Full Life Sponsors Abled Hawai’i Artists 14th Annual Art Festival

Full Life Hawai’i sponsors the Abled Hawai’i Artists (AHA) 14th Annual Art Festival, celebrating the spectrum of creativity and promoting the exploration of inclusive entrepreneurship in the arts!

Saturday, December 4, 2021 10am-4pm, at Hawaiian Paradise Park 15-1963 4th Ave/Makuʻu, keaʻau 96749

Join us for a day of unique artists sharing their passion in showing and selling arts and crafts. There will be a variety of free art demonstrations and art making for the entire ‘ohana! Check out their Facebook event page!

This one-day event is part of the Paradise Studio Tours tow-day event on December 4th & 5th, Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm. For more information on Paradise Studio Tours:   https://fb.me/e/2DHcoXTHW

Join the renaissance of inclusion on Hawai’i Island!

Full Life Hawai’i – Empowering people with disabilities live self-determined happy lives.

Kipaipai Art Foundation and School – to encourage and inspire creativity by providing inclusive art education, support and networking opportunities that cultivate community.Paradise Studio Tours – show cases local artists and their studios within Hawaiian Paradise Park, located in Kea‘au on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

Generation 808 – Supporting Hawai’i Island Churches and 501(c) Nonprofits to creative fiscal resiliency.


Full Life Supports Hawai’i Island 2021 Hilo and Kona Disability Legislative Forums

Join Full Life as we support our participants, family and Direct Support Professionals meet with our local legislators!

2021 Hilo Legislative Forum  October 27th, 1pm – 3pm


2021 Kona Legislative Forum  October 28th, 1pm – 3pm

Click on the event images below to go to the Facebook event page.

Full Life Hawai’i seeks Employment Service Coordinator- East Hawai’i Island

Employment Service Coordinator – Disabilities (Hilo) 

Full Life is seeking a full-time Employment Specialists to join our dynamic team at a flourishing non-profit organization on Hawaii Island. The employment specialist will train and supervise staff and support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the following activities:

1) on-going job coaching services to include on-the-job work skills training and systematic instruction required to perform the job;
2) person-centered employment planning;
3) job development, carving, or customization;
4) negotiations with prospective employers;
5) assistance for self-employment including identifying potential business opportunities and developing a business plan;
6) worksite visits as needed by the individual or employer to assess for new needs and to proactively support the participant to address issues that arise;
7) ongoing evaluation of the individual’s job performance;
8) individualized problem-solving/advising with the participant about issues that could affect maintaining employment;
9) training in skills to communicate disability-related work support and accommodation needs;
10) assessing the need for basic job aids, facilitating referral through the participant’s DOH-DDD case manager for assistive technology assessment and acquisition of assistive technology from Division of Vocational Rehabilitation;
11) facilitating referral through the DOH-DDD case manager to a Discovery & Career Planning provider for financial literacy, money management and budgeting;
12) providing information and training (benefits counseling)
13) training in arranging and using transportation, such as fixed route public transportation or paratransit services to get to and from the participant’s place of employment;
14) career advancement services.

EDUCATION & WORK REQUIREMENTS: Certification in rehabilitation counseling OR a Bachelor’s Degree in any field and two (1) year of experience assisting job seekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities in acquiring competitive integrated employment. Two (2) years of supervisory experience preferred.

EMPLOYMENT CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS: Applicable background checks; HI State criminal check, TB clearance, CAN clearance, cpr & first aid, verification of education, driver’s license and insurance cards.

Please email a cover letter and resume to mar@fulllifehawaii.org with the subject line EMPLOYMENT SERVICE COORDINATOR.


Full Life Hawai’i seeks Program Coordinator- West Hawai’i Island

Program Coordinator -Developmental Disabilities (Kona and West Hawaii)

Full Life is seeking one Full Time Program Coordinator/Service Supervisor responsible for supervision of Direct Support Workers who work one-on-one with individuals with developmental disabilities in their homes, communities and workplaces. The Program Coordinator ensures that service delivery meets standards of quality and all internal and external regulations.

