Latino Outreach Grant Brings Needed Services to Community

In August 2016, El Valor received the Latino Outreach grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services. The grant has given El Valor the opportunity to provide services that had been absent in the Latino community. The grant funded community-oriented art classes, parent support groups, socialization groups, employment workshops for young adults with disabilities, nutrition classes, and educational field trips. All the family-oriented workshops have been organized with the ultimate goal of providing essential services to individuals with disabilities and their families in the Latino community. To better serve the community, workshops were based entirely on participant recommendations. Most importantly, all of the activities offered through the grant have been conducted in Spanish. This key component of the program has given many Spanish speaking families an opportunity to receive valuable information they have often been deprived of due to language barriers. In its first year, the growing program reached more than 270 parents, young adults, and children.

As part of the program, El Valor hosted more than 80 workshops in one year. In partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Applied Health Science, El Valor hosted multiple healthy lifestyles/ nutrition workshops for families and young adults with disabilities. As a component of this collaboration, an agenda was created for the nutrition program that specifically focused on families with young adults with disabilities. Additionally, El Valor has organized parent support groups and invited speakers to talk about topics such as: employment benefits, transportation accessibility, transitioning from education to community and employment participation, legal guardianship, and immigration rights. Key components for the parent support group have been the accessibility of information provided in Spanish and the additional support of respite services given during some of the presentations. Furthermore, El Valor hosted art classes that served young adults with disabilities, their families, and the surrounding community. One of the great outcomes of the art classes has been the connection they established between the families at El Valor and the community. Under the grant, El Valor has also been able to provide employment workshops and socialization groups for young adults with disabilities. In addition to these services, the grant has given the opportunity to many young adults with disabilities a chance to visit local community attractions, such as the National Museum of Mexican Art and the White Sox’s Guarantee Rate Field. Through the Latino Outreach grant, El Valor has been able to provide access to valuable services to many Latino families and young adults with disabilities.

For information on upcoming Latino Outreach programs, click here.