Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Technology Tuesday

Imagine!’s Tech Guru Greg Wellems will be presenting at the 2016 ANCOR Technology Summit & Showcase. The presentation will explore "What's Your 'Why' for Using Technology?”

If you are interested in attending, you can register here.

 Click on the image for a larger view.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Good News Friday!

On July 23, Grossen Bart Brewery was home to some big beards and some even bigger hearts.

That hazy summer day saw the brewery host “The Mane Event” – The Grossen Bart Brewery Annual Beard and Mustache Contest. While that sounds cool to begin with, this part was even cooler - a portion of proceeds from the event were donated to Imagine! to support the upcoming Innovations Advocacy Council’s Fall Formal.

More than $200 was donated, showing that the generosity displayed was equal to the massive amounts of mustache wax and beard oil on hand.

Thanks to Grossen Bart Brewery and the Boulder Facial Hair Club for their support of their community (and for sharing the photos below)!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Technology Tuesday

Imagine! is excited to be part of a new program called “Smart Support – Technology Enabled Services,” headed up by Ontario, Canada’s Community Living Essex County.

Smart Support is all about using technology such as smartphones, tablets, apps, software and mobile devices to help people with a variety of disabilities receiving supports and services to live more independently.

In addition to providing advice and sharing what we’ve learned through our many technology initiatives, Imagine!’s Director of IT Kevin Harding will be serving on the Steering Committee for this program.

Learn more by watching the video below.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fantastic Five - Celebrating Five Years Of Volunteers At Imagine!: Inna Chang

Imagine!’s Volunteer Program officially began five years ago (of course, we had volunteers before, but it was a loosely organized effort).

To celebrate five years of volunteerism at Imagine!, over the next few months I am going to be sharing short videos highlighting five volunteers who have truly made a difference at Imagine!. Of course, choosing just five volunteers was very difficult – last year 379 volunteers donated 8,784 hours of their time to support Imagine!’s mission of creating a world of opportunity for all abilities!

We are grateful to them all, and hope that the five we highlight serve as a great representation of the many generous folks who so kindly give back to their communities.

Today’s video features Inna Chang, who has volunteered for Imagine!’s Out & About and Dayspring departments over the past few years.

Thanks Inna, for all you do for Imagine!.

Are you interested in volunteering at Imagine!? If so, click here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Good News Friday!

Last week’s Imagine! CORE/Labor Source Art Show and Performance was a HUGE success.

In case you missed it, here's an article from 303 Magazine that perfectly describes the art exhibition at the Dairy Arts Center. And good news - there's still a little time left to see the art - it'll be up until August 21st! The article gives some helpful pointers on taking it in. So please read the article, and then go check the art out in person, and maybe even purchase a piece or two.

In the meantime, enjoy some pictures from last Friday’s extravaganza.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Moderate Means

“The looking forward to better and better things is one of the many privileges people of moderate means enjoy over those who can buy whatever they want, whenever they like.” 
- Marion Harland, 1889 

It is the season of the Olympics, and those of you who have read this blog for a while or who know me personally probably know that I always enjoy watching the games. Some of the events I love, some events amuse me, but the Olympics never fail to captivate me.

Abbey Weitzeil
As a side note, I’d like to offer a huge Imagine! shout out to US Olympic Swimmer Abbey Weitzeil. Abbey was part of the gold medal winning women’s 4X100 medley relay and the silver medal winning women’s 4X100m freestyle relay teams. She’s also the sister of Imagine! Case Manager Alexa Weitzeil. Clearly talent, hard work, and dedication runs in the Weitzeil family! 

Anyway, I was watching an event with my daughter a couple of nights ago and we started to discuss what an achievement it was for the athletes who were participating just to be at the games. In almost every event, the best of the best were competing against each other to see who would come out on top.

The discussion brought my mind to a quote from Marion Harland (above). I realized for those athletes, the space they had available for looking forward to bigger and better things, at least in terms of their sport, was pretty small.

For example, Usain Bolt, regarded by some as the fastest human ever timed, could train eight hours a day, seven days a week for the next year and maybe trim a fraction of a second off of his 100m sprint time.

I, on the other hand, could do the same amount of training and cut several seconds (if not minutes) off of my 100m sprint time. I still wouldn’t be anywhere near Usain Bolt territory, but my “moderate means” in terms of sprinting ability would give me a much wider range in which I could improve and move toward better and better things.

And naturally, I then tried to look at that difference through the lens of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). I came to the conclusion that I don’t think we always appreciate the perspective that individuals living with I/DD have in terms of what it means to strive for the “better and better.” I also think we struggle with incorporating that perspective into our services.

