The Coleman Foundation Announces Third Quarter 2019 Developmental Disability Service Grants

In the third quarter of 2019, the Coleman Foundation approved grants totaling $654,044 to non-profit organizations serving the Chicago metro area.


Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc., IL           

$85,000 – Empowering Economic Self-Sufficiency for People with Disabilities

This award supports a collaborative effort between two social service agencies serving individuals with developmental disabilities (w/DD), Ada S. McKinley and Teaching Together Chicago, to create a staff training program. Social service agencies engage in vocational training to prepare individuals w/DD for the workplace.  The training program will be designed to enhance skills and equip job coaches at social service agencies to help individuals w/DD to obtain and sustain competitive employment. The duties of a job coach are complex, requiring sound judgment and skills that include problem solving, decision-making, adaptability and knowledge of person-centered employment. The performance requirements of a successful job coach resemble tasks typically completed by supervisors / managers, teachers, allied health professionals, social workers, and counselors.

The objectives of the project are to develop: a training program for job coaches and mentors; a process to transition support from job coaches to volunteer mentors; customize tools and train job coaches and mentors on usage of the tools to empower individuals w/DD to maintain continuous employment; increase skills for job coaches, and train mentors to provide ongoing support to the individual employee.


Gateway to Learning Special Education and Training Center, IL

$69,044 – Baking Better Tomorrows

The award is to support the improvement and expansion of the organization’s culinary employment training program. GTL intends to offer more opportunities for culinary skills training and food sanitation credentialing for participants and, by partnering with students from local culinary institutes, to provide an experiential, integrated workforce in the food industry.  Activities include curriculum review and revision done in collaboration with interns from the Kendall College of the National Louis.  Additional resources will support expansion of the product line of Dorothy’s Can-Do Café, the organization’s social enterprise, as well as capital improvements to the Café.  The award advances the Foundation’s Impact Plan strategy to fund efforts to expand job opportunities and prepare individuals for workplace success.


PACTT Learning Center, IL

$500,000 – PACTT Residential Expansion

The award is in support of the organization’s i’mPACTT: the future of belonging capital campaign.  The campaign is intended to improve the organization’s facilities, create therapeutic environments and expand PACTT programming. The award supports the cost to acquire a building which would serve as a new six-bed community integrated living arrangement (two 3-bedroom, 2-flat units) for individuals with autism.  The award advances the Foundation’s Impact Plan Strategy to fund efforts to create and renew housing alternatives.