From a small association dedicated to providing speech and occupational therapy services for local children with disabilities in the 1940s to the more expansive and inclusive agency we are today, TradeWinds has been “serving people with special needs by empowering them to realize their full potential” since 1967.

We currently provide services for more than 360 children of all abilities with an emphasis on those who have developmental, behavioral, physical and/or healthcare needs. In partnership with Geminus Head Start and Early Head Start, these services include year-round Child Care for infants through preschoolers. TradeWinds also offers Summer Camp for ages 6-16 and continues to provide Speech and Occupational Therapy services as contracted by local schools.

In addition, more than 500 adults with special needs now choose TradeWinds for adult day services, prevocational training and employment opportunities. Whether employed at the center or supported in the community, workers of all abilities have the opportunity to learn new skills and earn a paycheck. TradeWinds also provides Residential Group Home Living in six local homes for those who require comprehensive medical care around the clock and Supported Community Living in family homes, homes/apartments independently owned or managed and homes/apartments owned by TradeWinds for those who have the ability to live semi-indepedently.

Respite Care is also available for community caregivers of both children and adults with activities planned from a 3-hour minimum to overnight in the community, family home or Tradewinds’ newly remodeled local apartment. A partner since 2014, Deaf Services at TradeWinds schedules interpreters as requested 24/7 in the community and offers case management, advocacy and Deaf Sensitivity training along with American Sign Language (ASL) classes. New in 2015, The Chicago Lighthouse at TradeWinds Low Vision Clinic brings optical, technological and auditory assistive devices to people with vision loss in the community.


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