Implementing Ideas

green, white, and orange graphic of lightbulb with light rays around it. inside the lightbulb are hands holding up the independence now logo. Next to the bulb is a Quote from – Shirley Chisholm that says You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.

At Independence Now’s 2021 Annual Meeting, the team looked back at 2020 and listed all the new ideas that were implemented to enhance consumer services, community engagement, advocacy services, and even staff morale. And what a list it was! Take a look at everything new that our staff accomplished in 2020, and let us know your thoughts and new ideas for 2021!

  • “Coordinated Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Disabled Lives Matter (#BIPOCDLM) protests in downtown Silver Spring & Virginia!” – Shannon Minnick
  • “Coordinated a #BIPOCDLM Conference.” – Abiola Heylinger
  • “Coordinated the Employee Recognition Committee, boosting morale with Employee of the Month and fostering a feeling of togetherness by hosting monthly employee events, etc.” – Nina Russell
  • “The Supports Planning Agency (SPA) upped their communication with consumers. Many consumers waive communication with the SPA down to 2 visits per year, but during the pandemic – especially in the beginning – we made sure to stay in contact with them, create a resource list, and made sure that they didn’t feel isolated or alone.” – Beth Munro
  • “Increase use of technology, particularly in the older adult population. The SPA had to get really creative with figuring out how to ‘see’ our consumers. Older adults may have the technology but didn’t know how to use it. One positive thing to come out of the pandemic was that most of our consumers now know how to sign documents on their phones and answer video calls.” – Doris Quintero
  • “SPA team meetings. I think it’s easy to take for granted being able to just walk into someone’s office and ask them a question or just seeing people in the hallways. The SPA has weekly check-ins as a team to discuss larger systemic issues as well as group brainstorm about difficult situations we might be dealing with particular consumers. I feel this has brought us closer together. Before the pandemic it was difficult to find a time when all of us were in the office – not out on visits or on calls – being separated forced us to carve out a regular time to meet and be a team.” – Carol Cordova
  • “Anti-racism Open forums – we are in a really difficult time right now as a nation, and people are hurting. Inter-generational trauma is being brought to the surface, and I think our response was not to shy away from it and try to brush it under the rug, but rather to come together and even in the face of a difficult topic and a topic that quite frankly can be very uncomfortable, we work through it together.” – Denise Robinson
  • “Money Follows the Person (MFP) sending postcards to consumers.” – Carlos Garner
  • “MFP delivering laptops for connection and engagement during quarantine.” – Michael Saunders
  • “Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) acquiring an OrCam, a device for people with low vision or reading difficulties that instantly reading full pages of any printed text or digital screen.” – Cindy LaBon
  • “We organized the Assistive Technology Lending Library and listed all the items on our website.” – Denise Sosbe
  • “We partnered with Black and Decker to offer a Maker’s Workshop for the Maryland Youth Leadership Forum and alumni.” – Damon Walker
  • “Helping consumers take advantage of the Community Choice Homes program.” – Kelvin Hawkins
  • “Coordinating the Smart Phone Boot Camp” – Rochelle Harrod
  • “Coordinating COVID-19 info sessions and vaccine clinics.” – Serena Jaros
  • “Hosting virtual raining sessions.” – Debra Potts
  • “Working with the other Centers for Independent Living to deliver INdependence Amplified Maryland. Also having coffee or lunch with staff regularly.” – Sarah Basehart

Thanks to our amazing team for all their hard work in 2020!!

Implementing Ideas
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