Chicago Home Care Resources
COVID-19 is challenging to explain, live through and communicate about. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides videos, posters, social stories, and interactive activities to help communicate with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities about COVID-19.
Five topics are featured in the toolkit:
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
- Wearing a mask
- Social distancing
- Hand washing
- Getting a COVID-19 test
The CDC also has a one-page, easy-to-understand tip sheet for caregivers.
The materials are also available in Spanish.
Ready.gov provides emergency preparedness tools and information to help families before, during and after disasters. This site includes:
- Step-by-step checklists, tips and individual considerations important to planning for people with disabilities and their families
- Ready Kids age-appropriate materials for helping children and teens be prepared rather than scared
Resources are also available in Spanish, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
As families across Illinois continue to get back on their feet amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Human Services is expanding Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) eligibility to help residents get back to work.
Parents who are unemployed and actively seeking employment will be eligible for three months of child care assistance, provided they meet the standard Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) eligibility requirements. This assistance program begins on Oct. 1, 2021.
If parents become employed or enroll in an education program before the end of the three-month period and meet all other CCAP eligibility requirements, their eligibility will continue for 12 months in total.
Families interested in applying for support through CCAP should contact their local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (CCR&R) or call (877) 202-4453 toll-free.
Rental Assistance & Eviction Resources
Illinois Access to Justice provides information on available rental assistance programs in Illinois, where to find legal help if you’re facing eviction and an overview of your rights as a tenant living in Illinois.
Information is available in English and Spanish.
Ameren Illinois’ Economic Hardship Recovery Program provides information on various energy assistance programs, payment options and tips on lowering your utility bill.
This step-by-step resource includes information on:
- Assistance paying your energy bills, applying for financial assistance and eligibility guidelines
- Exploring payment options
- Tips for lowering future energy bills and energy efficiency programs
Click here for a list of assistance programs statewide, including Warm Neighbors Cool Friends (WNCF), a program designed to help moderate-income seniors and families who have temporarily experienced a hardship but may not meet the guidelines of government programs.
For more information, contact Ameren Illinois at (800) 755-5000 (residential customers) or (800) 232-2477 (business customers).
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible low-income households pay for home energy services (primarily heating during winter months).
Due to COVID-19 precautions, some local agencies are closed to the public, but applications may be made remotely.
To help find an office serving your area, visit this complete list of LIHEAP application agencies based on county.
For more program information, check out the frequently asked questions or call the LIHEAP hotline at (877) 411-WARM (9276).
Local agencies may offer different types of LIHEAP assistance depending on funding availability and the utility service area.
Adaptive Adventures focuses on providing children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities the opportunity to achieve greater independence in outdoor sports while experiencing camaraderie and the benefits of recreation and adventure. Their ongoing programs, camps and clinics include cycling, climbing, kayaking, paddle boarding, dragon boat racing, skiing, snowboarding, waterskiing, wakeboarding and rafting.
Adaptive Adventures travels the country to provide direct program services. Programming is offered to participants and their families free of charge or significantly subsidized. Adaptive Adventures believes cost should never be a barrier to someone’s participation in quality outdoor adaptive sports opportunities.
Visit the Adaptive Adventures website for information about programs and events in Illinois.
Physicians must provide current medical reports and details necessary to support the need for in-home nursing and Home Care services for Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) participants.
We developed these sample letters of medical necessity for home nursing to help physicians in this process.
For more helpful information on in-home nursing services, visit our Home Care Nursing Information for Families page.
Learning American Sign Language
If you are interested in learning or practicing the basics of American Sign Language (ASL), these sites provide free lessons to get you started:
- ASL Connect – Gallaudet University
- Sign Language 101 – Learn Sign Language Online Free
- American Sign Language | Complete 3-Level Course | Start ASL
There are also free YouTube videos available to help you learn, practice and supplement your sign language instruction:
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for schools. These challenges continue as schools and public agencies seek to ensure support and equity for children and students experiencing the long-term adverse health effects of COVID-19, commonly referred to as long COVID.
This resource provides information about long COVID as a disability and about schools’ and public agencies’ responsibilities for the provision of services and reasonable modifications for children and students for whom long COVID is a disability. It is issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and focuses on two Federal laws: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).