For over thirty-five years, LIFE Inc. has been honored to be a part of the local disability civil rights movement, which has allowed for an up-close view of the progression toward equity and inclusion for people with disabilities in Rhode Island. While there is still work to be done, we have been proud of our commitment to providing innovative and cutting-edge support for adults with disabilities and their families that has centered on helping people build lives of meaning, connection, and purpose. We have employees like you at every level to thank for this. Through your willingness to learn new practices, provide new types of support for our participants, and pilot new ideas, these systematic changes continue to be possible. Today we are sharing exciting news for our organization and our community, which we feel bridges a proven history with our desire to advance steadily into our future.
We are thrilled to announce that beginning April 15, LIFE Inc.’s logo will be changing as the next step in this transformation and innovation process. While it may take time to fully transition thirty-five years of signage, posters, forms, and other tangible items, you will begin to see our new logo on announcements, emails, and our social media accounts immediately. You will also be invited to share and shape our transformation with different initiatives and learning opportunities. There are more details to come on this but overall, we will all be called to Celebrate Each Other to realize a vision of true inclusivity.
Dropping the Dots
One of the first things you'll notice is that our new logo eliminates the periods that have been found in our name since our agency's founding. While LIFE Inc. still stands as an acronym for Living In Fulfilling Environments, this new logo streamlines and focuses our brand on coming together, and not being separated, even by punctuation.
Meaning Behind the Logo
Our new logo, which we are affectionately calling the Tree of LIFE logo, incorporates some important concepts that have been emerging in the disability community in the last few years. Recently, schools, community groups, and providers like us have begun to look closely at how our practices are implimented in four recognized models–exclusion, segregation, integration, and inclusion.
An antiquated model whereby people are fully removed from general society for the purposes of not having to create workarounds or accommodations for someone’s abilities or disabilities
The act of bringing a group of people together in a protected location, usually an institution, to remove them from society without consideration or opportunities for enrichment or exposure to the surrounding community
The idea of bringing people of all abilities together in an environment of equality and creating situations where people with disabilities were near, but not among their equals without disabilities
The model that creates an environment of equity where people of all abilities have opportunities to advance, learn, and grow though both organized methods and through learning from the community around them
With this historical perspective in mind, our new LIFE Inc. logo will incorporate this inclusion model into the tree as its leaves to reinforce our dedication to creating an inclusive, person-centered and person-driven environment for years to come. Since our inception, LIFE Inc. has been an acronym for “Living In Fulfilling Environments” which has always been meaningful not only as a goal for the participants we support, but also for all of us to strive for in our lives. In its ideal, living in a fulfilling environment means one is heard, has meaningful purpose, is respected, valued, has an equal opportunity, and is willing to listen and empathize with others. In addition to representing the environment of inclusion we are striving to create every day, our Tree of LIFE logo also embodies a sense of community and celebration by representing that each person is unique, important, and connected by shared values for the good of humankind. We see our role as staff as one of strength-based allyship, and over the next 2 years we have made a commitment to providing innovative tools and experiences to implement this philosophically and practically. Stay tuned for more on this!
We were inspired and influenced by the work of Dr. Erik Carter for the above explanation. More information about Dr. Carter and his important work can be found on his website.
Connection to The Meeting Place
Our process to transition to this new LIFE Inc. logo began in 2019 with the unveiling of The Meeting Place’s logo. At the time, we knowingly added the same colorful Tree of LIFE to their logo to create the literal and figurative connection between LIFE Inc. and The Meeting Place.