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Special Needs Employment

Barbara Olson Center of Hope

Provides a variety of vocational, employment, educational, social, and habilitative services for teens 16 years of age or older and adults with developmental disabilities living in Winnebago and Boone Counties and surrounding areas. Services include parent and auxillary groups, nursing services, occupational therapy, transportation, school transition services, behavior management, social and recreational opportunities, and outreach and advocacy. Programs include Hope Industries, Workshop, Vocational Development, Education and Training Center with a variety of multiple training opportunities, Community Employment Services, Sensory Integration, Moments Remembered, and Volunteer Center.

  • 3206 North Central Avenue
    Rockford, IL 61101
  • Phone: 815-964-9275, TDD: 815-964-9388
  • Fax: 815-964-9607

Center for Sight and Hearing

Offers evaluation and treatment of vision and hearing impairments for children and adults. Also offers communication assistive technology, interpretting services, instruction in Braille and sign language, and vocational assistance. Routine eye exams offered for children with special needs. Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance accepted. Audiology Clinic open M-F 8-4:30. Vision Clinic open M-Th 9-4:30. Emergency interpretting services available 24/7.

Also provides job search and on-the-job training for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or low vision. CSH has a Simple Solution store with assistive technology devices for sale. Staff can help with computer and typing skills and assist with scheduling sign language interpreters and captionists for interviews, job training, meetings, classes, and other appointments.

  • 8038 MacIntosh Lane (street)
    P.O. Box 5944 (mailing)
    Rockford, IL 61107
  • Phone: 815-332-6800, TTY: 815-332-6820
  • Emergency interpretting service: 815-966-2058
  • Fax: 815-332-6810

Disability Works

Provides employment and training services to individuals with disabilities. Assists with need assessment, resume development, job readiness workshops, job search, on-the-job training, and information and referral. Also holds a National Disability Mentoring Day event each year in October where students are matched with employers of their career choice to job shadow for a few hours, and then take advantage of job readiness workshops.

  • 303 N Main Street
    Rockford, IL 61101
  • Phone: 815-395-0401
  • Fax: 815-966-2433

Illinois Growth Enterprises

Assists adults ages 18 and above to obtain and maintain employment in the community. Our services include: vocational evaluation, resume development, training on how to complete employment applications and how to interview for employment, job search assistance, job coaching, and follow-up support to ensure successful, permanent employment.

  • 7200 Clinton Road
    Loves Park, IL 61111
  • 815-962-8333
  • Fax 815-964-3553

RAMP No Limits

Provides multiple services to promote independent living for indviduals with a disability. Provides youth education and advocacy- including individual education plan (IEP) specialists, individual and systemic advocacy, peer support, community education, deaf services, information and referrals, equipment loaning, accessibility assessments, independent living skills training, community re-integration program, brain injury case management, and personal assistant services.

  • 202 Market Street
    Rockford, IL 61107
  • Phone: (815)968-7467, TTY: (815)968-2401
  • Fax: (815)968-7612
  • 530 S State Street, Suite 103
    Belvidere, IL 61008
  • Phone: (815)544-8404, TTY: (815)544-8404
  • Fax: (815)544-1896

Rockford Home Services Program (Department of Rehabilitation Services Office)

We will be serving up to ten families a month for a total of twenty hours per family. Families will be chosen on a first come/first serve basis with a wait list used if necessary. Eligibility criteria:
‘ Birth to twenty one
‘ Must have a medical diagnosis of a developmental disability
‘ Denial from DHS-DORS program or Milestone and cannot be used in conjunction with either program
‘ There are no income guidelines
Key services provided by HSP include personal assistant services, such as help with bathing, dressing, cooking and other daily tasks, as well as home modification and nursing care.

  • 107 N. 3rd Street
    Rockford, IL 61107
  • Phone: 815-987-4964, TTY: 888-340-1006
  • Fax: 815-967-3768

The Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP) is a training/placement program that helps students with disabilities prepare to transition to employment and community participation during and after high school. Students learn to become productive, self-sufficient adults through a variety of STEP experiences. Assist students in developing desirable work habits and realistic career goals; provide opportunities for students to explore careers; offer meaningful work experiences through on-the-job placement; encourage students to develop the social and personal skills needed to maintain successful employment.

  • 107 N. 3rd Street
    Rockford, IL 61107
  • Phone: 815-967-3725
  • Fax: 815-967-3722

The Arc of Winnebago, Boone, and Ogle Counties

Serves children, adults, and families with disabilities through service coordination, skills training, social activities, and advocacy. Provides home-based service facilitation if approved by Illinois DHSDD. New programs include behavioral modification and group and individual counseling for children and adults with special needs. Referrals may be required from Access Services of Northern Illinois to access certain services. No or sliding scale fees depending on programs. M-F 8:15-5.

  • 1222 East State Street
    Rockford, IL 61104
  • Phone: 815-965-3455
  • Fax: 815-965-3673