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LCCIL Annual Meeting November 29

The Lake County Center for Independent Living will hold its Annual Meeting and Holiday Party on Thursday, November 29, 2012 from 5:30pm – 7pm.  It will be held at the United Methodist Church of Libertyville, 429 Brainerd Avenue, Libertyville.  Light refreshments will be served.

At the meeting, staff and members will share their successes plans with those in attendance.  The LCCIL is a resource for individuals with disabilities in Lake County.   The following is from their website – Strategic Plan 2009-2014.

LCCIL’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to lead self-directed lives as valued members of the community.

We accomplish this through Advocacy, skills training, Peer Mentoring and Information and Referral throughout Lake County.

A review of last year’s meeting is here.

For information contact Kaja at 847-949-4440, x 217,

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Zumba for Special Needs at Protected Tomorrows

Protected Tomorrows Zumba ClassEven those who hate to exercise might have tried  Zumba.  This is a dance fitness program involving tons of lively international music.   It is rigorous, social and most people say it is  fun.  It is also a form of exercise that doesn’t attract droves of people with special needs.  To address this need, Protected Tomorrows is initiating a seven-week Zumba class that is specifically for those with special needs.

The class begins on November 7, from 5:30-6:15pm and continues every Wednesday for 7 weeks.  The class will be in the Protected Tomorrows Training Center at 103 Schelter Rd, Lincolnshire.  Family and friends are welcome.  Participants must be at least 15 years of age.  Donations are welcome.  These will benefit the Protected Tomorrows Transform U initiative.

If you want more information contact Teri Bodeman, 847-522-8086,

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Halloween Costumes and Ideas

Costumes for individuals using wheelchairs, or those with sensory issues can be challenging to create.  Below are a couple of ideas that might inspire you and make your Halloween more fun!

One Place for Special Needs has a great page of ideas to share.  This Naperville-based company is a rich resource for many concerns.   Several of the links below come from their newsletter.

Pictures of costumes with wheels are here.    Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation also have ideas.

Wendy on Wheels is also sharing great costume ideas. 

Pictures of costumes fitting those with sensory issues are here.

Blogger Hartley Steiner has a great discussion of how she prepares for Halloween with her kids

Readers are invited to post pictures or links to websites about costumes and Halloween in the comments section below.



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377 Board Initiative in McHenry County

About 25 people  attended a Developmental Disability Task Force meeting on September 19 at the Shah Center in McHenry.   They learned about  a county-wide initiative to create a 377 Board to support the unmet needs of the estimated 5200 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.   This initiative would involve a referendum on the Spring 2013 ballot in McHenry County.

Organizers pointed out that less than one fifth of developmentally disabled individuals currently receive services.   Long-term unmet needs include housing, transportation, life skills supervision, and other services.    Housing is of particular concern, mirroring the state shortage of disabled housing.  Currently, many individuals with developmental disabilities must move away from family and social supports in order to find housing at all.  With the aging of parents, their need for assistance is expected to grow.

Concerned individuals are now contacting members of the McHenry County Board to ask them to approve placement of a referendum on the Spring 2013 Ballot.   The deadline to obtain approval for ballot placement is October 16, 2012.

McHenry is not the first county in Illinois to pursue this kind of board.  Champaign County,  Illinois  has a 377 Board that has operated for several years.  The Board Members are listed here.

For more information on the McHenry initiative contact Options and Advocacy, 815-477-4720.

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Extreme Recess: A Review

The Nemo News visited the Extreme Recess held at Twin Lakes, WI late in the day on Monday, July 30.  We were impressed with the operation.  Now that we have a better idea of what to expect, we will try to attend the event next year.    As we entered, we noticed that a bus from Shriner’s Children’s Hospital was leaving.   I have attached several pictures for your review.

Sponsored by Dreams for Kids, the aquatic event had a lot of great features.  First there was a lovely sheltered beach for simple water play in the lake.  Second, there was shade for those of us who don’t like the sun or sunburns.  Third, there were bouncy houses (one with water) for the kids who wanted to play.  Next, there was a food table (we missed lunch), and snow cones and cotton candy.  Moreover there was a real bathroom open for use.  They thought of everything!

Yet the water-skiing events gathered most of our attention for several reasons.  Initially, we had to get over the challenging idea that our kids could water ski at all.  Wasn’t that dangerous?  Wasn’t it scary?  So I got in a little closer.  There were two brawny men standing in the water by the dock loading up the kids on specialized skiiing devices.   Volunteers on the dock  had a full array of skis for individuals of every size and ability, from tubes to hammock types, one bladers and three-bladers.   We had never thought of this kind of adaptive equipment.   Our child was offered a volunteer peer buddy to help overcome fear.

After hooking up the child/children, a jet ski came to the side, somewhat behind the boat and they took off.  The jet ski riders were responsible for monitoring the safety of the child in the water.  All together,  they seemed to take some longish rides quite safely.    It was simply magnificent to behold the exhilaration of the riders who finished a ride.