Primary responsibilities are:

1. Assuring that Direct Support Workers have the skills and tools to provide personal assistance that helps each individual we support reach their goals and achieve their dreams.

2. Writing individual plans per Full Life policy, entering monthly supervision visit notes into a data base.

3. Creating data collection templates based on the individual plan.

4. Attending and participating in annual goal setting meetings for each person on your case load.

5. Reviewing time sheets, data collection and associated costs requests from Direct Support Workers twice a month to assure compliance with state regulations and Full Life policy.

6. Understanding and adhering to state regulations, high quality standards and Full Life policies.

7. Maintaining and building relationships with clients, Direct Support Workers, families and community stakeholders.  8. Supervision of staff, scheduling, hiring, coordinating schedules

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

1. Must have knowledge about developmental disabilities and/or be willing and able to gain that knowledge through experience, training and research.

2. Must have excellent computer knowledge and ability, and knowledge of MS Word and Outlook.

3. Must have effective verbal and written communication skills, including grammar and spelling proficiency.

4. Must have strong organizational and teamwork skills.

5. Must be able to give and receive information, prepare written materials, and create and carry out action plans.

6. Must be able to multi-task effectively

7. Must be able to meet deadlines under pressure

8. Must be able to represent Full Life in a professional manner

Other Requirements of this position:

1. Current Two Step TB clearance.

2. Current CPR and First Aid Certification.

3. Current Driver’s License with valid automobile insurance and reliable personal transportation (mileage reimbursement).

4. Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited school in a related field or a BA in a non-related field with at least one year of related DD experience.

Upon hire you will be required to pass a background check required by State Contract

Days/Hours of Work:  This position is essentially a Monday through Friday daytime position 40 hours a week.  However, to effectively supervise the Direct Service Workers some hours after 5:00 and weekend hours will be necessary in order to do on-site visits when the DSW is working.  This position also requires being On-call for after hours/weekend emergencies.

Communication Demands:  This position requires oral and written communication with supervisor, employees, co-workers, families, participants, and government agencies. Must have the ability to accept and give constructive criticism. Must keep communication open and clear between all parties (supervisor, participant, family, government agency, DSW).

Please email a cover letter and resume to nadeen@fulllifehawaii.org with the subject line PROGRAM COORDINATOR KONA.


2020 Pua Na Pua Art Classes- Fall Session!

GOT ART?  Pua Na Pua inclusive art classes continue from September 3rd to October 29th, with Danielle B., our fabulous art instructor!

Through a County of Hawai’i nonprofit grant, and continued collaboration with Donkey Mill Art Center, Full Life artists explore the spectrum of their creativity through various art mediums! For more information, contact us at (808) 322-9333 or mar@fulllifehawaii.org.

#fullifehi #dmac #renaissanceofinclusion





Full Life Awarded ‘Eleu Grant- Participants Emergency Preparedness Kit

Through a generous grant from Hawai’i Island United Way (HIUW), Full Life was able to purchase emergency kits consisting of some or all of the following items (depending on need) for 47 people with developmental disabilities. Kits included Water Jugs, 14 day supply of non-perishable food, can opener, first aid kit, radio, flashlight, batteries, soap, toilet paper, masks, sunscreen, whistle, and other toiletries. This is significant because most of these beneficiaries cannot afford these extra supplies for emergencies. We are also assured they will have what is needed in case of an emergency.

A smaller portion of the funds were spent on 2 months of HIPAA compliant video (Zoom) and messaging software (Notifyd). This allowed Full Life Program Coordinators to check on several people with developmental disabilities remotely in order to limit face to face contact during the COVID Pandemic. Furthermore, Full Life used our zoom licenses to offer virtual activities so that people with developmental disabilities could stay connected with each other during the time when they were limiting their access to the community and not participating in group activities. Classes included weekly fitness classes, weekly art classes, weekly movie socials, and weekly music classes.

