Please share your mission.
Keshet provides educational, recreational, vocational, and social programs to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Mission: to enhance independence and integration to optimize personal potential.
Describe how your organization lives/realizes its mission.
In Illinois, at age 22, something catastrophic occurs to individuals with disabilities:all public funding suddenly stops. Parents call it “the cliff” because all programs up until age 22 provided by school districts simply end, leaving families with few options to secure alternative care with almost no funding. This crisis often leads to a situation where parents are scrambling to find trusted adult programs that are responsive to their adult children. Sadly, Keshet’s experiences show participants without adequate or consistent support systems are sometimes left home alone, all day, while family members work or attend school. When isolated from friends and community, participants sometimes regress in learned living and socialization skills, mastered in previous programs. Keshet’s response to “the cliff” inspired a commitment offering long-term, comprehensive adult programs. Keshet is determined that one’s 22nd birthday ought to be celebratory, rather than traumatic. With community assistance, Keshet makes this happen. In actuality, the “transition process” is weaved throughout every aspect of Keshet’s curriculum and begins on the very first day a new participant joins Keshet’s community. Beginning in elementary school, all of Keshet’s education programs have a significant vocational component which prepares participants with skills they need to successfully secure a job in which they have an interest and can be productive, adding purpose and meaning to their day.