More Programs and Services
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”
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”
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”
Mobility Assistance for People Who Are Blind
We have restricted funds through the Cox Estate Bequest that allows us to purchase wheelchairs for persons of any age who are legally blind, and to help persons who are legally blind with certain costs associated with obtaining a guide dog or assistance dog. The Cox Bequest purchases individualized products and services based on the consumer’s needs.
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”
Rights and Responsibilities
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.
Community Advocacy Training
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. They will also learn how to get involved in the legislative process in order to create change.
“I have gained confidence and self-advocacy skills from the legislative intern 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”
FREE Amplified Phones
We are a selection center for the Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation (ITAC) amplified phone program. You must complete an application and be a resident of Illinois, have a hearing loss (your physician or audiologist will need to certify your hearing loss), and provide proof of phone service (landline and/or cellular). Call us to learn more or to get an application to begin the process. You can also visit ITAC’s website for more information.
“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!”
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.
Durable Medical Equipment Loan
We loan certain durable medical equipment free of charge for up to 90 days. Equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis; you can call ahead to reserve equipment for same-day pickup. The majority of the equipment available for loan is donated to the Center. Below is a list of equipment that we will accept as donations and hopefully have available for loan when you need it. Please note: equipment available may not look exactly like what is pictured and our inventory of items varies on a daily basis.
“This service is so appreciated. I didn’t have to purchase items that I would only need while recovering from surgery.”