From its core programs for children and adults with intellectual challenges in the Chicago area, to its international consulting work, Keshet serves over 1,000 individuals with special needs and touches the lives of many more family members, peers, supporters, and other stakeholders around the globe.
For the past 35 years, Keshet has integrated students, campers, residents, and employees with special needs into over 70 sites in the Chicago area and throughout the Midwest. Globally, Keshet has trained over 15,000 staff members, proving the tools necessary for successful inclusion.
Keshet’s local leadership, comprised of nearly 100 lay leaders from all walks of life, provide the inspiration, direction, and funding required to fulfill the organization’s mission: to do whatever is necessary to allow individuals with special needs to achieve their potential.
… individuals of all abilities should have the opportunity to learn, work, have fun, and live in a way that enables self respect and promotes self-esteem.
… individuals Keshet serves should be members of their own community, enjoying life along-side typically developing peers, in settings that enable their efforts and reward the community for their acceptance.
Several core beliefs have guided Keshet’s mission since its inception:
- Children and adults with disabilities do best within the embrace of their own community, so we integrate participants into the mainstream of life at every opportunity.
- We can serve individuals with complicated needs, so we do not have specific criteria for program acceptance.
- No participant should be turned away for inability to pay for services, so we strive tirelessly to collaborate with donors, foundations, and program partners to keep tuitions reasonable and scholarships available.
- Our community partners and donors should share in the lives and successes of the individuals we serve, so we deeply involve those stakeholders in the life of the organization.