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Transportation “Listening Session” May 24

Community leTransporationaders hope to hear from citizens about the transportation needs of the disabled and elderly on Thursday, May 24th at 7pm.  This “Listening Session” will be held at Lake Forest High School.  It is one of a series of sessions conducted by the Lake County Center for Independent Living.  Findings from these sessions will be presented to PACE to help address county-wide needs.

This listening session will focus on the needs in the townships of Morraine, West Deerfield, Libertyville, Vernon Hills and Fremont.  A collaborative committee of supervisors and others is currently studying special needs for transportation in those townships.

For more information about the initiative or the meeting contact Laura Mellon, Lake County Center for Independent Living, at 847-949-4440 or

A similar initiative in 2010 was very successful.  It resulted in the “Lake County Northwest Demonstration Dial-a-Ride Project” which provides additional transportation services for a coalition of townships including Antioch, Avon, Grant, and Lake Villa.

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Venture Crews in Lake County

At least two Boy Scout Venture Crews in Lake County have male and female members with special needs.  Venture Crew 273 ( is based in Vernon Hills and has an emphasis on outdoor adventures.  For information, follow the link above or contact Steve Cerve, Crew Advisor,

Horsefeathers Therapeutic Riding Center also sponsors Venture Crew 333. The Crew meets on Sunday afternoons and has a special interest in horsemanship.   For more information contact Nick Coyne,  or Kristi Horowitz at 847 234– 2411,

Boy Scout Venturing is a youth development program for young men and women between 14 and 21.  Individuals with special needs may continue beyond age 21.  Venturing’s purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.

Readers are asked to use the comment section to let others know about any other Venture Crews in the area.


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Young Life Capernaum Information Meeting Planned

Young Life Capernaum is a Christian ministry for teenagers and young adults with disabilities.  A group forming in Lake County will have an informational meeting on Sunday, April 22, from 3-4:30pm at Trinity International University in Deerfield.  The meeting will take place in the Waybright Center Conference Rooms.  Families, individuals, and potential volunteers are invited to attend. There are other Young Life groups in the Lake County area, but this is the first one aiming at the special needs community in Lake County.
From the email:
All of us desire friendship, adventure, purpose, and direction of life. Teens and young adults with disabilities are no different! Our goal for Capernaum in Lake County will be to provide teens and young adults with disabilities the chance to experience growing and fulfilling friendships, to engage in activities that challenge their physical limits, to grow their potential, to explore the relevance of faith in their lives, and to have fun!!
For more information contact Tasha Taylor at 847-735-9595.
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Best Buddies Prom Draws Over 135

The 7th Annual Best Buddies Prom at Vernon Hills High School (VCHS) drew over 135 students from all over the Lake County Area.   VCHS Club members hosted “An Evening with the Stars” according to Karen Martin, school chapter sponsor.   In addition to food, dancing and games they rolled out a red carpet and took pictures of the gala attendees.

Adding to the fun, this year Best Buy donated the use of an XBox and games for the students to use.  Moreover, the Best Buy employee service group also helped conduct the event.

Best Buddies is a national organization that promotes friendship and inclusion between those with disabilities and those without.  Clubs exist at the middle school, high school and college levels.  There are several such clubs in the Lake County area according to Ms. Martin.

For more information contact Karen Martin at 847-932-2121.
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Theology and Disability: ARC Webinar March 29

“The Power of Inclusive Spiritual Supports for People with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities” is the title of a nation-wide webinar sponsored by The Arc on March 29, 2012. The webinar is open to the public — including clergy, service providers and ARC Chapters.  Registration fees vary.

Noting that “For some…faith communities are a pathway to more inclusive and productive lives…”,  speakers Bill Gaventa and Erik Carter will discuss what the growing body of research shows , how to work with congregations of all traditions, and strategies to encourage engagement, even in residential placements..

For more information contact The Arc, 202-534-3707 or


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Creating Options Town Hall Meeting — November 9, 2011

The Mayer Kaplan JCC auditorium was packed for a Town Hall Meeting titled “Creating Housing and Full-Life Options for Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities.”    The meeting was convened by a task force concerned with the unmet needs for housing and community services in the area.   The Task Force principally consists of representatives of the Jewish Federation, Jewish Child & Family Services and Keshet.  In addition to launching a pilot project, they hope to develop a model for other communities to adopt and replicate.

Cathy Ficker-Terrill, CEO of the Institute on Public Policy discussed “How to Get from Here to There?”, a summary of current status, trends and opportunities.  Then she emceed a lengthy question and answer session with the audience.  Members were asked to answer three questions:  1)  What is your dream for the future for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities regarding a sustainable model that would allow them to live withing the community? 2)  What do you consider to be the biggest challenge in creating a sustainable model for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities who wish to live within the community? and 3)  How can you help?

Following the lively discussion, attendees were invited to participate in committees studying services, funding, communications, development, and outreach.

For more information email

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Annual Meeting — Lake County Center for Independent Living

Lake County Center for Independent Living

About 100 individuals with disabilities, service providers, legislators, families and volunteers attended the annual meeting of the Lake County Center for Independent lLiving on November 30, 2011. Program highlights included success in helping 10 individuals move from institutions into the community, offering vocational training to over 90 workers, continued efforts to coordinate and integrate transportation services in Lake County.

The LCCIL also invited attendees to attend the social and support groups for the blind, deaf. They also host a cross-disability support group called Words of Wisdom (WOW).  Those in attendance were invited to become members of the organization.  They announced details on their 2012 Legislative Internship program.

Charlie Pugesef was honored as the volunteer of the year. Following the program, attendees partook of a buffet.

The Lake County Center for Independent Living is part of a state-wide network that promotes independent living through advocacy, mentoring education,and referral. For more invormation visit

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