ILO Insights

Please Consider Joining ILO’s Community Group

Maedi Tanham Carney
Founder & Executive Director, ILO

Thank you for taking the time to attend our presentation “What Is ILO.”  Hopefully, you have a better understanding now, but please know that we are available to answer any questions you may have.

From ILO’s inception our families have been integral to our supportive communities. They have helped define our community framework and continue to be actively involved in each POD’s viability.

ILO truly is a community of parents and self-advocates. We learned how important this community really is over the past year in dealing with the pandemic and in transitioning to virtual interpersonal communication. But ILO’s families and self-advocates all pulled together.

Only for ILO Community Group Self-Advocates

In the upcoming year, ILO will be offering more than 200 fun and engaging activities (virtual for now). Some of these include: virtual safaris, virtual world tours, BINGO games with prizes, happy hour game nights, and weekly workouts, yoga, healthy cooking sessions, and more from our partnership with Spirit Club.

An Observation from One of ILO’s Community Builders:

“The peer-to-peer connection is such an important part of the virtual support. The self-advocates are coming out of their comfort zones to help one another especially with relieving anxiety.”

Free Parent Presentations for ILO Community Group Members

Additionally, ILO will offer 8 free Parent Presentations from special needs experts this year on topics such as: What You Should Know About SSI and Work; Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs; Affordable Housing; Vouchers, Trusts, and Government Benefits, and more.

Upcoming ILO Event and Activity Schedule

For dates, times and details check ILO’s Activity Calendar and ILO’s social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GroupMe, and LinkedIn).

 ILO Community Group Benefits

  • Connect with other families of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Learn about self-advocacy, community living, and independence
  • Participate in Social Events for Self-Advocates
  • Attend Parent/Family Workshops for Free
  • Start working on The Full Life Process™ Skills Inventory
  • Join us for the Annual ILO Community Group Gathering
  • Get advance notice of upcoming activities and events through ILO’s Community Group listserv, GroupMe app, and private Facebook page.

To Join the ILO Community Group

To join the ILO Community Group, please go to: The cost is $180 annually.

A Testimonial from One of ILO’s Participating Family Members

“Although COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult period for our son, Robert, with Autism and Mental Health Disabilities, we are fortunate that he has us and we are a participating family in Integrated Living Opportunities.

Because of this program Robert has a community and even a few peer friendships which he never had before.  From what I have learned over the years, it is important for all of us to have community and as many networks to support us as possible.

One of the many issues we are working on is long-term support for Robert especially as we age and perhaps not able to provide the level of support we provide now.  We feel it is important to help him be as independent as possible and fill in the gaps for the supports he will need. 

If you need a partner in helping your young adult get out on their own start now by contacting ILO (” Reda Sheinberg



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

March is National Nutrition Month

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

ILO is here to help!

For ILO Community Group Members our program offerings include many additional free activities and events designed to stimulate self-advocate interactions with others and to foster independence.

Please encourage your self-advocate to join us for a Spirit Club Healthy Cooking segment every other Friday!

Ingredient list provided ahead of time. Check the ILO Calendar and GroupMe for details.

If you are not a member please consider joining the ILO Community Group.


Upcoming Events

ILO Community Group Parent Workshop: What is ILO?

ILO has a plan to help young adults with developmental disabilities successfully transition to independent living.

We successfully do this through our supportive communities.

Join us March 9th via Zoom to learn more. Register now.

In the meantime, view one of our videos: From Fear to Confidence

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. Check the ILO Calendar and GroupMe for details.

  • Guy’s and Gal’s Groups
  • Current Events
  • Life Skills Training
  • Safaris
  • World Tours
  • Happy Hour
  • Spirit Club Healthy Cooking
  • Spirit Club Yoga
  • Spirit Club Workouts and more

Family POD Meetings

Meet and mingle virtually with other families in your area and learn about ILO highlights and upcoming events.


  • SAVE THE DATE – Bethesda Family POD Meeting, March 10th, 7:00-8:30 pm

Fundraising Events

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.

SAVE THE DATE – Our Fundraising Events are scheduled:

  • Bike to the Beach – July 30th
  • Hike, Bike & BBQ – September 25th
  • Giving Tuesday – November 30th

Life Skills Training Sessions

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


  • MARCH – Healthy Nutrition Month


Gregory – March 18

Chris – March 24

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


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.

Check out ILO’s Own Ellie Carney – Spirit Club’s Member of the Month!

Read Ellie’s story on Instagram:

Are you the next Spirit Club

Member of the Month?


New Offering from ILO

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.

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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