Quality Mall aimed at people with disabilities

QualityMall.org collects and disseminates information related to or useful in promoting quality of life for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

It is not a retailer or vendor of products or services but uses the theme of a shopping mall to help connect visitors to the best products and services available. People involved with, experienced with or simply aware of such services are invited to visit QualityMall.org, shop the many “stores,” and make recommendations for new products and services.

How Quality Mall .org Works

Quality Mall

John Smith of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration
represented qualitymall.org at a recent TASH convention. Photo courtesy of
QualityMall.

Stores at QualityMall.org represent broad topic areas while departments provide more specific descriptions of available products and services. The Family Place store, for example, is divided into the departments on Family Support and Respite, Family Advocacy, Whole Families, Financial and Estate Planning, New Parents,  and Parents with Disabilities.

Products represent efforts to enhance the quality of life for persons with disabilities and may be exemplary programs, publications, video and sound recordings, training curriculum, CD ROMs or websites. Product pages contain detailed descriptions, contact information, and web links. Managers at both the store and department levels — national experts in their areas — ensure the best and most comprehensive array of products is listed and maintained.

Other components of the mall include the Quality Cinema, where users can view video clips, slide shows and interactive presentations; the News Stand, where breaking information regarding quality in services to people with disabilities will be posted; and The Coffee Shop, which features bulletin boards and live chats on issues in person-centered services.

The “mall” is a metaphor with two meanings. The first is the idea of a single place where you can find just about anything you are looking for, like the conventional suburban shopping center.

The older meaning of a mall is a public gathering place. QualityMall.org satisfies both meanings, using the latest technological innovations to make new ideas and information more visible, accessible and understandable, while encouraging full participation from its users.

QualityMall.org was developed by the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration, the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services and Human Services Research Institute. It receives its primary funding through a grant from the federal Administration on Developmental Disabilities.

Visit the site, qualitymall.org.

 

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