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!

Special Olympics at 50

On their marks

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics. Rimland has participated throughout the years, and 2018 is no exception.

Waiting to start

On Saturday, March 24, five Rimland athletes competed in the Special Olympics Illinois Region B Swim Meet at Lake Forest College.

A photo finish

They competed in the 25-meter freestyle race and in the 25-meter backstroke race, resulting in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishes. Congratulations to all participants!

A Toast to Rimland!

Wining and dining

On Friday, February 16, Rimland hosted its first-ever wine tasting event.  Close to 40 guests came to the Developmental Training Center and enjoyed learning about wines from around the world.  The wine tasting was led by Kevin Ball, from In Grape Company, a private wine distribution company right here in Evanston. 

While guests were sampling their wines, they enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner from Catered by Design, another local catering company.  The food was amazing! 

If sampling great wine and enjoying some fine dining wasn’t enough, the evening also included some love song karaoke singing!  People really enjoyed doing some of their own crooning, but we were also lucky enough to have a professional in the house who sang some amazing love songs for our guests! 

All of our guests truly enjoyed themselves and had a great evening.  It was great to see so many new faces come out and support Rimland Services. 

In Grape Company is currently selling the wines we tasted on February 16.  If you love wine and would like to help by purchasing some wine, Rimland will receive $2.00 of each bottle sold!   

See the website at if you are interested in purchasing wine.  Or visit their website at  Be quick because this offer expires on February 28! 

Hearts full of love

On Valentine’s Day, Rimland had a party at our Developmental Training Program with our program participants. We enjoyed beef sandwiches and mostaccioli catered from Portillo’s. We also baked Valentine’s Day sugar cookies and decorated the cookies together.


Trivial pursuits at Temperance Beer Co.

Alex Trebek, eat your heart out! Rimland held our first Trivia Night in January at Temperance Beer Company, right around the corner from our Evanston headquarters. This was a delightful evening where friends and family put their knowledge together to support Rimland. The evening included a raffle with 10 gift baskets made up of donated items from the following companies: Nothing Bundt Cakes, United Airlines, In Grape Company, 675 Nails and, of course, Temperance Beer Co. We had about 30 people attend the event, many of whom were new faces, and everyone had a fun time.

Improv for All!

Chicago’s own renowned The Second City comedy club is now offering classes specifically for teens with autism. This is a terrific opportunity to better integrate individuals with autism into the community and it shows that all of us have a lot in common. Working on improv skills is great for individuals with autism, because it requires learning communication, social queues, and being able to “read” and understand others. It’s also fun! Details about the classes can be found here.

Help with Health Matters

Rimland has joined the one-year HealthMatters, Illinois! initiative, the goal of which is to improve health and health promotion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers throughout the state of Illinois. HealthMatters, Illinois! is a part of a larger scale-up project led by the HealthMatters Program team at the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, partnering with the Human Development Institute at the University of Illinois and the Illinois Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities to assist provider organizations with promoting healthy lifestyles to people with disabilities. If you would like to learn more about this initiative, please visit Program participants receive resources such as a HealthMatters curriculum, online training sessions, consultations with program staff, and more. Rimland was just accepted into the program in February. We will continue to share progress on the initiative and our participation.


Autism Allies at Ela Area Library

Ela Area Public Library

On January 18, Executive Director Carolyn Keel gave a presentation to approximately 30 library staff members at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. She spoke about Rimland and what we do, as well as provided information on interacting with library patrons with autism. The staff were highly knowledgeable about their patron base and reported pleasant interactions with patrons with autism. This is another example of Rimland’s commitment to community integration and equal access for individuals with autism. Rimland residents are frequent visitors to the Evanston library, so it was a gratifying to get another library invested in the wellbeing of adults with autism.

Holiday Happenings

Ugly sweater?

Rimland hosted its annual holiday party on December 21 at our Developmental Training center. Along with the individuals supported by Rimland, the party was attended by a number of parents and guardians and our dedicated staff. The event was catered by Browns Chicken and the theme was “ugly holiday sweaters.” Each community integrated living option had a themed ugly sweater, which allowed for everyone to both participate together in a theme and express their individuality.

Holiday cookies

Robots in the Classroom

An Illinois school has engaged innovative technology to help students with autism develop their social skills. Milo, a small robot who has several facial expressions, was introduced into a classroom of young kids as a way to engage kids with autism. Check out the news story here.

This is a great example of how technology can be used to help individuals with autism to engage with the world around them at their own pace. Rimland’s technology classroom applies a similar concept in which we use iPads to help clients learn, communicate, and develop pre-vocational skills.


Got Trivia?

Rimland Team Trivia Night

Bring your smarts to Rimland’s first team trivia fundraiser! Gather with old friends and new at Temperance Beer Company (located just down the street from Rimland headquarters) on Monday, January 29 to eat pizza, drink craft beer, and compete for prizes and bragging rights!

For more details, click here!

Join Us for Holiday Fun

Rimland Holiday Event Website to learn about holiday events and order cards and candles


It’s hard to believe it, but the holiday season is upon us!

We would like to invite you to help us make the holidays merry and bright for our clients by participating in our annual Giving Tree.  Check out our website for more details, and please stay tuned for upcoming fundraising events in 2018. We thank you in advance for your support and hope to see many of you on December 21, here at the Developmental Training workshop to celebrate the season. Our holiday event will take place from 12:00 – 2:00 pm.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy holiday season and our best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!

Happy Birthday, Mrs. President!

Celebrating Mrs. Ganz

This past November, Rimland celebrated a milestone birthday of our beloved board president Lorraine Ganz. A retired special education teacher who holds a master’s degree in education from Illinois State University, Mrs. Ganz has dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of young adults with significant behavioral challenges. As a co-founder and governance officer, she was instrumental in establishing the state of Illinois’ first community-based residential facility.  Mrs. Ganz has been a part of our leadership since the early years of Rimland and has played a key role in Rimland’s success since its inception. It was truly an honor for Rimland leadership to celebrate her milestone birthday with a luncheon at the organization’s headquarters. Lou Malnati’s pizza was served, along with a delicious “Death by Chocolate” cake. We wish you many happy returns of the day, Mrs. Ganz!