As i left, I talked to event organizers.  They said they had to scale down the event from two days to one day because of a lack of sponsors to cover costs.  They indicated that the insurance costs alone were daunting.  Hopefully, next year they will have the resources they need to conduct the full-scale event they planned.  They were well organized, friendly, and provided our kids (and their folks) with a unique, fun, challenging and safe experience.

For more information contact: David Bromley at or call 1-312-729-5404 and ask for Shelly.

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Rally for Autism 5K on August 11

The 10th Annual Lake County Rally for Autism is scheduled for August 11, 2011.  It will be held at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville, IL.  The Rally features a 5K run or walk, in a family-fair type atmosphere.  The race begins at 9am, but activities begin earlier in the morning.   The race is CARA certified (Chicago Area Runners Association) and registration fees range from $15 to $25.   Register here.

Lake County Chapter of the Autism Society of Illinois, organizers of the event, anticipate 700-800 participants in this year’s race.  They are still recruiting volunteers for the day’s events.   Other events include Pre-Post Race stretching by Fitness Together, an Autism Resource Tent, and a Fun Fair by FUN Services Inc.  Families are encouraged to spend time using the Independence Grove Facilities.  Pets other than service dogs are not allowed in the park.

For more information on the race or to volunteer, contact Eric Smith,, 847-543-4502.


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Autism Awareness Day at Six Flags on Saturday, July 28

The third annual Autism Awareness Day at Six Flags will take place on Saturday, July 28.  It is sponsored by the Autism Society of Illinois.  Reduced admission of $29.00 is available to participants who pre-register and pay online and use the promo code AUTISM. Details are here.

There will be a quiet area near the Wilderness Theatre for those who wish to use it.  In addition, the Chicago Children’s Theatre Red Kite Project will provide an interactive, multi-sensory performance in the Wilderness Theatre.

For more information go to the website:

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“Extreme Recess” for Kids

“Extreme Recess” is an aquatic event for kids with disabilities and their families.  It will feature swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, tube and jet ski rides, water slides, a jumpy castle, beach games.  All water sports are adapted for wheel chairs.  It will take place on July 30 and 31 at 220 Lance Drive, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.  It is sponsored by Dreams for Kids, a Chicago-based non-profit.

Tickets are $10 per participant and $5 per family non-participant. The fee includes lunch, a Dreams for Kids book and participation in all activities except water skiing.   All water ski participants will pay an $7 additional to join USA Ski on site.  Instructors, equipment, food & beverages will be provided.

This event has limited enrollment an fills up very fast.  To register go to EventBrite.  For more information contact David Bromley at or call 1-312-729-5404 and ask for Shelly.

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July 4th “Rest Stop” at Great Lakes Naval Station

Click to Enlarge

This year there will be a “Rest Stop” for families with special needs at the Naval Station Great Lakes 4th of July Celebration.  The Rest Stop is designed as a place to get out of the sun, take meds, get info and connect with other Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) families.

The public is invited to the annual celebration  that features a craft show, a carnival, a 5K run, fireworks, bingo and more.  The website has a detailed description and directions and an FAQ.   Check out the Facebook page as well.

“This is the first year that EFMP will have a tent for families with Special Needs.”, said Sally Tilli, Program Liaison.  “We are hoping that more families will be able to attend because of this support service.  And we’re expecting a really good time!”.

For more information contact Chris Mohr at or Salli Tilli at 847-688-3603, x 119,


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Special Olympics State Includes Lake, McHenry Athletes

Next weekend Lake and McHenry Counties will be well represented at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Normal.  Top regional athletes from several teams will compete in events at Illinois State University.

Aquatics — Individual and relay events
Independent Fox Lake, Lamb’s Farm, Libertyville Stars, Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association, Warren Special Recreation Association

Bocce Ball — Traditional and Unified
Lamb’s Farm, SEDOL, Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County, Special Recreation Services of North Lake County, Vernon Hills, School District, Warren Special Recreation Association

Gymnastics — Bars, Vault, Floor Exercise, Rings, Balance Beam and Rhythmic Gymnastics
Gymspot Champions, Northern Illinois Special Recreation, Woodstock School District

Power Lifting
Northern Illinois Special Recreation, Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County

Soccer — Individual skills and team play
Northern Illinois SRA, Woodstock School District

Track and Field — Walk, Wheelchair, Run, Shot-put, Long Jump, Ball Throw, Relay
Barrington Broncos, Grayslake Central High School, Jacobs High School, Kiley Center,  Lamb’s Farm, Northern Illinois Special Recreation, Northshore Special Olympics, SEDOL, Special Recreation Services of Northern Lake County, Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County, Vernon Hills, School District, Woodstock School District, Warren Special Recreation Association praises the organizations that field these wonderful teams of athletes.  We further recognize the coaches, volunteers, boosters and families that support them.  We regretfully noted that it was sometimes difficult to locate information on the sponsoring organizations and/or teams.  We would love to see these athletes and teams honored on organization websites by mentioning that they “made State”.

We wish all of these fine athletes well in the competition and are reminded of the Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath  — “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be strong in the attempt.”

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