Empowering Choice, Creating Opportunities

Innovative Resources for Independence

Message from Raymond J. DeNatale, Executive Director

On the Cusp of Total Reform

A profound refocus on how we care for individuals with developmental disabilities (IDD) has emerged. We are on the cusp of the total reform of our industry. From Federal guidelines, to State Policy Transformation, to how organizations are paid, there are few places where change will not occur. The refocus is on each person. Ironic as though it may sound, this reinvigorated focus is the impetus of transformation. It is for this reason that two great agencies will become one and we will continue to work to ensure our vision and mission remain person-focused.

Independence Residences, Inc. now is IRI: Innovative Resources for Independence, and Queens Parent Resource Center will become part of IRI: Innovative Resources for Independence as soon as our impending merger is approved.

During our three-year affiliation, much was accomplished to the benefit of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From creating best practices in how we provide supports to people with IDD including those with complex medical needs and provide them consistently across both agencies; the opening of new residences; supporting people repatriated back to our State; creating residential opportunities for people from Brooklyn Developmental Center, including our Bedford residence, as well as listening to these people and finding apartments and securing jobs (and there are many more examples)—progress was made and it is celebrated.

What does this impending merger mean to the IDD community, to our dedicated staff members, to our supporters, and our families?

First and foremost, it reflects the shifting platform in the care for people with developmental disabilities. The old, protective way we care for these people is replaced with “what do people want and what can we do to make it happen?” The new model opens doors to possibilities for individuals and families. It raises challenges for everyone involved. Can technology help in achieving independence: in where people live, in what job or responsible day activity they chose, in maintaining their health. It requires a far more innovative and resourceful response. Our new brand—this new look, this new website—is reflective of that shift.

Just as the IDD community changes, so does IRI. The new IRI is a call for greater creativity, versatility, and responsiveness to helping individuals with developmental disabilities to lead independent lives. The new IRI is a call to support people with developmental disabilities and their families in new and innovative ways.

No longer do the terms marginalized or disenfranchised relate to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are empowered, have a voice, and their choice is what controls our supports to them. We need to create more and more options for where they live and where they work. We need to support them to be woven into the fabric of their communities. We are focused to help them create friendships and engage in activities in their neighborhood.

To say that we are excited about this new era is an understatement. Take a look at our Strategic Portfolio, which gives our organization a "flight plan" for the next five years. This portfolio considers not only our capabilities and our mission, but also considers what's happening in the field of developmental disabilities within New York State and at the Federal level.

We shortly will be a newly merged organization but one thing will remain a constant: our commitment. From our leadership team to our dedicated, educated, professional direct support staff, we are here to transform the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

The future is here. This is why—today and going forward—we carry the name IRI: Innovative Resources for Independence.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Proloquo 2

What is it? A fully customizable communication application that interfaces with smart phones and tablets. The app is programmed with picture/icon representations of words and common phrases that the user can string together to communicate a thought.

How does it help? This is an indispensable communication aid for non-verbal individuals

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Telehealth Services

How does it work? Individuals can have their vital signs taken right in their homes. The information is digitally recorded providing personalized biometrics that help detect medical conditions earlier based on trended data. This service also provides virtual intervention between nurses and individuals using a smart tablet.

How does it help? Medical staff is more knowledgeable about patients’ care in between visits. These services also greatly reduce hospitalizations therefore also reducing the number of disruptions for individuals in their homes.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Pulseox Monitor

How does it work? Remotely monitors oxygen levels of individuals with respiratory issues. Allows nurse to monitor the oxygen level remotely.

How does it help? Helps to remotely monitor blood oxygen levels and send an alert to the nurse if levels are imbalanced.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

GPS Watch

How does it work? Individuals can travel safely and unsupervised. Individuals simply wear the watch that communicates to an app used by IRI staff.

How does it help? This technology prevents individuals from getting lost. Staff can also see where individuals are without having to be there in person.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Home Sensor Technology

How does it work? A suite of interactive sensors is outfitted on kitchen appliances and above doors. If an individual, living in their own apartment, turns the stove on, then exits the kitchen, IRI will get an alert. If the individual leaves the house at an unusual time, we will also be alerted.

How does it help? This provides un-invasive oversight. Individuals can live independently with confidence. It also reduces the need for in-person staffing.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Medication Wheel

How does it work? This simple device alerts individuals when a medication dose is due, then opens to dispense medication. If the medication is not taken or the wheel is not closed properly, IRI will be alerted.

How does it help? For those individuals living in apartments or homes, they can now take medication without staff intervention.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Samsung Galaxy Tablets

How does it work? There are many existing applications, and new ones being developed every day that are targeted to assist disabled individuals in enhancing their abilities

How does it help? Allows us to use a variety of online applications that support the abilities of the users

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Amazon Echo

How does it work? Wirelessly controls lighting and other devices through voice commands.

How does it help? Helps individuals who are otherwise unable to manually operate devices to do so independently.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Pressure Pads in Beds

How does it work? Allows the staff to monitor bed time routines when people are in and out of bed with a remote monitor; a notification goes to remote staff person when a person has gone to bed and if they get up during the night for an extended period of time.

How does it help? Helps ensure safety by sending staff an alert when an individual is out of bed during the night.

Activities & Events

Innovative Resources for Independence is formerly Independence Residences, Inc.

112-40 Francis Lewis Blvd., Queens Village, NY 11429
P: 718.805.6796 :: F: 718.805.6798 :: info@in-res.org