ILO’s Resource Page: Useful Information for All Families

 March 12, 2016
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, March 10th 2016

Good morning everyone, and welcome back to the blog today! Last week we had the pleasure of officially launching the website of M&L’s community building non-profit, Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO): www.ilonow.org. As a part of the launch, we provided visitors with a brief overview of the website, including a discussion of the different website design features, such as our Meet the Board page, our FAQ, and (of course) ILO’s weekly blog.

Today, we would like to continue on in this theme by taking a closer look at one of the most important features of ILO’s website: the Resource section. As a non-profit, one of ILO’s most important goals is to educate and raise awareness about independent living options and the importance of community and integration for adults with disability. The organization has carefully chosen and cultivated a comprehensive resource list that accomplishes this goal and, in fact, takes it further. Through tapping into their network of families, advocacy organizations, and contacts in the disability community, they have compiled a number of very useful resources covering virtually every milestone in the life of an individual with a disability.

Please read on for a comprehensive look at this resource section, and a brief discussion of an important ILO resource and Community Partner, Quality Trust

Resource Page

The resource section begins with a list of ILO definitions. The website designers recognized that new visitors to ILO’s website may need a brief orientation to ILO terminology, so they have provided it by listing and defining the most important terms, such as self-advocate and participating family.

Once visitors have become familiar with ILO and ILO terminology, readers are directed to a number of different categories of resources, including advocacy, employment, housing, organizations, sports and rec, and transitioning:

Advocacy: The advocacy page includes resources such as SABE(Self Adovates Becoming Empowered), PHP (Parents Helping Parents), and PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network), and many, many more. All of the resources in this section link to incredible organizations dedicated to help individuals with disabilities and their families receive the services, benefits, and supports they need to life their lives to the fullest.

Employment: We all know the importance of employment to an individual’s financial, emotional, and psychological health. ILO has made a point of including information about Vocational Rehabilitation, as well as other valuable resources such as The Arc – Employment and Autism Speaks Family Services Employment Kit to help ensure that all individuals have access to the support needed to find and maintain employment.

Housing: One of the first steps to helping an individual with disability lead an independent life is to first establish where he or she will live, and what their preferred housing option will look like. ILO has compiled a number of resources to help families with this process, including links to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Fair Housing Online, and MyArchway.

Sports and Rec: Opportunities for socialization, recreation and physical activity are also essential to a happy, healthy, well rounded life. ILO has compiled a number of different resources for programs, organizations, and recreational opportunities for individuals in the Washington, D.C. and Maryland areas. With links to resources such as the Special Olympics in Montgomery County and D.C., and organizations such as ArtStream, Zam Dance, and Jubilee there truly is something for everyone.

Transitioning: Transitioning can be a very overwhelming and stressful time in the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. In recognition of this, ILO has put together a number of different resources, such as the Autism Speaks Transition Toolkit, the Maryland Transitioning Youth website, and the D.C. Transitioning website, all aimed to help families understand and manage the transitioning process.

As you can see, ILO does have quite a comprehensive list of resources to help individuals with disabilities and their families manage any challenge or milestone that comes their way. Having said that, they are always looking to improve! If you have a suggestion for a resource, or an idea please email it in – info@ilonow.com – and ILO staff will be sure to update their resource section.

Quality Trust

Founded in 2001, Quality Trust is the result of a class action lawsuit that closed Forest Haven, an institution for individuals with disabilities in the Washington, D.C. area. Since its inception, Quality Trust has operated as an incorporated, independent, non-profit organization that works to ensure that “children and adults with developmental disabilities get individualized and meaningful support throughout their lifespan in order to live life to the fullest.” This organization is “dedicated to ensuring effective advocacy, monitoring, and legal representation for all people with disabilities.”

Quality Trust provides services such as family support, legal tools, monitoring, personal support, and training and expert assistance to individuals and families with special needs; the organization operates according to a set of values that include the presumption of capacity, personal control (people should control all aspects of their own life), supports as reflecting a lifespan approach, and families as a critical advocacy partner.

Individuals wishing to learn more about Quality Trust are encouraged to visit their website, www.dcqualitytrust.org.

Get Involved with ILO

If you would like to learn more about ILO, or join their rapidly growing network of participating families, please let them know! They are currently 19 families strong, and would welcome the opportunity to continue to meet new families, and learn about the hopes and dreams of self-advocates from across the country. If you would like to support the community building work that ILO is doing in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, then please take a moment to contribute to their efforts. This can be done by making a donation via ILO’s Donate page – no amount is too small – or by contacting ILO via email info@ilonow.org. If you would like to learn more about how to help ILO, perhaps by volunteering, or helping with our fundraising efforts, please contact the organization directly – your suggestions and your help are welcomed.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to visit our blog today – we take pride in providing our visitors with a quality source of reliable, relevant and current information. We hope that you have found our discussion of ILO’s resource page to be useful, and will consider ILO’s website to be a valuable research tool in the future.

See you next week.

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