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Can You Dig It?


Oak-Leyden has been 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 participants are working 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. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and watch us grow!

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.





Our Children’s Services Program is celebrating its 40th anniversary!

kidincarSunday, October 18
1 to 3 p.m.
411 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park

All are invited for a special tribute to our program’s graduates, families, volunteers, and community who have helped our children grow to their fullest potential. Join us for…

~ Live Music ~
~ Activities ~
~ Treats ~
~ Family Fun ~

For more information or to RSVP, contact Latrie Marshall at 708-524-1050 x 132 or lmarshall@oak-leyden.org. Hope to see you there!

You’re Invited!

invitesnip1Join us for a fun-filled evening, celebrating our mission and accomplishments as we help children and adults with developmental disabilities meet life’s challenges and reach their highest potential.

Enjoy delicious, authentic German food, cocktails, entertainment, live and silent auctions, and more! Thanks to our presenting sponsor ~


Hofbräuhaus Chicago
5500 Park Place
Rosemont, Illinois

6:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Master of Ceremonies ~
Dave Revsine
Lead studio host for
the Big Ten Network

$95 Per Person Donation

Click to purchase event and cash raffle tickets by credit card or contact Lori Malinski at lmalinski@oak-leyden.org or 708-524-1050 x 102 to pay by cash or check. To donate items to our silent auction or view our various event sponsorship opportunities, click here.

 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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Check Out Our Wish List

Looking for donation opportunities to help support our programs and services?


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.