If you're having trouble viewing this email, you can see it online.

Summer Leadership Institute Unites the Disability Community 

Last week, Amie Lulinski attended the Summer Leadership Institute, hosted by The Arc and the National Conference of Executives of The Arc (NCE).

This important conference unites executives, leaders, and professionals from across the disability sector in pursuit of a shared purpose: ensuring people with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) achieve their full civil and human rights and are fully included in their communities.

Congratulations, Greg Walkington on his appointment to Quality Care Board!

Greg Walkington will serve as a Member of the Quality Care Board. Walkington is an accomplished Operations Manager with over 35 years of experience in non-profit leadership and program development, particularly as it relates to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Walkington's experience ranges from direct, hands-on training in life skills enrichment programs to managing supports for over 400+ people with IDD across four divisions, four congregate work sites, and over 20 community-integrated living arrangements. Currently, he serves as the Family Transition Project Director for The Arc of Illinois. A father of an adult child who has physical and intellectual disabilities, Walkington personally understands the value of maximizing quality of life through community involvement for the people he serves by providing them with the necessary support structures to lead dignified and fulfilling lives.

Please join us in congratulating Greg Walkington!



Join as an Individual/Family Member!

Discover all the benefits, training opportunities, and networking with other families, members and professionals. 

Join Us as a Chapter or Organizational Sponsor!

Partner with us to receive many benefits, training, and support of our mission through ongoing advocacy efforts. 


Looking for ways to give?

Your donation helps The Arc bring together advocates, connect people and families, train and educate, and provide resources and support. 


Avenues for Independence was founded in 1953 when a group of parents believed things should be different for their sons and daughters with developmental disabilities. They wanted them to be a part of the community, close to home, among family and friends. Remaining in the community wasn’t always easy, but it was what everyone wanted.

And that has made all the difference.

Today, thanks to their vision, Avenues is a non-profit organization that provides homes, jobs and community living programs to Chicago area adults with physical, intellectual, and other developmental disabilities. It is their goal to provide work and living opportunities enabling those with disabilities to be as independent as possible.

Located in Park Ridge, IL and led by CEO Joni Kraft, Avenues has 7 residential locations in Park Ridge and Des Plaines, community employment opportunities throughout the northwest suburbs, and day activities and instruction in a state-of-the-art facility in Wheeling.  

For additional information contact our admissions department at 847-541-5250 x2108.


Registration for the Illinois Health Care Options and Benefits Conference is Now Open!

Topics Include:

  • Medicaid Programs and Redetermination
  • IL Health Insurance for Immigrant Children and Families
  • SSI and SSDI Eligibility and Benefits
  • Medicaid Care Coordination through a Managed Care Plan
  • Health Insurance Savings through an ACA Marketplace Plan
  • and more!

Envision Illinois: Uniting Disability & Domestic Violence Services to Achieve Safety, Justice & Healing

August 8, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


Envision Illinois: Unidos para Lograr Seguridad, Justicia y Sanación para Personas con Discapacidades que Han Sufrido Violencia Doméstica

17 de augusto de 2023

5:30 pm. Hora



TAP ASSIST Launches Free Parent Training Program for Parents and Caregivers of Transition-Aged Youth

There are twelve modules in the training program. Each module features an expert-led presentation on a relevant transition topic and includes time for parent discussion and questions.

Topics include:

  • Person-Centered Planning
  • Guardianship and Alternatives
  • PUNS and Medicaid waiver services
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Health Insurance
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • and more!

They have just opened registration for the first session August 14th on person-centered planning at this link:  ASSIST Program - The Autism Program of Illinois - TAP (tap-illinois.org).

The sessions are free for Illinois parents and caregivers of youth with autism ages 14 – 22.  The sessions are virtual starting at 6:00 p.m. on Mondays and we will have approximately one session per month. Some months have two sessions if the topics are similar.  The training sessions run from August 14 through May 13, 2024.  Parents can sign up for whichever session is of interest. Right now, only the first session (August 14) is open for registration.

Parents can also sign up for our TAP Newsletter at the bottom of our home page here Home - The Autism Program of Illinois - TAP (tap-illinois.org) to be notified of future training opportunities or follow us on Facebook for updates!


Testing an Advocacy Program for Latino Families of Transition-Aged Youth with Autism

There is testing for the feasibility and effectiveness of a 24 hour advocacy program for Spanish-speaking, Latino families of youth with autism. During the program, up to 50 families will learn about adult disability services (e.g., vocational rehabilitative services, special needs trusts, housing, Medicaid waivers, and more) as well as develop advocacy skills. You may attend the program in the fall of 2023 or the spring of 2024. The program will be delivered over zoom for 2-hour sessions over 12 weeks.

We are asking participants to:

  • Complete three surveys about their advocacy, knowledge of disability services, empowerment, and unmet service needs
  • Complete a short evaluation at the end of each session and at the end of the entire program about the program

Please consider participating in this study if you are:

(a)  A parent and/or caregiver of a child (aged 12 and older with autism) (b)  Older than 18 years of age and live in Illinois AND (c) Identify as Latino and Spanish-speaking

In appreciation for your time, you will receive up to three $20 giftcards for participating in this study. Specifically, you will receive $20 after completing the pre-survey and attending the first session. Participants will receive $20 after completing the post-survey and the last session. Finally, you will receive a $20 giftcard after completing the six-month follow-up survey.  

For the flyer in English click here. For the flyer in Spanish, click here.

If you are interested in participating, go to the survey here:


If you have difficulty with the link or QR code, you can 

contact: Meghan Burke, meghanbm@illinois.edu, (217)300-1226

Virtual Future is Now (VFIN) Research Study

Online future planning for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) & their families for Illinois

Are you worried about what will happen to your loved one as you get older? Do you find the process of planning for the future overwhelming?

If yes, you might be eligible to join the VFIN research study, which is testing the effectiveness of an online future planning training at the University of Illinois Chicago for adults with IDD & their families in Illinois.

The VFIN research study will randomly assign families to be part of the intervention or control group. All family caregivers and adults with IDD will complete pre- and post- tests.

  • Families assigned to the intervention group will receive a 6-week training with weekly 1.5 hour Zoom classes from August 7- September 11, 2023 on Mondays and two Wednesdays from 7-8:30 pm CT.
  • Families assigned to the control group will receive access to the self-paced materials after the post-test is completed.

Learn more by visiting our website: https://sites.google.com/view/vfin-uic 

To participate, please fill out the form: https://uic.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5dukbZuT2l43TZs or contact Katie at: 312-996-1002 or kkeiling@uic.edu

This email was sent to {{Recipient Email}}. Click here to unsubscribe.