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#IAGTalks with Jennifer Daly | IAG: Voices & Vision
47:17

#IAGTalks with Jennifer Daly | IAG: Voices & Vision

๐Ÿ‘‰ In this engaging episode of IAG: Voices and Vision, we sit down with Jennifer Daly, a passionate advocate and the Director of Employment at Individual Advocacy Group (IAG). Jennifer brings us into her world, sharing her experiences and insights on the challenges and successes in employment for people with disabilities. Her journey from a literary teacher to a recognized leader in creating job opportunities for those facing employment barriers is both inspiring and enlightening. In this episode, we explore what meaningful employment means for people with disabilities, highlighting the significance of job satisfaction that goes beyond just earning a paycheck. Jennifer Daly talks about the challenges in the job application process, how COVID-19 has impacted employment opportunities, and the essential need for inclusive hiring practices. We also share uplifting success stories, including one about a person with disability who progressed from uncertain job prospects to becoming a trainer at his workplace. Whether you're an employer, an advocate, or someone navigating the employment landscape with a disability, this episode is packed with valuable insights and practical advice. Tune in to learn how employment can be a transformative force in lives and how we can contribute to a more inclusive workforce. Show Notes: ๐Ÿ‘‰ Jennifer Daly's Background: Explore Jennifer's transition from a literary teacher to an influential advocate in employment for people with disabilities. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Meaningful Employment: Understand what meaningful employment means for people with disabilities and its significance beyond just a job. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Workforce Challenges: Learn about the hurdles faced by people with disabilities in finding employment, especially in the modern digital era. ๐Ÿ‘‰ COVID-19's Impact: Discover how the pandemic has reshaped employment opportunities and practices for people with disabilities. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Inspiring Success Stories: Hear about real-life examples of people who have overcome challenges to find fulfilling employment. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Guidance for Employers and Advocates: Get practical tips for employers on inclusive hiring and for advocates on supporting persons with disabilities in their employment journey. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Jennifer's Outlook: Listen to Jennifer's thoughts on the future of employment for people with disabilities and the evolving role of technology and community support. Don't forget to subscribe to our channel for more episodes focused on empowering people with disabilities and their communities. Join the conversation by sharing your thoughts and experiences in the comments! Time Stamp: 00:12 Introduction to Jennifer Daly 01:26 Background on Employment and Disabilities 06:17 Challenges in the workforce for people with disability 09:42 Importance of offering opportunities to people with disabilities 20:58 Advice for people with disability who are not in IAG 27:29 Customized Employment Model 42:43 How to reach out Jennifer Daly
#IAGTalks with Amy Davis | IAG: Voices & Vision
26:25

