As of late, I’ve been focusing on promoting our biggest fundraiser, the 4th annual Wild, Wild, West Hoedown. It’s fairly easy to get the details of an event out to the public—send out an invitation, create a Facebook event, hang posters, create a hash tag on Twitter, write a blog, etc. It’s not as easy, however, to explain what this event means to Independent Disability Services and the clients we serve. As I’ve been out in the community promoting the event, I’ve encountered several questions about IDS. I thought this would be a great time to answer everyone’s questions!
Top 10 Questions About IDS:
1) What does IDS do?
- IDS improves the quality of life for adults, children, and families affected by disabilities and special needs in Rock County by providing in-home supports for adults with disabilities and special needs in our Independent Living Program; financial management services through our Representative Payee Program; and the gift of time for families caring for children with special needs through our Respite Program.
2) Where are you located?
- IDS is located in the lower level of the Fairview Mall at 2100 E. Milwaukee Street, Suite L14, in Janesville.
3) How long has IDS been in Janesville?
- IDS began in 1979 as a Respite Care Project. In 1982, the agency incorporated into United Cerebral Palsy (of South Central Wisconsin). The agency was renamed in 2000 to Independent Disability Services, Inc. to reflect program changes.
4) How do you get signed up for programs at IDS?
- The adults in our Independent Living Program are referred to us by Catholic Charities, the contracted case management service provider of the Rock County Developmental Disabilities Board, or by case managers of Rock County Human Services. Families interested in our Respite Program can call our office at 608.754.5552 to discuss the application and eligibility process. For an individual to receive our Representative Payee Services, they must receive Social Security and/or SSI payments. Individuals may also privately pay for our services.
5) Do you receive government funding?
- Yes, Independent Disability Services, Inc. is funded by the Rock County Developmental Disabilities Board and Rock County Human Services. We also receive funding through United Way Blackhawk Region.
6) Why do you need to raise money if you get government funding?
- Independent Disability Services relies heavily on governmental funding to provide essential social services to individuals with special needs. However, these government grants are shrinking each and every year, which means we cannot provide some of the same services we have done in the past because of this decline in government funds. The fundraising efforts are a means to supplement our programs and services to keep our high quality of care for those with disabilities and special needs. In addition, as IDS’ dream is to continually grow and prosper, our leadership is seeking ways to reduce its dependence on governmental funding and diversifying our funding sources, which fundraising is one way in which to do so.
- Currently, through our Independent Living, Respite, Representative Payee Programs and our Fiscal Agent Payroll Services, we serve 350 individuals in Rock County and the Stateline area.
8) How many employees do you have?
- IDS currently employs an Executive Director, four Program Coordinators, a Representative Payee, a Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, a Receptionist, and eleven Direct Support Professionals.
9) Do you have a Board of Directors
- Yes, IDS is a private, non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors. We currently have eight community members serving on our Board of Directors.
10) How do you use the money you raise from the Wild, Wild, West Hoedown?
- We utilize the money raised from the Wild, Wild, West Hoedown to supplement our government grants for our programs that serve individuals with special needs. We also utilize the money raised to increase awareness of our mission at Independent Disability Services and the impact we have here locally in our Rock County community!
- This, of course, is the short version of all that Independent Disability services does to impact the lives of individuals with disabilities and special needs in the community. We hope our marketing efforts are helping create awareness of our agency, the clients we serve, and how we truly improve the quality of live for so many in Rock County.
You can read more about IDS in the current issue of Great People. Great Stories. magazine and on our website www.idsrock.com. In addition, Drywater Productions is currently working on a video about IDS’ Independent Living Program. This video will be debuted at our Wild, Wild, West Hoedown!
If you have any further questions, you can call our office at 608.754.5552. For more information about the Wild, Wild, West Hoedown, click here!