Bev Weinberg with Cheri Fiory holding an Integrate for Good Community Heroes award plaque.

Integrate for Good seeks out opportunities for people with disabilities to assume community leadership roles and to be valued as experts in the field. That is why we were so excited, when just a few months after our launch, the Upper Dublin Library approached Access Services about conducting a staff in-service about creating welcoming public spaces for people of all abilities. Access staff referred the Upper Dublin Library to Integrate for Good, and from there, our collaboration was born.

Last year, on Martin Luther King Day 2018, we gathered with staff at the library where our entire team presented our first community in-service. At that event, we were connected to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Library Association which led to all of the other partnerships we now have with three other libraries. Cheri Fiory and the Upper Dublin Library gave us our first opportunity, which fueled so much of our positive growth and momentum since that day. And we love that it all started on the day when we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Integrate for Good believes that just being present in the community and being truly engaged and valued as community member with abilities and talents to share are two very different outcomes. Cheri Fiory at Upper Dublin Library is a true partner in creating opportunities where real community engagement happens. When the Upper Dublin Library was offering tours of their incredible new site in Fort Washington, Cheri specifically reached out to me to ask if our Leadership Team could come for a personal tour to see the space and hear about their plans for making it a true community center. We loved seeing the impressive building and hearing about all of the activities and opportunities it promises to hold. Cheri welcomed our team’s ideas, and it was great to see Jenny so enthusiastic about envisioning what could happen in this amazing new space in our community. Cheri actively reached out to make sure diverse voices and ideas contributed to the vision for this new community space, and for that, we are incredibly grateful. Because people like Cheri Fiory step forward, the voices of people who haven’t always had the opportunity to be heard are amplified.

The difference between being ordinary and extraordinary is “just a little extra.” Sending a quick email to say she wanted to give our Integrate for Good Leadership Team a private tour seems like something little, but the impact of that action is anything but little. We are honored to recognize Cheri Fiory and the Upper Dublin Public Library with a 2019 Integrate for Good Community Hero award.