Friday, October 26, 2018

Good News Friday!

There's still time to vote for Imagine! in the Plante Moran Gives Charity Contest.

The rules of the contest are simple — the three Colorado charities with the most votes from their supporters at the end of three rounds will win a substantial donation. (First place will receive $15,000, second place will receive $10,000, and third place will receive $5,000.) Imagine! is an official entrant!

Show your support in round one by clicking here now and voting for Imagine! once a day through October 29.

And please forward the contest link and encourage your friends and followers to vote for us as well.

Thanks for your help!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Good News Friday!

Today we’d like to thank the good folks from Rosetta Stone, who recently did a company volunteer project with Imagine!. The group joined our Out & About department for their Healthy Living activity on Wednesday, and they supported soccer skills camps and some gym/recreational activities.

Imagine! is a community-based organization, and we can’t do what we do without the support of our community. This is a great example of that community support in action, and we are deeply appreciative of our Rosetta Stone friends.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Technology Tuesday

Imagine!'s CORE/Labor Source department uses the TAPit, an interactive computer station designed for individuals with disabilities. It recognizes the difference between an arm resting upon the screen and a finger or assistive device intentionally tapping an image, provides full access to those using wheelchairs, and tilts 0 to 90 degress and adjusts up and down. Imagine! is always striving to seek out cutting edge technologies that will help us create a world of opportunity for all abilities!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Good News Friday!

Congratulations to Mandy Kretsch, who lives at one of Imagine!'s Group Homes and accepts services from our CORE/Labor Source department. She recently published her new book, "Mandy's Collection of Short Stories," and it's for sale on Amazon. Click here to purchase a copy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What’s In Your Cabinet?

Last week I had the opportunity to attend, and present, at the 2018 Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology.

While I enjoyed presenting, my key takeaway from the day came at the very beginning, as I listened to John L. Martin, Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, give the Plenary Presentation, discussing how Ohio became the very first “Technology First” state in the nation.

I’ve already discussed how, while I’m delighted that Ohio has made this step, that I’m extremely disappointed it wasn’t Colorado leading this charge.

But Martin’s speech brought some more clarity to the issue of why Ohio was the first state to officially recognize that the time to wonder about the benefits of incorporating technology into the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is long past, and that the time to act is now.

Just look at Martin’s title: he is a cabinet level official in Ohio’s state government.

Quick quiz: do you know who the state director of the Colorado Department of Developmental Disabilities is? 

It’s a trick question. There is no state level department for developmental disabilities in Colorado. There’s not even an official office for developmental disabilities in our state. Nor is there even a division for developmental disabilities within an office of a department.

I applaud Ohio’s recognition of the importance of I/DD services. Their attention to working to create opportunities for our fellow citizens with disabilities is one to be admired.

And I share the unknown status, administratively speaking, of services for people with I/DD in our state a little less than a month before an upcoming election intentionally.

I encourage individuals in services, families, and others concerned about the future of services in Colorado to reach out to candidates and ask them about the future status of services for people with I/DD. Perhaps share that some states elevate the status services for people with I/DD to the Governor’s Cabinet to ensure people are given every opportunity to live a fulfilling life of possibilities.

Then again, what do I know?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Technology Tuesday

Avenues to Independence, a similar organization to Imagine! based out of Park Ridge Illinois, toured Imagine!’s SmartHome last week. Guests included Robert Okazaki, Judy Okazaki, Joni Kraft, and Janice Valentine.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Good News Friday!

Staff members at Imagine!’s Manhattan Group Home are spending the next few months focusing on creative and sustainable ways to build skill acquisition, as well as developing targeted solutions to promote independence.

Each opportunity for skill acquisition is determined with the full participation of the individuals in services, and with the goal of supporting individuals to live the lives they want to live. The goal of this project is to partner with the individuals living at the Manhattan Home to enhance their future quality of life by promoting skill acquisition which will enable them to live, function, and participate more fully in their homes and communities. This is done by promoting choice and control.

This team’s hard work is already starting to produce desirable outcomes and is building real excitement among the residents. Reducing verbal prompts and assistance needed for daily living is creating a vested interest with individuals in being an important part of developing plans and expectations for their own long term success. Additionally, acquiring and customizing supportive tools like their new Echo Show and other assistive technologies reduce demands on staffing.

The key to this momentum thus far has been promoting choice and control alongside the individuals in services from the beginning through identifying specific daily opportunities for independence, and reinforcing consistent approaches across all staff members, including those providing behavioral supports. The team has done a fantastic job of leading with positivity and celebrating achievements both big and small. Supervisor Towana Vance has done an outstanding job inspiring her team of skill acquisition ninjas to make learning from each other a daily habit and building upon momentum for both staff and individuals.

Imagine!’s Innovations department is dedicated to ensuring each goal and opportunity for skill acquisition is determined with the full participation of the individual in services while using person centered practices and allowing the individual in services to determine their personal level of desired engagement. Innovations is assisting individuals to develop a vested interest in their own independence while prioritizing goals that are important to them and important for their health and safety. Towana and her team are ensuring appropriate individualized service and support goals are put in place to reflect the individual’s current desired opportunities for independence and ensuring adequate data tracking is in place to monitor progress and adjust as needed. These are just a few of the collaborative ways Imagine is creating a world of opportunity for all abilities by helping people aspire to, and achieve, a fulfilling life of new possibilities!

LtoR: Whitney Granger, Towana Vance, Christopher Sloan, Jamie Crawford, Heather Christensen

The Echo Show