SKIL was created by; is driven by; and is focused on persons with disabilities, their families, and communities. We provide Advocacy, Education,and Support with Customer Controlled services to break down and remove existing barriers and bridge social gaps to ensure and preserve Equality and Independence for all.

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by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker

    SMILE is a new positive behavior support system SKIL has developed recently. SMILE is an acronym that stands for Successful Manageable Inclusion Leadership and Encouraging. The concept was first brought to CEO Shari Coatney's attention by SKIL Special Projects Coordinator John Stacy Denham, who had read about Fortune 500 companies adopting similar programs.

    “I had originally talked to Shari Coatney about setting it up with the kid's program, and when she heard about the positive behavior support I was interested in putting together for that, she thought that was something we could do system-wide, completely across the board,” explains Denham.

    “Basically what it does is it sets up positive behaviors you want to see and it rewards people for that as opposed to coming down on people for breaking the rules.” The concept behind SMILE is that it establishes a shared language and verbiage that all customers and employees at SKIL can use. For example, Information and Referral Specialist Heather House recently coined the term SKILsters for customers and representatives, and the term has since caught on.

    The idea behind SMILE is to enforce inclusion and to make everyone feel they are part of a collective family at SKIL. According to Denham, the introductory SMILE project was handing out little cut-out smiley faces to people who were smiling as an attempt to reward desirable behavior.