Information about learning, living and employment opportunities for young adults with developmental disabilities will be shared at the ELSA Transition Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center.
During the Transition Fair, participants and their families can learn more about the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy, and exhibitors will offer information about community-based organizations, post-secondary educational opportunities, and legal and financial resources.
The event’s keynote speaker is Randy Lewis, a former Walgreen Co. senior vice president and the author of No Greatness Without Goodness. The book describes how Lewis’ autistic son, Austin, inspired him to start an initiative to employ people with disabilities. As a result of Lewis’ initiative, 10 percent of Walgreens employees are people with disabilities, doing the same jobs for the same pay, and according to the same performance standards, as any other employee.
Lewis will speak at 6 p.m. in the Prospect Room of the Frick Center. The Transition Fair will run from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Founders Lounge. Two of the exhibitors are ELSA alumnae – Kristin Hadley ’16, who runs a support group (I Love Myself with CP and ADHD); and Kristin Winter ’10, a jewelry maker (Jewelry By Kristin). At 8 p.m., an ELSA information session will be offered in the Prospect Room.
The Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy, or ELSA, is a four-year college experience program in Illinois for young adults ages 18 to 28 who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. The program emphasizes academics and career exploration, independent living and social/recreational skills. ELSA students carry a traditional college schedule, can participate in college activities and organizations, and have the option of living on campus.