Monday, March 19, 2018

At our core, Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO) is a community. The concept of community – in philosophy and in practice – is at the root of everything we do. As an organization, we are committed to helping individuals with disabilities (self-advocates) build and lead full, independent and integrated lives. We are also committed to helping parents and their self-advocates understand why we place such importance on community, and the ways in which belonging to a community can enhance almost every aspect of life.

In 2017, ILO took this commitment of community and expanded on it. Last fall, we launched the ILO Community Group, a unique, all ages, members-only group that operates within the wider ILO community.

ILO Community Group

The ILO Community Group was created to bring together parents and their self-advocates who would like to be connected to ILO, but their self-advocates are not ready for independent living. With the ILO Community Group, our goal is to provide members the opportunities to participate in parent workshops and self-advocate gatherings that develop independent living skills, relationship building, and embrace our community building philosophy. ILO Community Group members begin to make connections that will help develop their own network of support. Networks of support are the cornerstone of ILO’s community building philosophy. Through engaging in ILO events, workshops, and taking part in activities such as the Skills Inventory™, we hope that the ILO Community Group members will develop the foundation and skills necessary to take the next step and participate in ILO’s services.

2018: Community Group Schedule of Events

It is hard to believe that the ILO Community Group’s launch was just last fall. Since that time we have over fifty (50) members and ILO’s staff has been busy planning and hosting events that are fun, useful and informative for self-advocates and their family members. During the year, the ILO Community Group members have the opportunity to participate in eight presentations for the adults and eight Social Sundays for the self-advocates.

In January of 2018, for the parents we hosted an ABLE informational session, where attendees could learn about and register for an ABLE account. During February, the ILO Community Group hosted two events: the parent workshop was a presentation on ‘What is ILO’ to understand the basics of ILO and the second event was the Social Sunday for the self-advocates. The first half of the event for the self-advocates featured a facilitated discussion on social media platforms, safety tips surrounding using social media, and information on how to protect from piracy, cyber bullies, and scams. The second half was a fun and active ZamDance session.

The rest of 2018 promises to be just as busy for the ILO Community Group for both the parents and self advocates. If you are interested in seeing what we will be up to, here is our schedule of events for the rest of 2018. The parent workshops are scheduled in the evening on the second Tuesday of the month and the Social Sundays are the last Sunday of every month from 3:00pm-5:00pm.

March 2018
Parent Workshop: Understanding SSI/SSDI and How Benefits Affect Work
Self Advocate Social Sundays: Anger Management and Mediation, followed by Gentle Yoga

April 2018
Parent Workshops: Estate Planning and Tax Issues for Family with Special Needs
Self Advocate Social Sundays: Health and Fitness discussion, and full body workout

May 2018

Parent Workshop: Transition Planning and Use of Skills Inventory
Self Advocate Social Sundays: Budgeting 101 and Bath Bomb Make and Take

September 2018

Parent Workshop: Panel Discussion on Understanding Waiver System in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia
Self Advocate Social Sundays: Vibrant Conversations and Pumpkin Decorating

October 2018
Parent Workshop:
Discussion on HOC Vouchers and Reasonable Accommodation, Rental and Purchase Options for Individuals with DD with the Fannie Mae Program
Self Advocate Sundays: Halloween Zumba Party

November 2018

Parent Workshop: Supported Decision Making vs. Guardianships
Self Advocate Social Sundays: Lets Talk about Relationships, Facilitated Art Class

Get Involved with ILO – Join Community Group Now!

At ILO, we are always interested in expanding our networks of support and building relationships with new self-advocates and participating families. If you would like to participate in ILO events and join our community without having to take the steps to be a Participating Family, then the ILO Community Group is the place for you! In addition to engaging and fun social events, ILO Community Group members also have access to the Skills Inventory™ Assessment, a private Facebook group for updates on events and latest ILO news, and a members-only resources webpage.

For more information on how to join ILO Community Group and the benefits that come along with being a member, follow this link. If you have any questions, or would like to chat with an ILO member about joining our organization, please contact us.

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