Full Life’s partnership with HIUW has greatly benefited the people Full Life Serves. The partnership ensured that the people who need emergency kits the most for future emergencies will have them in a safe location. Every person Full Life serves now has an emergency kit as recommended by the Hawaii State Department of Health. We are also able to keep connected with participants and their families during the pandemic.

When Full Life contacted all of our participants for the Emergency Preparedness Kits, the reaction from the family members and caregivers was amazing!  They really thanked us for thinking about their loved ones’ needs.  We know Hurricane season and the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us, so we wanted to make sure that all our participants were prepared in case of an emergency. Another heartwarming story, is all of our Virtual Classes are social time for our participants.  It’s so wonderful to watch their gleeful eyes as they see their friends on the tv or computer screen.  They laugh, smile, converse and say how much they miss each other.  Thank you HIUW for helping us with these virtual classes and meetings through Telehealth Video.

Mahalo nui loa to Hawai’i Island United Way, and to our Full Life staff who gathered, fill emergency kits and delivered them! Full life participants are ready for an emergency…are you?


#fullifehi #hiuw #renaissanceofinclusion




COVID-19: Governor’s Proclamation & Full Life Guidelines

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Aloha Full Life ‘Ohana-

Yesterday, Governor Ige proclaimed it mandatory for residents to “stay in place” except for work in essential businesses or operations. Per the attached Governor’s Proclamation:

“all persons within the State of Hawaiʻi are ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence except as necessary to maintain continuity of operations of the  federal critical infrastructure sectors, as identified at https://www.cisa.gov/identifyingcritical-infrastructure-during-covid-19 and as further designated below or by the Director of the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA).”


“This order shall take effect on March 25, 2020 at 12:01 am and remain in place until 11:59 pm on April 30, 2020.”

According to the attached Governor’s Proclamation, “Healthcare services and facilities. Hospitals, clinics, physician offices, assisted living facilities, and other healthcare facilities and services” are considered essential businesses. Full Life and the Direct Support Professionals who provide support for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, are considered essential workers. Furthermore, “Organizations that provide charitable and social services . . . . for people with disabilities.” Additionally, Home-based care and services for … people with developmental disabilities” is deemed as essential.

What does that mean for Full Life administrative staff, Direct Support Professionals and the participants we provide supports for?

  • Weekly video/teleconference meetings for all employees, participants, and family members. ***more details to come***
  • Email address to send questions related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and impact on Full Life services/operations. Covid19@fulllifehawaii.org **More details to come on where the questions and answers will be posted***
  • Full Life Offices– As of today, Full Life offices are open, however, you must call before visiting to ensure the appropriate staff person is available. Please contact our office if you need access, as we are limiting access whenever not essential.
  • Full Life Administrative Staff– Our Program Coordinators will be working remotely from home, maintaining regular contact with DSWs and participants, hosting video meetings for monthly site visits, Individual Service Plan meetings, Individual Plan trainings, etc. to maintain supports for our Direct Support Professionals and participants.
  • Direct Support Professionals– As a healthcare essential worker and provider of social services to people with disabilities, the health and safety supports of our participants requires us to maintain services. To maintain participant’s health and safety, and minimize unnecessary public exposure, Developmental Disability Division has authorized Full Life to convert CLS-I to PAB hours. This allows our participants to work on any of their goals that can be done at home, including assisting participant in processing and maintaining calm during this pandemic. Please contact your immediate supervisor if the participant you support would like your support services at their home. There may be some activities you can participate in with the Governors Stay in Place order such as: shopping for groceries and other necessities and outdoor exercise activities, including ocean activities…so long as social distancing requirements are maintained. Places of public gathering will be closed to the public.
  • Participants – We are here to support you in staying safe, keeping active, and keeping engaged with your life goals. We are able to temporarily shift from providing community integration supports to providing you temporary supports at your home. What would that look like to you? Please talk to you Direct Support Professional and family members about how your services are affected by having to “stay in place”. If you decide you want services at home, your Direct Support Professional can assist you to have this discussion with your Program Coordinator.


