SOURCE: Community Support Services

Community Support Services

March 15, 2011 11:32 ET

Community Support Services of Chicago Is Turning 30

Join CSS on April 8th for a Celebratory Banquet

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - Community Support Services will commemorate its 30th anniversary with a banquet celebrating the last three decades of helping the developmentally disabled live fuller, richer lives.  Members of the communities are encouraged to come to the event, which begins at 6:00 PM, and will be held at Bella Banquets in Countryside on Friday, April 8th.

The evening will include a full dinner, door prizes and a silent auction as well as a video retrospective commemorating the last 30 years of service.  In addition, the event will feature a special keynote speaker, Al Condeluci, PhD, a nationally recognized author, advocate and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy/Community Living and Support Service (UCP/Class).  Dr. Condeluci is an advocate for creating communities where every person belongs and has a meaningful role.  In his speech, Dr. Condeluci will outline what every organization needs to know about building and maintaining communities in which the developmentally disabled can thrive.

"I am so excited to celebrate the strides CSS has made in caring for people with developmental disabilities," said Kathie Schiffman, Director of Development and Marketing.  "Over the past 30 years, CSS has supported people with developmental disabilities to ensure that they have the best opportunities to thrive at all ages.  That is the tradition we are celebrating now and will continue to foster by providing the most efficient, innovative, cost effective and responsive solutions."

This event celebrates a long history of Community Support Services providing services for people with developmental disabilities in order to strengthen their independence, self-esteem, and ability to participate in and contribute to community life.  It began in 1979 when five local agencies formed the Consortium for Alternative Service Systems in response to the requests of many families with members with a developmental disability. The original consortium included La Grange Area Department of Special Education (LADSE), Helping Hand Rehabilitation Center, Lyons Township Mental Health Commission, Community Family Service and Mental Health Center, and The Argo, Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn (AERO) Special Education Cooperative.

With the positive changes that resulted from that year's Education for All Handicapped Children Act (now called IDEA), families had greater need for home-based services that would enable them to provide the care their children needed to remain at home and become active members in their communities.  Because these agencies shared a sense of responsibility and commitment to people with developmental disabilities, they joined together to establish a new agency, which would develop the necessary services in each community.  The agency then obtained a planning grant from the Illinois Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities to conduct a study of the need for home-based services and find ways to address the survey findings.  The results of this two-year planning process led to the formation of Community Support Services, which was incorporated in 1981.

Today, Community Support Services serves more than 600 developmentally disabled children and adults and their families.  Programs include respite services, family support, adult services, supported employment and supported parenting.  The goal of all CSS programs is to help participants develop self-esteem, independence and social skills while enjoying greater participation in community life.  In addition, CSS services also reduce stress and improve home life by providing relief from care-giving for family members.

Recently, state funding has been slashed for service organizations like CSS. With program financing in jeopardy, CSS is relying on donations from its community to offset this ongoing battle. The 30th Anniversary event celebrates those that keep the mission of CSS alive through their generous support.

For more information on Community Support Services, visit www.communitysupportservices.org.

CSS creates opportunities for socialization and participation in communities in order to achieve greater self-reliance at every stage of life. Each incremental increase in social capital helps to effectively strengthen people and communities.

Without CSS, those we serve would not know about, or have access to, the resources they need to effectively care for themselves or manage the care of their family member with a disability.

To view this release in a media-rich format, go to: http://www.communitysupportservices.org/email/30th_anniversary/index.html

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