Council on Quality And Leadership Accreditation

The Council on Quality and Leadership, or CQL, accreditation is something that I Am Boundless earned in November of 2016.  CQL originated in the 1970’s in an effort to stop abuses and inhumane treatment to individuals with IDD living in public institutions.  In the 1990’s the work shifted to determine how to support individuals on achieving their personal goals.  A Personal Outcome Measures tool was developed to measure the evidence of an individual having person centered practices in their lives.  These practices focus on health, safety and human security; personal quality of life and; evidence based practices in person centered excellence. For over 40 years CQL has provided international leadership in designing progressive strategies and indicators of quality in services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and people with mental illness.  They have provided a comprehensive approach to quality assurance, quality improvement and personal quality of life, with an emphasis on social capital and community inclusion, self-determination, choice and self-advocacy.  

Their work remains focused on organizations and helping them make real change.  How lucky we are to be involved with and accredited by such a great organization. This accreditation is a work in progress, assisting us to move towards person-centered services and supports and quality of life outcomes.  We are working on adopting the principles of CQL in all of our service delivery.  We will focus on Rights and Positive Supports; Personal Outcome Measures; Quality Enhancement; and Culture.  These practices will affect the way we provide all services.  From training and evaluating our staff, our policies and procedures, the committees that provide oversight, and the way we interact and engage those we serve, we all will have a piece of CQL and the success it will afford our organization.  

CQL Training

I Am Boundless has started this process by providing lots of training by CQL trainers from all over the U.S. for those who will be implementing strategies and supporting staff who will be providing these person-centered services and supports.  We have eliminated all aversive behavior support plans and implemented more positive strategies.  We have also provided three current employees, Ambur Jessup, Amy Clayton, and Michelle Stewart, the extra training to become accredited CQL trainers.  We are proud to share that thirty-three other team members have become Personal Outcome Measure evaluators and have completed thirty-three Personal Outcome Measure (POM) evaluations with individuals.  The information from the POM evaluations will give our IP teams guidance to providing person-centered goals that are integrated into Individual Support Plans.  Measuring outcomes will change our organizations behavior…it already has.  Services will continue to improve as direct support professionals know and understand people as individuals with priority outcomes similar to their own.

Person-Centered Culture

How great it will be to be working towards such a positive, person-centered culture here at I Am Boundless!  As we learn about the person, we learn about their FOCUS – what is most important to the individual.  In this way the focus of the individual then becomes the organization’s focus.  An individual served explained it best by stating “My quality of life is about me.  It is about me, my world, and my dreams.  I define each area based on what is important to me.  My Focus is what I am paying attention to now.  It is what is most important to me now.  It might be about me and where I live because that is what is most important to me today.  It might be about my relationship with my best friend to my dream of going on a vacation.  It is what I want people who care about me and who support me to be most concerned with.”

As we move forward with CQL accreditation we all will be involved in some way.  Please consider the task of engaging with those we serve in a person-centered positive way one of the most important things you will ever do in your life.  I can’t imagine a greater opportunity or more daunting responsibility, but armed with the knowledge of the individuals we serve and the support of our organization we can provide the best life opportunities and person-centered support possible.  After all, our opportunities and those of the individuals we serve are BOUNDLESS.

-submitted by Susie Burke, Community Living Director