Independence Plus    

“Serving the Special Needs of Arizona”


A Message from the Executive Director                                                                                                                                                                       Spring 2019

Greetings Friends of Independence Plus!!

Rules, regulations and expectations on the federal and state level for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) are ever-changing.  It keeps us on our toes being informed of the latest developments.  Fortunately, there is an effective system in place to keep us up to date.

Member services are becoming even more member-focused.  What does the member need:  Member want or don’t want?  Goals?  What would make for a happier life?  It is no secret that many people have a hard time expressing or identifying their needs, wants, or goals.  I was taught earlier in life that it is selfish and inconsiderate to talk about oneself.  Later in life I learned that it is perfectly okay to do so.  In fact, I have larned that if you really want something- be specific!  Dale Carnegie talks out this in one of his books.  “You only get that what you ask for.”  So, aim high!

Some individuals do not speak.  There are other ways to communicate.  There is sign language, communication devices, gestures, eye blinking, head movements and various vocalizations.  Our Direct Support Staff is receptive to the various methods necessary in order to “reach out” to any given member.  We are all different and express ourselves differently.

In closing I wanted to share a “you know you’re getting old when…” story.  When Independence Plus first opened I got a visit from a past employee at Gompers.  She came to show off her baby.  Fast forward to today… that past Gomper’s employee works for Independence Plus as a DSPII and her daughter works for us as a DSP I.


David A. Brieno


Thank You New Founders of Freedom!       


The New Founders of Freedom meet in Avondale, AZ.  They are a fraternal order of motorcyclists that like to take rides and contribute to the their community!  This past Christmas they delivered stockings and gifts to all of our members.  In March they held a Texas Hold’em fundraiser in order to purchase Easter goodies.  Members got a bag filled with games and delicious treats to take home.  We appreciate all the kindness and joy NFF has brought our way!!


On April 4, 2019 Independence Plus competed in the track and field division of the regional Special Olympics.  Event took place at Kellis High School in Glendale.  Five proud members participated in the softball throw.  We ended up winning 1st through 5th place ribbons.  Way to go team!



On April 05, 2019 several members were able to attend the Sprout Film Festival.  It was held at Pollack Tempe Cinemas in Tempe, AZ and sponsored by The Arc of Chandler/Gilbert.  The Sprout Film Festival focuses exclusively on films that celebrate the diverse lives and creativity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  The Festival strives to challenge assumptions and breakdown stereotypes.  It is now a touring film festival throughout the U.S. and was founded in 2003 by Anthony Di Salvo.  All members and staff who attended the event had a great time.  They look forward to the 2020 Sprout Film Festival!



New/Used:  Bath Towels, Dish Towels, Sheets, Aprons:

Recliner Chairs in Good Condition, Black Ink Pens, Multi-fold Paper Towels,

Yellow Legal Pads, Hygiene Wipes, Copy Paper



Our Bowl-a-thon was held again this year at Let It Roll Bowl in Phoenix.  On Saturday, May 04th, over thirty people descended upon the lanes to bowl for funa nd prizes or to lend their support.  We give thanks to the following businesses for donating door prizes:

RC Fitness & Nutrition.   Lunchtime Cafe.   Jakes Bethany Auto.   Pay Tech.   Precision Imports.   You Fit/Bethany Home Rd.

There was a total of 10 door prizes which included $5 gift cards to Starbucks and Dunkin’Donuts.  $100.00 cash prize was awarded to the individual with the highest score.  Charles Booker, one our direct support professionals at IPI, won it was a score of 138.  50/50 Raffle winner went to our fellow employee Magaly Orona.  She is also a direct support professional.  She took home $321 in cash.  Congrats to Charles and Magaly!  Grand prize was donated by our Associate Director, Dr. Greg.  It was a signed fine art photo printed on canvas and given to the participant who brought in the most sponsor money.  It was awarded to Julie Harms.  Besides donation a door prize (PayTech) she also donated $400 to our cause.  Thank you so much Julie!!  We look forward to seeing everybody again next year.








50/50 Raffle Winner                              High Score Winner                                        Art Prize


Arizona Gives Day is a day for the people of Arizona to donate to their favorite charities.  this year the event raised roughly 3.6 million dollars.  We raised over $3,000!  Thanks to each and everyone of you who contributed to Independence Plus!!


                              Meet Our New Members!                                

                                                       Brendan                                                                                                                        Ever