Inclusion Matters
October 2021
Inclusion Empowers All of Us

To help ourselves and our society, we can be more aware of those in our sphere with visible and invisible disabilities. We can remember to see the total person and remember that their disability does not define them. Also, we can actively advocate for their inclusion in our workplaces and provide any support they need to be successful, just as we would do with anyone else.

Inclusion is part of Envision Unlimited's mission. Beyond words, we hire qualified candidates, regardless of their disability.

You can help us welcome more individuals with disabilities into the Envision family by visiting envisionunlimited.org/careers regularly to see what positions are available. Encourage those who have the skills and a caring spirit to apply. As this short video reminds us, disabilities do not define anyone.
We are #EnvisionStrong!
STAFF NEWS
Welcome to the Envision Family!
Envision Unlimited creates empowering spaces and programs for our members by recruiting and hiring only the most qualified and caring individuals. We are excited for you to meet more than two dozen outstanding professionals who recently joined the Envision staff.

Thank you for making us your new workplace home. Count on us to treat you like family.
SEPTEMBER ARRIVALS

Jasmine Bass, CLS/ Mental Health
Yashica Collins, MH Recovery Support
Charles Fluker Jr., Komensky CILA
Velma Hood, Myrick CILA
Brianna McKinnie, RBT/SSH
Tiffany Neal, Monee CILA
Leasja Olaseinde, Wrightwood/South
Kendra Sargent, CLS/Mental Health
Brianne Sullivan, MH Clinical Therapist
Alyssia White, RBT/SSH
OCTOBER ARRIVALS

Oluwakemi Ajomale, 110th CILA
Eulisha Barner, RBT/SSH
April Burton, ABA
Maria Garcia, Respite Worker
Kyra Hickombottom, Elston 2/Floater
Sherry Jones, RBT/SSH
Masi Kadzai, MH/Williams/Colbert
Kimberly Maxey, Host Family
Anissa Miller, Central Office
Olayinka Ojo, RBT/SSH
Demeshae Reese, RBT/SSH
Jacqueline Rivera, Westtown Center
Taiwo Wheat, Frick Center
Shapan White, Mental Health/RSA
And "Welcome Home" to These Employees!
They say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Now we know what they mean. In recent weeks, four former staff members have returned to Envision. We're thrilled to have them back:
Bettye Dorsey, Community Living/House Manager
Shannon Mayfield, Central Office
Garyn Richard, Westtown Center
Jovita Taylor, CLS/ Mental Health

By the way, Shannon returned after 19 years! It makes our hearts skip a beat.
Do you know a caring, responsible person who enjoys helping others?
Invite them into the Envision family.
Get Paid to Choose Your Co-Workers!
ALL Employees Are Eligible for Cash Rewards
It pays to know great people
How to Get Paid!
Referring employees must notify HR of the referral by emailing Envision Talent Manager Tiffany Scott no later than the date their candidate applies. The candidate also must list the referring employee's name on their application.


LaQuinna McDaniels
LaQuinna McDaniels
LaQuinna McDaniels, affectionately called "Q" by the Central Office staff, began her human resources career five years ago as Neumann Family Services' benefits specialist. Soon after that agency's consolidation with Envision Unlimited, she was promoted to Benefits/Compliance Manager.  

HR Associate Director Lisa McIntosh calls Q "a wonderful asset." Most recently, she was an essential player on the HR department's COVID response team. "Q continually goes above and beyond and works to ensure staff is following appropriate protocols to maintain everyone's health and safety," Lisa told us. 

"I love what I do!" Q exclaimed. "I sometimes drive my team mad with my excessive need for perfection and obsession with everyone meeting deadlines. While my major area of responsibility is benefits and compliance, I provide help in many other areas. Whether it's a payroll question, recruitment, training, workers compensation, unemployment, COVID, union business, or just a listening ear, I am always willing to assist when I can."

Q exemplifies the essential qualities we look for in prospective candidates: Passion, purpose, and an excellent fit for our caring culture. She phrases it another way: "Being a resource who happens to be human makes it all worth it."
STAFF MILESTONES
Envision staff members are life-long learners.
They are among the best in their field.
Continuing education supports their excellence.
We salute those who complete their annual requirements early.
Congratulations for CEU completion
NEWS ROUNDUP
Envision's Flag Football Team
Advances to Statewide Competition
Team celebrates trophy
Flag Football game
Saturday, October 9, was a red-letter day for Envision's flag football team after they captured the third-place trophy in the citywide competition. They now advance to the Special Olympic Illinois' state finals on November 9 at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal.

