Have It Your Way with My25

Rimland has recently begun a new partnership with My25, and we are incredibly excited about it! My25 is a program that develops customized menus and healthy eating habits for our residents. This program will be implemented in our community integrated living arrangements. They have a proven change management process that ensures a successful transition into a healthier lifestyle through education, resources, and continued guidance while individuals work on developing healthier eating habits. In addition, this program will help Rimland reduce food waste and save money on groceries. This is part of our ongoing efforts to be as environmentally friendly as possible and remain fiscally responsible. Rimland staff will receive training on how to work with the My25 program and obtain resources that they can use in their personal lives as well. Most important, though, we are so excited about this program because it introduces a higher level of personal choice for the individuals we support. Healthy eating is much easier to accomplish when individuals are able to choose the types of healthy foods they want, and this program does just that. We can’t wait to see the results!

Chef’s Choice

We are proud to announce a new partnership with private chef and nutritionist Chef Fallon Jacobs Sr., to cook at our Developmental Training Center lunch program five days per week. Chef Fallon will be crafting delicious meals such as meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans, and turkey tacos with Spanish rice and Mexican corn. For a special meal on Fridays, we will be having homemade pizzas with desserts such as marble cake. Fallon’s company is called Indecisive Eats and we are looking forward to chowing down on some delicious lunches.

Meet Aspiring Chef with Autism Jeremiah Josey

Jeremiah Josey

Jeremiah Josey, an aspiring chef and author with autism, is pursuing his dreams. In addition to having written about about life with autism, Jeremiah is an aspiring pastry chef based in Maryland who hosts a cooking show on YouTube called “Jeremiah’s Cooking Adventure.” As a young chef with autism, he is an advocate for those who are also on the spectrum.

“Because I have autism I’m not gonna let that stop me from getting in the way of my abilities and trying to accomplish my dreams,” he said.

Read more and watch a video about Jeremiah here



Odds and Ends: Shop with Scrip

Don’t forget to sign up for the Shop with Scrip program as an easy way to support Rimland! The Shop with Scrip rebate program enables you to raise money for Rimland while purchasing everyday items. Target, Amazon, Apple, and Home Depot are just a few of the companies who have partnered with this program. Use Rimland’s enrollment code to get started (ELC5316D59897) at and address any questions to

Save, invest, and grow with Illinois ABLE

Save, invest, grow


Invest in your future and save up to $100,000 without losing your SSI monthly benefits. With Illinois ABLE, you can save and invest your own money. You can pay for the expenses that are part of living with a disability. That includes things like taking lessons to learn a new skill. If you work, you can save money from your job without worrying about the $2000 asset limit. Most importantly, with Illinois ABLE you can gain some control and independence for your life! For more information, or to enroll, visit

Getting to know…Rimland’s Amy Werner

Rimland’s Amy Werner

Amy Werner is familiar to the Rimland community as the organization’s former administrative assistant, who subsequently became administrative coordinator and then operations director. She was recently interviewed by the digital media platform VoyageChicago as part of their “Chicago’s Most Inspiring Stories” project. VoyageChicago reached out to Amy through social media after seeing some of Rimland’s posts. She was really excited to be offered this opportunity to talk about Rimland, not just as an organization, but as a group of people working hard to serve others. Follow the link to learn more about Amy and her journey from new college graduate to valued Rimland team member.

Chef in Progress!

Farm to table

Will Rimland produce Chicago’s next Rick Bayless? We are delighted to share that Rimland has recently begun a partnership with the program Doors Open Dishes in a fundraising and awareness effort. Launched by Nicole Schnitzler, a food writer whose brother is an individual with autism, Doors Open Dishes is a unique initiative that pairs individuals with disabilities with chefs at local restaurants across Chicago. The chef meets with an individual with special needs to discuss and learn about the individual’s favorite foods and to develop an original dish—from a unique peanut butter and jelly sundae spin-off to a farm-to-table makeover of fried chicken—that is inspired by the conversation with the individual. The dish is then showcased at the chef’s restaurant, and the proceeds from sales of the dish go to the organization supporting the individual. We are thrilled to partner one of our very own residents with the team at the acclaimed Gold Coast Italian seafood restaurant Nico Osteria this November! Click here to find out more about Doors Open Dishes, and be sure to mark your calendars and whet your appetites for a memorable dinner at Nico Osteria this fall.

We Walked the Walk!

Executive Director Carolyn Keel and family are ready to Walk for Rimland!

The 5K Walk for Rimland fundraiser took place on Saturday, June 23 at 10:00am. We were thrilled to have 28 walkers participate this year on a warm but pleasant and sunny summer day.

Staying the course

The course started at Rimland’s headquarters in Evanston and took walkers west on Dempster and then through the picturesque Skokie Sculpture Park. Next, we headed north all the way to Oakton, which was the turnaround to bring walkers back to our starting point. Beyond walking and talking together in the fresh air and sunshine, the event also included a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction with prizes, including tickets to see the Beach Boys later this summer at Ravinia, Chicago Cubs tickets, and a golf package at the Evanston Canal Shores golf course.

On the trail

Each walker received a Rimland 5K Walk t-shirt and a Potbelly boxed lunch after the walk. Many thanks to everyone who participated in a great day for Rimland!

Thanks for the Zumba Memories

Shake it ’til you make it!

We want to thank everyone who came out on April 21st and supported our Zumba dance party FUNdraiser, which was held at Rimland’s Developmental Training Program in Evanston.

Wave your hands in the air!

