Services and Programs

5 Core Services

Information and Referral:
Options provides current information about any disability related topic to individuals with disabilities, their families, service providers, and the community. Referrals are made to other resources as requested and appropriate.

Peer Support & Mentoring:
This involves sharing, problem-solving and exchanging information amongst individuals with disabilities who may share similar life experiences. Options seeks peer mentors to provide positive role-modeling and to share their knowledge if requested by another person experiencing a similar disability.

Options hosts different peer support groups quarterly.

Cross Disability Support Group- meets monthly in the Watseka office.

Independent Crusaders (ICRU)- Youth peer support group; meets twice monthly in the Bourbonnais office.

Vision Information Group- meets twice quarterly; once in the Watseka office and once in Bourbonnais office.

Independent Living Skills Training:
Options provides training on skills requested by people with disabilities to live independently. Independent living skills training may include job skills training, employment assistance, housing acquisition, personal assistant management, and money management/budgeting.

Individual advocacy means to advocate for onself or another person. It means speaking out or arguing for a cause. Options places a high priority on assisting individual advocates in their efforts, and believes the key to true empowerment is full knowledge of one’s rights. Our team is trained to provide coaching and support to our consumers who want to advocate for themselves. by gaining self-advocacy skills individuals learn how to communicate and negotiate with agencies, service providers, employers, and others in order to obtain needed benefits, services, or accommodations.

Systems Advocacy is achieved by promoting and effecting positive changes at the local, state, and federal level. Through various public awareness activities, special events, and active participation in the legislative process; Options works to eliminate barriers and achieve equal access and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Transition Services:

Community Reintegration – Options works with adults with disabilities ages 18-59 who currently live in a nursing home whose goal is to live independently. Qualified individuals are provided with services and support systems needed to move out of nursing homes into their own residence and live independently. Options receives state and federal funding dedicated to providing services that support qualifying individuals with disabilities transition out of nursing home into home and community-based settings.
Youth Transition-  Options strives to empower youth with disabilities to successfully navigate the transition into all aspects of adult life including; perusing post-secondary education, employment, and independent living.

Nursing Home Diversion- Options supports community living for all individuals with disabilities. We receive various grants and charitable trust donations to provide Independent Living Aids; Assistive Technology and Wheel-Chair Ramps to Actively Prevent Nursing facility placement. Funding is limited and subject to eligibility guidelines.  



Vision Services Program
Through a grant received by the Bureau of Blind Services Options is able to provide free assistive devices/independent living aids to individuals with low-vision who are over the age of 55 and live within our service area.Our Vision Service Advocate is available by appointment and will collaborate with you to identify items needed. We carry a wide variety of items designed to promote and maintain independent including: lighted magnifiers, talking watches, big button phones, adaptive kitchen gadgets, and signature guides.

Personal Assistant Program

Personal Assistant Orientation: Through a grant provided by Illinois Department of Human Services, Options is able to provide a monthly Personal Assistant Orientation in our Bourbonnais office, and every three months in our Watseka Office. Personal Assistants are hired by individuals with disabilities who receive Home Services through DHS. Upon completion of Personal Assistant Orientation, your name will be added to our Personal Assistant Registry, which is mailed out upon request of Home Service customers when they are hiring new employees.

Personal Assistant management: Also provided by a grant by Illinois Department of Human Services, home service customers can receive individual or group training on hiring, managing, and firing their Personal Assistants.

Amplified Phone and TTY Demonstration Center
Options is designated by the Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation (ITAC) as a demonstration site for amplified telephone equipment. To qualify for this free program a person must: be a legal resident of Illinois, be deaf, hard of hearing, have a speech impairment, or DeafBlind to the extent that they cannot use a standard phone, and have landline or cellphone service. Applications are available at both Options locations and require the signature of a doctor, audiologist,DHS counselor for the Deaf, speech language pathologist OR hearing aid specialist.

Equipment Loan Program
Options provides free equipment loans to individuals with disabilities. Items are donated, and vary at any point in time. Typical items requested include wheelchairs, rollators, walkers, canes, bed rails, c-pap and bi-pap machines, and other reusable medical equipment. ** Please note we do not accept any donations of items that may have been in contact with bodily fluids including toilet seat risers, or both chairs.

Sign Language Interpreter Referral
Options provides referrals for area business and organizations seeking qualified sign language interpreters to improve communication with individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.