More Programs and Services

Self-Empowerment

We teach the knowledge and skills that allow individuals with disabilities to empower themselves by understanding their rights and responsibilities and by knowing how to protect those rights.  We teach about the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing, Illinois Human Rights Act, and other laws relating to disability.  We also teach self-advocacy skills and provide individual advocacy assistance when needed.

“Greater independence”

 

Advocating for Accessible Communities

We promote positive social change so that all persons will have equal access and equal opportunity to participate in community life.  We work to increase access to the built environment, transportation, housing, healthcare, communication, assistive technology, education, and employment.  We also work to increase disability awareness and to change attitudes that tend to exclude people with disabilities from full participation in community life.

 “Awareness presentation opened my eyes”

 

Community Reintegration: Getting Out of Nursing Homes

We help eligible persons with disabilities plan and carry out a move from a nursing home to their own home or apartment.  We can pay for certain one-time moving expenses and household goods.  We also connect individuals with other Center services such as independent living skills, peer counseling, advocacy and information and referral.  Anyone aged 18-59 who resides in a nursing facility and meets program criteria may be eligible for this program.

“Had all that I needed when I moved back home”

 

Seniors with Vision Loss

We help seniors 55 or older with severe vision loss maintain independent lifestyles.  We give free low vision aids such as magnifiers, large print calendars, and talking clocks.  We teach sighted-guide techniques and Braille, and suggest small home adaptations for increased safety.

 “I received a large print bible and other large print items, a lighted magnifier, and  sunglasses”

 

Personal Assistant Program: Help at Home

We assist individuals with disabilities to hire, train, and manage personal assistants (PAs) to help with daily tasks as needed to live at home independently.  We refer PAs to be hired and employed by individuals with disabilities.  If you want to work as a PA and be on our referral list, complete our application and attend an orientation.

 “I am able to stay in my own apartment due to having PA’s that are able to help me with maintaining it and myself”

Download Personal Assistant Application

 

Educational Rights and Transitioning

We teach parents of children with disabilities how to advocate for their children’s educational needs and rights. We also provide personal peer mentoring through the educational advocacy process. We help parents understand Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), 504 plans and transition services.

 “Thank you for helping talk with my son’s teachers to get answers and accommodations needed in class.”

 

Public Awareness and Technical Support

We provide disability awareness presentations about disabilities and disability-related issues.  We also provide technical assistance to organizations, local communities, service providers and businesses about how to respond to the needs of employees and customers with disabilities and make their businesses comply with Illinois Accessibility Codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Very thorough, very satisfied”

 

Personal Power and Advocacy

We teach class participants how to take action to advance equal opportunity for all persons with disabilities.  Participants will learn about the disability rights movement, how to find their personal power and voice, as well as practicing how to speak out and make changes that will help all persons with disabilities.  Participants will also learn how they can get involved in the legislative process in order to create change.  Free travel to our state Capitol included.

“I have gained confidence and self-advocacy skills from the legislative intern class”

 

FREE Amplified Phones

We are a selection center for the Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation (ITAC) amplified phone program.  You must be a resident of Illinois, have a hearing loss and have a landline, analog telephone line in your home.  At a selection center, you may test each phone to find out which one works best for you!

If you are interested in receiving an application for a FREE amplified phone, please contact either the Secretary or Office Manager to send you an application.  You can also obtain more information about this program at www.itactty.org.

“I am so grateful to have a phone I can hear on!  I can talk to my children who live out of state whenever I want!  Thank you!”

 

Durable Medical Equipment Loan

We loan certain durable medical equipment free of charge for 3 months:  walkers, wheelchairs, canes, crutches, commodes, raised toilet seats, shower seats, and more.  Equipment is available on a first-come, first-serve basis; you can call ahead to reserve equipment for same-day pickup.  We can also help you find resources to purchase your own equipment.

“This service is so appreciated.  I didn’t have to purchase items that I would only need while recovering from surgery.”

Accommodations Request

If you need a Sign Language interpreter, foreign language interpreter, document translation, or alternative format of text (such as large print, braille, electronic format and/or audio tape), please let a staff member know and it will be provided at no cost to you.

 

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