This list of resources was compiled by Grace O’Connor and Ann Garcia, patient advocates at the Adult Down Syndrome Center. Some 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.
Options for College Success
1515 Maple Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
- Non-profit organization that supports students with disabilities with academics and independent living at colleges of their choosing.
PO Box 153095
Austin, TX 78715
- Non-profit organization that provides scholarships to individuals with Down syndrome who wish to pursue vocational or enrichment classes or post-secondary education.
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
- 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.
- Provides a Postsecondary Education Opportunities Guide that includes information about universities, community colleges, vocational/technical schools, and life skills programs. While it is geared towards individuals with autism, much of the program information is applicable to individuals with Down syndrome.
Post-Secondary Programs in Illinois
College of DuPage - COACH Program
Glen Ellyn, IL
- A two-year cohort program that focuses on academics, social skills, independence, and career exploration.
College of Lake County - Personal Success Program
- A two-year program that provides vocational training for a variety of professions and the chance to experience college life.
Elmhurst College - Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA)
- A four-year post-secondary program emphasizing academics, work experience, and social and recreational opportunities.
Harper College - Career Skills Institute
- A two-year program to strengthen skills for employment and help students develop a realistic career plan.
Heartland Community College - Heartland Academy for Learning Opportunities (HALO)
- A two-year customized learning program in a community college environment.
Joliet Junior College - Vocational Skills Food Service Program
- A vocational food service program to prepare students to transition into the work place.
Judson University- RISE (Road to Independent Living, Spiritual Formation, and Employment)
- A two-year customized educational program in a Christian college environment that aims to prepare students for independent living and employment.
Lewis and Clark Community College - College for Life Programs
- Offers non-credit continuing education courses and the social opportunities of a community college environment.
Lewis and Clark Community College - Supported College Transition
National Louis University - P.A.C.E. Program
- 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.
Rock Valley College - RAISE Program (Rock Valley Academic Institute for Successful Employment)
- A collaboration between Rock Valley College and local non-profits that emphasizes vocational and academic instruction, independent living skills, and employment preparation.