Community Engagement:A Pathway to Competitive Integrated Employment
The employment of individuals with disabilities benefits our communities and our nation as they maximize their skills and talents and contribute fully to our economy. Individuals with disabilities are often unemployed, underemployed, or employed at low wages because of low expectations.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released A Framework for Community Engagement — A Pathway to Competitive Integrated Employment.
The Framework presents a Federal vision for community engagement by individuals with disabilities to inform policymakers and service providers.
Supported community engagement enables individuals with disabilities to expand skills and experience. The benefits include:
- Building relationships and social networks
- Sharpening workplace skills
- Learning work skills
Community engagement provides meaning and purpose specific to the individual. Examples of community engagement opportunities include:
- Continuing education classes
- Using a computer at a public library
The framework also describes how service systems work together to support community engagement and links to resources for families, young people, and providers.
Review the framework here
Learn more about “competitive integrated employment” here
View the REAL Transition Partners webinar to learn about Individualized Plans for Employment
Are you a parent of a child with a disability or a community member interested in gaining a strong understanding of the special education system? The Parent Advocacy Leadership (PAL) program is a free training series designed to help you navigate the special education process Illinois.
Willing to attend all eight sessions,
Willing to complete pre and post-survey,
Training will cover:
The Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA)
State law (Part 226)
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Current Special Education Issues
Family Resource Center on Disabilities is excited to announce that registration for our Fall PAL
Training Cohort of 2022 is open.
All training will be virtual. The PAL is eight sessions long. Homework is required
and must be completed prior to each session. Participants who complete all eight sessions will receive a Parent Advocacy Leadership Certificate of Completion.
Each training session will be on Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm (excluding holidays) via Zoom Meeting.
The PAL Session Dates Include:
September 10th, September 17th, September 24th, October 1st, October 8th, October 15th, October 22nd, October 29th.
For more information contact Paula Wills at email@example.com or call (312) 939-3513.
The Arc of Illinois Legislative Advocacy Coordinator Do you have a passion for advocating alongside people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Illinois? The Arc of Illinois is looking for a part time Legislative Advocacy Coordinator who is interested in working in the field of disability advocacy, supports, and services. This is a remote position. The Arc of Illinois advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and community organizations to ensure that people with disabilities can live, work, learn, and play in communities across the state. The Arc offers resources and information, supports families in their individual advocacy efforts and trains and educates people with disabilities, families and professionals among other things.
To learn more, please visit our website: www.thearcofil.org Position Summary: The Legislative Advocacy Coordinator is responsible for coordinating legislative advocacy activities under the general direction of the Executive Director of The Arc of Illinois and in conjunction with its lobbyist and Board of Directors.
- Assist in the research and development of policy initiatives to address unmet needs of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in collaboration with The Arc of Illinois Executive Director and Program Directors;
- Coordinate and prepare agendas for the meetings of The Arc of Illinois’s Public Policy Committee in collaboration with the Executive Director, Committee co-chairs and lobbyist as well as attend the committee meetings and prepare meeting notes;
- Prepare or assist in the preparation of fact sheets and other information to support The Arc of Illinois’s position on legislation at the direction of the Executive Director and/or lobbyist;
- Communicate with The Arc of Illinois membership about policy priorities of The Arc in collaboration with the Development Director and the Events and Marketing Coordinator;
- Monitor federal, state and local legislative and policy developments related to intellectual and developmental disabilities in coordination with the Executive Director and lobbyist;
- Schedule meetings with legislators and other public officials as requested by the Executive Director and attend meetings as requested;
- Develop a list of members of The Arc of Illinois throughout the state who are willing to contact their legislators on key issues;
- Secure witness slips and/or oral or written testimony from organizations and individuals for hearings on key legislation as requested by the Executive Director and/or lobbyist;
- Develop or expand functional use of the Illinois General Assembly website (www.ilga.gov) in collaboration with the lobbyist;
- Attend meetings of disability coalitions as directed by the Executive Director;
- Assist in the coordination of legislative advocacy events;
- Participate in advocacy events (e.g., Speak Up and Speak Out Summit and disability awareness events) and
- Other related duties as assigned by the Executive Director. Requirements:
- Must be an Illinois resident;
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in a related field such as public policy or political science;
- Strong interest in developing or expanding legislative advocacy skills;
- Knowledge of the IDD service system in Illinois and nationwide trends in community supports;
- Familiarity with the legislative process in Illinois and a strong interest in learning more;
- Ability to communicate with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families with compassion and respect;
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills (including the ability to distill important issues and explain in plain language);
- Excellent organizational skills; and
- Willing to attend occasional evening and weekend advocacy events as well as occasionally travel as necessary to fulfill job duties. If you are interested in this position, please email your resume to HR@thearcofil.org The Arc of Illinois is an equal opportunity employer.
