose of establishing sustainable, integrated, intentional communities of support for adults with special needs and their families.

It is ILO’s view that parents of individuals with special needs do not have the wide array of resources nor the knowledge needed to build and create communities for self-advocates that will be sustaining in the long term – ILO intends to create and facilitate these needed communities of peers and care givers that are connected to each and every self-advocate for the rest of their lives, even after the parents are gone.These communities of support will also consist of teams of paid and unpaid individuals working to assist self-advocates as they move into their own residences, learn new skills, maintain the skills they have and live full lives.

If you would like to learn more about ILO and the history of how our organization came to be, please visit our blog archive – or, select Integrated Living Opportunities from the drop-down box titled Blog Categories on the right hand side of the webpage. As always, please contact us with any questions you may have or if you wish to discuss the possibility of joining our ILO network. We would love to hear from you!

ILO Definitions

As mentioned above, ILO board members and participating families have been hard at work over the last few weeks finalizing and formalizing ILO’s organizational documents. As we were working on this task – putting our thoughts, concepts and big-picture ideas on paper – we realized the importance of using language that accurately conveys the spirit of ILO and what we are trying to achieve with our work to create intentional communities. As a result, we have adopted certain terms that we use when we discuss ILO’s community building work, our members, and our long-term visions, dreams and goals. Today, we would like to share some of these terms (as well as their official ILO definitions) with you:

Self-advocates: Self advocates are adults with developmental delays and/or special needs. It is a term that respectfully reflects their abilities and their rights to make choices.

Participating Families: Participating families (pfs for short) is the term used to describe families that have met the requirements for joining ILO, including the completion of the NFI/ILO training, a commitment to have their self-advocate complete the readiness assessment within a specific timeframe, and ongoing active engagement in commitment to attend meetings with other ILO families.

Intentional Communities: Intentional communities refer to the network of family, social, and professional supports that provide the rich environment in which self-advocates can thrive.

Personal Network: Personal network is the term used to describe the specific individuals identified by a participating family as the support system for their self-advocate.

Full Life Model™: The Full Life Model™ is a conceptual framework that identifies aspects of a self-advocate’s full and independent life. This model recognizes the need for an integrated support network for self-advocates, including active social, employment and living environments.

Upcoming ILO Events – Potluck and NFI Training

ILO’s board members and participating families have two important events scheduled to take place over the next couple of months, and we are equally excited about both!

To begin, we are mere days away from our second annual ILO Participating Family Potluck! ILO’s Founder, CEO and President Maedi Tanham Carney, CFP®, CWIC will be hosting this event, and is welcoming all current participating families as well as prospective families that would like to meet the members of the ILO network, ask questions, and see what we are all about! We are expecting an incredible turnout, with the majority of our current participating families planning to attend as well as 10-12 prospective families. If you would like more information about this event or would like to rsvp to attend, please contact us! We would love to meet you, and share with you our vision for ILO – intentional, integrated, sustainable communities in which our self-advocates can live, work, play and lead full lives!

The second exciting event that is coming up quickly is our third round of the New Futures Initiative™. As our regular readers may be aware, this is the third round of New Futures Initiative™ training sessions that ILO has facilitated. In other words – we are growing! This training session -the first half of the training program – will take place in Evanston, Illinois on February 11th and 12th. If you are unfamiliar with the New Futures Training initiative, please visit our blog archive or Center for Independent Futures’ website for more information. Please note: we still have space for more families in this training session! Please contact us if you would like to participate, and join in the growing network of support that is Integrated Living Opportunities.

Thank you soon much for dropping by today – we hope to see you again next Thursday!



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