FY 2019 Highlights and FY 2020 Goals
On Thursday, June 27th 2019, the Search team came together to reflect on program accomplishments of the past year, and to discuss opportunities for improvement in the year ahead. In developing our FY 2020 Quality Enhancement Plan goals we considered whether the people we serve are achieving what is personally important to them as a result of our programs and services. The result was the development of FY 2020 goals for enhancing the personal outcomes of the people we serve.
FY 2019 Outcomes for Individuals Served
Second Ignite Site Launched
Search opened its second Ignite program site in Norwood Park. Ignite is a small, community-based, flexible day services program. Participants take part in the life of the surrounding community, interact with other community members and have opportunities to perform different social roles, including through volunteer experiences, employment and art. Ignite Norwood Park joins our first Ignite program site in Evanston, which opened in FY 2018.
Career Services Job Placements at Record High
A record 16 individuals were placed in competitive, integrated jobs through Community Employment Services (CES) in FY 2019. CES participants receive 1:1 support through the pre-employment, application & hiring process. CES employer partners included Mariano’s, Trader Joe’s, Rivers Casino and Petsmart among many others. Additionally, 16 students participated in the Planet Access Company Warehouse (PAC) training program throughout the year. The PAC training program provides students with direct work experience in a warehouse setting, as well as support with the transition to adult services.
Supported Living Services Improves Self Determination & Choice
Search’s Supported Living Program (SLP) serves 180 individuals at 30 impeccably maintained homes that are well integrated into the surrounding communities of Skokie, Mt. Prospect, Morton Grove and Chicago. In FY 2019, Search has sharply focused its efforts on quality, self-determination and choice for the individuals served in SLP. Chief among these efforts has been the implementation of Personal Outcome Measures interviews (POM) for SLP participants. The insights gained during POM interviews are used to ensure that our supports and services are truly person-centered.
Self-Advocacy and Training Fosters Dignity & Respect
Our social enterprise, JJ’s List, supported the expansion of self-advocacy opportunities, through training, to a growing number of school and community-based partners. The JJ’s List Disability Awareness Players conducted 26 trainings for over 1,756 people to build their comfort in communicating with people with disabilities. Audiences included a diverse group of schools, libraries, first responders, park districts, faith based communities, cultural institutions, nonprofit organizations, businesses and transportation providers. In partnership with Pace Suburban Bus, a record 50 Hop on the Bus to Independence Workshops were held throughout the year. Hop Workshops are a free, hands-on interactive workshop to help participants build public transportation skills for living and working in the community.
Ensuring Continuity and Security through Long-Term Sustainability
In FY 2019, Search continued to expand its fundraising, communications and outreach activities to grow private revenue, attract new markets for services, and ensure continuity and security for the individuals we serve. In FY 2019, Search generated over $360,000 in private revenue from 407 donors making 876 gifts. Additionally, we further engaged our various stakeholders through targeted communications with families, outreach to young professionals and a refreshed website. Search’s first young professionals’ event was held at Dovetail Brewery in January 2019. Other outreach events included 12 Visibility Arts shows and the Search 360 Open House.
FY 2020 Quality Enhancement Goal Highlights
Improvement Goal: Establish Health and Wellness groups at residential sites, where individuals have opportunities to engage with the nursing team on important topics related to their health and well-being. Desired Outcome - Best Possible Health: Individuals engage in the management of their own healthcare.
Improvement Goal: Promote the exploration of communities through the development of a “Community Bingo Card” and establishment of relationships with new restaurants for culinary experiences in the community. Desired Outcome - Community Participation: Individuals are able to exercise choice and participate in the life of the community.
Improvement Goal: Individuals are supported to engage in self-advocacy, by training staff on their preferred method of goal implementation, and by participating in mentorship opportunities with peers in the areas of advocacy, rights and communication. Desired Outcome - Social Roles: Individuals have opportunities to experience and perform different roles in their communities.
Improvement Goal: Continue to implement personalization projects at Supported Living sites and collaborate with individuals on the design and décor of their living spaces. This will include the successful completion of a home design project with Designs for Dignity. Desired Outcome - Choice of Living Environment: Individuals are able to express themselves and make choices by providing input into the personal and common spaces at their homes.
Improvement Goal: Continue to expand community employment services and place a minimum of 18 individuals into new competitive positions throughout the year. Provide training to a minimum of 25 students through the PAC Warehouse training program to prepare young adults for work in the community. Desired Outcome - Choice of Work: Provide employment opportunities that match each person’s goals, desires, skills and aptitudes, including a variety of work, training, mentor and other employment related experiences.
Improvement Goal: Develop alternative service plans for 40 Individuals, so that important information about their needs and priorities are accessible to people served and the staff that support them. Desired Outcome - Personal Goals: Individuals will be better supported to achieve their personal goals through the development of plans that are accessible to the individuals as well as the people that support them.