These are ever-changing times and the COVID-19 pandemic is creating so many opportunities for us to consider emergency preparedness, and how we provide supports. We are here to listen and support you to the best of our abilities. Please know that all Full Life administrative staff have an “open door” policy and welcome you to call, email, or schedule a meeting for any reason. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices in Kona at (808) 322-9333 or Hilo at (808) 935-7699.  Mahalo nui loa for your flexibility, patience and kokua!



Jim Kilgore and Mar Ortaleza


Coronavirus Awareness & Prevention Guidelines- 3/16/2020 4:00PM

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To: All Full Life Employees, contractors, participants and family members:
This information was adapted from a State of Hawai‘i DOH memo received on 3/13/2020. We are currently in communication with DOH-DDD in requesting flexibility in order to maintain Waiver Service compliance and keep everyone safe. The situation is rapidly changing and there will be regular updates. We are working on implementing a weekly Zoom conference call for all employees, participants, and family members to provide updates and to hear questions and concerns so that we can take those questions back to the DOH.
We are expecting more specific guidance regarding waiver services from The State of Hawaii Developmental Disabilities Division for additional contingency planning. We will update you as soon as this guidance is received.
Full Life encourages all employees, partners, participants, and families to utilize resources listed below to get updated information related to COVID-19. These resources provide information about how individuals and programs can stay prepared and take steps to prevent spread of the virus. We encourage everyone to take reasonable precautions and stay informed. We all play a key role in preparedness.
Here’s what you can do to plan and prepare now:
Stay updated:
Visit the below link about COVID-19 from the DOH website. This page is updated on a regular basis. Please also note the additional resources below, including fact sheets in multiple languages.
Additional resources:
  1. Hawaii County has opened a call center to answer any of your questions concerning coronavirus in operation 7-7 daily at 935-0031.
  2. Department of Health website at www.health.hawaii.gov or;
  3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.
  4. You may also call the Department of Health at 974-6001 or after-hours at 211
Practice everyday protection:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Sanitize and sanitize often. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wear a mask if you are sick to prevent spreading illness to other people
  • Prepare a 14-day emergency kit in case you need to self-quarantine. Please ensure participants have 14-day emergency kits to include medications, water (if needed), food, and necessities. Prepare a kit similar to those used during hurricane seasons. For more information, visit this site: https://health.hawaii.gov/prepare/protect-your-family/prepare-an-emergency-kit/.
Stay home/go home if you feel sick:
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or have traveled to an area of sustained exposure (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Most European Countries) within in the last 14 days, please stay home and call your doctor.
Call your physician:
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or have traveled to an area of sustained exposure (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Most European Countries) within in the last 14 days, call your doctor to determine if you need to be seen and follow their instructions.
The health and safety of our staff and participants is our utmost priority. Thus, Full Life is closely monitoring the latest developments of COVID-19 and has begun to prepare for all possibilities. We all play a role in preparedness and to reduce the possibility of the spread of illness, we ask for your help to:
  • Report to work as usual but practice everyday protections. Our services are important to the overall health and safety of participants.
  • Wash your hands frequently (e.g., after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, before preparing food) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick: Stay home and contact your doctor
  • Call your supervisor
  • If possible, assist your supervisor in finding emergency coverage for participants
  • If a participant is sick: for participants without 24 hour supports:
  • Notify your Program Coordinator of the participants illness.
  • Participant/family should call their doctor. PC or RN can support with calling doctor if needed.
  • PC will inform the DSW if there are no services due to participant illness.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g., door handles, lobby area, countertops, vehicles after use) daily.
  • Encourage participants to participate in the same everyday protections. If participants are scheduled to meet at Full Life offices, call to remind them of the meeting in advance and ask them to reschedule if they are sick, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have traveled to an area of sustained exposure in the past 2 weeks.
