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Feb ’20: In This Edition

ILO: Building Supportive Communities – Making Connections,
Building Relationships

CONNECTIONS and The Full Life Model™

Like the Center for Independent Futures®, ILO is committed to creating a future in which disabled individuals have access to all the opportunities of a full life.

One of the essential aspects of a full life, as defined by The Full Life ModelTM designed by the Center for Independent Futures® and integral to ILO’s framework, is making connections.

How Does ILO Facilitate
Making Connections?

Support – ILO has incredible staff. They are outgoing, friendly, and ok a little pushy sometimes . . . but only in the best possible way!   ILO’s Community Life Coordinator and Community Builders work together to guide each self-advocate in nurturing relationships with family, co-workers, roommates, and other self-advocates. Sometimes acting as coaches, sometimes serving as mediators or advocates. They help self-advocates navigate the bumps in the road that come with relationship-building.

Nurturing Friendships – ILO Community Builders work hard to come up with ongoing activities that are fun and engaging and that build friendships.

Self-advocates learn how to support each other, celebrate successes, and learn valuable life skills in the process.

Rachel Goldschmidt – She makes it happen!

Rachel’s path to supported living began four years ago when Rachel and her family decided to give ILO a try.

Rachel lived with her mom in a furnished apartment for a while but then moved into shared a house with roommates.

Living with housemates was a new experience and brought new challenges. It wasn’t that there was friction, but there was so little contact between the housemates that it did not feel like a home. Rachel’s ILO Community Builder Holly, and Holly’s supervisor Sherita, organized a meeting with Rachel and the housemates to talk about challenges they faced. It was a good discussion resulting in a monthly housemates’ meeting and more interaction among the housemates.

In December she moved out into a studio apartment and loves being in control of all her space which includes the use of the kitchen.

Rachel also found a job as a teacher’s assistant. She loves children and they love her. Because of her positive interaction with the children Rachel was offered a full-time position.

strengths for building relationships include:

  • Rachel gets out and participates (that’s important).
  • She is pro-active in talking to people.
  • She takes an interest in people.
  • She is kind and honest when speaking with people.

It’s All About Relationships

ILO board, staff and families work together to create supportive communities to help self-advocates transition to independent living.

Our goal is the utmost independence and self-reliance possible, with a safe network of support when it’s needed so self-advocates will not be alone, vulnerable
or isolated

What is the Connection between a Relationship and a Friendship?

Friendship is the relationship between two or more individuals who enjoy each other’s company. They trust, understand, respect and appreciate each other. They look forward to being together. Relationship is the way in which people are connected to each other. These connections make independent living sustainable.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

– Helen Keller

Why does Friendship Matter?

Good friendships can positively impact a person’s health and well-being. They have been shown to strengthen your immune system and reduce your stress, anxiety, and depression.

Actively maintaining social ties to the community can lead to enhanced job opportunities, expanded networks, community protection, and social skill development.

  • Increased happiness and sense of self-worth.
  • More meaningful lives and an enhanced quality of life.
  • Better emotional and physical health.
  • More confidence. Reduced isolation, depression and anxiety.
  • Greater sense of community and connection with community members.

Click here to download ILO’s handy Relationship-Building Tips.

ILO Events

Feb 9th – Community Group SOCIAL SUNDAY – Bowlero Bethesda, 3:00-4:30 pm, $23

Feb 18th – Community Group Parent Presentation-About SSI/SSDI, 7:00-9:00 pm, Wisconsin Place CC

Feb 19th – Community Group Parent Presentation- ILO, 7:00-9:00 pm, Treatment & Learning Ctr

Mar 15th – Community Group SOCIAL SUNDAY – Bowlero Bethesda, 3:00-4:30 pm, $23

Mar 26th – Beers and Cheers, Too! Fundraiser, 6:30-8:30 pm, Gaithersburg

Save the Date!

Feb 11th – Participating Family Meeting

May 16th – Hike, Bike & BBQ

July 31st – Bike to the Beach

Nov 23rd – Participating Family Potluck

All About ILO’s Community Group

Below is a visual that explains the difference between ILO’s Community Group and ILO’s Participating Families.

Families interested in ILO can learn more about ILO, gain additional benefits, and network with families already participating (Participating Families) in independent living by joining ILO’s Community Group.

For full details go to: and click on ILO Community Group or go directly to:

  • 1/11 – The Moonshot Studio, The REACH at the Kennedy Center
  • 1/11 – Super Mario Brothers Game Night (Fenesta Apartments)
  • 1/12– ILO Goes Dancing @ Glen Echo
  • 1/14 – Movie Night – The Rise of Sky Walker
  • 1/14 – Volunteering for Reading Partner at DCJCC
  • 1/18 – NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo
  • 1/22 – Social Bowling Power Hour DCJCC
  • 1/25 – Chinese New Year Family Day, The REACH at the Kennedy Center
Please note that most events require either RSVPs or registration, and to attend some
you must either be an ILO Participating Family or a Community Group member. See
the calendar for details.

POD Happenings

March POD Meeting – DC/Bethesda Combined

There are six POD meetings a year and two of the six this year will be combined DC/Bethesda meetings.   The next one on March 3rd will be DC/Bethesda combined. Check the calendar for details.

It’s All in the Timing

Something new! In an effort to work around self-advocates’ schedules in the DC and Bethesda PODs, we are going to begin planning some daytime activities. Hopefully, this will make it easier for everyone to attend.

Calling All PODs

Each POD is going to start hosting an “All POD” event to broaden our networks of ILO self-advocate friends and peers. As of right now:

  • DC and Bethesda separately will be hosting an ALL POD event in February
  • Rockville and Germantown will be hosting one in March, and
  • Gaithersburg will host in April

Calendar & RSVP Reminder

Please take a look at upcoming events, and don’t forget to add them to your personal calendar and RSVP.

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