ILO Insights

April 26, 2021

With a Little Help from Our Friends

With a Little Help from Our Friends

Maedi Tanham Carney
Founder & Executive Director, ILO

Expanding ILO’s Network of Support

A cornerstone to ILO’s success in transitioning young adults with disabilities to independent living is helping them build their network of support.

The pandemic has certainly brought us all a little closer together even though we were a little further apart! We have definitely seen a lot of peer-to-peer support among our self-advocates.

And now, as we get ready to start moving out a little, we are joining some of our friends to help us through this transitional time.

We’re talking about:

  • Spirit Club, working to customize a program just for ILO keeping our self-advocates healthy;
  • The Transition Work Group, helping connect us to other organizations who align with our mission and goals;
  • The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, providing a forum where we can share our challenges and successes at The Road to Independence Resource Fair;
  • Arc of DC helping us provide employment services to our self-advocates; and,
  • Bike to the Beach, helping us with fundraising and the opportunity to work together for a great cause!

We are truly “all in this together!”

Join Me in Welcoming Pat Ritter to our Board

We are thrilled to announce that Pat Ritter Ph.D., Executive Director of The Treatment and Learning Centers has joined the ILO Board of Directors.

During Pat’s time at TLC, she has held various positions within the organization. Her key achievements at the organization include the development of the philosophy and model for The Katherine Thomas School (KTS), a special education school which she started in 1995. Dr. Ritter also established therapeutic groups for children with sensory processing and autistic spectrum disorders and developed highly regarded early childhood programs based on development models for early intervention.

Support healthy living for ILO self-advocates by donating to ILO’s activity fund.

During this ‘new normal’ ILO is here to help YOUR family and SELF-ADVOCATE in every way possible.

It may be a little tricky getting back into the groove of things but our self-advocates are ready to start moving out! With that comes a little stress and anxiety, but ILO’s self-advocates have shown throughout the pandemic that they are there for each other, and we know that will continue.

An important part of ILO’s program includes activities and events designed to stimulate self-advocate interactions with others.

Please encourage your self-advocate to join us for some fun and engaging activities. Check the ILO Calendar and GroupMe for details.

Upcoming Events

ILO Community Group Parent Workshop: Affordable Housing

Please join us for our next ILO Community Group presentation with Glen Lazovick, an expert in residential lending at a prominent mortgage brokerage firm, and Sue Ader, a local realtor.

The focus of the presentation will be on:

  • Rental vs Purchase Options
  • The Fannie Mae Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • The Montgomery County HOC Voucher program and Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) to create sustainable housing 

Your family must be a member of the ILO Community Group to attend the presentation.

To learn more about the ILO Community Group, please go to the website:

Join us May 11th via Zoom. Register now.

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. 


Road to Independence

Virtual webinars on transitioning to independent living:

Monday, May 3 | 7:00 pm
Self-Care is Important to Your Mental Health! 

Wednesday, May 5 | 7:00 pm
Untangling the DDA Web

Wednesday, May 12 | 7:00 pm
Where Will I Live? Housing Options in Montgomery County

Wednesday, May 19 | 7:00 pm
Living Independently Without Government Benefits
(Panelist – Maedi Tanham Carney, ILO)

Wednesday, May 26 | 7:00 pm
New Ways of Having Fun


ILO Life Skills Training Sessions

ILO’s monthly themed life-skills training sessions include everything from organizational skills to getting to know your community.

Wellness:  Self-Care for Mental Health


Darina – May 6

Ella – May 12

Ellie – May 17

Nora – May 20

Robert – May 21

Matt – May 25

You don’t owe anyone perfection – just your best self!

Current Highlights

Bike to the Beach News!

FREE Spirit Club Classes

Watch for an announcement about an upcoming
live outdoor ILO-Spirit Club event!
(All CDC safety protocols will be observed)

Thanks to our amazing ILO donors we are offering ALL ILO Community Group self-advocates* FREE access to:

Virtual Yoga*

Every Sunday

1:30-2:15 pm

Check your weekly GroupMe chat for the Zoom link

Weekly Workout*

Every Thursday

5:00-6:00 pm

Check your weekly GroupMe chat for the Zoom link

Cooking Lesson*

Every Other Friday

3:00-4:00 pm

Check your weekly GroupMe chat for the Zoom link and ingredients

*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 the ILO Community Group.

ILO’s New Staff

Gabby DiPasquale

Gabrielle (Gabby) is the non-residential community builder for ILO’s Bethesda and DC pods. Gabby has a background in music, leadership, Psychology, and Neuroscience.   She has a passion for music, science, and nature, and spent several years as a singer-songwriter before returning to school.  

Gabby spent the last few years studying Neuroscience and has a particular interest in vestibular-behavioral correlations, neuroplasticity, and alternative treatment modalities. 

In her other work, Gabby enjoys utilizing her knowledge of the central nervous system to help others focus their personal talents, interests, and attributes towards achieving their goals while recognizing their full potential.

Dante Daniel
Community Builder & Life Coach

Dante Daniel serves as an ILO non-residential community builder and life coach. Dante has eight years in the human services field serving in a variety of roles with Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, D.C. Public Schools and D.C. Department Human Services.

Prior to this he served seven years in the U.S. Army.

Dante is passionate about serving in the social services field and believes customer service is the priority for those who serve.

In his spare time, Dante enjoys exercising, reading, and watching sports.

Dante received his bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Virginia State University (2015), Master’s Degree from Howard University (2017) and a Doctoral in Law and Policy from Northeastern University (2021).

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