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Can You Dig It?


Oak-Leyden was invited by Sugar Beet Schoolhouse to participate in their All Ages + All Abilities Garden on the grounds of the Park District of Oak Park’s Cheney Mansion. Our Lifelong Learning Center’s participants worked with Oak-Leyden staff and volunteer master gardeners to plant, care for, and grow marigolds, herbs, and veggies in our Italian Feasting Garden. Tools, raised beds, seeds, and plants were donated to provide us with a season of learning, sharing, and relationship building.

The garden raised more than 850 lbs. of produce, which was donated to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. Check out the media coverage we received from FOX-TV News and Deb’s Big Backyard.

CARF and Cavalcade Awards


Oak-Leyden Developmental Services has been awarded the highest level of accreditation by CARF International for our day and residential programs.


CARF accreditation is a public seal of trust and commitment to quality based on internationally accepted standards. Achieving this accreditation demonstrates Oak-Leyden’s commitment to exceptional, personalized care. An organization receiving the highest level of CARF accreditation has undergone a detailed peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors, during an on-site visit, its commitment to providing programs and services of the highest quality. For more information on CARF, visit www.carf.org.

cavalcadepic2Oak-Leyden Developmental Services was recognized for the beautification of its headquarters’ façade at 411 Chicago Ave. in Oak Park. The 2014 Cavalcade of Pride Commercial Building Award was presented by Oak Park’s Community Design Commission at the Nineteenth Century Club on Nov. 20. Opening remarks were made by village president, Anan Abu-Taleb, to a capacity crowd of honorees and supporters of the village’s 2014 Preservation Awards, Green Awards, and Cavalcade of Pride Awards.


The 411 Chicago Avenue facility houses Oak-Leyden’s management staff as well as playrooms for Oak-Leyden’s Children’s Services’ therapy program, and is one of 15 near-west suburban facilities operated by Oak-Leyden. The Oak-Leyden façade project was partially funded by a grant from Oak Park Development Corp.





Take a Shopping Break with Us on #Giving Tuesdaybeershoplogo

Join us for a community gathering celebrating our programs and services ~

December 1
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. carnivore
at BeerShop
1026 North Blvd., Oak Park
Light apps provided by Carnivore

Event proceeds benefit Oak-Leyden. Additional donations are welcome at the event or online. Thanks for all you do to help Oak-Leyden help children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their highest potential. We couldn’t do it without you!



Thanks to Hofbräuhaus Chicago for hosting our annual fundraiser, and all of our attendees and sponsors for their generosity at our November 6 event. A great time was had by all. A shout-out to our Master of Ceremonies, Dave Revsine of the Big Ten Network, and DTKindler Photography for the terrific pics. Check them out on our Facebook page!



 GBG1Go Baby, Go

We’re driving a car pool of a different kind at our 411 Chicago Ave. location in Oak Park. Through a donation by the Kiwanis Club of Oak Park-River Forest, Oak-Leyden’s Children’s Services Program was able to purchase three battery-operated cars and a local State Farm agent sponsored a fourth that volunteers have adapted for use by our Children’s Services Program participants.

After a trip to Toys ‘R’ Us, Dr. Cole Galloway, a professor of physical therapy at the University of Delaware, invented a less expensive alternative to electric wheelchairs for

GBG6physically impaired children between the ages of 18 and 24 months. Galloway realized he could retrofit battery-operated toy cars using creative materials like PVC tubing, swimming pool noodles, and kickboards. Thus, GoBabyGo (www.udel.edu/gobabygo) was formed.

To date, the program has retrofitted nearly 100 cars, many of which are customized to provide physical therapy for specific impairments. Galloway’s vehicles, which aim to increase mobility and bridge the “exploration gap” between abled and impaired children, have been shown to increase cognitive and motor skills in their drivers.  “It unlocks brain development and exploratory drive for the child, and ignites active, engaged play from adults and peers,” Galloway says. “When your main goal is mobility and socialization of young children andGBG4 their families, you can’t ask for better collaborators than Barbie and Mater.”GBG2

On Sept. 13, volunteers from Northwestern University’s engineering department, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Oak-Leyden Children’s Services staff, and Dr. Deb Gaebler from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, gathered to complete the retrofits. Thanks to all who donated and volunteered to help make this program innovation possible.

There’s no stopping our little drivers now, as program therapists and parents cheer them on to Go Baby, Go!


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Click here for a list of options, and scroll down to see our wish list for new or gently-used items. We appreciate your support!



Do you use Amazon? Support us each time you shop with just one click, on AmazonSmile. It offers the same items, prices, and discounts as the traditional Amazon site, and allows you to request that 0.5% of your purchases benefit Oak-Leyden.