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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

College and Vocational Training Resources

January 2023 | Ann Garcia - Patient Advocate, Adult Down Syndrome Center

This list of resources was compiled by Ann Garcia, patient advocate at the Adult Down Syndrome Center. Most of these resources are specific to the greater Chicagoland area and/or Illinois. If you are looking for resources in another region, we recommend reaching out to a local Down syndrome parent organization.

College Resources

Chicago, IL
  • Non-profit organization that supports students with disabilities with academics and independent living at colleges of their choosing.
Austin, TX
  • Non-profit organization that provides scholarships to individuals with Down syndrome who wish to pursue vocational or enrichment classes or post-secondary education.
Boston, MA
  • Provides a college search tool for post-secondary options for people with intellectual disabilities. Also provides resources for preparing for college during the high school years, information about financing, and guidance on how to apply to programs.

Post-Secondary Programs in Illinois

Carlinville, IL
  • A four-year program that is individualized for each student based on personal and career goals, necessary supports, and involvement in all aspects of the college experience (including extracurricular and campus activities) to promote social opportunities and friendship. 
Glen Ellyn, IL
  • A two-year cohort program that focuses on academics, social skills, independence, and career exploration.
Grayslake, IL
  • A two-year program that provides vocational training for a variety of professions and the chance to experience college life.
Elmhurst, IL
  • A four-year post-secondary program emphasizing academics, work experience, and social and recreational opportunities.
Palatine, IL
847-925-6000 x6161
  • A two-year program to strengthen skills for employment and help students develop a realistic career plan.
Normal, IL
  • A two-year customized learning program in a community college environment.
Quincy, IL
  • A 3-year non-credit community college experience for students who want to continue their education beyond high school and prepare for a fulfilling adult life in their communities. 
Elgin, IL
  • A two-year customized educational program in a Christian college environment that aims to prepare students for independent living and employment.
Godfrey, IL
  • Offers non-credit continuing education courses and the social opportunities of a community college environment.
Godfrey, IL
  • ‚ÄčA two-year program that supports students in smaller sections of college developmental courses.
Chicago, IL
  • A three-year residential post-secondary program to prepare young adults (18-28) for independent living. The curriculum integrates academics, employment preparation, life skills coaching, and social development.
Rockford, IL
  • A three-year program designed to help students achieve life and career success through the development of educational, personal, and vocational skills while fostering personal growth and social engagement within the campus community.

Find More Resources

We offer a variety of resources for people with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers and the professionals who care for and work with them. Search our collection of articles, webinars, videos, and other educational materials.

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.