The mission of Our Place is to support teens and adults with developmental disabilities so that they can live meaningful, productive, socially connected lives in their home community.
History: Our Place was formed in March 2008 by a group of parents to create a center in their home community for teens and adults with developmental disabilities. Our Place offers enrichment programs and employment opportunities. Maximum community integration is a key principle driving all programs. With local support and individual donations Our Place grew rapidly and now offers programs 48 hours per week over six days, every week of the year. We serve teens and adults from a wide range of communities in the northern Chicago suburban area.
Goals: Our primary goal is to enable every individual to achieve their highest potential. We do this by focusing on the skills needed for successful social interactions in all aspects of a full life. Our participants learn and practice these skills at work, with each other in social settings, with typical peers and community members, in classes and clubs, with service projects that improve the community and in recreational activities.
Programs: Because social skills form the foundation for success in a full life, the development of social competencies and social thinking underlies all programs.
Our Place programs provide:
- Opportunities and supports to make and sustain friendships.
- Individualized life coaching to attain personal goals.
- Meaningful work and job training in community settings.
- Ongoing development of cognitive and life skills.
- Classes and clubs to pursue individual interests.
- Sports and recreation activities, including Special Olympics teams.
Key aspects of our program make us even stronger:
- Peer mentors from area high schools and colleges strengthen the social skills of our participants.
- Our participants are fully engaged citizens of their home community, making valuable contributions.
In our short history, we have created a solid program that meets the needs of each of our participants while engaging with and strengthening our community.