Archive | Post Transition RSS feed for this section

Your Own Home: Local Discussions May 28, June 18

Finding desirable housing for our adult children remains one of the most intractable problems we face as parents.  Recent IPADD discussions have highlighted concerns around the PUNS selections and lack of CILA options, with many families selecting home-based care instead.  This, of course, works fine in the short term, but at some point the vast majority of our children will need independent housing with some level of support.  We really can’t afford to give up.

Providers are also frustrated.  Impeded by slow state payment and absent financing for new facilities they cannot serve their missions.  Many would like to develop housing to serve this pressing need.  And parents-providers face a torrent of red tape and frustration when they try to fill the gap.  In short, housing for the developmentally disabled is a mess in our state.  But we really can’t afford to give up.

The Illinois Council on Developmental Disability (ICDD) is working with CSH to sponsor a series of meetings to discuss housing throughout the state.  As they seek to develop a report on the state of DD housing in Illinois, CSH asks us the following “What would your life be like if you had your own home?”  Findings from these meetings will be reported to ICDD and may well form the foundation for developing solutions.   CSH is a well-qualified partner with a history of addressing housing needs among those in need, such as the homeless and veterans.

This article highlights the upcoming discussions scheduled in Lake County and McHenry County.  The Lake County discussions are at Protected Tomorrows on May 28.  One is at 10am and the other at 6pm.  The McHenry County meetings are on June 18, also 10am and 6pm. (Other meetings are scheduled around the state, and they are listed on the ICDD website.)

In order to stimulate participation in these important discussions, I have created a little website for Lake and McHenry Counties.  It contains links to the event flyers, sponsors, registration, and some background papers for those who are interested.  The website is

Please pass this along to anyone who will find this of interest.   I hope you will participate in a session.  We really can’t afford to give up on housing.


Comments { 0 }

Entrepreneurship Program — Open House August 27

word cloudEntrepreneurs with disabilities are about to get a helping hand.  The College of Lake County Personal Success Program (CLC-PSP) is about to offer a series of two classes aimed at teaching entrepreneurship skills.  The first class is “Introduction to Entrepreneurship”.  It is followed by “Business Plan Writing”.  Each class costs $350.  There will be an open house dealing specifically with the Entrepreneurship series on August 27, 2013, at the Grayslake Campus of CLC, from 6-8pm.  Pre-registration is encouraged.

A business plan is central to developing an enterprise that actually makes money and can be taken seriously by others.  Investors and customers like tangible evidence a business has been thought through – a business plan does that.   This class is different from others because  that it targets the needs of entrepreneurs with disabilities.  It addresses customized self-employment, micro-enterprise and other topics that are specific to disability.

In addition, students in the entrepreneurship class will be encouraged to bring a mentor along as a class participant, perhaps a parent.  This individual is likely to assist with the creation of the enterprise and remain committed to its success.   The attendance of two individuals is covered in the fee, in recognition of the need for committed partners.

This self-employment program came together whan a group of like-minded agencies and individuals came together to explore options.  Dubbed The Lake County Area Entrepreneurship Initiative (LCAEI), the principal organizing agencies include: the College of Lake County (CLC), the Illinois Association of Microboards and Cooperatives (IAMC) , the Lake County Center for Independent Living (LCCIL),   the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL),,  The University of Illinois at Chicago and Vocational Rehabilitation.

The initiative was sparked by the efforts of Dr. Fabricio Balcazar at UIC.  He is working with federal and state agencies to develop other such projects in the Chicago area.

The initiative is expected to announce other activities that are currently in the planning stages.  For more information,  contact the project coordinator,  Mary Curran Rhodes at



Comments { 0 }

Personal Success @ CLC — Open House August 12, 2013

Did you know that the College of Lake County offers a variety of classes to train adults with intellectual disabilities for entry-level employment?  This innovative and growing program is called the Personal Success Program.  These non-credit classes are offered in Career Exploration, Childcare, Food Service, Keyboarding and Pet Care.  New classes have been added this year in Cashiering, Entrepreneurship and Computer Skills for the Workplace.  (Watch for more exciting news about the Entrepreneurship Program.)  Tuition ranges from $350 to $425 per course.

