Policies & Practices
We do not believe in congregate services, and instead support people in engaging in their own communities. Individualized supports are developed by working with each client and their team, with may include family, friends, service providers, community members, and/or others. When providing group supports (e.g., AAC groups, tutoring groups, Kindling Studios, etc.), the people attending are self-selected and have chosen to experience parts of their lives with others who have similar goals and challenges.
We agree to support and uplift communities of color through our leadership, direct support, and community partnerships.
Our supports are "hands off," meaning we do not use physical interventions to coerce anyone to do anything. Of course, common sense applies in overtly dangerous situations. Staff are encouraged to react as they would to protect a friend or family member (e.g., if a person is about to walk in front of a moving vehicle, fall off a cliff, be attacked by a person or animal, etc., staff are trusted to try to stop physical harm while keeping themselves safe). We do not believe in the use of physical restraint or seclusion.
Dignity of Risk
We believe in honoring each person's right to make informed decisions. Sometimes these choices come with inherent risk (e.g., if a person goes skiing they may fall and become injured, if a person invests money they may lose money, etc.). We help to inform people of pros and cons, and then support them in determining an acceptable level of risk. With this information, each person is supported in making his or her own decisions. We believe risk is an inherent part of learning, exploring, and becoming an autonomous person.
Presumption of Competence
We believe that all people are capable of learning, and want to learn. We know that spoken language does not equal intelligence.
"Assume that a [person] has intellectual ability, provide opportunities to be exposed to learning, assume the [person] wants to learn and assert him or herself in the world. To not presume competence is to assume that some individuals cannot learn, develop, or participate in the world." - Douglas Biklen
Least Dangerous Assumption
We support meaningful, age appropriate opportunities to learn, grow, and explore. We believe all people benefit from these opportunities, regardless of each person's ability to speak or "prove" what they learned.
"In 1984, Anne Donnellan, a respected researcher in special education, wrote that “the criterion of least dangerous assumption holds that in the absence of conclusive data, educational decisions ought to be based on assumptions which, if incorrect, will have the least dangerous effect on the likelihood that [people] will be able to functional independently as adults.” Furthermore, she concluded “we should assume that poor performance is due to instructional inadequacy rather than to [person] deficits.” In other words, if a [person] does not do well, the quality of the instruction should be questioned before the [person's] ability to learn." - Cheryl Jorgensen
Administration of all IGNITE programs and events take place at places that are physically accessible per ADA regulations. Additional accommodations are identified and implemented as needed.
All paid positions, internship opportunities, and Advisor positions are open to all qualified people, regardless of gender, race, religion, disability, or other difference. Interviews are held online and/or in physically accessible spaces, and take into account accommodations for potential employees, interns, and Advisors with disabilities (e.g., sign language interpreter, use of alternative means of communication, use of assistive technology, etc.). Reasonable accommodations are afforded in all paid and unpaid positions.
IGNITE print and online materials are in the process of being made accessible for people with visual impairments, reading disabilities, and other experiences that benefit from such accommodations. Universal Design standards are considered so that all materials are made as accessible as possible (e.g., text size, screen reading capability, accessible language, etc.). When promoting and producing events, marketing efforts follow Universal Design standards. Should accommodations be requested for individuals attending public events, IGNITE works with each person to provide such supports.
When partnering with other organizations IGNITE considers each group’s accessibility standards and practices, taking into account standards and practices in order to collaborate with organizations that value accessibility.