#IAGTalks with Amy Davis | IAG: Voices & Vision

In this compelling episode of IAG: Voices & Vision, we're honored to have Amy Davis, the Director of Advocacy at IAG, share over two decades of dedication and insights into disability advocacy. Amy's journey, marked by a deep-seated passion for empowering those with disabilities, underscores the essence of advocacy: the power of choice and the importance of community integration. Amy opens up about her unexpected path into the field of disability support and advocacy, highlighting her initial role as a direct support professional (DSP) and her ascent to a leadership position. Her story is a testament to the transformative impact of commitment and empathy in creating meaningful change. Throughout our conversation, Amy emphasizes the significance of self-advocacy, educating people with disabilities to make informed choices, and the critical role of awareness in fostering a more inclusive society. We delve into the challenges and triumphs of advocating for rights and opportunities, from the daily decisions we often take for granted to the broader societal issues affecting the disability community. Join us as we explore the multifaceted aspects of disability advocacy with Amy, including the importance of volunteer work, the impact of policy changes on direct support professionals, and the collective effort required to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, has the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life. Show Notes: ๐Ÿ‘‰ Amy Davis's Background: Discover Amy's inspiring journey from a direct support professional to the Director of Advocacy at IAG, and her passion for disability advocacy. ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Essence of Advocacy: Learn about the critical role of choice in advocacy and how empowering people with disabilities to make their own decisions is at the heart of Amy's work. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Challenges in Communication and Self-Advocacy: Insights into the obstacles faced by the disability community in expressing their needs and desires, and the strategies employed to overcome these challenges. ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Power of Volunteer Work: A look at how volunteer work not only benefits the community but also enriches the lives of those with disabilities, fostering empathy and understanding. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Navigating Policy and Legislation: Discussion on the impact of policy changes on the disability community, particularly the potential effects of budget cuts on direct support professionals and the services they provide. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Community Integration and Inclusion: Amy shares her thoughts on the importance of community events and partnerships in promoting inclusion and understanding among all community members. ๐Ÿ‘‰ How to Be an Ally: Practical advice for those looking to support and advocate for the disability community, emphasizing the importance of awareness, volunteerism, and offering opportunities for meaningful engagement. Don't miss this enlightening conversation with Amy Davis on IAG: Voices & Vision. Subscribe to our podcast for more stories that inspire change and foster a more inclusive world. Share your thoughts and join the conversation on advocating for disability rights and inclusion. Skip Ahead: 00:00 - Introduction of Amy Davis, Director of Advocacy at IAG. 01:29 - The essence of advocacy and its connection to personal choices. 02:51 - The importance of awareness for effective self-advocacy. Strategies to empower self-advocacy within the disability community. 04:06 - The profound empathy among people with disabilities and its impact on volunteer work. 05:09 - Discussing the significance of daily choices and autonomy for people with disabilities. 05:44 - How staff training and awareness contribute to empowering those they support. 07:59 - The critical role of compassion in disability support and advocacy. 09:45 - Amy shares impactful moments and success stories from her advocacy work. 11:13 - The importance of community events like open mic nights for inclusion. 12:52 - How the community can actively support and advocate for people with disabilities. 14:58 - Discussing challenges related to accessibility and the fight against ableism. 17:23 - Explaining the indispensable role of DSPs in supporting people with disabilities. 19:41 - The potential effects of policy changes and budget cuts on disability support services. 22:05 - The significance of volunteering and forming partnerships in advocacy efforts. 24:49 - Encouraging community engagement to foster a deeper understanding of disability advocacy. 26:10 - Final insights and concluding remarks.
#IAGListens with Tommia | IAG: Voices & Vision
23:18

#IAGListens with Tommia | IAG: Voices & Vision

In this heartfelt episode of #IAGListens, we are privileged to share the story of Tommia, a resilient and inspiring young person supported through the DCFS program by IAG. At just 20 years old, Tommia opens up about her challenges, triumphs, and the journey towards finding her voice and strength amidst adversity. From dealing with verbal abuse and mental health struggles to discovering the power of prayer, creativity, and self-expression, Tommia's story is a testament to the human spirit's capacity for growth and transformation. Join us as Tommia shares her personal experiences, the importance of setting goals, and how finding peace in prayer and self-love has shaped her path forward. Show Notes: ๐Ÿ‘‰ Introduction to Tommia: Learn about Tommia, a 20-year-old supported by IAG through the DCFS program, and her journey from facing verbal abuse and mental health challenges to becoming a beacon of hope and empowerment. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Finding Strength in Adversity: Tommia shares her experiences with DCFS, highlighting the struggles and the resilience required to navigate such a system. She emphasizes the importance of finding one's voice and the power of self-advocacy. ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Role of Goals: Discover how setting goals has played a crucial role in Tommia's life, helping her find direction and purpose. From her passion for baking to her spiritual growth, goals have been a source of motivation and progress. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Supportive Relationships: Tommia reflects on the impact of supportive staff and family members who have encouraged her to open up and pursue her dreams. These relationships have been instrumental in her journey towards healing and self-discovery. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Spiritual Journey: Tommia talks about the significance of her faith and prayer in her life. She shares how spirituality has helped her cope with loss, find peace, and maintain a positive outlook on life. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Advice for Others: Offering words of wisdom to others in similar situations, Tommia encourages people to stay strong, keep pushing forward, and never give up on themselves. She stresses the importance of self-love and finding joy in the small things. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Looking to the Future: Tommia shares her aspirations for the future, including her dreams of becoming a motivational speaker, opening her own bakery, and continuing her work with the elderly. Her story is a testament to the idea that with determination and support, anything is possible. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Closing Thoughts: The episode concludes with Tommia expressing gratitude for the opportunity to share her story and the hope that it will inspire others facing similar challenges. Time Stamp: 00:00 - Introduction to the episode and Tommia. 00:36 - Tommia introduces herself and her background with DCFS. 07:56 - Discussing the transition into DCFS and the personal growth journey. 09:24 - Tommia talks about how she spends her time and the importance of staying goal-oriented. 11:08 - The role of supportive staff in Tommia's journey towards openness and progress. 13:25 - Tommia shares her goals and aspirations, including her passion for baking and her spiritual journey. 17:39 - Reflecting on personal growth, the importance of internal motivation, and the impact of self-talk. 20:14 - Advice for others in DCFS and the power of perseverance and self-belief. 22:55 - Closing thoughts and gratitude from Tommia for the support and opportunities to share her story. Tommia's narrative is a powerful reminder of the importance of support, understanding, and compassion in overcoming life's obstacles. Her courage to share and be a beacon of hope for others is truly inspiring. Tune in to hear Tommia's full story and join us in celebrating her journey towards empowerment and self-discovery.
#IAGTalks with Norman Brown | IAG: Voices & Vision
35:56