Just like Usain Bolt is unlikely to ever really relate to my demonstrated lack of speed on the running track, so too many of us in the field are unlikely to ever truly relate to the needs, goals, and desires of those we serve. Too often our services reflect that lack of awareness.

The solution is to be sure that all of our services are designed and implemented with real and meaningful input from the individuals in services and their families. Only then can we move forward to better and better things and create a world of opportunity for all abilities.

Then again, what do I know?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Technology Tuesday

This week’s Technology Tuesday provides an update on Imagine!’s Tuneberg Remote Supports Project.


In April 2014, Aaron Tuneberg died at the age of 30, the result of a violent and senseless act. Aaron was on a waiting list for services for people with cognitive disabilities, but that did not stop him from connecting with his community and making an impact on all those he touched.

Aaron’s mother, Gale Boonstra, has worked diligently to turn tragedy into opportunity. To help reach that vision, Gale and her family have established Aaron’s Fund to support projects in Aaron’s community that will provide safety, independence, and camaraderie for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her hope for Aaron’s legacy is that we all become more mindful of the needs, as well as the potential, of adults with disabilities, and that we do whatever we can to help these individuals and their families.

Can’t see the video? Click here

Tuneberg Remote Supports Project

Thanks to the generosity of Aaron's Fund, Imagine! has created a technology demonstration project to improve and support safety needs for adults with disabilities. Over three years, the project will identify 5-10 individuals served by Imagine!, assess their support needs, identify the technologies that will best help meet those needs, purchase the technologies for the individuals, teach them how to use them for their needs, and provide ongoing support through the demonstration period. Technology supports are individualized to individual supports and include door and window sensors, heat and stove detectors, medication reminders, visual doorbells, prompting systems for daily tasks, which are all integrated into a notification system that provides alerts to caregivers or 911.

The idea is to use technology in a community-based setting that will allow people to be monitored remotely. Their loved ones or caregivers will know when they are home and what area of the living space they are accessing. They can remotely lock doors, let people know what facilities they are using, and support them with medication management.

The concept may be simple, but it will help fill a huge gap that currently exists in services for adults with intellectual disabilities who are mostly independent but need some assistance to remain self-reliant. Sadly, this is a population that is underserved and often ignored, as the tragic loss of Aaron showed. Available funding for their needs is miniscule, the workforce willing and able to meet those needs is shrinking, and yet the demand for these services continues to grow. Imagine! will use those three years to collect feedback and data and then report back to the state in the hopes that the technology will be offered to more people with disabilities around the state.

Project Progress as of July 2016

In February, four residences in Boulder County were equipped with the technology most suited to each individual. Imagine! is bringing on a fifth individual now, and is identifying others as well. Technology in each home costs about $4,000 for the first year and $750 in monitoring every year after that, and Aaron's Fund has made a three-year commitment to the program. The participating families are very pleased with the system as it is providing them with peace of mind while helping support a more independent lifestyle.

Learn more about the progress of the Tuneberg Remote Supports Project by reading this article from the Daily Camera or check out the video below (also produced by the Daily Camera).
  Can’t see the video? Click here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Good News Friday!

Next week marks the conclusion of the 2016 edition of Imagine!’s Out & About department’s Summer Camp program for school aged children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Activities include fishing, equine assisted opportunities, art exploration, swimming, movement, sports and games, gardening, as well as lots of scheduled field trips to local venues. Out & About’s goal for the camp is to provide a sense of acceptance and self among peers, to enhance participant's quality of life through the development of socialization skills and coordination skills, and to promote community integration.

Words can only go so far in explaining how cool this summer camp is. Take a look at the pictures below to get a better sense of the amazing variety of fun and meaningful activities.

Congrats to the Out & About team for another successful summer!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Technology Tuesday

This week's Tech Tuesday comes from the Santa Fe Group Home in Broomfield. Donna has a new goal at home: she would like to increase her self-reliance when it come to her medications. After practicing using a computer-based medication task minder developed by Imagine! staff members called MedMinder, she took a test around all her medications, and passed with flying colors. She's now ready to begin practicing the delicate art of physically filling a medication reminder box with medications. Keep up the great work, Donna!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Good News Friday!

Imagine!’s Innovations for Children recently asked Roberto Abarca to share his some of his experiences as a foster parent. Check out the short video below to see what they found out.

Can’t see the video? Click here

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Technology Tuesday

This week's Tech Tuesday comes from our Santa Fe Group Home in Broomfield. Gerald, shown here, is moving beyond simple letter recognition to matching letters with the sounds they make. He's seen here using his DynaVox to answer the test questions, so that we can develop the right program for his needs! Great work, Gerald!