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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.

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Tis the Season to Walk, Run and Wheel for Charity

There are about 15 weekends every summer that can be used for outdoors fundraising events that benefit the disability community.  These include fairs, 5Ks and more.   These events are wonderful community builders as they raise vital funds for programs.   TheNemoNews is creating a ‘master list’ of summer events, so that any supporter, athlete or outdoors person can easily find a way to  have fun and do good in our area.

To get on the list, fill out the following form

If you have questions, contact

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Rivkin Law Offers Discounted Supplemental Needs Planning Session — Feb 2

The next information session for the Discounted Supplemental Needs Planning Program (DSNP) will take place Saturday, February 2, 2013 from 9:30-11:30am at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, 30 Riverwoods Rd, Lincolnshire.  This is an in-depth presentation that discusses estate planning for families with children with special needs. The program is free and limited to 12 families.  For more information click here. 

The DSNP program  is offered by Rivkin & Rivkin (a law firm specializing in estate planning and special needs planning). will offer low-cost legal planning for a limited number of eligible families that qualify for the services.  The planning services can include special needs trusts, simple wills, and power of attorney documents.

To participate in DSNP, the families need to be Illinois residents, have relatively modest assets, have not yet done estate or supplemental needs planning, and believe that the actual cost of such legal services would be a significant burden to their family.   Each candidate family will need to attend an education session and, if they opt to participate, complete materials online.

“We know that there are many parents in the area who face the many challenges of raising a child with special needs.  One of those challenges is obtaining a simple, but high-quality, estate plan that provides for their family – including protecting public benefits eligibility for a child who currently, or might one day, qualify for such benefits.  Our firm is committed to improving the quality and affordability of this planning, and we are excited about the opportunity to assist some of these families through our DNSP program.”  -according to Denise Kaplan of Rivkin & Rivkin, LLC.

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Nemo News at Parents’ Meeting — YL Capernaum

Mary Curran Rhodes, publisher of The Nemo News will speak at the next Parent Meeting of Young Life Capernaum, on Friday, January 25, 2013 from 6:30-7:30pm.  There will be a demonstration of the website and a discussion about improving communications in Lake County.   It will take place at the United Methodist Church of Libertyville, 429 Brainerd Avenue.

Young Life Capernaum is an interdenominational Christian social group with transition age (14-25) individuals with special needs.   Parents meet separately at the same time.  The Libertyville group began last fall.  For more information about Young Life Capernaum or the parent’s group contact Tasha Taylor, , 847-735-9595


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Patrick Schwarz to Speak at Therapeutic Links

give_him_the_whale_hDr. Patrick Schwarz will speak at Therapeutic Links  (15 Commerce Drive, Suite 111) in Grayslake on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 7:30pm.    He is an expert in the areas of autism,  inclusive teaching and human services.  Teachers, parents, and other professionals are encouraged to attend the session.  There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration is encouraged.   To reserve your spot, please contact Sharon at (847) 548-3458 by January 14th  or email Continue Reading →

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Grinch Steals Christmas! Not. SRACLC

Cast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The people were seated,
The lights now were dim,
The curtain came open,
Twas time to begin.

With walkers before them,
With chairs and their aide,
The lines they had learned,
And backdrops they made.

With memories true,
Applause in their heart,
These ShowStopper actors,
Brought joy with their art.

That Grinch who stole Christmas,
Just couldn’t stay mean,
With dancing and singing
For all to be seen.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas was put on by the Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County, (SRACLC) and performed on December 5 at the Sullivan Center in Vernon Hills.  It featured over 25 participants in the ShowStoppers program who prepared 13 weeks for the production.  It was produced and directed by Cassie Newton.  They are producing Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory  in the spring.

For more information on ShowStoppers contact Cassie Newton at SRACLC,  (847) 816-4866,

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200+ Attend Legislative Breakfast

Undeterred by a foggy Monday morning, over 200 people attended the 6th Biennial Legislative Breakfast on December 3, 2012 at the Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling.  They welcomed legislators, legislator-elects,  and their representatives from 13 districts.  The Breakfast was sponsored by the North/Northwest Cook County and Lake County Work Group.  The legislators attending are listed below.


Senator Daniel Biss – District 9
Rep. Scott Drury
– District 58
Dan Krucek, Aide to Senator Dan Duffy – District 26
Rep. Laura Fine – District 17
Rep. David Harris – District 53
Jamie Morrison, Aide to Senator Dan Kowtowski – District 28 and Intern Andrew Gomberg
Lindy Mika, Aide to Senator Terry Link – District 30
Timothy Graham, Aide to Rep. Rita Mayfield – District 60
Senator Julie Morrison – District 58
Alicia Krippinger, Aide to Senator Matt Murphy – District 27
Brian Koppe, Aide to Rep.Carol Sente – District 59
Rep Tom Morrison – District 54 and Aide Joy Wolfe
Rep. Sam Yingling – District 62

Each legislator received an informational notebook and was invited to participate in the North/Northwest Cook County and Lake County Work Group.  The work group  is comprised of parents, consumers, providers, legislators, government agencies and schools addressing the needs of  individuals with developmental disabilities.  The meet monthly to share information addressing common concerns.

