In Memory of Founder Robert Oakes

Robert Oakes

In 1988, Robert Oakes founded Progress Center for Independent Living and served as the first chair of Progress Center's Board of Directors.   Without the commitment and dedication of Robert, Progress Center would not exist today.  As a result of Robert's leadership, thousands of people with disabilities have secured the tools and resources they need to be independent and to navigate barriers to independence.    Sadly, Robert passed in late December of 2017.  In lieu of flowers, the Oakes family has asked that donations be made to organizations that he was committed to, including Progress Center.  

What is Progress Center for Independent Living?

Progress Center is one of 22 Independent Living Centers in Illinois. There are more than 400 Centers for Independent Living across the United States. Centers for Independent Living provide critical services and resources to people with disabilities, giving them the tools to be independent and the tools to navigate barriers to independence. Centers for Independent Living are unique because a majority of people employed by centers are people with disabilities. We follow the motto: "Nothing About Us Without Us."

Progress Center:

*Helps guide people in their search for housing
*Connects people to resources for home modifications
*Maintains a pool of qualified personal assistants
*Coordinates various peer support groups
*Supports people with disabilities in search of jobs
*Hosts Legislative Trainings
*Advocates for better housing, healthcare and transportation sytems

Progress Center Mission Statement:

Progress Center for Independent Living is a non-profit, non-residential, consumer controlled disability rights organization serving suburban Cook County, Illinois. As a part of the disability rights movement, Progress Center’s mission is to build a society in which people with disabilities shall have the same freedoms, rights, and civil liberties as everyone else. We directly assist individuals with all types of disabilities and a wide range of accommodation needs to achieve their self-determined goals. We also engage in social justice advocacy for the rights of people with disabilities on the local, state and national levels.

To learn more about Progress Center, visit this link
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Gary Arnold 
Forest Park, IL
Progress Center for Indpendent Living 
Registered nonprofit
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