With the help of our amazing instructors, nearly two dozen participants gathered, mingled, and danced the day away. We learned some new moves, made new friends, and got a great workout while supporting an awesome cause. Bagels and fruit were served.

Dance, dance, dance, dance!

Uncle Sam Wants YOU…to Walk for Rimland

Rimland’s major fundraiser of the year, the 2018 5k Walk for Rimland, will be on Saturday, June 23rd at 10am. We are so excited to host this event and are hoping for a great turnout and pleasant weather. Tickets, along with specific pricing information and ways to donate if people are unable to attend, can be found online here.


Special Olympics, April 2018 Edition

On April 22, we had another successful day at the Track & Field portion of the Special Olympics. Six participants represented Rimland, competing in the 50-meter walk and the softball throw. Participants received silver and bronze medals, and one even got gold! The mission of Special Olympics is to “provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.” Rimland is honored to participate in this annual event that encourages clients to exercise year-round and train for their big day.

Beach Yoga

Now that the weather is (finally) getting nicer, we are able to head to the beach for some yoga! Being outdoors is a nice change of pace and particularly relaxing after the long, cold winter. Rimland has been partnering with our yoga instructor, Kat Matthews, for several years, and she has done a fantastic job building relationships with the individuals at Rimland and helping them exercise their bodies and minds. Who doesn’t love a little fun in the sun?


Walk for Rimland 2018

These boots were made for walking for Rimland

We are excited to announce the return of a much-loved event from the past.  We  invite all of our families and the Rimland community at large to come and participate in the 2018 edition of Walk for Rimland, to take place June 23, 2018.  This will be our major fundraiser this year, so come one, come all!  More details will follow and be sure to check for more details on our website in the weeks to come.  We can’t wait to see all of you at this fun-filled, family-friendly Rimland tradition!


Two perspectives on Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month at the University of Illinois

April is Autism Awareness month and it is being celebrated across the globe and also right here in Illinois. This month, the University of Illinois’ student newspaper highlighted the school’s services to assist adults with autism and their families and the push to recognize neurodiversity among other diverse cultures celebrated on its campuses. It’s great to see future generations of leaders taking such an active interest in autism. Read the article here.

Autism Awareness Month alive at the University

Autism advocacy and research misses the mark if autistic people are left out

Some autistic self-advocacy organizations have criticized autism awareness initiatives because they too often emphasize the “deficits” or difficulties associated with autism, rather than the profound possibilities of autistic lives. In the article below, read more about how autistic activists are challenging advocacy and research initiatives that do not include the input and participation of individuals with autism:


Shop (for Rimland) ’til you drop!

Help Rimland while doing your daily shopping. Shop with Scrip is a rebate program that Rimland supporters can participate in that helps raise money for Rimland while shopping for everyday items. The program partners with a wide selection of popular retailers, including Target, Amazon, Apple, and Home Depot. Five Rimland families have already signed up, and our goal is to get 20 more participants by May 15th. Details—including a video explaining how the program works—can be found on our website. Join the effort here, and be sure to enter Rimland’s enrollment code: ELC5316D59897. Further questions can be directed to

Can you hear us now?

Rimland is currently in the process of updating our phone system. We will be upgrading the hardware for our phones and taking advantage of new technologies to make us more accessible via a web-based system. All Rimland phone numbers will stay the same and there will be no changes to the way we make and receive calls. Phone numbers for our group homes will not change either. Final updates will occur in the end of April, and we are looking forward to a seamless transition to more advanced technology. Please contact our office with any questions.


NPR Reports: Black and Latino Children Are Often Overlooked When It Comes to Autism

ASD affects people of all races and ethnicities, but research shows that African-American and Latino children with autism are diagnosed at older ages than white children, giving them less of an opportunity for proper intervention and treatment. Follow the link to learn more about the research and the stories of families:

Rimland in Motion

We are grateful to announce that Rimland received funding from the Evanston Community Foundation Climate Action Fund to purchase motion sensors for our Evanston group homes. The charge of the ECF-CAF is to provide funding for organizations committed to green initiatives that will benefit the community. Rimland has been committed to green initiatives for many years and is always looking for ways to make our group homes more sustainable, which is why we were a perfect match for the grant. These motion sensors will help us to use only the energy that we need by only turning lights on when someone is in the vicinity of the light.

Not only is this great for the environment, but it also helps Rimland reduce electric consumption and lower our bills over time. Rimland residences with motion sensors save an average of $42.07 per month, which really adds up over time. We plan to use these savings to purchase more motion sensors, so that we can eventually have them installed in all of our residences. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rimland!

World Autism Awareness Day: 2018 Edition

Monday, April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. This is the 11th annual, internationally recognized World Autism Awareness Day, and the month of April is recognized as World Autism Month. The goal of World Autism Day is to increase understanding and acceptance for the autism community. Advocates traditionally recognize the day by wearing blue. The day was initially proposed by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, the UN representative from Qatar, as a way to improve human rights. Notably, Women’s History month is in March, so highlighting the unique contributions of our diverse community continues in April. Please join us in celebration of our family members and the individuals we support!

Zumba Fun for All

Rimland will be presenting a Zumba FUNdraiser on April 21st. The Zumba Dance Marathon will take place from 10am to 1pm at our headquarters (1265 Hartrey). Tickets can be purchased in advance here and there is also an option to support the event by buying a shirt. All proceeds go to Rimland and will help provide the best possible programming for the individuals we support. Join us! No previous knowledge of Zumba is necessary to have fun and support Rimland!