The Envision Community Living Programs provide our clients with the opportunity to reside in the community with ongoing support. Through our Intermittent Support services, we support participants living independently - alone or with a roommate and, in some cases, with a family member. Regular visits by Envision staff members ensure that our clients are caring for themselves, their home and taking steps to live a productive life. Contact us today to learn more about Envision's Intermittent Support services.
For over half a century, Envision has been focused on improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. Our many programs have been developed to help our clients participate in their surrounding communities as well as develop the skills to find great levels of personal fulfillment.
One client whose story is the epitome of the success of the Envision Unlimited Intermittent Support Program is Deanna. Here is her story:
Deanna says when she hears someone being called "retarded" it makes her cry because she remembers what it was like to be picked on. Deanna has lived in a CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) with Envision Unlimited for the last few years and is now looking forward to moving into her own apartment and continuing her job doing janitorial work at a department of human services office on Chicago's south side. She is now 29 years old and getting ready to live in an apartment where she can live on her own and continue working.
"Dream big, that's how I do it; I've been through a lot. I had a death in the family and after high school I didn't have anyone to take care of me or live with me. My mom moved away and my brothers went into the service. This agency took care of me and they taught me how to be independent. I learned a lot about myself. I can do things that no one thought I could."
Envision Unlimited is helping Deanna transition from the CILA living arrangement she is in now to an apartment. Deanna tells stories of her days in grammar school and high school, getting picked on while trying to make friends and fit in. She said other kids would call her "slow" or "retarded" and tease her because she was in special ed classes. Deanna remembers her father, who since passed away, boosting her confidence. "My Dad would always tell me something positive, tell me I could do something with myself." And she certainly has.
Deanna has succeeded at the Halas Center, and she has had two different jobs, first at a restaurant and now at a human resources department doing janitorial work. She hopes to be an inspiration to other people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “There is help out there. I used to think I’m not going to make it, it’s hard, it’s really hard. I have to keep waking up every day and telling myself I have to deal with my disability. I have to take it one day at a time.”
Deanna's dream is to have a job in the future helping the disabled like she has been helped. She would love to work at the Shedd Aquarium or Navy Pier. She also hopes people will read about her success story at Envision Unlimited and realize that there is hope for their loved ones. "If you have a child with a disability who needs help, that wants to get out and be independent, wants to get a job in the community, this place is for them. It will help them with their developmental skills. They will succeed in this agency, they will progress. Envision will help them achieve their goals."