CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership

Capstone e-Newsletter

CQL's Capstone e-Newsletter brings together the best practices in human services, by sharing expertise, insight and tips to help you improve the quality of your supports. If you would like to receive Capstone e-Newsletter, along with information about free resources, news, events and more, please fill out the subscription form. You can also view archived editions of Capstone, by looking below.




CQL Spotlight on 2019
December 2019

CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership had a milestone year in 2019, specifically related to the celebration of our 50th Anniversary. But beyond this landmark occasion, we’ve had many moments throughout the year that are worth highlighting. From practical resources we’ve produced to fruitful partnerships we’ve strengthened; in this Capstone we’re putting a spotlight on 2019. READ MORE>>


Rights In Someone's Home
December 2019

In this December 2019 edition of Capstone e-Newsletter, we're covering two important rights - the right to have visitors and the right to have keys. The article shares an activity, guidance, and resources to help organizations support people in exercising these rights. We also profile the 'Key Initiative' of Life's WORC, which was created to ensure that "everyone supported had a key to their own home." READ MORE>>


Dare To Reflect On The 2019 CQL Conference
November 2019

In October 2019, professionals in the human services field converged at the 2019 CQL Conference: Dare To Dream, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of CQL. Whether you were able to attend the 2019 CQL Conference or not, this month’s Capstone e-Newsletter will detail some takeaways from the event, as well as share ideas and resources that you can apply to your work. READ MORE>>


Recognizing Excellence In Direct Support
September 2019

Along with complex issues of low wages, high turnover, and limited career development processes, Direct Support Professionals also face significant shortcomings in how their position and responsibilities are understood, respected, and recognized. In this Capstone, we're sharing information about these issues, linking to resources that will help provide solutions, and highlighting stories we collected during National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week. READ MORE>>


Celebrating Five Decades, Dedicated To Quality
August 2019

This year, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its inception. CQL was founded in 1969 to develop quality standards to improve conditions for people with disabilities. Today, CQL continues to be at the forefront of human services, helping organizations and systems define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of supports for people who receive services. READ MORE>>


The Realities of House Rules
July 2019

We're looking at the potentially negative impact of house rules, including the effect they have on quality of life. We'll detail how the HCBS Settings Final Rule can factor into this issue, specifically related to the use of leases. Then, the article explores the application of 'unwritten' house rules and how they can create a hierarchical relationship between support providers and those receiving supports. READ MORE>>


'Never A Stranger At My Door'
June 2019

Through our analysis, we find that the majority of organizations do not actively solicit people receiving services’ preferences, provide them options, or honor their choices regarding DSPs or other staff. Learn about meaningful and actionable ways you can ensure people supported are involved in hiring, training, and evaluating their staff. This article also profiles how different organizations have changed their systems and practices to improve outcomes in these areas. READ MORE>>


Creative Approaches in Positive Behavior Supports
May 2019

We find that organizations that have Positive Behavior Supports present in both Systems and Practices, are expected to have 88.2% of total Basic Assurances® present. This month, we are exploring options beyond more traditional Positive Behavior Supports. Organizations from different parts of the world share their efforts to support people in response to what are often characterized as "challenging behaviors." READ MORE>>

"Listening" When People Communicate Without Words
April 2019

In this edition of Capstone e-Newsletter,  we share how the Personal Outcome Measures® can be effective for people who do not use words to communicate, by sharing general communication tips, links to resources, and specific steps to improve your information-gathering skills.


Self Advocacy: It's a Movement, Not a Program
March 2019

Learn about the importance of self-advocacy in enhancing the progress that people with developmental disabilities have made. We're sharing practical tips and specific steps that self-advocates and organizations can use to establish or strengthen self-advocacy efforts and self-advocacy groups.


Introducing The Social Determinants of Health Index
January 2019

In the January 2019 edition of Capstone e-Newsletter,  we're taking a deeper look at social determinants of health including what those determinants are, why they're important, and how they can impact a person's health. We'll also share a new free tool to measure it all.


CQL Spotlight on 2018
December 2018

We have dedicated December’s Capstone e-Newsletter to look back at just a few of the standout moments from 2018, sharing a snapshot of each month. 2018 held many highlights, including changes to one of our accreditation options, celebrations of significant milestones, and us connecting with more people in the field than ever before.


