Illinois Inroads to Inclusion – September 2010 (PDF, 2.14 MB)
By Lois Barnhart, Illinois Disability Outreach Coordinator
Volume 3, Issue 3 – September 3, 2010
NW Region Inclusion Team and Minigrants target Inclusion Efforts
The NW Region Inclusion Team meets monthly at Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon, Illinois. Members of the team represent the Serve Illinois Commission, Illinois State AmeriCorps programs, AmeriCorps Alumni, DHS Department of Rehabilitative Services, Northern Illinois Center for Independent Living, DHS Department of Mental Health, Student Needs Coordinator, Sauk Valley College, S.T.E.P Coordinator and the Illinois Disability Outreach Coordinator. This month the Team has added representation from three new organizations: Illinois Learn and Serve Program, CCDI—Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois and Self-Help Enterprises. Together we are merging our talents, services, and expertise to pursue our mission statement:
To promote and support full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of National and local community service organizations.
This month the Inclusion Team will formalize a Strategic Plan of Action toward that goal. The team commits to the development of a Resource/Inclusion Toolkit for agencies in the NW Region. Members will participate in presentations and networking opportunities to promote inclusive practices and provide technical assistance. The Inclusion Team is participating in the development of an Accessible Prairie Conservation and Educational Site to be located on the grounds of Sauk Valley College. Funds from mini-grant rounds offered by the Serve Illinois Commission for Inclusive Strategies/Recruitment/Outreach provided the start up funds for this project. The project is being supplemented by donations of time, equipment and supplies from many community resources. The kick off of the project will occur later this month. People of all abilities will join hands to make this project work. It is the intent of the Commission that this pilot project be replicated in all five regions of Illinois. The Serve Illinois Commission is committed to the support of Inclusive efforts statewide. Several AmeriCorps programs across the state initiated Inclusive projects utilizing mini-grant funds: Community gardens were planted; brochures were updated to incorporate inclusive language; Ability Awareness trainings have taken place and new partnerships have been made.
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