Survivors of Firearm Violence Resource Project
Are you a firearm survivor with a disability?
Access Living would lie to hear about your experiences!
Gun violence survivors with disabilities are invited to come together and talk about their individual and shared experiences with acquiring a disability through gun violence. These small group sessions meet via Zoom and are led by disabled survivors of gun violence.
Listening Session Dates:
Family Resource Center on Disabilities honors the life and legacy of Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of the PACER Center since 1977. Our deepest condolences go out to her family and the PACER staff.
Her dedication to the empowerment of the disability community was boundless and inspired us all to be change agents for children in the special education system. We are eternally grateful for all that she did and will continue to follow her example. Thank you, Paula! May you rest in power.
Share your memories and stories of Paula by visiting the PACER Center’s In Memoriam pages, at: https://www.pacer.org/about/memoriam/
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN IS LOOKING FOR:
PERSPECTIVES ON SCHOOL-HOME COMMUNICATION BY CAREGIVERS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
We are reaching out to families who might be interested in participating in a one-time, online survey.
The survey will contain questions about your perspectives on the school-home communication you are currently engaged with your child’s current school.
TIME COMMITMENT: 25-30 MIN
PLEASE CONSIDER PARTICIPATING INTHIS SURVEY IF YOU ARE
PROFICIENT IN ENGLISH AND
HAVE A CHILD THAT MEETS THE
~ BETWEEN AGES OF 3 – 21
~ ENROLLED IN PUBLIC SCHOOL
~ REPORTED TO HAVE AUTISM
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THIS SURVEY, CLICK HERE. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dr. Meghan Burke
firstname.lastname@example.org (217) 300-1226
Illinois Family Leaders Collaboration Presents
The 15th Annual Free Virtual Family Conference for Families of Children with Disabilities
The Power of Families: Using Your Voice to Make a Difference
Presented with Live Spanish Translation
Saturday, April 23, 2022
For more information and to
9:30 – 11:30 AM: Resiliency is Also Contagious: How to Protect Our Families from the Impact of Adversity and Trauma Presented by Dr. Matt Buckman, Stress & Trauma Treatment Center
12:30 – 2:30 PM: Inclusive Education for Families of Young Children Presented by Tammy Wrobbel & Talin Tokat, Early CHOICES
The evening session, from 6:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. will offer the same topic separately in English and Spanish
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Mindfulness for Families (Presented in English) Presented by Karla Belzer, University of Illinois
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Self-Care: Presented in Spanish
Presented by Lourdes Perez, Consultant & Consuelo Puente
Aramark has struggled to keep CPS schools clean. It was just a few months ago when an SW side school did not have toilet paper or soap in bathrooms for weeks. This is not new for Chicago families – this has been an issue since Aramark privatized custodial services in 2014. Read more about CPS’s issues with Aramark over the years here. Despite all this, Aramark’s contract was renewed last year for $369 million over 3 years.
Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education is sending out a quick survey to gather leaders who want to fight for cleaner conditions in CPS schools.
Take survey: https://www.ilraiseyourhand.org/action-items/cleanliness-survey
Tutoring Chicago offers reading and math tutoring and they start each session with a quick lesson on social emotional wellness. Parents are generally able to choose from M,T or Wed and the sessions take place from 6:30 – 7:30pm either virtually or in-person. Their in-person sites are located as follows:
- NEAR NORTH/LINCOLN PARK: MONDAY, TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY EVENING
- NEAR WEST/WEST LOOP: MONDAY, TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY EVENING
Students can choose to get help with their homework and volunteer tutors also have access to standard (grade level) curriculum.
If accepted, the student would be paired with a 1 to 1 tutor who would tutor the child through the end of the school year.
Tutoring Chicago Website: