Keshet: Special Needs. Extraordinary Opportunities.

Offering support services and training for individuals with developmental disabilities to help them live in their community and function as independently as possible

Keshet: Special Needs. Extraordinary Opportunities. does whatever is necessary to allow individuals with disabilities to achieve their potential. In 1982, special-education programs were sparse and not personalized to unique needs. Frustrated families came together to share support and experiences. Out of that grew Keshet, which now serves over 600 individuals challenged by more than 50 different developmental issues. It’s been on the forefront for years; Keshet’s inclusion philosophy and practice were established long before “inclusion” programming for individuals with disabilities became standard. Keshet offers support services and training for individuals with developmental disabilities so they can acquire the living and social skills needed to live within their community and function as independently as possible. For toddlers to senior citizens and every age in between, Keshet provides consistent, long-term programs customized for each participant’s needs throughout their life. 

Keshet’s mission is to enhance independence and integration to optimize personal potential through support at school, work, or home, and in the community through residential, employment, social, and therapeutic services. It has more than 70 host sites throughout the Chicago area and surrounding states, including five preschools, five Sunday school programs, four elementary schools, two high school programs, two residential locations, 17 summer camps, and 30 work locations. With its reputation and success, Keshet has become a consultant to other organizations working to build inclusion into their programs. Keshet addresses traditionally difficult institutional challenges by facilitating the participation of people with disabilities, lessening isolation of participants by having participants age and move up together, and fundraising to depend less on fluctuating government funding. My Life, Keshet’s first community residence, is conveniently located near employment opportunities, shopping, transportation, recreation, and places of worship. Keshet’s long-term plans include additional community residences and more employment and vocational programs. Keshet is mindful that giving participants too much service is demeaning and disrespectful, and fosters dependence. It strives to help people “just enough.” That approach has created a community of more-independent people, led by a strong organization that is doing so, so much.

  • Region

    Illinois
  • Population Served

    20s & 30s Adults Children Disabilities Families Teens Women & Girls
  • Program Area(s)

    Children Social Justice
  • Contact

    Dave Gendel
  • Email

    dave@keshet.org
  • Phone

    847-205-1234
  • Website

    keshet.org
  • Twitter

    @keshetchicago
  • Facebook

    keshetchicago
  • Instagram

    keshetchicago
  • Address

    600 Academy Drive, Suite 130 Northbrook, Il 60062
  • Founded

    1982
  • Board Chair(s)

    Shalom Klein
  • 2017 expenses

    $7,000,000

Photo Gallery

Featured in 4 Slingshot Guides

  • '18 Chicago Edition

  • '16

  • '16 Chicago Edition

  • '14-'15