What is ILO?
ILO helps families create supportive communities to facilitate networks of support for adults with disabilities to enable them to live independently. We do this by developing teams of paid and unpaid individuals for our self-advocates as they move out of their family houses into their own homes.
ILO will be the organization in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, MD that supports and empowers adults with disabilities to live as fully integrated, contributing and participating members in the wider community.
Please read our Success Stories, as they describe ILO’s future. It is ILO’s definition of what we mean by a Full Life, and living in an intentional community.
Integrated Living Opportunities is a non-profit organization that is devoted to helping families with special needs build supportive, integrated communities that enable safe, productive, independent living options for their young adults with developmental disabilities. ILO was founded by Maedi Tanham Carney, CFP®, CWIC, owner and founder of M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC, and group of core participating families (affectionately referred to as the “founding families”).
The idea for ILO grew from a need expressed in the special needs communities of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The individuals in these communities, along with their families, expressed the desire for independent living options that were inclusive, sustainable, affordable, and “above all,” community based. Carney, in her capacity as a special needs planner and also as a parent of a young adult with disabilities, began looking for independent living opportunities that fit those expressed needs.
After extensive research into many different programs from across the country, she came across Center for Independent Futures®, and their Community Living Option residences. Carney visited these residences and experienced first-hand the relationships and community partnerships that Center for Independent Futures® was creating for the individuals that lived there. After seeing how successful Center for Independent Futures® community building work has been in Illinois and across the country, Carney decided that this was the type of independent living option that was so desperately needed in the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland areas.
Together with the five founding families, Carney traveled to Evanston, Illinois to take part in Center for Independent Futures® New Futures Initiative™ training. From that experience grew a partnership with Center for Independent Futures®, and the commitment on the part of Carney, and the five founding participating families decided to create independent living options for their young adults with disabilities in their own neighborhoods. Finally, from that commitment grew ILO – a non-profit organization that would facilitate the development of supportive integrated communities for young adults with disability in the Washington, D.C. area.
Currently, ILO is an IRC Section 501c3 non-profit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia. ILO is managed by Board of Directors, consisting of a Corporate Executive Officer & President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three Members-at-Large. For more information about the people behind ILO, please visit our Meet The Board page. ILO’s network of support is currently 38 families strong, with all participating families and self-advocates residing in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
Center for Independent Futures® name and trademarks are used with permission.