ILO Insights

Where Do We Go From Here? Advocacy!

Maedi Tanham Carney
Founder & Executive Director, ILO

It’s getting closer . . .

So, what do we need to know, and what can we do to help ensure the best possible quality of life, and future for our incredible self-advocates?


  1. We Educate Ourselves. We educate ourselves and others we know about the needs of our self-advocates and the best possible solutions to meet those needs.

Click here for NPR’s Presidential Candidates’ Health Care Vision Comparison


  1. We Choose Our Candidates. We determine which candidates (Presidential, state and local candidates) align the closest with what will help our self-advocates thrive!
  2. WE VOTE!! We Vote Early. We Vote Remote!

What Matters in This Election?

Eligible Voters With Disabilities Increase By Nearly 20%

Excerpt from Disability Scoop:


As the November election draws near, new research finds that the number of voters with disabilities across the nation has grown exponentially and could make the difference in how races are decided.

There are an estimated 38.3 million eligible voters with disabilities in the U.S., according to a report out from the Rutgers University Program for Disability Research. That represents an 19.8% increase since 2008 and outpaces a 12% rise in voters without disabilities during the same period.

Moreover, the researchers noted that when people with disabilities and the family members they live with are factored, disability issues are significant to 28.9% of the electorate.

“The sheer size of the disability electorate makes it clear that people with disabilities and their family members have the potential to swing elections,” said Lisa Schur, a professor in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers . . .

We Vote Remote Shows Us How to

Safely Vote Remotely

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.

We Are Proud to Vote Remote

Self-Advocate Affirmations

  • We understand better than most how important it is for us to advocate for ourselves.
  • We value our families, our friends, our lives, and our independence.
  • We recognize the importance of social distancing and keeping ourselves safe right now by not being in public spaces.
  • We know our well-being depends upon the decisions our leaders make and that those decisions will impact our future quality of life, health, and happiness.  We reserve the right to help choose who will make those decisions.

We vote remote!



Join Our ZOOM Webinar

Independent Living for Young Adults
with Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities

Monday, November 16th

7:00-8:30 pm

What is ILO, How to Join, and
How We Are Building Supportive Communities During COVID

Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Bethesda, DC

We successfully transition young people with disabilities to independent living.

Learn how to build community-based independent living for your loved one with developmental disabilities.

With ILO’s support and guidance, your family member will be able to confidently move into integrative living with the necessary supports where he/she will not be alone, vulnerable, or isolated.

Our self-advocates are thriving even during COVID-19.

Come learn how ILO’s self-advocates in Maryland and Washington, DC are thriving in the time of COVID-19.

We guide, coach, mentor, and foster relationship-building.

We will explain how ILO builds supportive communities, creates community partnerships and how our Community Builders foster peer relationships.

Learn about Best Buddy Living

Learn about Best Buddy Living, a state-of-the-art co-living apartment building near Catholic University.

We look forward to seeing you on
Monday, November 16th, on ZOOM at 7:00pm

(you will receive the Zoom link in your email confirmation)

Register Now!

For More Information Contact: Maedi Tanham Carney, Founder and Executive Director 202-248-7113 

Be sure to check out our latest videos:

The Perfect Equation – ILO.

Designed to help motivate real estate developers in considering ILO self-advocates as potential and worthy tenants.

The footage  provides a good understanding of the role ILO plays in ensuring  success for adults with developmental disabilities who are transitioning to independent living with the support of an ILO community.

AND . . .

ILO: From Fear to Confidence

ILO’s focus on assessment and training and its ongoing support and personal connections actively builds the kind of community relationships that our residents and families need to ensure long-term stability, resilience, and success in everyday life. View the Video

Community Builders – Leading the Way to Independent Living

Supporting independent living and strong connections to community are exactly what ILO does. ILO staff members, called Community Builders, mentor and coach ILO self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ILO’s Community Builders lead activities that improve emotional and physical health and nurture and support them through all aspects of building a full, happy, and productive life. View the Video


New! A Guide to Building Independent Lives – ILO’s Skills Inventory

Integrated Living Opportunities knows everyone wants to lead a full, happy, productive, independent life. Achieving that goal means combining the hopes and dreams a self-advocate has with the skills needed to achieve them.  That approach is fundamental for ILO, a non-profit serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Washington, DC and Maryland.

 ILO uses the My Full Life™ Skills Inventory developed by the Center for Independent Futures ®. It is a comprehensive online platform designed to create a baseline and to support life skills development for adults with disabilities.

With the results of the skills inventory as a guide, self-advocates work with ILO staff to strengthen existing skills and master new ones. ILO makes sure each self-advocate learns a broad range of skills through lessons with practice activities and putting them to work in the community. View the Video.


Putting the Pieces Together – Transition to Independent Living the ILO Way

Moving from home with your family to living on your own is easy—pack your boxes and go. What is harder is the emotional transition to independence.  Being ready with life skills from day one. Having people nearby who know you and understand you. Knowing where to find fresh food, medicines you need, a place to walk, the nearest bus stop. That’s especially true for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Putting all the pieces together the right way takes guidance. For many families in the Maryland and DC area, Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO) is the guide, and the partner, they count on.  ILO collaborates with its member families to plan, manage, and facilitate the transition. It’s a process that starts with learning about ILO. View the Video.

Current FOCUS


Please Invite MD Employees You Know to 

Choose ILO

October 4 – December 14 

Who do you know? Social workers? State police? Administrative employees? Park employees? Highway workers? College employees? Security officers? IT pros? So many others!

Activities for ILO Self-Advocates

FREE Virtual Yoga Through the End of the Year

ILO  is offering ALL self-advocates* FREE access to:

Virtual Yoga

Who:                Create Calm Instructors

When:              Every Sunday through December

What Time:    1:30-2:15 pm

How:                 Zoom (See the Calendar for more information)

*Your family must be a participating family or a member of the ILO Community Group

In the Know

ILO’s Social Media Connections


Facebook Group: groups/121928385139416

Twitter: info_ilo

Instagram: integratedlivingopportunities

LinkedIn: company/integrated-living-opportunities

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

Please subscribe to our monthly ILO Insights newsletter to receive new editions by email.
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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