CLC is hosting an Open House for those interested on Monday, August 12, 2013 from 6-8pm at the Vernon Hills Campus.  There will be presentations and a chance to meet the instructors.  Preregistration in encouraged.  Last spring the Open House was standing room only.

Many of the classes are team-taught by a content area instructor and a special education instructor.  These classes are targeted at adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, but are open to the public.  Prior to admission, students interview with the Program Director, Michael Garamoni, or (847) 543-2994.   Contact him for more information.

Comments { 0 }

Disability Pride Parade: Get on the LCCIL Bus!

general parade logoExcitement is growing for the 10th Annual Disability Pride Parade in downtown Chicago.  Activities begin at 9am and the parade starts at 11.  There will be booths, entertainment and presentations.  Lake County-ers who want to attend the Parade can take the bus sponsored by the Lake County Center for Independent Living.  The bus leaves the LCCIL office at 8 and will return about 3.  To reserve your spot contact Matt at 847-949-4440, ext. 215, email:

Are you wondering about the parade itself?  According to the event website:

The overall mission of the Disability Pride Parade is:

  • To change the way people think about and define “disability”;
  • To break down and end the internalized shame among people with Disabilities; and
  • To promote the belief in society that Disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with Disabilities can take pride.

Visit the website at:  


Comments { 0 }

Entrepreneurial Jump Start on Saturday, June 8, 2013

JumpStart_FlyerChicagoland entrepreneurs (and wanna-bees) with Disabilities will gather this Saturday, June 8 for a day of education, networking and information.  Titled the “Entrepreneurial Jump Start” it will take place downtown at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education  (ICRE), 1950 W Roosevelt from 10am – 5pm, near UIC.

The fair will feature workshops, success stories, panels, booths and vendors.  In addition, it will mark the grand re-opening of their Artfully Gifted Retail Center — an consignment outlet for qualified business owners.

TheNemoNews recently toured the ICRE operation and was impressed by the vision and implementation of their goals and operations to promote entrepreneurship among those with disabilities.

For more information about the Entrepreneurial Jump Start contact Therese Manderino, Superintendent of the ICRE at, 312-433-3121.


Comments { 0 }

Back to the Future

Back in the 1950′s many parents of children with disabilities did not like the options they were offered with regard to the care and training of their children with disabilities.   Institutionalization, dependency and separation were not acceptable options to these parents.  So some parents came together and acted to create new solutions that suited their children and families better.  They forged paths in a new territory.  We now benefit from their efforts.

Eventually these parent-initiated organizations became the institutions and agencies we now know and use — Countryside Association, Avenues to Independence and The ARC of Illinois, to name a few. (Betcha several of your agencies began about the same time, prompted by activist parents.)   I can’t help but think that parents are in the same position now — operating with lousy information, shrinking resources, and unclear objectives.  We’re battling higher prevalence of disability, higher expectations for quality of life, smaller family support systems, reduced budgets and so on.  We need new options, new solutions.

Coming together is not easy these days.  Everyone works too hard, if they are lucky enough to have a job.  Privacy laws that are meant to protect us inadvertently keep us apart.  Families are scattered and mobile.  Each of our children is distinctly different from the other — one program does not fit all of us.

And the you-know-what doesn’t really hit the fan until the child in question turns 22.   That’s when the educational system withdraws its support, even if the Educators don’t  want to.   This is an age when many parents withdraw from their children’s lives in the interest of their independence, but we as parents of a young person with a disability are asked to become more involved.  This is because the teachers are gone, the remaining services are fractured, fear of rationing prompts us to withhold information from each other, and we are placed on waiting lists 10+ years  long. Who honestly thinks our disabled child can navigate this maze without help?   A lot of us need new solutions.

A central interest of was to improve the odds of coming together to improve lives by providing information of interest within a specific geographic area (Lake County Area).  We hope to better inform those in need.  We hope to stimulate conversation, creativity and solutions.  We hope to help catalyze a new solutions group.

Please subscribe directly to to get new posts directly and become part of the group.  You can do so here. or email



Comments { 1 }

Federal Partners in Transition eDiscussion til May 27

Have you ever thought that there was a better way to do things?  Have you ever wished you could talk to somebody important enough to act on your ideas?  Or maybe just listen to your ideas?  Here’s your chance.  There is an online discussion taking place the next two weeks (May 13-27).  Representatives of the Department of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration (Federal Partners in Transition)   are hosting this discussion and asking the following question:

What legislative and regulatory changes need to happen to effectively implement employment, education, health and human and social security services for youth and young adults with disabilities under public law?

