In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the ADA, CPS is committing to 3 legacy projects centered on students with disabilities, their academic success, and inclusion into the communities in which they live and learn. Long Term Commitments:


The goal of the Transition to College and Career commitment is to increase access for diverse learners to college and career opportunities through improved transition services and partnerships. This will ultimately increase the number of diverse learners meaningfully employed or enrolled in college. To reach this goal CPS will establish partnerships with local colleges in a Students with Disabilities Transition Initiative that will result in informational programs for CPS students and parents. CPS will also expand diverse learner participation in Career and Technical Education programs and make a commitment to focus on resume writing and job fair preparation for juniors and seniors as well as post-secondary advising on career and higher education options.


The goal of the Literacy commitment is to improve supports for teachers in literacy education for diverse learners and to increase the number of diverse learners meeting reading standards. To reach this goal CPS will expand access for teachers to training in evidence based, multi-sensory methodologies for students requiring intensive intervention and establish an online toolkit for teachers that outlines evidence based instructional strategies to address all components of literacy along with a focus on gathering diagnostic data, ensuring a strategy/profile match and progress monitoring.


The goal of the Disability Awareness commitment is to create awareness of disabilities among all CPS students and staff to increase the number of diverse learners and non-disabled peers participating in inclusive activities. To reach this goal CPS will establish “Unique Week” - a week of celebrating and building awareness and advocacy around disability district wide. Additionally, CPS will schedule various activities to strengthen the community understanding of disability. This will include a resource kit intended to celebrate the uniqueness of each school’s community of learners, service learning projects for becoming disability aware, focus on the development of self-advocacy and sense of agency, increased focus on coaching athletes in preparation for Special Olympics, and a family night to elevate stories of students who have family members with disabilities.


This year, MOPD in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and One Summer Chicago implemented a pilot program that provided paid summer internships to 25 high school students with disabilities. The program was supplemented by an enrichment program for students that focusing on money management, understanding the impact of their disability benefits on employment wages and disability resources. In 2016 MOPD intends to double the program to place 50 students into paid internships.