What is the purpose of this service?

We offer three residential education and outreach programs for children with disabilities. Our Next Steps program trains parents to plan, advocate, and identify resources for their child with a disability.

What services are offered?

Our three residential schools provide nine-month residential accredited education programs:

  • Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD), located in Jacksonville, serves students from birth to 21 who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI), located in Jacksonville, serves students from birth to 21 who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Illinois Center for Rehabilitation & Education-Roosevelt (ICRE-R), located in Chicago, serves students ages 5-21 with severe physical disabilities.

Programming includes extra curricular activities, vocational rehabilitation and transition services, vocational education classes, training in daily living skills, orientation and mobility skills, and independent living skills.

Next Steps teams of parents, customers, and professionals train parents and caregivers of children with disabilities in effective planning, advocacy and resource-finding strategies.

Who can receive these services?

Any Illinois resident who meets the age and disability criteria can attend the residential schools.

Any Illinois resident whose child has a disability can participate in Next Steps.

How are services provided?

Local school districts, professionals and parents can make referrals for children to attend ISD, ISVI, or ICRE-Roosevelt. For specific admissions criteria, contact the schools directly.

Contact DRS Next Steps program for more information about this service.

How to apply?

Use the DHS Office Locator to search for Residential Schools and find contact information for ISD, ISVI, or ICRE-Roosevelt or call toll-free:

(800) 843-6154 (Voice, English or Español) or (800) 447-6404 (TTY).

Contact the Next Steps program at:

Next Steps
Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services
Hay Edwards Building
400 West Lawrence
Springfield, 62794-9429

Phone: (217) 524-1379 (Voice), (888) 532-4146 (TTY), (217) 785-7798 (Fax)

Email: Marjorie.Olson@illinois.gov

DHS Office Locator

DHS Help Line

  • 1-800-843-6154
  • 1-800-447-6404 TTY