July 17, 2017


Normal, IL – Laura Furlong today announced that Marcfirst has been awarded the four-year Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. This award confirms that the organization embraces person-centered solutions to improve the quality of life for people receiving supports and services.

Marcfirst supports over 800 children, families and adults with developmental disabilities in McLean County through a lifetime of meaningful supports. Marcfirst’s vision is to become a bridge to a community where all people can pursue and achieve their dreams throughout their lives.

The SPICE (Services for Parent, Infant, Child Education) Program supports children and families with developmental disabilities or delays from birth to 14 years. The High School Transition program works with students as they begin their next journey after high school. Supported Employment currently has over 100 people employed in the community and continues to grow thanks to community partners. Besides working in their community, adults have the opportunity to live in their community in one of 10 residential homes.

“It has been a meaningful journey to challenge our organization to be person-centered in all that we do in our community,” CEO Laura Furlong said. “This focus allows Marcfirst to compare our outcomes not only within the state but also on a national level. We appreciate people receiving services, families employees, volunteers, board members, employers and community partners coming together to make this CQL accreditation a success!”

When Marcfirst partnered with CQL to pursue accreditation, it undertook a rigorous process to review and improve supports and services. The efforts of Marcfirst were focused on empowering the people who receive supports to pursue what really matters in their lives, and achieve their personally-defined outcomes.

Marcfirst has been awarded CQL accreditation as a result of demonstrating proficiency in the following areas:

  • Basic Assurances® Ensuring fundamental safeguards related to health, safety and human security
  • Personal Outcome Measures® Supporting and empowering people to achieve their goals and dreams
  • Person-Centered Excellence Demonstrating organizational commitment to continued enhancement of systems

“CQL commends Marcfirst for its success in increasing the quality of life for the people it supports. We are pleased to partner with them on this journey of ongoing organizational transformation,” states Mary Kay Rizzolo, president and CEO of CQL.


CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership is an international non-profit, virtual organization dedicated to the definition, measurement and improvement of personal quality of life. CQL’s vision is a world of dignity, opportunity and community for all people. Learn more about CQL by visiting:

Marcfirst’s mission is to connect families and people with developmental disabilities to their community through a lifetime of meaningful supports in order to reach their full potential. Marcfirst envisions a community that encourages and accepts all people.