#IAGTalks with Norman Brown | IAG: Voices & Vision

In this episode of #IAGTalks, we sit down with Norman Brown, the Regional Director of Suburban Cook for IAG, who oversees both adult and youth programs, including the transformative Transitional Living Program (TLP) for DCFS youth. Norman shares his profound insights into the challenges and triumphs of working with youth in care, aged 17 and a half to 20, who present a wide range of intellectual functioning and behavioral needs. Through a candid conversation, Norman delves into the individualized approach of the TLP, highlighting how IAG specializes in supporting youth with significant behavioral challenges, including those with aggressive histories, criminal charges, and tendencies to elope from placements. He emphasizes the importance of consistency, safety, and the opportunity for these young individuals to try new behaviors in a supportive and nurturing environment. Listeners will gain an understanding of the critical role that trust, respect, and genuine care play in helping these young people navigate their traumatic histories and transition successfully into adulthood. Norman's stories of resilience, change, and the long-lasting impact of the program on its participants are both inspiring and heartwarming. Join us as we explore the meaningful work being done at IAG to empower youth in care, offering them a chance at a brighter, more stable future, and the remarkable journey of growth and healing that many of them embark on. Show Notes: ๐Ÿ‘‰ Introduction to Norman Brown: Meet Norman Brown, the Regional Director of Suburban Cook for IAG, overseeing crucial programs for adults and youth transitioning from DCFS care. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Overview of the Transitional Living Program (TLP): Learn about the TLP's mission to support DCFS youth aged 17 and a half to 20, providing individualized care and supervision based on each youth's needs. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Challenges Faced by Youth in Care: Norman discusses the diverse backgrounds of the youth entering the TLP, including those transitioning from hospitals, group homes, and other residential placements. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Specializing in Behavioral Support: Discover how IAG is known for accepting and successfully working with youth who present more significant behavioral challenges than other programs might accept. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Strategies for Success: Insight into the methods used by IAG to help youth decrease problematic behaviors, such as elopement, and encourage the adoption of new, positive behaviors. ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Importance of Consistency and Safety: Norman emphasizes the critical role of providing a consistent and safe environment for youth, helping them to trust and try new behaviors as part of their healing process. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Building Trust and Respect: A look into the challenges staff face, including not taking negative behaviors personally and building a respectful, supportive relationship with the youth. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Success Stories: Norman shares inspiring success stories from the program, highlighting the profound impact of the TLP on the lives of its participants. ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Goal of Transitioning to Adulthood: The overarching goal of the TLP is to help youth successfully transition to adulthood, whether that means going to college, joining the workforce, or achieving personal independence. ๐Ÿ‘‰ The Lasting Impact of Support: Norman reflects on the long-term relationships and ongoing support that IAG provides to former participants, underscoring the lasting impact of the program on their lives. Time Stamp: 00:00 - Introduction to the episode and welcoming Norman Brown. 00:12 - Norman Brown introduced as the Regional Director of Suburban Cook for IAG. 00:41 - Explanation of the Transitional Living Program (TLP) for DCFS youth. 01:17 - Discussion on the origins of the youth entering the TLP. 01:32 - The diverse backgrounds of the youth in the TLP. 02:48 - IAG's reputation for accepting youth with significant behavioral challenges. 03:02 - Types of behavioral needs addressed by the TLP. 04:18 - Supporting youth with traumatic histories within the program. 04:37 - The importance of consistency and safety in the healing process. 06:25 - The process of acquiring new skills and behaviors for the youth. 07:12 - Building trust and rapport with the youth in care. 09:12 - The challenges of not taking negative behaviors personally. 13:36 - Favorite aspects of working with DCFS youth. 14:43 - Challenges faced by staff in the TLP. 18:00 - The significance of consistency and integrity in behavioral support. 18:45 - Goals for the youth entering the program. 22:27 - Transitioning out of the program and into adulthood. 24:31 - Success stories from the TLP and the impact on staff. 27:13 - Norman shares a specific success story from the program.
#IAGTalks with Lindsay Orsi | IAG: Voices & Vision
35:33

