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About us


men at AspireFrom infants to seniors, Aspire serves people with disabilities across their lifetimes. We offer a comprehensive array of support for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Our name – Aspire – best sums up our approach. We help our participants and their families to aspire to a world of possibilities.

Aspire is one of the largest human service nonprofits in west suburban Chicago. We assist more than 1,000 children, adults and families each year with services focused on achieving potential and independence. Aspire is recognized throughout Illinois for our dedicated team of 250 staff who provide personalized services at 22 locations in the western suburbs. We help infants and toddlers begin life with as many abilities as possible and encourage adults with developmental disabilities to participate as fully as possible in community life.

Aspire was named Chicago’s Charity of the Year after more than 150,000 people voted across the nation for the Classy Awards. Chicago’s Charity of the Year Logo pictured.Aspire was recently featured on NBC’s TODAY show by co-anchor Meredith Vieira as a “local nonprofit doing amazing things,” and named Chicago’s Charity after more than 150,000 people voted across the nation for the Classy Awards.



Aspire’s mission is to support the successes of children and adults with developmental disabilities, strengthen their families and build embracing communities.



In 1960, ten families of children with developmental disabilities gathered in the basement of St. Domitilla Church in Hillside, Illinois, and started talking about their experiences and shared their challenges. These families knew that their children had untapped potential and could flourish if they only had the proper support. They identified the strong need for lifelong services that would help their children realize their unique potential and live as independently as possible. They knew firsthand that in order to achieve, their child needed to dream. These ten families founded what is now Aspire. Our thoughts are never far away from our founders, and their pioneering spirit lives on today.

Aspire has grown tremendously over the past 50 years. Today, Aspire is one of the largest charitable organizations for individuals with developmental disabilities in west suburban Chicago. Our innovative, person-centered services lead the field with a standard of quality and excellence. We provide services that are tailored to the needs of the individual, supporting each in realizing his or her individual aspirations. Our offerings include:

Aspire Children’s Services helps infants and children with developmental disabilities reach their unique potential. Our therapists and professionals work together with families to lay a foundation for the future.

Residential Choices offer a comprehensive menu of housing options that enable adults to live as independently and productively as possible throughout their lives.

Life Skills Training and Employment Options help adults build skills which increase their ability to live independently and encourage people with disabilities to imagine their dream job and succeed.

Aspire CoffeeWorks - Great Coffee Doing Good.

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Success Stories

Jasmine Finds Her Voice

success story photoImagine being thrilled when your teenager asks you to “please be quiet.” That’s how Jackie Cox felt when her 14-year-old daughter, Jasmine, interrupted a conversation she was having with Jasmine's speech therapist, Claire Francin. Choosing images of the words, Jasmine tapped her message on an iPad, one of many new assistive devices now being used at Aspire Children’s Services to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities communicate better. Read More

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