Joanell Voight, President/CEO of Community Alternatives Unlimited welcomed the attendees with the theme “Help Move Us Forward:  Make Us a Priority”.  Sandra Loebe Stoken congratulated the legislators and newly elected legislators as she highlighted the opportunities they have to bring our community of people with disabilities into a brighter and more sustaining future.     Ed McManus, Consultant, Developmental Disability Consultants, described legislative  issues that concern the Work Group, and Helen Kauffman described how legislators can best work with those in the developmentally delayed constituency.

Attendees were greeted by Special Olympians from the Libertyville Stars Swim Team and Horsefeathers Therapeutic Riding.  Other consumers from NSSED, SEDOL ,Glenkirk and other organizations welcomed attendees to the event.  Also in attendance were many primary consumers who live, work, and vote in their local communities.

For more information about the Work Group contact Elizabeth Ramos, Community Alternatives United (CAU), 773-867-4159,


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LCCIL Annual Meeting Celebrates Volunteers

The Annual Meeting of the Lake County Center for Independent Living (LCCIL) took place on November 29, 2012 at the United Methodist Church in Libertyville.  The new Board of Directors was introduced and key accomplishments of the previous year were highlighted.  About 100 consumers, family members, elected officials and others attended.

Three awards were given in three categories.  The Volunteer of the Year named was David Barcal, who accepted his award by phone since he was in Missouri.  The Community Excellence Award went to Grant Township Center, in honor of their new ADA playground.  It was affectionately called the “Field of Dreams” following much fundraising and volunteer effort.  Supervisor Kay Starostovic accepted the award for the Township.    The final award, the Ed Roberts award went to Chris Hradisky.  The Ed Roberts award is named after the “Father of Independent Living”.  Click on the website for more info.

To become a member of the LCCIL, or or more information contact them at 847-949-4440.


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DACA Application Workshops Scheduled

A series of  hands-on workshops to help youthful  immigrants apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status are scheduled in the Lake County Area.   The Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) will co-sponsor one of these workshops on Thursday, December 13 from 5:00pm – 9:30pm for their families.   These workshops are co-sponsored by the Northern Alliance for Immigrants (whose website is under development.)  They are affiliated with the DREAM Relief project.

Applicants attending the  workshops should bring the set of documents that are detailed on the flyer below to the session.   There will be  translators and attorneys who will help them assemble the application packet. (Bennu Legal Services is a co-sponsor.)    There is a request for a $5 donation for materials.  Some applicants may retain attorneys for a fee ranging from $100-$200.

These workshops were established after a similar program at Navy Pier turned away thousands of individuals who came to apply for DACA status.   It was determined that the resources needed to help these young people in Lake and other northern counties are very limited.  The Northern Alliance for Immigrants stepped in to organize workshops in Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kenosha, and other areas.  A list of workshops in the northern counties can be found here.

Young people who came to the United States as children with their parents were directly affected by President Obama’s Executive Order the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.   There are a number of requirements to meet before applying.  The application is extensive and is renewable every 2 years.  Approved individuals get work permits, social security numbers and qualify for drivers licenses.  They become non-deportable.   Approval allows young immigrants  to continue with college and employment.   DACA brochure is here.     DACA webpage is here.

The SEDOL event on December 13, 2012 will accept only the first 100 participants and no one will be admitted after 6:30pm.   To pre-register go to  For more information contact Priscilla Cuba,, 847-548-2577, ext. 36.

For information about the DACA workshops contact, The Northern Alliance for Immigrants, Graciela Contreras, Executive Director , 847-514-6558,  Other upcoming workshops are shown below.  Click on the image to enlarge it.



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Holiday Hearts Appeal — NorthPointe Resources

The Annual Holiday Hearts Appeal has begun at NorthPointe Resources in Zion.   The Appeal provides opportunities for donors to support individuals and programs at NorthPointe in a variety of ways.   These include:  providing gifts for individuals, sponsoring the annual holiday party, generalized support and volunteering with NorthPointe.

Holiday Gift giving can be done on a personalized or general basis.  Often this holiday gift is the only gift the individual receives in a year.  Many consumers no longer have family supports and most have extremely limited social support circles.  Donors preferring that “personal touch” can receive an individual’s wishlist from NorthPointe and select a gift specifically for that person.

Alternately, $25 gift cards from a variety of stores are welcome.  At this writing, NorthPointe is short 45 gift cards.  Anyone wishing to donate a card may send it directly to Lisa Cummings at the address shown below. (See the flyer *below* for suggestions.)

Gift receipt is requested by December 14th in order to be ready for the Holiday Party.

The Holiday Hearts Party for NorthPointe consumers (clients) will be held on December 21.  A variety of sponsorship levels are available and they are recruiting volunteer elves to pass out gifts.

Finally the Holiday Hearts Appeal renews its request for donations and volunteers year round to support programs that are underfunded, and further weakened by the slow payment predicament we have in the State of Illinois.

NorthPointe Resources provides a full range of services for individuals with developmental disability and/or Mental Illnesses.  These services include Residential Services (full-time and intermittent), Vocational Services and Business Services.   Northpointe is a 501(c)(3) organization and contributions are tax-deductible.

For more information on NorthPointe and the Holiday Hearts Appeal contact Lisa Cummings,, 847-731-5708.  Mail gift cards to her attention at NorthPointe Resources, 3441 Sheridan Road  Zion, IL 60099.  Click on the images below to enlarge the page.




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