In April 2022, ISS Staff travelled to Miami, FL along with colleagues from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration to present at the ANCOR National Conference. Conference attendees were able to learn about Self-Direction at ISS through a presentation on our sustainability report and by viewing our documentary Self-Direction: Make Your Own Path.

In Miami, our SDC, Shane Winkler met staff from a Canadian organization, Christian Horizons. Christian Horizons is starting to build up their Self-Direction program in Ontario and travelled to Miami for our presentation to learn more about how we implement the program. After some follow up conversations over the summer and fall, it was planned that Christian Horizons’ staff would travel to our Monticello Office to learn more.

On January 12, 2023, Executive leadership Alan Kulchinsky, Laurie Cirillo, Sheryl Livingston along with Senior Supervisor of Self-Direction Coordination Erin Bult and SDC Shane Winkler hosted Christian Horizons staff in our conference room and discussed Self-Direction with them throughout the day. This consisted of an agenda full of presentations from our department leaders.

Database Supervisor, Elizabeth Lukan started things off by walking  our visitors though the database system and ISS Portal. Director of Program Services, Mary Abbatiello along with Assistant Directors, Kim Warga and Jamel White spoke about the operations of our Program Services Department. Director of Brokerage Services, Charles Jackson and Assistant Director, Minette Sherman spoke about our Broker Services Department. Liz Luchsinger spoke about her role as Family Liaison. Our Director of People Services and Payroll Operations, Caitlin Cuttita finished off the day strong with her presentation on the operations of our People Services and Payroll Departments.

Our presenters did such an amazing job of conveying their departmental roles and operations and were commended for their person-centered outlook on the program. Christian Horizons’ staff left with loads of great information and the visit was a success.

Front row: Senior Supervisor of Self-Direction Coordination Erin Bult, Amy Van Til (Christian Horizons).
Middle row: Jennifer Polley (Christian Horizons), Angelica DeVos (Christian Horizons), Associate Executive Director of Program Services, Sheryl Livingston
Back row: Associate Executive Director Of Administrative Services, Laurie Cirillo, Executive Director, Alan Kulchinsky, Self-Direction Coordinator, Shane Winkler

Their thank you message to ISS –

I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you again for your time today.  Thank you for planning and providing such an informative and comprehensive overview of Self Direction at your agency.  We had lots to talk about on the drive back and will continue to discuss and apply what we learned from you and your teams in our work in Ontario.

The Person-Centered focus of your work came through in every conversation and presentation.  It was such a privilege to hear about your participant’s success with self direction as well as your advocacy for all people to experience self direction.

Thanks again for being so generous with your time and we will keep in touch as we implement this work in Ontario.