International Day of Persons with Disabilities

“On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for a better world that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for everyone, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized.” — António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

Here at Options For College Success we believe that given the opportunity, persons with disabilities can flourish.  We share this message from the UN Secretary-General for 2018

2018 Theme: Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality

This year’s theme focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”. Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, and urban development. Governments, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, academic institutions and the private sector need to work as a “team” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year, the UN Secretary-General will launch on the Day a flagship report, entitled “UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development | 2018 – Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities”. Events at UNHQ on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at UN Headquarters will bring together Member States, UN entities, Mayors, national and local policy makers, civil society organizations, academic institutes and organizations of persons with disabilities to discuss the way forward for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. Read more about the events.

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On Giving Tuesday, Donate to Organizations that Fill the Gaps

Options for College Success provides services and support to fill the gap for individuals with learning challenges and disabilities aging out of the school system and launching into their next journey. These individuals stop receiving services through the state between 18 and 22 years of age.  Where do they go next?

These individuals may not be ready for post-secondary schooling nor have the skills to be employed. Employment rates for those with disabilities are very low, and educational attainment is essential to the success of young adults with disabilities because the jobs of the future require technical training and education. Based on the 2017 Disability Statistics Annual Report from the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics, in the U.S. 35.9% of individuals aged 18-64 with disabilities were employed versus 76.6% of those without a disability.

At our organization, we customize an individual’s plan based on where they currently are at in development and what goals they look to achieve. We fill the gaps with hands on, one on one support to provide them with the opportunity to live a healthy, productive and independent life.

Please donate to Options for College Success on this day and as we move into the holiday season.  We want to improve and expand our programming to fit the increasing needs of the population we work with.  Your gift, no matter the size, will directly impact the success of our students.

Please visit www.optionsforcollegesuccess.org and click on our donate button at the bottom of the page or send a check  payable to Options for College Success.

Options for College Success

1515 maple Ave. Suite 190

Evanston, IL 60201

One on One Tutoring

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According to the mentalhelp.net website, there are four strategies that can be used with students who suffer from an intellectual disability, but it can also be used for students who suffer from anxiety, and autism as well. The four strategies are the following: the first strategy is to break down learning tasks into small steps. Second is to modify the teaching approach. Third, use visual aids. Lastly, provide direct and immediate feedback.

https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/effective-teaching-methods-for-people-with-intellectual-disabilities/

Here at Options for College Succes, we partner a student with one of our tutors to meet these four strategies. By meeting individually with our tutors, our students learn how to develop studying skills, build coping skills during midterms and finals, and learn his or her school work at a pace that works best for each student. Our tutors break down the school work in small steps so that our students are able to understand the material by modifying their teaching approach suited for each student. Each of our classrooms has a whiteboard on which both our students and tutors use as a visual aid to put into practice what the students are learning. In the end, our students create a relationship with our tutors which helps them get immediate feedback on how they are doing in their learning process as well as provide positive direct advice and opinions on how to improve their weaknesses or strengthen their strengths.

Take a moment to help us reach our goal of being able to help out a student with a scholarship so that he or she can benefit from our one on one tutoring sessions that are adequately fit for each individual. Thank you again for all of your support!

https://www.gofundme.com/ocs-scholarship-project

 

Autism and Working

By Marcella Mackowiak

#JayGoltz of the #NewYorkTimes did a fantastic interview with Dave and Anthony, who is on the spectrum. It follows Anthony and is progress on getting a job at Mariano’s in Chicago. We as a community need to keep in mind that people on the spectrum are just as capable as the rest of us. The article below tells the story, and it’s a great read…

https://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/19/on-hiring-and-autism/

OCS Scholarship Project

Options for College Success is a not-for-profit organization located in Evanston, IL. We are committed to helping young adults with learning disabilities realize their full potential. We take an individualized approach to develop skills, courage, and confidence necessary to transition to independent living and work-life. Our program focuses on six areas of a student’s life: academic support, career advising, independent living skills, financial management, social skills, and social activities. We provide these customized services via a residential, day, or Skype program.

Over the past 10 years, we have successfully supported 225 students in achieving their vocational, academic, and personal goals. Although we have had great success, there are still a large number of post-secondary students who could benefit from our services. Unfortunately, their participation is restricted due to financial burdens. With this in mind, we greatly appreciate any gift amount to help us establish a scholarship fund!

The purpose of our scholarship fund is to provide students who are in need of our services with financial support. This scholarship applies to all local students who enroll in our programs. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the scholarship fund which will allow us to help 21 students in total (5-$400, 7-$200, 9- $100).

Thank you for reading our story. We appreciate your time, monetary gifts, and commitment to helping the leaders of tomorrow realize their full potential.

https://www.gofundme.com/ocs-scholarship-project&rcid=r01-153064295879-70f80d8b2784448f&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

With Gratitude,

Options for College Success

How do I Understand Autism as a Sibling?

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By Marcella Mackowiak

A few months ago I found out that my nephew was diagnosed with autism. It was heartbreaking, but I pulled myself together to support my sister. However, she didn’t tell anyone else in our rather large family.

Last Saturday we all got together for my other nephew’s birthday and it was very clear to the other youngsters that something was wrong with my nephew. I didn’t know if I should explain, but my sister jumped in and said he was a little sick. Then she asked me what was wrong with him. I told her. If one of my many nephews had the courage to ask, then I wonder what the other ones were thinking.

Autism Speaks put an incredible booklet out to help siblings understand what autism is. It keeps it very simple by saying things like “autism effects the way the brain work,” “we don’t know what causes it,” and even giving descriptions of what autism looks like. I think that it’s good for cousins as well.

Check out the link below….

https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/a_siblings_guide_to_autism.pdf

Summer

Summer

By Andrea Martinez Cabrera

Summer is around the corner! This is the time to focus on your mental health. School hours, homework, work and even volunteering at places can wear you out and leave you feeling mentally tired at the end of the day. I encourage you during the summer to take care of your mental health by creating a bucket list of things that you would like to do in the summer. It can be as simple as getting plenty of rest, going out to a movie with friends, drinking tea while reading, etc. to something spontaneous such as going on a road trip, going to the beach, attend a festival, etc. Give your mind some peace before starting another year of school and/or breaks from work and volunteering. Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.