Making the Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities (from Global Accessibility News):
From Global Accessibility News, Jun 4, 2017

Meet Julia, the First “Sesame Street” Muppet with Autism:
From 60 Minutes, March 20, 2017

Bucking Trend, 9 in 10 With Autism Land Jobs after Training:
From Disability Scoop, March 14, 2017

Campus Life Welcomes New Project SEARCH Intern:
From Northwestern Student Affairs Blog, February 22, 2017

Temple Grandin named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame:
From Colorado State University SOURCE, February 2017

Meet Jacob, Have Dreams Academy Graduate Who Works at Bag Tags, Inc.
From Bag Tags, Inc.’s Facebook Page, January 16, 2017

Ford Expands Autism Hiring Initiative: Disability Scoop, December 3, 2016

Bakery Owner Honored for Autism Inclusiveness:
From Evanston Patch, March 18, 2016


Inspirational Photos

Have Dreams Participants

The men and women from Have Dreams’ Life SCILS program show off their beautiful, expressive paintings of fruits and vegetables, created with the help of Mia McNary (seated left in the group photo) of M.I.A. (Masters In Art).

Quotes from Our Community:

“We had a need, there was a void…there was nothing for the children to do after school. We [the original families] got together, sitting around a kitchen table and came up with starting an organization to help fill that void for providing services for the kids. I love Have Dreams…just when I think I may step down from the board, something pulls me back in. I feel so indebted to Have Dreams for helping to make Liam [her son] the amazing guy he is today.”

– Peggy Labern, a School Nurse at Mark Twain School in Niles, Illinois, about Have Dreams’ start. Peggy began as a Have Dreams board member in 1996 and has remained on the board for two decades.


“We realized that not only is inclusiveness beneficial to the culture of our business, but it has a social impact and has allowed us to grow our business at the same time.”

– Jean Kroll, owner of Sugar & Spice Extraordinary Sweet Treats in Evanston, about hiring Have Dreams Academy graduates.


“The kids here; their happiness is important and their successes are important.”

– Linda Polan, Have Dreams Employment Coach


“Autism is still very misunderstood. People want to put it in a box, whereas it is a spectrum…our overall goal is for each participant to reach their full potential.”

– Deirdre King, Have Dreams Life SCILS Coordinator


“I do a lot of jobs around here. What have I learned? How to be independent, knowing how to socialize more, how to get assignments done properly and on time, and being honest. The best thing about having this job is that I’m happy…my family’s happy; it’s basically about being happy.”

– Andrew McDonough, Have Dreams Academy Graduate Now Working at Sugar & Spice Commercial Bakery in Evanston


“What’s been a real surprise I think to all of us, is the level of satisfaction and pride we feel with our adults who overcome incredible challenges to get into the workforce.”

– Kris Johnsen, Have Dreams Executive Director