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.
ASPIRE Career Academy
The Career Academy offers job training and placement services, including hands-on training in a simulated work environment.
Best Buddies Integrated Employment Program helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to find jobs which match their skills and interests and provides ongoing to support to the employee and employer.
Center for Enriched Living Employment Opportunities Program
Employment placement program for individuals with developmental disabilities which connects job seekers with employment opportunities in the community.
GiGi’s Playhouse Career Development Programs
(GiGi Prep, GiGiU, Career Studio)
GiGi’s Playhouse offers sequential career preparation programs which emphasize training in the areas of wellness, communication, and career skills. After completing GiGiU, graduates move on to an internship in the Career Studio.
Jewish Vocational Services
Serves a wide variety of job seekers, including people with disabilities. Services include career planning, job search skill development, job placement, and job coaching.
JJ’s List offers disability awareness training to businesses, a directory of disability-friendly businesses and employers, and hop-on-the bus transportation training for people with disabilities.
Job Accommodation Network
Provides information about job accommodations, disability employment, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.
No Boundaries prepares transition age teens and adults with disabilities for the workplace and for living independently. Their program offers training in areas of self-organization, communication, internet safety, and job search and workplace skills.
Parent’s Alliance Employment Project
PAEP provides a variety of employment related services, including career counseling, job skills training, and job placement and coaching.
TL2C is a non-profit organization that supports individuals with disabilities in living meaningful lives in their communities. It offers job development and placement services and recreational opportunities to individuals with disabilities.
Working Together Chicago
Working Together Chicago partners with local social service agencies and area Catholic/faith-based schools to provide internships and eventual employment for adults with disabilities.
State of Illinois Employment Resources:
ILLINOIS DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
Some Local Businesses Employing People with Developmental Disabilities:
Hugs & Mugs
Misericordia Sweet Shoppe
We Grow Dreams