We are #EnvisionProud of our team.
With a Little Help from Our Friends
IL Senator Pacione-Zayas' Advocacy Includes Envision
Group photo outside Cornelia House
Assistant Director of Learning and Employment Catherine Aranas, IL Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas,
Cornelia House Manager Antoinette Holmes, Envision Board Member Ed Mullen, Envision member Paula, and President & CEO Mark McHugh gather outside Cornelia House after the senator's visit.
Staff and members at the Cornelia Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) and Diversey Center proudly hosted State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) to show her the value that our Envision Unlimited facilities bring to her district. The Cornelia CILA provides mental health support to women and supports them in becoming independent. The day program at the Diversey Center helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities develop and enhance living skills and attain economic self-sufficiency.
 
“Envision Unlimited is doing such important work serving people of all ages who live with disabilities,” Pacione-Zayas observed. “Meeting some of the program participants and the people that help provide them with support was affirming in knowing what I need to advocate for in Springfield. Having a parent who navigates state disability services, I have witnessed how daunting it can be to secure consistent support despite having a stable family and housing structure.”
 
Founded in Chicago by parents of children with developmental disabilities more than 70 years ago, Envision currently serves more than 3,000 individuals in 22 Illinois counties through residential and community-based programs.
 
“The success of our mission to provide Illinoisans who have disabilities a broad array of choices, maximum independence, and inclusion in the larger society greatly depends upon the support of state government," said Envision Unlimited CEO Mark McHugh. "Senator Pacione-Zayas’ interest in the lives of people with disabilities is refreshing and heartwarming. Our staff was honored to host her and grateful that she cared enough to witness what we do on a daily basis to uplift Illinois residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness.”

Pacione-Zayas said she looks forward to partnering with Envision to leverage future opportunities to advance the mission of the organization. “Envision Unlimited provides not only the necessary safety net but also targeted clinical support to ensure community members can lead a dignified independent lifestyle,” she said.
ABA Program for Children with Autism
Earns Two New Accreditations
BHCOE Telehealth Accreditation Badge
Not even a pandemic could derail Envision Unlimited's plan to launch its ABA Therapy program for children with autism. The need still existed, and the team was determined to do everything possible to meet that need. One of their first steps was to become accredited as a telehealth provider.

"We wanted to be able to conduct quality ABA Therapy services safely while minimizing the spread," explained Registered Behavior Technician Jameera Jackson, who manages the office. "We also thought this would be excellent for instances of inclement weather where travel to the home would be hazardous. It would allow ABA Therapy to still occur in-home, in a child's familiar surroundings."
The additional benefit, she noted, is that parents can opt to have their training sessions conducted remotely when their children are not present for privacy and effectiveness.
2021 BHCOE Badge
This summer, the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence® (BHCOE®) awarded the program preliminary accreditation. This month, the international accrediting body notified Envision that it had earned full BHCOE Accreditation®. Congratulations to the ABA Therapy professionals for meeting all of the stringent requirements of this prestigious organization.

These two accreditations assure parents that Envision's ABA Therapy services meet the highest standards for delivering high-quality therapy to children and training to their parents or guardians, in-home or virtually.

To request more information or enroll a child: Visit their page on our website or email
Dr. Danielle Gender-Walters or Jameera Jackson. You also can reach the department by phone at (872) 895-7942.
Envision Autism Expert Delivers
Helpful Advice to Chicago Parent Readers
Chicago Parent magazine recently featured some valuable tips for parents of children with autism from one of Envision Unlimited's ABA Therapy experts, Nikki Griffin. With the return to full-time classes in the fall, following a pandemic-interrupted school year, some parents need tips to help their children adjust to a new schedule. Want to know what she suggested? Read it here.
Halloween is just around the corner, and for children with autism and their parents, the holiday can present some unique challenges. Griffin shared several ways that parents can make the day more enjoyable for everyone. Hint: It's all about pre-planning. Click here for those tips--and have fun!
2021 Envision Classic Breaks Record
Luke putts
Board Member Dan Proft poses with Envision member Luke
Board Member Dan Proft helped recruit a record-breaking 72 golfers for this year's Envision Classic at Olympia Fields Country Club--the largest number we've ever had! Here, Dan poses with Envision member Luke, who was featured in the video presented at this year's golf outing. The video, edited and narrated by Envision Board Director Zernul R. Shackelford, Jr., introduces Envision's next big goal: Provide accessible housing to our aging members.
Congratulations, Envision Board Members
Becky Carroll-Woman of the Year
Envision Board Member Becky Carroll is basking in her industry's spotlight this year: In addition to being named Woman of the Year in Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations with the 2021 Silver Stevie® for Women in Business, Carroll's firm, C-Strategies Inc. earned two Gold Stevie Awards in the Communications or PR Campaign of the Year for crisis management and public affairs.

