ILO Insights

February 2, 2021

Gearing Up for Greatness

Maedi Tanham Carney
Founder & Executive Director, ILO

Oh the Places We’ll Go in 2021!

A new President, a New Year, new vaccines, and lots of new and energizing possibilities.

ILO continues to grow – with new staff, new families, new affordable living residences, and more self-advocates transitioning to independent living.

We have a lot to look forward to and we’re ready! Are you?




February 14 is

 Valentine’s Day

 Forget the chocolate!

Support healthy living for our self-advocates.



How you can help

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

  • Lost your support (day programs, etc.), and need alternatives?
  • Running out of ideas for dealing with social isolation?

ILO is here to help!

Our program offerings include many additional free activities and events designed to stimulate self-advocate interactions with others and to foster independence.

We try to make these as dynamic as possible to cater to self-advocate needs, preferences and expectations.

We need your help in funding these activities.  Please donate what you can to help us provide these activities for all of ILO’s Community Group member self-advocates. Our goal for the 1st quarter is $3,000.

Current FOCUS


Making Connections

This month we are focused on Making Connections:

Family POD Meetings

  • Our Family POD Meetings are scheduled and on the ILO calendar. Meet and mingle virtually with other families in your area and learn about ILO highlights and upcoming events. Make sure you have saved the date for yours.

Fundraising Events

  • Our Fundraising Events are scheduled – Hike, Bike & BBQ (5/22 – rain/Covid date 9/25), Bike to the Beach (7/31), and Giving Tuesday (11/30). Please save these dates and prepare to have fun!
  • Look for some additional events we may add during the year and let us know if you have any suggestions for other fun fundraising events.

Fun and Engaging Virtual Self-Advocate Activities

  • Our Community Builders have prepared Fun and Engaging Virtual Self-Advocate Activities (last year we hosted over 300 of these events). This is a great way for self-advocates to build and grow interpersonal relationship skills while meeting new friends.

Life Skills Training Sessions

  • ILO’s monthly themed life-skills training sessions include everything from organizational skills to getting to know your community. ILO’s February training theme is Making Connections – Building Relationships.

Community Partnerships

  • And, ILO is Making Connections. Although we’ve had interactions through these organizations in the past we are taking our partnerships to a new level. Find out more later in the newsletter.  These include:
  • Spirit Club
  • ARC of DC
  • Main Street
  • Transition Work Group


Healthy relationships should bring out

the best in you and make you

feel good about yourself!


FREE Spirit Club Classes

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.

Meet Phillip Lartigue

Manager of Employment Services at ARC DC


We are really excited to share the wonderful news of a new partnership between ILO and the Arc of DC. Thanks to Carol Wheeler, we made a connection with Phil Lartigue at the Arc of DC regarding their services in the area of employment.

As of January 25th, working in partnership with the Arc of DC, Phil Lartigue is now ILO’s employment specialist.

The Arc of DC is also a vendor for RSA, so if a self-advocate has RSA, through your RSA case manager you can request the Arc of DC and Phil Lartigue for employment needs. The beauty here is RSA pays the fees and not the family via ILO.

If you are interested in hiring Phil as your self-advocate’s employment specialist, please contact Maedi Tanham Carney directly. Once you meet Phil, I know you will be as excited as we are with this connection. Your self-advocate will be working before you know it.

New ILO Staff

Meet Shanta Stroman

Life Coach

Shanta Stroman is a life coach for ILO working to assist the self-advocates further their independent living skills. She has a B.S. in Health Systems Management from Virginia Commonwealth University and has many years of experience providing services for those who require mentoring, social services, or government assistance. She has previously worked as a small business coach and advocate, and finds great satisfaction working to achieve her client’s goals to reduce stress and grow healthy habits.

Shanta is a mother to two wonderful children and that experience has expanded her compassion, patience, organization, and ability as a multitasker. She joined ILO because she has a passion for working with people and loves to explore and teach about the world around us.

Meet Samantha Maglinao

Skills Inventory Administrator

Samantha Maglinao is a Masters of Sustainable Urban Planning candidate at George Washington University, with a strong focus on creating sustainable and accessible communities. As an Urban Planner, she creates more inclusive spaces, equitable housing and development that are safe and environmentally healthy within the DC community. Prior, as a Peace Corp Volunteer, she worked at an Elementary in Botswana, helping students to develop literacy and Life Skills, and working with administrators to create inclusive school policies to better support children with learning disabilities.

Samantha has 6 years of experience working with students aged Pre-K to College, in a both a Life Skills and tutoring capacity. Additionally, while pursuing her undergraduate Public Health degree at the University of South Carolina, she worked as Crisis Advocate for survivors of sexual assault and a Youth Violence Prevention educator. In her free time, Samantha enjoys cooking, exercising and spending time with loved ones.

Welcome Judith McCowan

Member At Large

 Judith is a people-focused executive who loves helping non-profit organizations meet their goals and mission. She has been able to energize and inspire champions who focus on the needs of individuals and communities that face seemingly insurmountable disadvantages. Her motivation for the work she does is seeing individuals thrive because of the unrelenting advocacy of these champions.

Her career has included work on high profile projects with Maryland Governor Glendening, Tipper Gore, Colin Powell, and President Clinton to build and guide inclusion programs of distinction serving children, minorities, the disabled, and those who have suffered the effects of trauma such as violence and poverty.

Birthday Celebrations!


Eddie C – January 14th  (Happy Belated!)

David R – January 24th (Happy Belated!)

Andrew W – January 28th (Happy Belated!)


Joe P – February 3rd

DeAngelo D – February 17th

Justin S – February 18th

Maurine Y – February 18th

George B – February 22nd

In the Know

ILO’s Initiatives to Support CDC Guidelines for the Disabled during Social Integration

NO Contact Rule

ILO will require any staff person who has tested positive for COVID-19 to negatively pass two (2) COVID-19 tests before contact with any ILO participant, family member, or other staff person. If a staff member has been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Social Distancing and Masks

ILO staff will ensure that participants at any self-advocate gathering maintain social distancing of 6’ and that each person wears a mask.

Hand Washing Hygiene

ILO will encourage activity participants (staff, self-advocates, family, and guests) to wash their hands frequently (before, during, and after any event) and to carry hand sanitizer with them.

Disinfecting Where Possible

At any ILO gathering ILO staff will wipe down doorknobs, tabletops, and other surfaces with disinfectant wipes before and throughout the event or activity to the extent possible.

Safety and Wellness Training

ILO has trained self-advocates about safety issues including: emergency preparedness, having an emergency contact list, how to ask for help, calling 911, putting together a first aid and emergency kit, and dealing with emergencies. ILO will continue to review and reinforce this training on a regular basis.

Immediate Mediation if Symptomatic

ILO staff will contact family and/or caregivers immediately about any self-advocate who exhibits symptoms on COVID-19 and will help that self-advocate seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

The COVID-19 outbreak is a dynamic and unpredictable situation. ILO will adapt as needed.

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