The 2017 Tree of Hope Spokesfamily is another wonderful, local family who has chosen to share their family story with us to give us each a better understanding of what it means to raise two children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through their four year journey, you will get to meet parents, Jill and Jared, and their children Alex and Lexi! Their story is inspiring. Read below for the start of their family story!
"As a newly married couple, we were very excited when we learned we were expecting our first child in February 2013; Alex was born on January 31st. We were so happy to be first-time parents, and our parents were simply thrilled to have a grandson. In his first year of life, Alex met all his developmental milestones and we were enjoying our new lives. As Alex got closer to his first birthday, we noticed his language skills were delayed; he simply was not using words."
DSC is happy to announce their 2017 Recognition Award Winners! Each year, we are humbled by the wonderful people and businesses who are involved with or at DSC. We are excited to share with you this year's honorees!
Employer of the Year: Dish Passionate Cuisine
Public Service Award: Fraternal Order of Police: Illini Lodge 17
Special Recognition Award: Mr. Richard Montgomery
Personal Achievement Award: Ms. Laura Lindemann
Please click on the link below to learn more about these extraordinary people and businesses that contribute so much to DSC's mission; "DSC supports people to live a rich and meaningful life."
DSC is happy to announce that the efforts made for C-U in the Prairibbean 13, which was held on Saturday, August 5th was a success! The Eastern Illinois Parrot Head Club (EIPHC) presented DSC with a $50,393 check from the proceeds of the event! Thank you, EIPHC for all you do for DSC and our community!
Our friends at Flooring Surfaces chose DSC as their Salute to making our community better for all of us! Thank you, Flooring Surfaces and WCIA! We appreciate you and your support!
Click below to enjoy the latest issue of the DSC Community News newsletter!
Meet Me on Mondays is our feature that highlights current staff members, individuals who chose our services and/or DSC Board Members. DSC is full of truly incredible people and we want to share this information with you, the public!
Every November, we recognize just some of the wonderful people and groups that support the people at DSC. Today, we are meeting our 2017 Employer of the Year! We are excited to present this year’s award to Dish Passionate Cuisine.
At DSC, we are very fortunate to be surrounded by a strong and vibrant community of employers. Our business community is among the best in their willingness to embrace diversity and recognize opportunities that allow all people to become contributing members of their world through finding employment.
This year, we are recognizing one of those companies who have made outstanding efforts to help create success for their business, but as importantly have become invested in the long-term careers of those they hire.
Colleen and her sister, Liz, co-own Dish Passionate Cuisine. Their company’s roots began as Chef Benjamin & Company in 2008 when Colleen was working there. In 2011, an opportunity to purchase the business surfaced, and these two women took that leap of faith and purchased it. Soon after, Colleen, along with her sister, renamed the company Dish Passionate Cuisine.
Recognizing Colleen’s success over all these years working with many different individuals from DSC, we asked Dick Montgomery, DSC Employment Specialist, what he feels Colleen does best. Dick shared, “Colleen LISTENS!” He went on to express Colleen’s ability to communicate with her employees, and specifically, the people working with her from DSC. Dick said, “She’s not afraid to have real expectations of our workers. She’s not afraid to speak directly to them, lay her expectations on the table, as she would with any other staff.”
Currently, Colleen and Liz have two individuals who are working with them, hired from DSC, but the most impressive part is the longevity of these two individuals at Dish. One has been working with Colleen and Liz for six years and the other for two years.
Colleen and Liz’s dedication to their employees is amazing…their caring is not limited to work hours or typical work environments. One of the people working with them has some significant hearing loss and communication challenges. Colleen and Liz simply adapted their internal communications to accommodate his needs and ensured his opportunity for success.
Dick sums up these two women like this, “Elizabeth has helped supervise and been over-the-top in demonstrating patience and understanding”, and “Colleen is a pretty special person who can operate a very successful business while including everyone in her success.” When asked what her favorite thing is about owning a business, Colleen shared, “the ability to meet so many great people and help them create some of the most memorable experiences of their lives.”
Colleen and Liz…thank you for creating such wonderful experiences for your customers, your community, and your staff. Congratulations!!
DSC and Community Choices are collaborating through the creation of LEAP (Leaders Employing All People) to advance the Employment First initiative.
Rockwell Automation was one of our first LEAP trained businesses, and when asked why they decided to become LEAP trained, Ms.Marty Miner, Senior Human Resource Representative, shared, “It’s just the right thing to do.” In working to make Champaign County an even more disability inclusive community, we are offering businesses to receive this training through the hiring, or interest in hiring, people with disabilities. For more information about LEAP contact Stephanie Davenport Employment First/LEAP Coordinator at 356-9176 or email@example.com.
Congratulations to Parkland College for recently becoming LEAP trained. LEAP stands for Leaders in Employing All People and is a free, 1-hr training offered to employers to educate them on best practices for employing a person with a disability in their business. DSC offers a variety of educational resources and tools to employers. If you’d like more information, contact DSC Employment First/LEAP Coordinator, Stephanie Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-356-9176.
Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs is proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership that brings together 14 states to encourage individuals to invest money on behalf of people with a disability or blindness without jeopardizing their federal disability benefits through the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) act.
Illinois leads the National ABLE Alliance, the country’s largest multi-state agreement for these special investment tools. ABLE investment and banking accounts can grow tax free, and can be used to pay for qualifying, disability-related expenses. The introduction of this program culminates nearly two years of negotiations.
Well we have just the thing for you! DSC Business Operations center recycles all kinds of cardboard and paper - including magazines, catalogs, office paper, etc. - as part of our effort to keep the environment clean and financially support DSC's programs. (We do not accept books at this time).
You can bring your recyclable paper to DSC’s Business Operations at 3102 W Clark Rd in Champaign, 8am—4pm, M-F. From Duncan, turn west onto Clark Rd (just north of Springfield). Turn right to go behind DSC’s Business Operations facility to drop off your items at the back loading dock door.
Our staff strives to provide quality supports and services to consumers, their families, and fellow employees each and every day and they deserved to be recognized for their exemplary work!
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