The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards. Board Director Carroll will be celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, January 13, 2022. Congrats!
Ashvin Lad
After a long career as a public affairs, business development, and strategic marketing consultant, Ashvin Lad has accepted a position as Director of Strategic Initiatives for Indianapolis-based PSG Energy Group. He will promote sustainable energy programs to midwestern municipalities and businesses.

We are delighted that Chicago will continue to be his home base. Board Director Lad has strong roots in the city, where he serves as a director on four nonprofit boards. We are honored that he generously devotes some of his time and attention to Envision.
Envision Makes Our World a Better Place
Mental Health Team Reaches Finish Line!
More than two dozen Envision mental health professionals and some of their clients walked with the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Chicago Chapter (NAMI Chicago) to raise funds for those who cannot afford mental health services. The funds they raised will provide free mental health support, education, and advocacy programs for those in need.

"We walk for awareness. We walk to end stigma," explained Michele McDonough, Division Director of Mental Health Services. "We are here for you. Whoever you are, whatever your circumstance. It is time we all work to become mentally healthy."
If you or someone you know needs support, don't hesitate to reach out to Envision's mental health professionals. The department's comprehensive services range from therapy and psychosocial rehabilitation, employment assistance, and residential care to psychiatry. Their phone number is (773) 506-3161.
Members Volunteer at Expo for Women Leaders
Volunteering at the WTF Expo
Chief Development Officer Marty Kenahan, members Tami C. and Dahla K. joined Gloria Parker, Anissa Miller
Envision members volunteered to assist at the annual Women Thriving Fearlessly Expo at Willis Tower. This marks their second year of involvement in this event for female entrepreneurs and executives. This year's highly successful expo was a hybrid virtual/in-person event to provide flexibility to attendees due to the lingering pandemic.

Attending the expo on the 99th floor of the skyscraper is a highlight for our members. This year, Envision had a vendor table, which added an exciting element to the members' presence. They sold hand-painted silk scarves, shag pillows, RecycloPonies, & tie-dye wine bags. They also exhibited shag rugs and gave table visitors homemade cookies in the shape of purses.

"I love being around beautiful Black women!" exclaimed member Dahla K. "I liked how everyone was dressed and how they carried themselves. It was nice meeting all of them, really and truly. I enjoyed meeting all of them." 

WTF is the brainchild of entrepreneur and motivational speaker Erika Gilchrist. The event represents the next phase of an evolving relationship. Earlier this year, Gilchrist served as the guest moderator at Envision's "Fashion Outside the Box" event, pro bono.

"Women Thriving Fearlessly is so excited that Envision Unlimited actively participated in this year's expo! The work they do exemplifies the way humans should engage with each other," she told us.
Members Awarded Mural Commission
Members create mural at Star Farm


Congratulations to Envision members Flo and Chris C., who were commissioned to create a mural at Star Farm, one of our community partners. The members collaborated with Project Onward artist Fernando to produce this uplifting work of art.


The commission was part of a grant awarded to Project Onward. For their contributions, artists Chris and Flo each earned $1,000!

We are #EnvisionProud
in·clu·sion /inˈklo͞oZHən/ noun
The practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources
for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized
Members in various locations
Envision helps members experience life as fully as possible. On any given day, they are visiting museums, zoos, art galleries, shopping in stores, or searching for jobs--like everyone else. #InclusionMatters
Have You Read the Latest
Word from Our Members?
It can be difficult to keep up with our always-on-the-move Envision members--unless you have a copy of their latest newsletter. The free online publication is always accessible on the home page of our website and within our monthly newsletters, like right here!

Unlimited Voices is the dream child of Envision members, and they have met their commitment to publishing a new edition every other week. The newsletter gives us an opportunity to see life through their eyes, and it is proof-positive that we are fulfilling our mission to promote inclusion and give a voice to individuals with disabilities.
Why Are We #EnvisionProud?
View and download our
2020 Annual Report. 
Visit us at envisionunlimited.org