#IAGTalks with Lindsay Orsi | IAG: Voices & Vision

Supporting Independence and Crisis Management in Disability Care In this enlightening episode of IG Talks, we're joined by Lindsay Orsi, a seasoned professional in disability care and mental health. Lindsay, currently the regional administrator for IAG in Springfield, shares her extensive journey from starting as a direct support professional to leading significant programs aimed at improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. Discover the impactful work done in community integrated living arrangements, crisis intervention, and how tailored support can enable individuals to live dignified, fulfilling lives. Lindsay's passion and dedication illuminate the essential blend of care, professionalism, and community integration in disability support services. Show Notes: [00:00] Introduction to IG Talks and today's guest, Lindsay Orsi. [01:48] Lindsay's professional background and her role at IAG. [02:04] Overview of day-to-day operations in Springfield, focusing on community integrated living arrangements and services. [03:05] Deep dive into the structure and philosophy behind the community integrated living setups. [04:16] The types of support staff provide to residents, emphasizing personalized care. [05:00] A look at the short-term stabilization Homes Program and its approach to crisis management. [10:00] Detailed discussion on managing intense behaviors and the programโ€™s unique strategies. [13:03] The 90-day program structure, objectives, and outcomes. [16:32] Exploring the universal nature of crisis and the importance of community awareness. [22:34] The crucial role of direct support professionals in the success of these programs. [27:38] Community involvement and the importance of inclusivity and support from local authorities. [35:00] Closing thoughts on the importance of understanding and addressing behaviors in disability care.
#IAGTalks with Corrie Lukkes | IAG: Voices & Vision
17:45

#IAGTalks with Corrie Lukkes | IAG: Voices & Vision

Join us on the IAG: Voices & Vision Podcast as we sit down with Corrie Lukkes, an experienced occupational therapist dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. In this episode, Corrie shares her journey from academia to hands-on therapy, detailing her transition to IAG and her impactful work with both children and adults. In this episode, youโ€™ll learn about: - Corrieโ€™s pathway to occupational therapy and her decision to focus on disabilities. - The development and impact of non-traditional OT programs at IAG, including a sensory room and cooking club. - The holistic approach of occupational therapy and its applications in daily life. - Strategies for integrating occupational therapy in community settings to foster independence. - Creative ways to engage and empower individuals with disabilities through activities like cooking and sensory experiences. Discover how Corrie and her students transformed the IAG Bloomingdale and Glendale Heights locations, implementing innovative OT strategies that make a profound difference in the community. Learn why occupational therapy is a vital resource for building self-confidence and independence among those with disabilities. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the empowering effects of occupational therapy and how it fosters greater independence and confidence. Time Stamp: 00:00 - Introduction to the episode and welcoming Corrie Lukkes. 00:11 - Corrie Lukkes introduced as an experienced occupational therapist, sharing her educational background and initial work. 01:22 - Discussion on Corrie's transition to IAG and her role as an OT student fieldwork supervisor. 02:54 - Insights into the unique occupational therapy programs initiated by Corrie at IAG, including a sensory room and cooking club. 03:15 - Corrie discusses her passion for working with individuals with disabilities and the personal connections formed at IAG. 05:24 - Explanation of occupational therapy (OT) and its holistic approach in treating individuals. 07:32 - Creative uses of OT in community settings, particularly Corrie's favorite initiative, the cooking club named "Red Hot Chili Peppers." 10:22 - The impact of OT on building self-confidence and independence among IAG clients. 12:05 - Corrie reflects on what she loves most about working at IAG, emphasizing the joy and diversity of her OT activities. 13:54 - Discussion on who is a good candidate for OT and how it benefits individuals across different age groups and needs. 17:18 - Closing remarks and appreciation for Corrie's contributions to the field and the IAG community.
Shaping Inclusive Communities: IAG's Visionary Approach