  • Limit CLS services to locations that are not densely populated. Follow social distancing guidelines by avoiding crowed areas. New guidelines request limiting exposure to gatherings of 10 people or less.
  • Monitor participants for signs of illness. Report to your supervisor if participants are ill.
  • Share this memo with all participants and families and familiarize yourself with the information.
  • Ensure that you have emergency contact information for all employees and participants with you. Full Life will rely on a phone tree where we will ask all supervisors to contact the employees they supervise and the family members on their case if there is a need for expedited communication
  • Full Life will rely on program coordinators and office managers to relay important information to DSWs, participants, and families.
  • Alert staff that the state has developed responses for various labor-related issues associated with COVID-19
  • Encourage staff to ask questions and respond to the best of your ability.
  • Talk with staff about COVID-19 updates as they arise.
  • Continue to practice and promote basic prevention and protection guidelines described in this memo such as staying home if you feel sick and calling your doctor.
  • Work to maintain a balance between taking necessary precautions and maintaining calm about the situation.
  • Set up and join meetings (e.g., team meetings, community meetings, workgroups) by phone or Zoom when possible and appropriate. Encourage other participants to do the same.
  • Please post a “COVID-19 Door Sign” (such as attached example) to the exterior of your main office door. The sign should politely ask that visitors/clients who are experiencing flu symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have traveled to a community with sustained exposure within the past 14 days to call the front desk. Assist callers by transferring them to the relevant staff member and help visitors/clients to reschedule as soon as possible.
  • Post relevant information and instructions shared staff space (e.g., staff bulletin board).
  • Continue to share informational resources:
  • Department of Health’s issues and advisories for COVID-19: https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019/
  • Center for Disease Control’s resource on managing mental health and coping during COVID- 19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html
  • Child Mind Institute’s resource on talking to kids about COVID-19: https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/
Your health and safety are very important to us. Full Life is closely watching the latest updates of COVID- 19 and has begun to prepare for all possibilities. Because each of us plays a role in being ready and to prevent the spread of illness, we want to let you know about some changes that you can expect:
  • Please call your DSW and/or program coordinator if you are sick.
  • If you are scheduled for an appointment or meeting at any of our offices, we will call to remind you of the meeting and ask you to either reschedule or attend by phone or video conference if you are sick.
  • Meetings and appointments held by phone or video conferencing wherever possible will become more routine in the coming weeks.
  • We are looking into video options for supervision visits (if it works for you).
  • We will be posting a sign on our office doors asking visitors/clients who are experiencing flu symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), who have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have traveled to an area of sustained exposure within the past 14 days to call our front desk. We will assist those callers by transferring them to the relevant staff member to reschedule appointments as soon as possible.
  • If participants or their family members are sick, we are asking program coordinators to reschedule visits. Program Coordinators may offer video visits instead if participants are sick
Mahalo for your flexibility and understanding. We will be sending out regular updates and will notify you as soon as we schedule a teleconference. Please understand that we have limited control on disruptions the COVID-19 situation may cause. We are doing everything we can to limit disruptions, but please prepare now for absenteeism and disruptions in services.
Jim Kilgore
Executive Director

Full Life Sponsors 2nd Annual Live Aloha Art and Film Festival

Aloha Supporters of Inclusion in the Arts-

You’re invited to FREE inclusive puppet making workshops at East Hawai’i Cultural Center, during the week of Monday, January 6th to the 9th, followed by a community #puppets4peace parade!

Monday and Wednesday puppet making workshops are from 2pm to 5pm; Tuesday and Thursday is from 10am to 12:30pm. The Friday community #puppets4peace parade is from 4pm-5pm.

On Sunday January 12th 4pm at the Imiloa Astronomy Center, there is a film festival that includes several short films about Big Island Waiver participants and their empowered lives!

Please share this with your network. Mahalo for supporting inclusion in the arts on Hawai’i Island!

Full Life’s collaboration with Abled Hawai’i Artists (AHA808) and a variety of community organizations that believe communities are stronger when we empower all our members, whatever their abilities are: #renaissanceofinclusion

#fullifehi #ahaarts808 #renaissanceofinclusion