In the first quarter of 2019, the Coleman Foundation approved grants totaling $675,300 to non-profit organizations advancing strategies articulated in the Foundation’s Disabilities Impact Plan. Selected strategies and related awards area:
Strategy 4: Fund efforts to create and renew housing alternatives, including emerging models which allow for ownership by residents and other parties
$252,500 – Group Home Renewal Initiative, Phase II
The award is to support the second phase of an effort to improve residential environments for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through partnership between disability service organizations and residential design professionals. Following an earlier phase which improved six group homes through expansive renovations, 24-26 homes will be upgraded through additions of new furniture and accessories selected by residents and organization staff from a menu of choices identified for their quality and durability by design professionals at Designs For Dignity. Designs For Dignity staff will create teams of volunteer designers; manage the application and selection processes to determine participating organizations; coordinate design team activity; perform order placement and coordinate delivery and installation; and survey residents and agency staff to secure feedback on project results.
Strategy 5: Fund collaborative programs which include multiple grantees
$250,300 – Infinitec Technology and Access to Training Improvement Project
The award is to upgrade the Infinitec system which provides online training resources for staff members of more than 30 organizations that serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This includes converting more than 850 online documents and eLearning assets to a new required format; acquiring software licenses for Infinitec’s content developers, and training them to create new training modules using the new format; updating the Infinitec web infrastructure to ensure efficient and effective support and delivery for members; and installing an automatic webinar registration system.
Strategy 6: Fund efforts to improve direct care staffing
$172,500 – Pathways to Independence – Expanding Access to Children’s Allied Health Services
The 18-month award is for additional therapist staff resources to enable Easterseals Joliet Region to serve individuals on its waiting list for medical diagnostic and autism clinic program services. In addition, the award funds the addition of a Family Navigator position to improve bill processing and other administrative efficiencies and provide care coordination to families involving intake, scheduling, and referral processes.