At Rubin Law, our law practice is exclusively limited to helping our fellow Illinois families of children and adults with disabilities. As a result of this and our own personal experiences, we know how crucial organizations can be in making life a little easier and in helping to connect with others in similar circumstances.
Luckily many organizations provide important resources for individuals with developmental disabilities along with their families and certain professionals who care for them. Here are four of the best support groups along with their mission statements and the resources they offer.
For more than 70 years, The Arc of Illinois has offered programs, live events, advocacy, and support for Illinois residents with disabilities. This organization strongly believes that, “We are all people first and because of that, regardless of any intellectual or developmental differences, we all deserve the same rights and opportunities.”
Their mission statement states, “The Arc of Illinois is committed to empowering persons with disabilities to achieve full participation in community life through informed choices.” To achieve this goal, The Arc offers many programs such as:
- Education and training
- Information and referral with links to support groups and other services
- Public policy advocacy
- The Voice of the Disability Community
- Technical support and assistance, and
- Improved funding streams
Through live events (when possible) The Arc provides updates about the latest news, opportunities, and best practices. They also help persons with disabilities transition from childhood to adulthood and empower them to live independently, at home or in a community living situation, and acquire helpful technology or services where appropriate.
We are proud that Attorney Benji Rubin serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for The Arc of Illinois and Attorney Brian Rubin is a Past President of the organization.
UPS for DownS (United Parent Support for Down Syndrome) –
More than 35 years ago, a group of parents and family members of individuals with Down Syndrome joined together to establish UPS for DownS. Their goal is to provide education, information, training, and opportunities for families that include a person with Down Syndrome in a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive community.
In the group’s own words, “UPS for DownS is a parent-directed, non-profit organization offering support, education, and encouragement for parents, families and others who love and care about persons with Down syndrome. We inspire community acceptance by sharing with others the presence, potential, and abilities of people with Down Syndrome.”
This organization offers many groups such as social clubs for all age groups along with a book club, a walking group, an endurance team, and a theater club. They also host family events including Family Friday, swim parties, holiday events, dinner-dance gatherings, and family retreats.
In 2005, three of the leading autism organizations joined forces to create Autism Speaks. According to their Mission Statement, “Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.”
The group provides resources and information, along with autism-friendly events
geared towards persons with autism, their parents, and professionals like teachers and counselors. They also act as state and federal advocates to influence governmental policies related to autism.
Some of their services include:
- employment and post-secondary education
- evaluation and diagnosis
- health, safety, and medical concerns
- housing and community
- recreation and social activities
- support groups, treatments, and therapies.
This is a Facebook group for Illinois residents who have a teen or adult family member with a developmental disability. They advocate for more services, better support, and funding from the state. They also support local activities and community living for individuals with disabilities.
The page clarifies that, “IPADD’s purpose is to give Illinois parents, self-advocates, adult sibs and others who care, a dedicated online platform for networking, advocacy and information-sharing so we know what’s happening around the state, and can take action in our own local communities. We all learn from each other.”
This group focuses on employment, volunteer opportunities, community service, building relationships, housing options, and funding possibilities. The group is private but those who want to join can sign up to post questions and seek advice as well as learn about what is happening in the local area.
Rubin Law is Your Number One Legal Resource
These groups are only some of the resources available in Illinois. For all of your special needs legal and future planning needs, Rubin Law is the only law firm in Illinois exclusively limited to providing compassionate special needs legal and future planning to guide our fellow Illinois families of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, or mental illness down the road to peace of mind. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-TO-RUBIN.