ILO Insights

June 19, 2020

What Matters Now?

Maedi Tanham Carney
Founder & CEO, ILO

Building Supportive Communities!

Now, more than ever before, our vision and mission are providing us with a sustainable and strong framework that allows us to support and protect our self-advocates during a very turbulent time.

Our self-advocates are amazing and have been there for each other every step of the way. They are reaching out beyond their comfort zone to comfort each other. Our staff has gone above and beyond to try to make sure everyone is staying safe, balanced, and productive.

It hasn’t been easy, but even through all that we’ve been through in the last couple of months we are continuing to grow, not just in numbers but in success stories, and we couldn’t be happier.

As we start to move forward and come out of isolation, we will continue supporting our self-advocates, keeping them safe and helping them adjust to the “new normal.” And we will continue meeting with families on a regular basis working together to make sure we are doing all we can do to help our self-advocates meet the challenges ahead.

Hang in there! Together we will persevere and thrive!

Current FOCUS

Let’s Talk About It

In our ongoing weekly training sessions for our self-advocate communities ILO has developed a training module on Building Character Strength

This will include exploring our virtues and strengths and will tie in with local, community, and global citizenship.

This week’s discussion focus:

Live by the Golden Rule & Focus on YOUR Strengths

for Building Character

Maya Angelou

Angelou at Clinton inauguration (cropped 2)

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”


FREE Virtual Yoga & Full Body Conditioning All Summer

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

Virtual Yoga

Who:                Create Calm Instructors

When:              Every Sunday through August 30th

What Time:    1:30-2:15 pm

How:                 Zoom (See the Calendar for the Zoom link)

Full Body Conditioning

Who:               Root Strong Fitness by Dean

When:            Every Thursday through August 27th

What Time:    3:00-4:00 pm

How:               Zoom (See the Calendar for the Zoom link)

*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.

COVID-19: 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.


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.

POD Recent Activities

Weekly Check-In Sessions

In One Word . . .

How are we feeling right now?
• Great
• Scared
• Nervous
• Jovial

How do we want to feel?
• Independent
• Confident
• Calm
• Gleeful.

Get to Know You Bingo

Things our self-advocates have in common:

• Knows how to ride a bike
• Can dance
• Has taken a road trip
• Has been on an airplane
• Plays video games
• Attended prom
• Knows how to ice skate

SA Training Sessions

Virtual Safari

Full Body Conditioning with Dean

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 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.

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).

• 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 preventative 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

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You may opt out at any time.

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.

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