Diversity and Inclusion
For more than 40 years, GoodLife Innovations has served and represented individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. From our inception, diversity has been represented within the organization in gender, race, religious preference, sexual orientation and those with differing abilities. To create an open dialogue about diversity within GoodLife we established a Diversity Committee which includes consumers, employees, leadership and board members. The purpose of this committee is 1) providing information and opportunities to bring awareness to diversity and inclusion to GoodLife; 2) engaging members of GoodLife in diversity and inclusion conversations.
Inclusion within the Neighborhood Network
GoodLife believes that cultural diversity is a goal best accomplished by making it inherent in the program design. The Neighborhood Network (NN) is designed to be a silo-free program, leveraging funding across populations (multiple Medicaid Waivers) and sharing resources. Persons served, volunteers, professional caregivers all live in the same neighborhood. Social and racial barriers are broken by working together, helping each other, and by knowing your neighbors. The NN celebrates individual strengths/abilities and cultivates cultural and cross-generational interdependence.
A Voice for Others
The year was 1974 when six sets of parents, the founders of GoodLife, started meeting together in a living room in Johnson County, Kansas. The impact of the Civil Rights Movement swirled around them, and great progress had been won for the freedom and equality for people of color in America. Change in public education was happening, too. For the first time, public schools in Kansas were mandated to open their doors to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Around the country, families began building a strong movement to deinstitutionalize services for people with I/DD. At the time, over 200,000 adults and children were living in institutions-2,000 in Kansas alone. Parents wanted to bring their children with special needs closer to home and into their community for a more purposeful, connected and empowered life. It’s this vision that remains GoodLife’s focus today, over 40 years later. Read more.