Park Cities People did an article on CPPC recently entitled, “Connecting Point Plans to Fill Special-Needs Adults’ Days”. Here’s an excerpt.
Highland Park High School students with special needs can remain enrolled in the Life Skills program until the age of 22. Then what? To hear JoAnn Ryan tell it, it would be ideal if there was a place exactly like the Life Skills classroom at HPHS.
“That means it’s all-inclusive,” said Ryan, who has a 24-year-old son, Ryan Albers, whom she describes as 100 percent disabled. “There are people with all levels of disabilities in one place. The more abled are benefiting from helping those less abled. It works for everyone.”
But Ryan has been unable to find such a place that’s convenient for families who live in Highland Park and University Park. So she and a handful of other parents are creating one. They have formed a nonprofit called Connecting Point of Park Cities (that’s us) with the intention of offering fulfilling day programs for their adult children and others like them.
“One of the reasons we chose the name Connecting Point is that we’re really hoping to have everybody out and about in the community,” board member Sarah Oliai said. “Everyone’s going to participate on their own level. Whatever their ability is, they’re going to be along for the ride on their level.”
Connecting Point would like to start offering programs this fall, but Oliai said that depends on fundraising. She estimates they need $200,000 to hire key staff plus another $100,000 to open the doors. A big expense will be a bus equipped with a wheelchair lift.