Independence Northwest was founded by a small group of engaged community members.
In the fall of 2006, Larry Deal (current Executive Director), Erin Graff (former Assistant Director) and Ron Spence (current Operations Director) came together, formed a board of directors, and applied for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
Our initial board of directors was comprised of Larry Deal, Rita Beckett (self-advocate) and Martha Stracener-Dantzic (former Executive Director of Inclusion Inc. Brokerage.).
At the beginning of 2007, the State of Oregon Department of Human Services released a competitive RFP (request for proposal) for two Support Services Brokerages. We applied along with several other entities and were awarded the contract in April of 2007.
We opened our doors in July of 2007 and entered our very first customers into services in October 2007. Over the next eighteen months, we went from 0 to 450 customers and added hundreds of new providers to our area’s resource base. Our original team was rounded out by our Office Manager (Beri Swango), Community Resources Director (Maggie Kral) and ten Personal Agents.
Today, we serve nearly 550 individuals with developmental disabilities across the tri-county region.
The mission of Independence Northwest is to support people with developmental disabilities to access resources necessary to ensure equality, respect, independence, and complete ownership over their lives. The principles of self-determination are at the heart of our approach; we firmly believe that freedom, authority, autonomy, responsibility and confirmation are key aspects to the success of anyone and everyone.