May 28, 2020 Update: ILOs Plan for Moving Forward

Moving Forward… Cautiously!

Our families, self-advocates, and staff have all pulled together to provide support for each other electronically: whether by phone, Zoom, social media, or through fun digital group activities.

As we watch places start to reopen after having been closed for weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we continue to be mindful that our group is an “at-risk” community.

All people seem to be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 if they have serious underlying chronic medical conditions like chronic lung disease, heart conditions, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.

We know our self-advocates are anxious to move forward but we know there is still a risk. Below are the strategies we have identified, using CDC guidelines, that will ensure we are doing all that we can to protect our self-advocates, their families, and our staff from COVID-19 during upcoming activities as things start reopening and our self-advocates start coming out of isolation.

In the coming months we will move forward slowly, and depending on the data, may not actually be working with, or seeing our self-advocates face-to-face until late summer or early fall (and only then in very small groups using masks, social distancing, and following the strategies below).

We will not have any activities until it is safe to do so, and that may be quite a while, but in the meantime, we will continue to maintain our many digital activities, trainings, and emotional and personal support
of ILO self-advocates and their families.

In keeping us all safe, it is essential that ILO staff, self-advocates, and family members are pro-active and cooperative in doing their part to protect themselves and others.

Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease:

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Social distance yourself from others (stay 6 feet away – about two arm lengths).
  • Keep away from people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Call your doctor if you have concerns or if you are sick.

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 participants of any activity (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, countertops, tabletops, and other touchable surfaces with disinfectant wipes before and throughout the event or activity to the extent possible.

Safety and Wellness Training

ILO has spent the last two months training 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.

We Love to Celebrate!

June Birthdays

Happy Birthday, Colin!



We have surpassed $2,000+. Onward to $3,000

We can do this!

Let’s make sure ALL ILO self-advocates get FREE virtual physical activities throughout the summer!

To Donate:


ILO Self-Advocates Are Proud to Vote

We Vote Remote Is A Non-Partisan Advocacy Group

The goal of We Vote Remote is to inspire and empower adults with disabilities to advocate for themselves through informed voting, in a safe environment, with whatever help they may need.

ILO Families Working to Ensure ALL ILO Self-Advocates have the Opportunity to Vote Safely


Quick Links

ILO’s Guide to Remote Voting:

We Vote Remote on Facebook

The We Vote Remote video on YouTube:

Help Us Share – Links to Social Media

We Need Your Help Now! Will You Help Support ILO?

The services that we provide to our self-advocates are largely funded by
fundraising events, and by donations. During this time we are not able to hold
these events. Please consider a donation to help us continue providing support!

 The CARE Act permits eligible individual taxpayers who do not itemize deductions to
take an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for qualified charitable
contributions made during such taxable year, except for contributions to a
non-operating private foundation or to a donor advised fund.

Congratulations to ILO’s Colin Blount!

Colin is in the second row, third image from the left.

ILO self-advocates and families please join us for Colin’sZoom virtual graduation on June 7th – 7:30-8:15 pm to celebrate his success!

Click here to donate or register to attend.

Sunflower Bakery and Café Sunflower are dedicated to providing skilled job training and employment for adults 18+ with learning differences in pastry arts, production baking, barista service and front of house operations.

Meet Colin, One of our Cafe Sunflower 2020 Graduates

When I am not working, I like to watch Wheel of Fortune or Price is Right. I like to play games or watch cooking shows on my iPad. I also like cooking things like scones, cookies, and chicken casseroles. I still work out in my gym in my basement with my coach 3 days a week through Zoom.

In the past, I did Special Olympics sports like cycling and I hope to do that again sometime. My interests are mostly that I enjoy animals, especially my dogs and cats. I like to read with other people. I like reading my News for You Newspaper that I get in the mail every week. I also like to read poetry out loud with my mom or dad or a friend. My favorite poem is “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

When I was in training and working at Café Sunflower, my favorite thing was greeting customers and when I got to take orders from the customers. I liked this because I enjoy doing the cash register and counting out money if they pay with cash. I also liked sliding the credit card through the square machine.

One thing about me that you may not know is that in addition to working at Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolate shop, I also work at a vending machine business. There are lots of things to do and learn when you are working with vending machines!

The Crossings – Weekly Wednesday Check-In

These ILO SAs are exercising, working, cooking, playing video games, and watching TV to keep active during social isolation.

With this year’s election approaching, The SAs discussed the importance of voting. The SAs will continue researching each candidate improving their ability to make decisions. Voting allows us
as individuals to make an impact; it gives us a chance to have our voices

The SA’s learned that for the first time in history, the House of Representatives approved a voting rule change, that will allow members to vote by proxy and hold hearings remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • When asked, the SA’s gave positive feedback to the decision to vote remotely.
  • The SA’s felt that voting remotely brought a new level of convenience to voters who may have a hard time getting to polls.
  • The SA’s agreed to vote in this year’s election; they feel
    that their voices matter.
  • Collectively the guys offered to support one another in voting in this year’s election.
  • The SA’s have taken the time to research the candidates; moreover, they feel informed enough to make a decision.


The Guys’ Group

Topics included:

  • The hard part about being a guy.
  • Approaching individuals you find attractive, or an individual approaching you first.
  • Have you ever been in a relationship? Would you like to be in a relationship?
  • What are some deal-breakers?
  • Having kids or not having kids.
  • Communicating your desires and building trust.
  • Being yourself.

Calendar & RSVP Reminders

Please check the ILO website calendar for upcoming virtual and rescheduled events. Our calendar ( is updated on a weekly basis.

We have made the decision to postpone most of our special events to a later date in 2020 – this includes Social Sundays, Parent Presentations, Hike, Bike & BBQ (rescheduled for October 10), and our Beers and Cheers Fundraiser.

SPECIAL NOTE: Regarding Social Sunday Bowling Bowlero – we hope to be able to start Bowling up again soon but at this point it may be the Fall.

Additional Information on COVID-19


Disability alone may not be related to higher risk for getting COVID-19 or having severe illness. Most people with disabilities are not inherently at higher risk for becoming infected with or having severe illness from COVID-19.  However, some people with disabilities might be at a higher risk of infection or severe illness because of their underlying medical conditions.

About COVID-19

  • Coronavirus disease is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. For more information go to CDC’s Fact Sheet- What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)pdf icon.


  • Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19, such as healthcare workers, direct support providers, and household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Prevention and Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19.  The best way to prevent infection is to
take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.  There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.

Can We Assist YOU?

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

  • Overwhelmed and don’t know where to go for assistance?
  • Lost your support (day programs, etc.), and need alternatives?
  • Running out of ideas for dealing with social isolation?

ILO is here to help! Please reach out to me directly. Maedi Tanham Carney, ILO Executive Director at

If you are an ILO Community Group member, please be sure to JOIN ILO’s Private Facebook Group to connect with other members.
ILOCommunity Group- Private
If you are not an ILO Community Group member, please go to: to learn more.

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