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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Illinois Sen. Biss Visits "Our Place" a Nonprofit with Employment Program for People with Developmental Disabilities

From Left to Right (Margaret Webster, William Johnson, Michael Palmer, Jennifer Vantreeck, Daniel Biss, Sean Waterbury, Chanel Ruiz-Bricco, Annie Fahrenbach, Niki Grzeslo, Matt Mann, Jamie Weller) (Posted by cbricco, Community Contributor)

as posted by the Chicago Tribune, From the Community | Sept 17, 2014
Community Contributor cbricco

September 2014, Wilmette, Ill.] On September 11th, Senator Biss visited Our Place to learn about their new employment program for adults with developmental disabilities. Senator Biss has played a significant role in advancing employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities in Illinois, and Our Place is excited to be part of this initiative.

Recently, Senator Daniel Biss sponsored The Employment First Act, which requires Illinois state agencies to work together to make employment for people with disabilities a priority. Biss believes that Illinois residents with disabilities have much to contribute to our workforce, and this law will maximize their opportunities to live and work with dignity.

As of May 2014, only 17% of individuals with disabilities ages 16 and over are employed in the United States. For a growing population, this is incredibly troubling. As of 2000 approximately 1 in 150 children were diagnosed with autism (one of the more prevalent developmental disabilities), while in 2010 this number increased to 1 in every 68 children. This represents not only a tremendous societal and market failure, but also a tremendous opportunity for employing an underutilized but incredibly dedicated and hardworking population.

Our Place's employment initiative seeks to empower participants to be members of their community through meaningful work and social interaction. The central focus of this initiative is to create sustainable business ventures that provide our participants with the opportunity for ownership and meaningful employment. As part of this program, participants have begun to take ownership of their own enterprise by creating high quality soy-based gift candles in a variety of fragrances and colors. The candles will be on sale at The Grand Food Center in Winnetka.

About 'Our Place'
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. To learn more about Our visit:  https://ourplaceofnewtrier.org/


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