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One Vision: Acceptance, Advocacy, and Accountability In Iowa

By Laurie Kelley

As my colleague Peg Ezell and I quickly discovered through our collaboration with One Vision during their Quality Assurances Accreditation, it was evident that they have a sincere dedication to supporting people receiving their services in achieving individual hopes and dreams. Their mission, vision, and values are embedded into their organization and was palpable throughout the accreditation activities.

“Our missions and visions align perfectly, and the balance offered by CQL of accountability and support would serve us well in our journey to be the most person-centered organization we can be.”

Mark Dodd, CEO, One Vision

From the onset of our partnership with everyone from One Vision, there was a clear candidness across the organization that creates the foundation for deep-rooted, meaningful change, which is fundamental for success in accreditation. This creates the framework for effective transformation as the organization could employ an honest, open, and transparent exploration of internal pockets of excellence and areas where there is opportunity for improvement.

In addition, it was obvious to Peg and I that they really cared about and focused on what really matters to the people they support. One Vision honors and respects everyone’s individual hopes and dreams through a commitment to person-centered delivery of services. They also place an emphasis on community engagement of people receiving services such as actively participating in local markets, sharing the wealth of products from their gardens, or becoming part of a local fire house.

About One Vision

One Vision is a human services organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Incorporated in 1966, we first opened our doors in 1971. One Vision started out as a campus of 10 cottages in a small Iowa town, and was designed to provide supports for 160 people with disabilities. We now serve approximately 410 people across 30 communities in North Iowa.

OneVision Logo

The mission of the organization is that “the One Vision community supports individual choice by providing services that lead to greater purpose and independence.” One Vision carries out that mission through a wide range of services including in-home supports, employment solutions, children’s services, and more. All of these services are rooted in their values of acceptance, advocacy, and accountability.

One Vision Achieves Quality Assurances Accreditation

One Vision had initiated the formal process to achieve CQL Accreditation in January 2021. After submitting their Request for Engagement form – an accreditation application – they set out on a series of planning meetings, self-assessments, capacity-building for data collection and analysis, and more. These efforts culminated in a virtual accreditation visit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those virtual accreditation activities included various meetings, focus groups, visits where people receive services, validation of the Basic Assurances® Self-Assessment, Personal Outcome Measures® interviews, etc. On June 4th, 2021, One Vision formally achieved Quality Assurances Accreditation. This noteworthy accomplishment entails a 3-year accreditation term where One Vision is provided with ongoing support, guidance, check-ins, and resources to assist the organization in continuing to strengthen its systems and practices to support people in achieving their goals and dreams, through individualized and responsive services.

An Inside Look At One Vision

To find out more about One Vision’s history, services, experiences with accreditation, and more, we reached out to One Vision. They responded to a number of questions we asked about the organization and their commitment to improving quality and supporting people to achieve their dreams. This is what they had to share!

How has your organization evolved over time?

One Vision is celebrating our golden anniversary. Established in 1971, the organization has been providing excellence in services for 50 years. Families that were looking for meaningful lives for their children had conversations that led to the concept of our organization – then named Handicap Village – and the evolution to One Vision. The organization has grown into various services that include independent living, small group settings, supporting children with autism, and employment services. It was a natural choice to partner with CQL as we look to the future to continue providing exceptional services that support people to have meaningful lives filled with purpose.

One Vision 50th Anniversary Logo

In the last 10 years, One Vision has experienced tremendous growth. We have supported people to move into neighborhoods and become a part of the greater community. One Vision has expanded by recognizing the need for children’s services and opening the Children’s Autism Center. We have also grown to include a campus redevelopment for the active 55+ community in the north Iowa area. The Glen Oaks Community, along with our existing businesses, helps sustain our mission, vision, and values.

Why did you decide to pursue CQL Accreditation?

From the beginning, One Vision has been dedicated to celebrating the uniqueness of each person. One Vision discovered an ally in CQL in that they also champion these shared values. One Vision (Vision: To inspire meaningful lives by connecting people with purpose) decided to partner with CQL (Vision: A world of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people), forming a powerful alignment complementing each other as we seek excellence in services together.

“From the moment I familiarized myself with CQL, its mission and the focus of its accreditation process, I knew this was the best accreditation partner we could find.”

Mark Dodd, CEO, One Vision

How has your organization improved through your accreditation?

One Vision holds a wealth of talent in its many stakeholders. During the accreditation review, it was communicated that everyone needs a seat at the table. One Vision recognized that in order to build a better future, all voices can contribute towards that effort – capitalizing on the ideas of all people will build a strong foundation for moving forward to make positive change.

One Vision is being deliberate in utilizing our valued stakeholders in all aspects of the organization. This has begun by having everyone involved in policy development, improving communication throughout the organization, and seeking ideas as we problem solve.

What is the impact of accreditation on people you support?

The Basic Assurances® and Personal Outcome Measures® guide One Vision to discover what meaningful lives mean for people, as determined by each person. These tools help the organization bring to light areas that show potential for growth. Cultivating a culture of constant conversation, supports can then be built around those hopes and dreams. People work hand-in-hand with their team to live their best lives.

“I liked my Personal Outcome Measures® interview. I show my goals to staff and my guardian. I’m planning my own life.”

Laurie K., person receiving services from One Vision

How do you envision the future of your partnership with CQL?

CQL has a wealth of resources, innovative ideas, and supports to guide One Vision towards organizational growth. CQL will challenge and support us to continue to find those systems and practices that need enhancement to improve services for people. They will also celebrate with us in the accomplishments that are achieved.

Have questions about CQL Accreditation?

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Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.