Supporting Lives Spent Meaningfully

Supporting Lives Spent Meaningfully

Helping the people we support find their passions in life is one of our main priorities at InVision. Encouraging Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to attend community activities, maintain the highest level of care, and provide opportunities to explore new things are just a few of the ways InVision works to ensure the people we support lead lives that are meaningful to them. 

InVision Foundation plays a large role in helping to identify that meaning and provide consistency. Money raised through the Foundation’s efforts is used to strengthen and develop our person-driven programs and services and offer those we support with life-shaping and memory-making experiences. Without the Foundation’s funding, many of the people we support would be unable to attain exposure to these things on their own – leaving hobbies, travel, and special moments stuck as only dreams instead of reality. 

Emily’s Swim Membership

For Emily, a person supported by InVision since July 2020, weekly routines heavily revolve around her membership to a British Swim School branch local to her area. In the past, Emily would go swimming with her mom, and she loved being in the water to enjoy the therapeutic effects of swimming with a person she was close with. Recognizing the positive impact swimming has had on Emily and her overall health, Emily’s team of DSPs and the Foundation worked together to provide her access to a swimming pool as an accentuation to the activity she so greatly enjoyed and benefited from in the past. 

Through the Foundation’s Meaningful Lives Grant – designed to remove economic barriers to enjoyable hobbies, arts, recreation, entertainment, travel, and vacation – Emily has been able to attend open swim for the past year.

The British Swim School is known for offering swim lessons focused on premier survival and stroke development to the greater Pittsburgh area. Emily’s membership is more used for general access to the pool, where she can be a part of the community and participate in an activity that brings a genuine smile to her face.

Emily attends at least once a week with her support staff, using this time to swim and move around the pool until she is ready to go home. Daniele Tamo, a member of Emily’s DSP team since the start of Emily’s time with InVision, noted how much Emily enjoys time in the water – saying that swimming is one of the only activities Emily truly participates in. 

“I love seeing the expression on her face when she is playing in the water,” Daniele shared.

As the team leader of Emily’s support staff, Daniele is the DSP that accompanies Emily the most during her swim sessions. Outside of the water, Emily is bound to a powered wheelchair, and relies on her support staff to ensure she gets in and out of the pool safely. Two DSPs are required to be present for the process of lifting Emily out of her chair and into the water, and vice versa. Daniele shared that this process can be strenuous on staff members, but the result of Emily’s happiness makes it all worth it.

On top of allowing Emily to be an active member of the community and doing something she loves, Daniele mentioned that walking around the swimming pool helps Emily exercise her legs – significantly increasing her mobility, helping to avoid stiffness, and strengthening her leg muscles.

“Allowing the people we support to go out into the community, be around others, and go somewhere they like to go allows them to feel free,” Daniele added. “It’s a great opportunity to go swimming and do something Emily loves that InVision Foundation is providing her. It’s really awesome, and we are so thankful for that.” 

For more information about our funding programs and ways to donate, please visit the Foundation page on our website