Let's Get To Work On Employment
October 2018

This edition analyzes data to identify the important role that organizational supports play in improving employment outcomes. Then, we turn to agencies with bold initiatives to get people into careers they want through supported/customized employment services they desire. You will learn practical and applicable strategies that you can implement into your organization.  


Empowering the DSP Workforce
September 2018

In this month's Capstone e-Newsletter, we take a look at the issues impacting Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), the results of those issues, and initiatives underway to turn things around. We will explore the startling statistics tied to this systemic failure, along with data to demonstrate the negative impact that DSP turnover has on outcomes achieved and supports that are provided.  READ MORE>>


Money, Money, Money: My Rep Payee Manages That
August 2018

While Rep Payees are intended to protect people and their money, it often reduces people's education, experience, and exposure involving money management issues. When people can be supported in managing their own money, they can improve their knowledge and skills in developing a budget, paying their bills, saving money, and more. In this edition of Capstone, we will share information about the importance of self-management of money and the ties to due process.  


Health & Wellness: Tools for Self-Management
July 2018

As detailed in CQL's Basic Assurances®, self-management of health refers to “people receiving supports being involved in their own healthcare, including decisions about healthcare providers and the services they receive… all people receiving supports should be afforded the same choices in healthcare available to others.”  READ MORE>>


Connecting To Natural Support Networks
June 2018

Although data tells us that the majority of people receiving services have a natural support network, they feel that they do not have enough contact with that network. Considering that the presence of natural support networks affects other quality of life outcomes involving community participation, choices, rights, and more, it's important that organizations provide desired supports for people surrounding natural support networks. READ MORE>>


Demystifying Factor 10
May 2018

CQL's nationally-recognized tool Basic Assurances® evaluates the essential, fundamental, and non-negotiable requirements of all human service providers.Basic Assurances® are organized into 10 different factors and 46 indicators within those factors, exploring issues like rights, health, safety, security, and more. Factor 10 specifically looks at how an agency formally assesses the Basic Assurances® at both the individual and organizational level. READ MORE>>


Peeling Back The Label of Dual Diagnosis
April 2018

Research indicates that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a higher likelihood of a psychiatric disability in comparison to the general population. For those with a dual diagnosis, there are resulting disparities involving quality of life areas like community participation, intimate relationships, social roles, and choosing where and with whom to live. This means that service providers need to offer more information, education, and supports for people with dual diagnosis. READ MORE>>


Family Wellness & Respite Services
March 2018

As people with disabilities and their families age, it becomes increasingly important that necessary supports are provided to improve the overall quality of life not only for people with disabilities, but also the wellness of the entire family unit. This article looks at respite services through data from the University of Colorado’s State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities project, then offers perspective from a couple organizations that provide those supports to families. 


The Three Rs - Rights, Risk, and Respect
February 2018

Personal Outcome Measures® data shows that only 42.6% of people are exercising their rights. In this edition of Capstone, we look at the link between rights, risk, and respect, sharing how providers can challenge traditional approaches of protection and paternalism to truly embrace rights and respect for the people they're supporting. READ MORE>>


Sexuality: Barriers, Supports, & Next Steps
January 2018

Throughout history the sexual rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been widely restricted or even more often, completely denied and disregarded. In this edition of Capstone, we're exploring the promotion of sexual rights, sexual self-advocacy, and what organizations can do to support people in these efforts. READ MORE>>


CQL Spotlight on 2017
December 2017

While every new year brings big developments for CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership, 2017 seems to stand out. Here’s our look back at just some of the memorable moments of 2017, broken down by month. READ MORE>>


10 Takeaways From The 2017 CQL Conference
October 2017

In this edition of Capstone, members of CQL staff are sharing just a handful of the many takeaways that attendees experienced throughout the conference. This list doesn't even come close to encompassing all of the lessons learned, but provides a broad overview of just some of the information covered at the conference. READ MORE>>


Looking Back at 2017 DSP Recognition Week
September 2017

Quality of Life is the heartbeat of CQL| The Council on Quality and Leadership, and Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the backbone of the service/support system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. DSPs are required to wear many hats, and at times deal with difficult and demanding situations, requiring complex skillsets while navigating decreasing resources and rising expectations. We take time this month to highlight the importance of the DSP to the service system and the role Personal Outcome Measures (POMs) can play in providing a framework for DSPs to do their jobs with excellence. READ MORE>>


Autonomy, Empowerment, and Supported Decision-Making
August 2017

Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is an alternative approach in which people make their own choices and express personal preferences with the assistance of family members or someone they trust. SDM can be used to help people exercise the right to self-determination by empowering people to make their own legally-enforceable decisions rather than simply appointing someone else to make decisions for them. READ MORE>>


Community Inclusion: Lessons Learned in TN
July 2017

What initiatives can you implement to improve community inclusion? How do those efforts actually play out people's lives? Why is data so important in monitoring progress? And lastly, how can the lessons learned in that journey help you become successful? We look into the answers for all of these questions, by profiling the experiences of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). READ MORE>>


Older Adults: Evolving Outcomes and Supports
June 2017

In this article, you will get a closer look at disparities in outcomes across the lifespan, learn some lessons from Mountain Lake Services, the Essex County Chapter, NYSARC, Inc. Find out how they have adjusted their supports and services to better fit the needs of older adults. This article also shares links to resources and tools to help you in your daily supports. 


Autism, Outcomes & A Call To Action
April 2017

People with autism are less likely to choose services, choose where they work, choose where they live, or choose who they live with, in comparison to other diagnoses of developmental disability. We explore these lapses in quality of life, share a brief overview of ASD, and offer up a call to action for human services. READ MORE>>


Fair Treatment
March 2017

If you can’t establish a culture of mutual respect and equality, advancing other efforts can be limited. We find in CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures® data that when there are organizational supports in place to assist people in being treated fairly, that outcome is 60 times more likely to be present in people’s lives. READ MORE>>


Let's Talk About Intimacy
February 2017

It's readily apparent why intimate relationships are important in our lives. The connectedness, trust and bonds we form with those who mean so much to us, is a critical component of the human experience. Despite this truth, the reality is that for people who receive supports and services, this outcome is not very present in their lives. READ MORE>>


HCBS Waiver Utilization
January 2017

HCBS waivers for people with IDD from FY 2011 to FY 2015 were analyzed to determine total projected spending, unduplicated participants, and average spending per participant across fiscal years. All expenditure data was adjusted for inflation. Approximately 10,000 services were also analyzed to determine service priorities. READ MORE>>


Transportation For People With Disabilities
December 2016

This study examined Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers, the most prominent provider of long term services and supports (LTSS), to determine if and how states provided transportation to people with IDD. The study found that the majority of HCBS waivers provided transportation for people with IDD. READ MORE>>


5 Factors Affecting Voting
October 2016

To explore the disparity among people with disabilities exercising this right, CQL collected and analyzed Personal Outcome Measures® data to better understand factors that could affect low registration rates and low voter turnout of eligible voters with disabilities. READ MORE>>


Outcomes For Older Adults
May 2016

Outcomes are ageless. How are we spending our day? Who are we spending it with? What decisions are we making along the way? Looking at research involving older adults (65 and older) with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the data doesn’t draw a distinct difference in the presence of outcomes based on age. READ MORE>>


Exercising Rights
March 2016

Whether understanding the most critical issues in advocacy or supporting self-direction, an understanding of individual rights sets the stage for raising awareness. By analyzing outcomes-data related to rights and listening to the stories of DSPs and individuals supported by agencies, we gain some valuable insight. READ MORE>>


Friendships, Relationships & Intimacy
February 2016

Creating connections with others is an important part of life, but people receiving supports from human service organizations often face additional barriers to establishing relationships with others. READ MORE>>


Outcome-Driven in State Systems
December 2015

With a focus on people through CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures® and a focus on data through CQL’s Online Data Tool, Tennessee’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (TN DIDD) utilizes in-depth analysis to improve their supports and services. READ MORE>>


Data & Person-Centered Practices
October 2015

With a focus on people through CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures® and a focus on data through CQL’s Online Data Tool, Tennessee’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (TN DIDD) utilizes in-depth analysis to improve their supports and services. READ MORE>>


CQL & South Dakota: Beyond Accreditation
August 2015

While the connection between CQL and South Dakota started with a state contract covering accreditation, it has extended into training, data, consultation and certification services provided by CQL, to enhance individual quality of life and organizational quality of supports. READ MORE>>