Grant for Security System Upgrades to Group Homes

Anthony_4608pxWe all can relate to how quickly technology changes. As a result, LIFEDesigns needs to make some upgrades and improvements to our fire and security systems in all five of our group homes this year. Our current security systems use a traditional land line to connect with emergency services in the event of an emergency. The state now requires upgrades to security systems that add the ability for cellular monitoring to the current fire and security systems. In addition, one of our group homes requires the replacement of a fire panel as well. The total project will cost $5,607.50.

SCI REMC’s Operation RoundUp awarded a grant of $2,000 toward this project. To learn more about SCI REMC or Operation RoundUp, visit or We’re so incredibly grateful to have their support. These improvements will help to keep people like Anthony (pictured above) safe in their homes.

If you would like to make a gift to help cover the remaining funds needed for this project ($3607.50), you can mail a donation to: 200 E. Winslow Rd., Bloomington, IN 47401 with a note including “Group Home Security Upgrade” or make a gift online through our website and add the comment “Group Home Security Upgrade”.

sciremc_finalOP RoundUP Logo

Meet Stacey

portrait We feel honored to know Stacey now for several years. Since getting to know her, we’ve been able to support Stacey to help her find a job she enjoys at McDonald’s. Like many people, when she first learned of the COVID-19 pandemic and started to hear about the effects it was going to have on local businesses, she was afraid that she might lose her job or be laid off.

Recently, before any news of COVID-19, Stacey had set one of her new goals related to employment: “To advocate for herself at work to learn more skills.” Stacey’s primary responsibilities at McDonald’s had been working in the lobby. When the lobby closed because of COVID-19, she thought she wasn’t going to be able to keep working. To her surprise and delight, she was ecstatic to learn that she is now considered an “essential employee”! To earn this designation, Stacey had expressed her interest in learning new skills with her employer. As a result she had learned to make fries and help with other things in the kitchen so she would still be able to work. We’re so happy for her, and honored to have been able to provide her the support she needed to gain confidence and advocate for her own interests.

Project Enable

Project ENABLE (Expanding Non-discriminatory Access By Librarians Everywhere) was created in response to the findings of an IMLS-funded, three-phase research study conducted from 2006- 2009 by a team of researchers from Syracuse University, led by Dr. Ruth Small. The study April 2020 A Semi-Annual E-Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 2 investigated the impact of a variety of library and information services on student learning and motivation in schools in New York State. Their survey of over 1600 school librarians, found that their confidence in their ability to provide effective services to patrons with disabilities was significantly lower than all other services provided. Subsequent surveys with academic and public librarians had similar findings.

LIFEDesigns CEO, Russell Bonanno, contributed an article in the newsletter regarding Sound Advice for Project Enable and why it matters. Russ is a firm believer in the importance of libraries in the lives of all people and a strong proponent of projects that ensure that current and future librarians are well-prepared to address the needs of their patrons with disabilities. Click here to read his entire article and more on Project Enable. 

Thanks to DSPs Everywhere…

This week we would like to give extra special recognition and thanks to our amazing Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Team Managers who have been continuing to work with our clients. It has been a challenging, and somewhat uncertain time with the social distancing, and the Governor’s shelter in place executive order. Yet through all of this, our clients still rely on their staff being with them. Many of our clients are getting restless and sometimes tensions between roommates are high. Our DSPs are doing their best to be creative and provide engaging activities to do in the home. In some cases, our staff are playing the role of “teacher” for students who are now doing “school at home”. Here’s a letter we recently received from a family  member of one of our clients. It was really moving and we thought you might want to read it as well:

Jan dressed up for Halloween!
Jan dressed up for Halloween!
Jan singing with Jake
Jan singing with Jake

“I just want to take this opportunity to share my feelings with the Direct Support Professionals, Nurses, and Administrative Directors of LIFEDesigns. A year ago almost to the date, I brought my sister home from the hospital after battling Type A influenza in the ICU. The support we received from LIFEDesigns nurses and staff while in the hospital was incredible and much needed. A few weeks later, the leadership of my sister’s support staff walked out on the same day. The veteran leaders, managers and DSP’s of LIFEDesigns took on extra hours to keep my sister and her roommate healthy and safe.   

As of today, I haven’t been able to see my sister for 17 days and I won’t be able to see her again until April 7th. Because of a much needed vacation I’m self quarantined and I would not want to put my sister or anyone else’s health in jeopardy. That said, as a guardian/brother I would be out of my mind without the support provided by LifeDesigns DSP’s, Nurses and Staff. So for all the good guardians in this world we thank you!!! Not just because you do your job, but because you care  and you make personal sacrifices to keep our loved ones healthy and safe. May God bless your families and keep them healthy and safe!!”