Envisioning InVision: An Inclusive Community

The InVisionary

Envisioning InVision: An Inclusive Community

When Ruth Siegfried, InVision’s Founder and President, established our organization nearly 32 years ago, her vision was to create an inclusive environment where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can discover and follow their versions of meaningful lives. For over three decades, Ruth spearheaded the construction of this vision that also extends to InVision’s team members – treating people supported and staff alike and encouraging all to follow their dreams and share their voices.
As a non-profit that supports people with IDD, our mission is to build person-driven services for people who experience disabilities in their pursuit of meaningful lives. In supporting people with IDD, Ruth recognized similarities between the discrimination that those with IDD experience to that of the discrimination of other groups of people. Beyond our mission lies our vision: a future where all people are heard, their choices valued, and their life visions honored.
InVision prides itself on its diverse, accepting, and inclusive culture. The environment we have fostered over the years welcomes people from all walks of life. As June is historically a month dedicated to celebrating acceptance and inclusivity through PRIDE Month, we want to take this time to share more about our history of creating an accepting and diverse environment.

Honoring Ruth’s Vision Throughout Our History

Insurance for Same-Sex Partners

Very early on InVision offered medical, dental, vision, and life insurance to domestic partners without regard to the gender of the partners long before federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Ruth fought hard to get those benefits, because not only was this important to her personally, but also to several individuals who came to InVision specifically for this opportunity. 

Global Partnerships

Ruth’s passion for increasing awareness inside and outside of InVision forged a path to partnerships with various groups in South Africa over the last fifteen years. These partnerships were established to provide essential support for youth with IDD, and those who have been impacted by starvation and HIV/AIDs.

Advocacy Work

People supported by InVision, as well as team members, have always been encouraged to be advocates for themselves, use their voices to share what they need, and be a voice for others. Ruth herself encourages those within the company to be vocal against injustices – including gay rights, transgender rights, and racial discrimination.
Our most recent advocacy work lies within our industry, using our voices to amplify the need for an increased budget for human services in Pennsylvania. Funding increases would contribute to human services providers’ ability to offer competitive wages for direct support staff, ensuring the stability and services the people we support deserve. We will continue to examine opportunities to improve the lives of people with disabilities through new and innovative approaches.

"At a very early age, I became acutely aware of the importance of inclusion - and conversely, the reality of exclusion - in the lives of family and friends who were and still are very important to me," Ruth shared. "Because of this, my professional life has offered rewarding and effective ways for me to address the common misperceptions, unfair practices, and disrespectful behaviors that have always been hallmarks in the lives of people with disability, those in the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and so many others. InVision's approach to inclusion is a blueprint for my personal life, and I hope for all those who experience the kind of acceptance, respect, and goodness that we strive to exhibit with our staff and with the people we support."

CEO Kim Love

About two years ago, the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was passed from Ruth to the current CEO of InVision, Kim Love. Kim’s goal as CEO is to further build upon Ruth’s original vision and include the people we support, their families, and the staff of InVision as we continue to grow as an organization – providing a safe space, giving people a place to be themselves, and allowing them to flourish.
In less than two short years, Kim has accomplished great progress in expanding upon the foundation in which InVision was built – acting as the driving force behind initiatives such as the development of our Guiding Principles, identifying internal improvements to achieve our organizational goals under Performance Based Contracting (PBC), and increasing transparency among all staff through our Quarterly Catch-Up meetings.

Performance Based Contracting (PBC)

With the recent announcement of the implementation of PBC by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), Kim has personally addressed how these changes will impact our organization. Through various forms of communication to InVision’s team members, Kim has shared our goal of attaining the status of Clinically Enhanced Residential Provider under the new PBC guidelines.
Kim – alongside our leadership team and directors from across InVision – has worked to prepare our organization for these changes through the development and execution of department-specific action plans as we work toward our goal of achieving the Clinically Enhanced status.

Our Guiding Principles

Although only officially launched in the last year, our Guiding Principles – used to define our organization’s culture and communication – have reinforced the messaging of acceptance, diversity, and inclusion present among the people we support and our team members. These principles were developed based on interviews with longstanding employees to highlight what we have valued over the past decades.
Here at InVision, we put people first. We celebrate success. We are accountable. We act with humility. We strive to be better. We embrace change. We are open and honest. And we treat others with respect and kindness.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

While these principles have always been woven into the fabric of InVision, we have embarked on initiatives to ensure that we elevate the role that DEI has in our organization. As part of our PBC objectives, we are taking action to ensure that all staff understand the meaning of DEI and how it impacts our culture and decision making. We are currently in the process of recruiting for an internal DEI Committee that will help support our efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure that they are reflective of InVision’s DEI philosophy and supporting our unique employee population.

Employee & Family Engagement Committees

Among our recent efforts also includes the inception of both an Employee Engagement and Family Engagement Committee. These committees – consisting of employees across all roles and departments, and family members of people supported – were designed to honor and include the voices, perspectives, and opinions of those most involved and impacted by the work we do. The engagement committees will soon be accompanied by the launch of a self-advocacy group as we find opportunities to include all these important voices within our organization.
Holly Wolk, Chief of Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at InVision, has worked diligently to continue expanding upon our efforts of inclusivity since her start in September 2023.
“The InVision community strives to accept people as they are and where they are in life,” Holly said. “Inclusivity is incredibly important to the success of any organization. Uniting a group of people from different backgrounds and different ways of thinking leads to innovative and creative outcomes. We will continue to emphasize the importance of creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere for the people we support and our team members through our programs, Quarterly Catch-Up meetings, and by creating new initiatives that allow those within our organization to express themselves freely.”

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