ILO Insights

May 25, 2021

Maedi Tanham Carney
Founder & Executive Director, ILO

ILO Self-Advocates Are Ready!

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and ILO self-advocates are ready to get out and about to spend some time with friends and family.

ILO is here to help facilitate that in a safe and fun way. Whether it be small group dining out, going for walks with a friend or ILO Community Builder, or joining in for some fun group activities, we are doing our best to start making this happen.

We ask that everyone continue to use CDC safety guidelines and practices while meeting with staff or others, and that anyone who has not yet been vaccinated wear and mask and adhere to social distancing.

What’s Happening You Ask?

  • As you will see from our photos, some of our self-advocates have been joining others dining out and meeting in small groups;
  • We will continue our Spirit Club virtual activities for now but we are also going to kick off the summer with Spirit Club in the Park, June 13th at Meadowbrook Park in Rock Creek Park;
  • We are in talks with Bowlero about reinstating our Community Group Social Sunday Bowling event; and,
  • ILO’s Bike to the Beach Team is gearing up for July 30th with training rides, recruiting riders and volunteers, and fundraising for this fun opportunity for ILO friends and families to work together for a great cause! Look for us June 19th – coming to an ILO Pod near you on one of our trial runs!

Upcoming Events

FREE Spirit Club Classes

ILO Self-Advocates

Join Us Sunday, June 13th, 11:00 am-12:00 noon for a
Spirit Club Workout in the Park with Abby
(All CDC safety protocols will be observed)

Register NOW! (Limit 30 ILO Self-Advocates)

      • Lots of different fun activities for all levels of fitness
        (no judgement!).
      • No cost – it’s free to ILO self-advocates!
      • Meet and mingle with other ILO self-advocates.

Meadowbrook Park
7901 Meadowbrook Ln, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Also, check the ILO Activity Calendar for all other Spirit Club activities like yoga and healthy cooking sessions!

*Participating self-advocates, or their families, must be members of the ILO Community Group and must sign a waiver before participation.

Go to: for more info or to join.


Join Our Live Virtual Webinar
June 8th – 7:00-8:30 pm

Open to all – free of charge!

Register Now!


Come learn about ILO! How to join and most importantly, how we help transition individuals with IDD to independent living with the supports to live a full life and be fully integrated in the community.  Do These Apply?
Do you have a loved one who is a young adult with any type of special needs – autism, Down syndrome, or intellectual/developmental disabilities and still living at home?
Are you interested in sustainable independent living for your loved one
in a supportive community?

Long-Term Facilitation

Are you concerned about your viability as a caregiver as you age, or in the event something happens to you?
Do you live in the DC or Montgomery County area?
Come learn about ILO’s service called “Long Term Facilitation” where ILO and the self-advocate’s partners and circle of support take over the parent’s role
when they are no longer able.

ILO can help!

Bike to the Beach News!
July 30th – DC to Dewey Beach
25, 50, 75, or 100-mile bike ride (ILO’s Team – 15 riders so far)
ILO volunteers will host a rest stop TBD

Donate to the ILO Rider Team or Individual Riders

Corporate Sponsorships range from $1,000 to $30,000
Contact ILO if you are interested or if you have any suggestions for sponsors.
Contact Us:

Help set-up
Check-in Riders (by #)
Keep ice, water, and snacks stocked
Help take down – clean-up and pack up 

Most importantly Cheer ALL the riders on!

Contact Us:

ILO Self-Advocates
Out and About!

The Crossings’ guys share a meal at iHop.
Paul helps Elaine celebrate her birthday!

An UNO game gets competitive between Ellie, John and Gregory!

Voice of America Interviews ILO’s Ellie Carney

The Impact of the Pandemic on Individuals with Disabilities

Thank you Ellie and Maedi for stepping in on the spur of the moment when we were approached by Voice of America for an interview.

Voice of America reaches a global weekly audience of more than 278 million people in 47 languages. 


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