It is a “crowd-sourced” discussion.  Individuals and agencies present their ideas and the rest of us vote their ideas up and down.  In this way, the “cream” of ideas rise to the top.  There were over 100 ideas within 24 hours, and the top idea (with 54 votes) was to eliminate waiting lists.  (Nemo votes for that!)

Participants need to register in order to participate.  In order to participate go to:  In addition, we asked one author a question about their particular idea, and have received half a dozen responses from participants so far.  So Nemo won’t be asking a lot of idle questions…LOL.

Nemo has noted that some ideas on the website are poorly written and difficult to understand.  Some are pure jargon.  A participant might want to draft an idea and have someone else read it before posting.  Otherwise your great idea could be lost in the mix if it is unclear.   And we don’t want that to happen!


Comments { 0 }

IEP Boot Camp at LCCIL: High School

No two IEPs are the same, not even for the same child.  And IEPs for high school and transition students are different from elementary aged IEPs.  At a certain age, independence, transportation and employment take on more importance than the 3Rs.  As parents and students we are often baffled about the issues and options.  And where does the IEP fit into that?

The Lake County Center for Independent Living is offering a “IEP Summer BootCamp for Parents” in June that is focused on the high school and transition needs of students and families.  Parents will meet on June 4, 11, and 18 to share experiences and learn about IEPs in the teenage years.  Other particulars are still being worked out.  It would be a good time to express your interest in the workshops.

For more information on the IEP Bootcamp contact Shanta Frierson, 847-949-4440,

Comments { 0 }

Round Lake Parent Connection April 10

Round Lake Ap 10

Scott Nixon from Life’s Plan, Inc. will discuss Special Needs Trusts at Round Lake High School next week.  The meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 from 6:30pm-8pm . It will be held at the Round Lake High School Commons.  Attendees are advised to enter through door #29 after 7pm.  (Door #1 will be open until 7pm.)

There will be activities for students who attend.  Parents are welcome to bring a treat to share.  Y se hablan Espanol alla.

The Parent Connections program reaches out to parents and students in ELS (Educational Life Skills), LOP (Learning Opportunities Program), COP (Career Opportunities Program) and other classrooms in the Round Lake area with a special emphasis on middle and high school.  For more information, contact Cindy Josefson, 847-546-7539 or Monica Young, 847-740-3314.

Comments { 0 }

Options Transition Fair at CLC on April 16

Options 2013 FlyerThe 2013 Options Transition Fair will be held on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 from 6-8pm a the College of Lake County.   The Fair features booths and workshops of interest to transition aged  individuals with disabilities, community and education professionals and families/caregivers.    It focuses on Lake County Area resources.   The website is

Last year there were over 50 booths representing education, employment, vocational and day programs, government programs,  health services, recreational opportunities, referral sources and information, residential programs, transportation resources, vocational programs and trade schools.  A directory of booths and other services will be available on the website after the Fair.

Speakers include Cassie Diaz-Bello, Joy Bux and Priscilla Cuba from SEDOL.   They will present  “Checklist for life,”  a discussion of the many elements involved in transition planning.    “Work Rights Under the ADA” will be offered by Jessica Madrigal, Great Lakes ADA Center.  In addition , Joe Chiappetta, Director of Workforce Development, will discuss “Disabilityworks”, a project of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Those who have attended the Fair before should note that it will be held in a different building  this year — in the Lower Level C Wing Conference Center.  Parking is available in lots 4, 5, 6, 7 and 7A.

Sponsoring organizations include Adlai Stevenson High School, Barrington High School, College of Lake County, Deerfield/Highland Park High Schools, Glenbrook High Schools, Lake County Center for Independent Living, Libertyville/Vernon Hills High Schools, New Connection Academy, Special Education District of Lake County, and Waukegan High School/SEPTAC.

For more information contact Karen Adams at the CLC Office for Students with Disabilities at (847) 543-2454.

Comments { 1 }

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: