Honoring our past. Ensuring our future.
Dear V-LINC Family:
I am reaching out to you today along with all V-LINC volunteers, supporters, donors, and friends who have helped our organization touch the lives of countless children and adults with disabilities for the past thirty-six years. As a V-LINC supporter, we all share the primary goal of honoring our mission and the service of so many by ensuring a secure future for our programs. With this goal in mind, I am excited to announce that beginning in 2019, V-LINC will be joining forces with Baltimore based non-profit, the IMAGE Center for People with Disabilities. Results of the merger will bring V-LINC services under the management of the IMAGE Center to more effectively and completely support the needs of those with disabilities in the central Maryland area. This move will also allow us to more cost effectively continue our programs while impacting even more members of the community with our custom assistive technology program, school partnerships, and technology education services.
Through the merger, both programs will house their administrative offices and show-case technology solutions at the IMAGE Center headquarters in Towson. Custom assistive technology services will expand under the IMAGE Center and will revert to the original name, the VME Custom Assistive Technology Program. Angela Tyler will continue her role as Volunteer Services Manager and remain the primary contact for clients, schools, and volunteer services. Our school partner teams and review committees (PRAC and CST) will continue to operate as always with the increased support of a larger administrative team and a direct pipeline of clients from the existing assistive technology and community living programs at the IMAGE Center. We also anticipate hosting at least three bike clinics in 2019 as we streamline and broaden this important V-LINC outreach initiative.
The Mary Salkever Inclusive Summer Camp has served children with and without disabilities in Baltimore since the 1990s. Through the merger, camp services will broaden their reach by joining with several non-profit organizations in the area to host the Youth Leadership Forum held each summer at Towson University. The Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is a unique career leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. By serving as delegates from their communities, young people with disabilities cultivate leadership, citizenship, and advocacy skills. The addition of the Mary Salkever Summer Camp will provide needed access to technology training and resources required to succeed in today’s climate. YLF will incorporate these services by unveiling The Tamara Salkever Technology Program as part of the summer intensive beginning in 2019. The program is renamed for Mary Salkever’s daughter who is an advocate with disabilities and the inspiration for the original summer camp program.
The IMAGE Center for People with Disabilities is a Center for Independent Living under the leadership of Executive Director, Michael Bullis. The IMAGE Center is primarily managed and staffed by professionals with disabilities. The center currently offers services to support independent living training for teens and adults; helps people remain in their own homes after disability rather than moving to nursing facilities; provides resource counseling; and serves veterans wishing to remain independent as they age.
“We could not be more thrilled to add V-LINC services through the IMAGE Center,” said Executive Director, Michael Bullis. “Our organizations have a long history of working together and bringing these supports through a Center for Independent Living only strengthens the voices of those with disabilities and expands possibilities for community living and independence. The options and opportunities for independence have never been broader or more exciting. Disability, once seen as the end of a life well lived, is now the beginning of a new life of possibilities and the addition of V-LINC creates a one-stop opportunity for independence.”
Please join me as we approach the new year in celebrating the expansion of V-LINC programs operated through the IMAGE Center. Our services will still need the gift of time from our volunteers and your financial support to be successful. All of our services are almost completely donor funded by the generosity of community members like you. Please consider supporting our annual giving campaign which will begin next week. Additionally, I hope you feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions in the coming weeks. Following January 1st, I will no longer act as Executive Director of V-LINC and will turn leadership of our services over to the capable hands of Michael Bullis; however, my commitment to these programs does not end. I will continue as a volunteer member of the IMAGE Center Board of Directors along with several of our current board members. Along with you, I look forward to these exciting changes and a very bright future for V-LINC!
Carrie M. McGraw
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V-LINC is a philanthropic, 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.